Filed under book | Tags: · big data, critique, database, democracy, internet, technology
Our society is at a crossroads. Smart technology is transforming our world, making many aspects of our lives more convenient, efficient and – in some cases – fun. Better and cheaper sensors can now be embedded in almost everything, and technologies can log the products we buy and the way we use them. But, argues Evgeny Morozov, technology is having a more profound effect on us: it is changing the way we understand human society.
In the very near future, technological systems will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions into many more areas of public life. These are the discourses by which we have always defined our civilization: politics, culture, public debate, morality, humanism. But how will these disciplines be affected when we delegate much of the responsibility for them to technology? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything – from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity – by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifiying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical and civic behavior, do we also change the very nature of that behavior? Technology, Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement – but only if we abandon the idea that it is necessarily revolutionary and instead genuinely interrogate why and how we are using it.
From urging us to drop outdated ideas of the Internet to showing how to design more humane and democratic technological solutions, To Save Everything, Click Here is about why we will always need to consider the consequences of the way we use technology.
Publisher PublicAffairs, 2013
ISBN 161039139X, 9781610391399
review (Kevin Driscoll, LA Review of Books)
review (Siva Vaidhyanathan, Bookforum)
review (Steven Poole, The Guardian)
review (Pat Kane, The Independent)
review (Adam Thierer, Reason.com)
interview (with Terry Winograd, Boston Review)
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