L.A. Times column, 3/24/97
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 03:16:56 -0700 (MST)
On Wed, 26 Mar 1997, Karin Geiselhart wrote:
> Forwarded food for thought. Will appeal to those who found Negroponte a bit
Thanks, Karen. A great precis of cautionary thought.
Some comments unhindered by credentials follow :
> >The books also follow a pattern. They spend some time setting up the
> >credentials, experience and stature of their authors by relating 'insider"
. . . following the pattern perfected by the "human potential"
industry, in which each "consultant" bolsters the reputation of
counterparts who agree to cross-marketing schemes.
> > <snip> The big guns of technological criticism -- such as
> >philosopher Martin Heidegger, social theorists Herbert Marcuse, Max
> >Horkheimer and Jacques Ellul and, yes, even Karl Marx -- are too difficult
> >for most readers and they never show up in these books.
> > <snip> They're carelessly ignorant of the great debates about
> >technology that came before us, such as after World War II and the war
> >in Vietnam.
They are also seemingly ignorant of the seminal literature of
speculative fiction on the subject of dystopias, which shouldn't be all
that difficult to digest.
> >"Humies," he writes, "tone down your fears of
> >technochange. Step outside your precious castles."
Typical patronisation characteristic of an aristocratic priesthood.
> >Dertouzos believes this "is the big challenge before us at the dawn of the
> >21st century: to embark on the unification of our technology with our
What a future for humanity: to become de facto "ghosts in the
> >Moreover, it's all too easy to imagine a "new man" of the Information Age
> >in his "bodynet," walking down the street paying his bills and checking his
> >e-mail, jabbering in cyberjargon, juggling his stock portfolio, planning
> >his next start-up, etc., while, at bottom, he's living an empty life in a
> >culture that has turned to bland mush.
"Brave New World" indeed!
. . . daryl . . .
Lost in c'Space . . .