Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences by Edward TennerIn this perceptive and provocative look at everything from computer software that requires faster processors and more support staff to antibiotics that breed resistant strains of bacteria, Edward Tenner offers a virtual encyclopedia of what he calls revenge effects--the unintended consequences of the mechanical, chemical, biological, and medical forms of ingenuity that have been hallmarks of the progressive, improvement-obsessed modern age. Tenner shows why our confidence in technological solutions may be misplaced, and explores ways in which we can better survive in a world where despite technologys advances--and often because of them--reality is always gaining on us. For anyone hoping to understand the ways in which society and technology interact, Why Things Bite Back is indispensable reading. A bracing critique of technological determinism in both its utopian and dystopian forms...No one who wants to think clearly about our high-tech future can afford to ignore this book.--Jackson Lears, Wilson Quarterly
Why Things Bite Back Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences
As Rod Serling's short story "A Thing About Machines" begins, a fastidious, acerbic food writer named Bartlett Finchley is insulting a long-suffering television repairman. The man is fixing a set that Finchley pummeled after it filed to "work properly. When his departing secretary wishes him defeat in "this mortal combat between you and the appliances," his electric typewriter begins spontaneously to produce the words "Get out of here, Finchley. Soon a mechanical mutiny erupts. His electric razor nearly mauls his face. The chimes of his clock ring uncontrollably. His car slips its emergency brake and rolls down the driveway, almost striking a child on a bicycle.
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Edward Tenner's Why Things Bite Back examines technology in medicine, agriculture and the environment, the computerized office, and sports. A historian of.
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