Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology

Front Cover
Knopf, 1992 - Social Science - 222 pages
With characteristic wit and candor, Neil Postman, our most astute and engaging cultural critic, launches a trenchant and harrowing warning against the tyranny of machines over man in the late twentieth century. We live in a time when physical well-being is determined by CAT scan results. Facts need the substantiation of statistical study. The human mind needs "deprogramming" while computers catch devastating "viruses." We live, then, in a Technopoly -- a self-justifying, self-perpetuating system wherein technology of every kind is cheerfully granted sovereignty over social institutions and national life. In this provocative work, the author of Amusing Ourselves to Death chronicles our transformation from a society that uses technology to one that is shaped by it, as he traces its effects upon what we mean by politics, intellect, religion, history -- even privacy and truth. But if Technopoly is disturbing, it is also a passionate rallying cry filled with a humane rationalism as it asserts the manifold means by which technology, placed within the context of our larger human goals and social values, is an invaluable instrument for furthering the most worthy human endeavors. - Back cover

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User Review  - Jared_Runck - LibraryThing

It is difficult, if not impossible, stray too far into the literature of contemporary cultural criticism without running headlong into a Neil Postman reference…typically brief, often coated with a ... Read full review

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User Review  - kittyjay - LibraryThing

We all recognize the changing world around us: our phones are computers, our computers are televisions, and our bookshelves are now condensed to a single Kindle reader. Books upon books have been ... Read full review

Contents

The Judgment of Thamus
7
From Tools to Technocracy
21
From Technocracy to Technopoly
40
Copyright

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About the author (1992)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at the State University of New York and Columbia University, Neil Postman is a communications theorist, educator, and writer who has been deeply involved with the issue of the impact of the media and advanced communications technology on American culture. In his many books, Postman has strongly opposed the idea that technology will "save" humanity. In fact, he has focused on the negative ways in which television and computers alter social behavior. In his book Technopoly, Postman argues that the uncontrolled growth of technology destroys humanity by creating a culture with no moral structure. Thus, technology can be a dangerous enemy as well as a good friend. Postman, who is married and has three children, currently is a professor of media ecology at New York University and editor of Et Cetera, the journal of general semantics. In addition to his books, he has contributed to various magazines and periodicals, including Atlantic and The Nation. He has also appeared on the television program Sunrise Semester. Postman is the holder of the Christian Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching from New YorkUniversity.

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