To Save Everything, Click Here

To Save Everything, Click Here

The Folly of Technological Solutionism

Book - 2013
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A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

In the very near future, "smart" technologies and "big data" will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such "solutionism" affect our society, once deeply political, moral, and irresolvable dilemmas are recast as uncontroversial and easily manageablematters of technological efficiency? What if some such problems are simply vices in disguise? What if some friction in communication is productive and some hypocrisy in politics necessary? The temptation of the digital age is to fix everything--from crime to corruption to pollution to obesity--by digitally quantifying, tracking, or gamifying behavior. But when we change the motivations for our moral, ethical, and civic behavior we may also change the very nature of that behavior. Technology, Evgeny Morozov proposes, can be a force for improvement--but only if we keep solutionism in check and learn to appreciate the imperfections of liberal democracy. Some of those imperfections are not accidental but by design.

Arguing that we badly need a new, post-Internet way to debate the moral consequences of digital technologies, To Save Everything, Click Here warns against a world of seamless efficiency, where everyone is forced to wear Silicon Valley's digital straitjacket.
Publisher: New York :, PublicAffairs,, c2013.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781610391382
1610391381
Branch Call Number: 302.231 Morozov 02/2013
Characteristics: xv, 415 pages ;,24 cm.

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dickofoto
Jul 17, 2015

A good book but highly prescriptive and often redundant in its themes

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ReidCooper
Mar 28, 2014

A thorough, systematic look at what Morozov terms "technological solutionism" and "Internet-centrism". Along with his laser-like logical critiques of some logically sloppy, fatuous techtopian writings, Morozov uses his knowledge of the history of thought on technonology and political philosophy to show that little of this is really very new. Morozov is careful to be neither mindlessly pro- nor anti-technology, but asks us to carefully examine our options, not only as consumers but as citizens, for each particular case. In particular, he does an excellent job of unpacking arguments which talk of "the Internet" as a single, irresistible entity which we are told we must simply accept as we find it now. if you have a very poor attention span, this book is not for you.

m
mclarjh
Nov 12, 2013

Three hundred pages too long. I can better imagine this book as a series of five-page magazine articles.

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