PopMatters features an interview of Steven Johnson by Jason Jones:
This idea of the long zoom, a perspective that shifts back and forth from the macro- to the microcosm, organizes each of Steven Johnsons five books of cultural criticism and science journalism. As he explains below, Johnson deploys concepts borrowed from contemporary science and from literary theory, using these in particular to understand the way informationbiological, cultural, or otherself-organizes as it moves along networks. Its not that he has one idea and applies it indiscriminately; rather, the long zoom is a kind of method: He focuses attentively on what happens at the moments when one shifts between scalesthose moments, that is, when an explanatory vocabulary that makes sense from one point of view appears to break down. Johnson consistently shows how scientific and cultural progress happens when consilient thinkers are able to translate observations and data at one level of experience into another, making visible what had been hidden.