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Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
In this witty, often terrifying work of cultural criticism, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death chronicles our transformation into a Technopoly: a society that no longer merely uses technology as... a support system but instead is shaped by it--with radical consequences for the meanings of politics, art, education, intelligence, and truth. From a renowned social critic, an intriguing look at how high technology is changing our society and culture, and what this means for our future. Postman suggests ways in which a true democracy can use its technical skills not to control but to enhance human endeavor and preserve freedom and individuality.
Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future
Hailed by Bruce Sterling as "a political activist, gizmo freak, junk collector, programmer, entrepreneur, and all-around Renaissance geek,” the Internet’s favorite high-tech culture maven is celebrate...d with the first collection of his infamous articles, essays, and polemics. Irreverently championing free speech and universal access to information—even if it's just a free download of the newest Britney Spears MP3—he leads off with a mutinous talk given at Microsoft on digital rights management, insisting that they stop treating their customers as criminals. Readers will discover how America chose Happy Meal toys over copyright, why Facebook is taking a faceplant, how the Internet is basically just a giant Xerox machine, why Wikipedia is a poor cousin of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and how to enjoy free e-books. Practicing what he preaches, all of the author's books, including this one, are simultaneously released in print and on the Internet under Creative Commons licenses that encourage their reuse and sharing. He argues persuasively that this practice has considerably increased his sales by enlisting readers to promote his work. Accessible to geeks and nontechies alike, this is a timely collection from an author who effortlessly surfs the zeitgeist while always generating his own wave.
The Social Life of Information
In this paperback edition of The Social Life of Information, the authors dispel many of the futurists' sweeping predictions that information technology will obliterate the need for everything from tra...vel to supermarkets to business organizations to social life itself. But beaten down by info-glut, exasperated by computer crashes, and burned by dot-com stocks, individual users find it hard to get a fix on the true potential of the digital revolution. A new preface updates and expands on the ideas of the original text, in which John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid argue that the gap between digerati hype and end-user gloom is largely due to the "tunnel vision" that information-driven technologies breed. We've become so focused on where we think we ought to be that we often fail to see where we're really going. We need to look beyond our obsession with information and individuals to include the critical social networks of which these are always a part. The Social Life of Information shows how a better understanding of the contribution that communities, organizations, and institutions make to learning, working, and innovating can lead to the richest possible use of technology in our work and everyday lives. Author Biography: John Seely Brown is the Chief Innovation Officer of 12 Entrepreneuring and the Chief Scientist of Xerox. He was the director of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) for ten years. Paul Duguid is affiliated with Xerox PARC and the University of California, Berkeley.
The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future
The Era Of The Printed Book Is At A Crossroad. E-readers Are Flooding The Market, Books Are Available To Read On Cell Phones, And Companies Such As Google, Amazon, And Apple Are Competing To Command N...ear Monopolistic Positions As Sellers And Dispensers Of Digital Information. Is The Printed Book Resilient Enough To Survive The Digital Revolution, Or Will It Become Obsolete? In This Lasting Collection Of Essays, Robert Darnton--an Intellectual Pioneer In The Field Of This History Of The Book--lends Unique Authority To The Life, Role, And Legacy Of The Book In Society.--p. 4 Of Cover.
The Technological Society
...he Goes Through One Human Activity After Another And Shows How It Has Been Technicized, Rendered Efficient, And Diminished In The Process.- Harper's Magazine ...he Goes Throu...gh One Human Activeity After Another And Shows How It Has Been Technicized, Rendered Efficient, And Diminished In The Process. --harper's Magazine
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Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology
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Megatech: Technology in 2050
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Cyberpunk: Stories of Hardware, Software, Wetware, Evolution, and Revolution
Before email, before “the web,” before hackers and GPS and sexting, before titanium implants, before Google Goggles, before Siri, and before each and every one of us carried a computer in our pockets,... there was cyberpunk, and science fiction was never the same. Cyberpunk writers—serious, smart, and courageous in the face of change—exposed the naiveté of a society rushing headlong into technological unknowns. Technology could not save us, they argued, and it might in fact ruin us. Now, thirty years after The Movement party-crashed the science fiction scene, the cyberpunk reality has largely come to be. The future they imagined is here. In this book, you’ll find stories by legendary cyberpunk authors like Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, as well as stories by new cyberpunk voices like Cory Doctorow and Jonathan Lethem. You’ll find stories about society gone wrong and society saved, about soulless humans and soulful machines, about futures worth fighting for and futures that do nothing but kill. Welcome to your cyberpunk world.
Society of the Mind
Society of the Mind is the story of Dr. Laura Aldridge, a young Harvard psychology professor who is offered a seven-figure sum for a week of unspecified consultation by enigmatic inventor and computer... genius Joseph Gray. Unknown to all but Gray's immediate staff, his prized invention and alter-ego - a massive, artificially intelligent neurocomputer - lies buried deep underground; its "mind" has grown troubled and its wide-ranging errors cause for grave concern. When Laura meets Gray on his south Pacific island, she is shocked - but intrigued - when she learns exactly what her job entails: to psychoanalyze and "cure" Gray's aberrant mainframe, which has become all too human in its operation, before its malfunctions lead to global catastrophe. But what Gray has built is not only a thinking entity; it feels as well. A conscious, brilliant, neurotic, and lonely mind that looks out at the world through cameras, interacting with it by way of the faltering steps of inquisitive, childlike robots, the neurocomputer shares its world with Laura when she immerses herself in Gray's virtual-reality workstations. And the closer Laura gets to the crux of the neurocomputer's psychological problems, the more engaging and "talkative" it becomes - until it begins to have trouble keeping its inventor's potentially devastating secrets. Utterly riveting, Society of the Mind raises questions that are chillingly real: As computer scientists succeed in replicating the human mind, what happens when they mistakenly - or perhaps intentionally - replicate its psychotic tendencies as well? And if the virus of human madness can be caught by computers, can the contagion pass from computers back to man?