Metaphor is the life-blood of literary expression, and when properly applied has the capacity to make complicated ideas completely clear and intelligible. The spot-on metaphor sears the image onto your brain, it sticks with you (if you can allow my own poor metaphors). Technology in general and computer concepts in particular also use metaphors as a life-blood: we have files and folders, we burn files, we run programs and have desktops, etc. Now there is a trend to use the technology and computer software metaphor of the ‘updated release version’ of say release 2.0 and apply it to books. In a previous century we would have called it a revised or expanded edition but the provision of the moniker ‘release/version 2.0’ seems to give the topic a certain hipness to it. My most recent exposure was a new book by Joseph Heath “Enlightenment 2.0: restoring sanity to our politics, our economy, and our lives”. This is not a criticism to the content of the book, in fact the ideas discussed are so important that is worth its own blog (potential foreshadowing), but applying the concept of 2.0 irked me as kitschy and cliché. And so with my irksome curiosity peaked here is a sampling of some 2.0 releases. To be fair, the reviews for the vast majority of these titles were stellar; hey, there may be something to release 2.0?
‘Quantum-touch 2.0’ by Richard Gordon (2013 edition updating 2006 edition)
‘Man 2.0: engineering the alpha’ by John Romaniello (the note on the book cover says it all: “Balance your hormones, build more muscle, burn more fat, have more sex”…now that is upgrade!) ‘Love 2.0: how our supreme emotion affects everything we feel, think, do and become’ by Barbara Fredrickson
‘Giving 2.0: transform your giving and our world’ by Laura Arrillaga-Andreesen
‘Post-American world: release 2.0’ by Fareed Zakaria (2011 update of the 2008 bestseller by political scientist and CNN host) ‘Wild West 2.0: how to protect and restore your online reputation on the untamed social frontier’ by Michael Fertik
‘Global Development 2.0’ by Lael Brainard
‘Food 2.0’ by Charlie Ayers
‘Strengths Finder 2.0’ by Tom Rath ‘Plan B 2.0’ Lester R. Brown (updated edition from the author the State of the World series and is considered in some circles to be the father of the environmental movement)