The New York Times has a nice profile of Evgeny Morozov, who at the age of 29 and not long since he came from Belarus, has become our premier technology-industry critic:

In person, too, Mr. Morozov can quickly turn adversarial, and not only when he threatens to stop talking because his interlocutor’s knowledge “is too limited.” He is as likely to spot a contradiction in his own thinking, saying something like, “You are going to catch me here, but who cares?”

Beyond his gnawing arguments and the way he delivers them, Mr. Morozov has benefited from growing public doubts in the prevailing belief in a “high-tech, techno-libertarian utopia,” said Ian Bogost, a professor of digital media at Georgia Tech and among the few writers in the field Mr. Morozov counts as a friend and ally. “This anxiety is one that needs voices who can identify it and find other paths. The reason why it is him is that he has been willing to pull no punches and be as brazen and direct as his targets.”

Mr. Morozov was born in Soligorsk, a small mining city whose name means “mountains of salt.” His quick answer to the question of why he wanted to come to the United States: “Do you know anything about Belarus?”

I also like this quote from a Times book review of Morozov’s latest, which says he “is taking up the cause of human values against those of the machine.”

 

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.