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The bleeding edge : why technology turns toxic in an unequal world

Author: Bob Hughes
Publisher: Toronto : Between the Lines, 2016.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Capitalism likes us to believe in the steady, inevitable march of progress, from the abacus to the iPad. But the historical record tells of innumerable roads not taken, all of which could have led to better worlds, and still can. Hughes argues that prioritizing equality would develop superior and more diverse technologies that would lead to a richer more sustainable world. Bob Hughes shows that every major  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Hughes, Bob, 1947-, author.
Bleeding edge.:
Oxford, UK : New Internationalist Publications Ltd, 2016.
(CaOONL)2016903285X
(OCoLC)945949136
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Bob Hughes
ISBN: 9781771132916 1771132914 9781771132923 1771132922 1780263392 9781780263397
OCLC Number: 950057232
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: About the Author; Acknowledgements; Title Page; Copyright; Contents; Foreword; Introduction; 1. Technofatalism and the future --
is a world without Foxconn even possible?; Two paradoxes about new technology; Humanity began with technology; Technology emerges from egalitarian knowledge economies; The myth of creative competition; Why capitalism inhibits innovation; Capitalism didn't make computers ... but took computing down the wrong path; 2. From water mills to iPhones: why technology and inequality do not mix; Egalitarian hopes for computing; The return of medieval economics. The first modern environmental crisisAn unequal society is a dangerous place for powerful ideas; Water mills, and how new technology can be a curse; Firearms take a European turn; 3. What inequality does to people; Inequality reduces life expectancy; Equality and the Soviet Union; Autonomy and solidarity: the essential nutrients; Inequality makes people shorter; Today's inequality will damage future generations; 4. The environmental cost of human inequality; Are the rich destroying the earth?; Inequality turns humans into a geological force. Malthus's mistake: not too many babies, but too much debtEhrlich's last gasp: technology and 'eye-pat'; The power to choose a low-impact life; 5. Ever greater impact, ever less benefit: high-tech capital's mysterious lack of growth; 'Keep your nerve' or 'tough it out'; Why computers have grown nothing but themselves; Inequality: the elephant in the room; 6. The invisible foot: why inequality increases impact; Technology plus inequality equals meltdown; 'Positionality' and 'human nature'; Traffic waves and why faster is slower; Computers and the positional economy: obsolescence gone mad. The rise of financial services, trailed by women in old carsPutting a girl on the moon: the cost of education; How 'e-learning' rebounded on the poor; 7. Enclosure in the computer age: the magic of control; The supernatural enters everyday life: the magic of commodities; Power over the future: the magic of intellectual property; Computers and the making of money; The world gets smaller and hotter; Closing the technological frontier (or trying to); Other routines are possible!; 8. Sales effort: from the automobile to the microchip; The all-steel automobile as an energy sump. How the sales effort shaped the chipMoore's self-fulfilling prophecy: chips with everything; Dictating the future; The visionary turn; Embracing carnage: faith in disruption; 9. Technoptimism hits the buffers; The toxic deWmands of purity; Obsolescence and e-waste: a total system; Displacing the problem to Africa; Entropy: measuring what's possible; Maxwell's demon: the spoiler in the green growth dream; Puncturing the weightless economists; 10. The data explosion: how the cloud became a juggernaut; Forced migration: corporate flight into the cloud; How the web became an entropy pump.
Responsibility: Bob Hughes.

Abstract:

"Capitalism likes us to believe in the steady, inevitable march of progress, from the abacus to the iPad. But the historical record tells of innumerable roads not taken, all of which could have led to better worlds, and still can. Hughes argues that prioritizing equality would develop superior and more diverse technologies that would lead to a richer more sustainable world. Bob Hughes shows that every major development in the computer's history arose from voluntary initiative or public funding rather than corporate research. The historical evidence suggest that innovation and creativity thrive in egalitarian settings and are stifled by competition--and the hijacking of the computer by capitalism is taking humanity down the wrong road."--

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