Geek Heresy

Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology

Author: Kentaro Toyama

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610395298

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 8386

In 2004, Kentaro Toyama, an award-winning computer scientist, moved to India to start a new research group for Microsoft. Its mission: to explore novel technological solutions to the world's persistent social problems. Together with his team, he invented electronic devices for under-resourced urban schools and developed digital platforms for remote agrarian communities. But after a decade of designing technologies for humanitarian causes, Toyama concluded that no technology, however dazzling, could cause social change on its own. Technologists and policy-makers love to boast about modern innovation, and in their excitement, they exuberantly tout technology's boon to society. But what have our gadgets actually accomplished? Over the last four decades, America saw an explosion of new technologies – from the Internet to the iPhone, from Google to Facebook – but in that same period, the rate of poverty stagnated at a stubborn 13%, only to rise in the recent recession. So, a golden age of innovation in the world's most advanced country did nothing for our most prominent social ill. Toyama's warning resounds: Don't believe the hype! Technology is never the main driver of social progress. Geek Heresy inoculates us against the glib rhetoric of tech utopians by revealing that technology is only an amplifier of human conditions. By telling the moving stories of extraordinary people like Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft millionaire who left his lucrative engineering job to open Ghana's first liberal arts university, and Tara Sreenivasa, a graduate of a remarkable South Indian school that takes children from dollar-a-day families into the high-tech offices of Goldman Sachs and Mercedes-Benz, Toyama shows that even in a world steeped in technology, social challenges are best met with deeply social solutions.

Geek Heresy

Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology

Author: Kentaro Toyama

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1610395298

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 1830

In 2004, Kentaro Toyama, an award-winning computer scientist, moved to India to start a new research group for Microsoft. Its mission: to explore novel technological solutions to the world's persistent social problems. Together with his team, he invented electronic devices for under-resourced urban schools and developed digital platforms for remote agrarian communities. But after a decade of designing technologies for humanitarian causes, Toyama concluded that no technology, however dazzling, could cause social change on its own. Technologists and policy-makers love to boast about modern innovation, and in their excitement, they exuberantly tout technology's boon to society. But what have our gadgets actually accomplished? Over the last four decades, America saw an explosion of new technologies – from the Internet to the iPhone, from Google to Facebook – but in that same period, the rate of poverty stagnated at a stubborn 13%, only to rise in the recent recession. So, a golden age of innovation in the world's most advanced country did nothing for our most prominent social ill. Toyama's warning resounds: Don't believe the hype! Technology is never the main driver of social progress. Geek Heresy inoculates us against the glib rhetoric of tech utopians by revealing that technology is only an amplifier of human conditions. By telling the moving stories of extraordinary people like Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft millionaire who left his lucrative engineering job to open Ghana's first liberal arts university, and Tara Sreenivasa, a graduate of a remarkable South Indian school that takes children from dollar-a-day families into the high-tech offices of Goldman Sachs and Mercedes-Benz, Toyama shows that even in a world steeped in technology, social challenges are best met with deeply social solutions.

Geek Heresy

Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology

Author: Kentaro Toyama

Publisher: Public Affairs

ISBN: 9781610395281

Category: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Page: 352

View: 6211

In 2004, Kentaro Toyama, an award-winning computer scientist, moved to India to start a new research group for Microsoft. Its mission: to explore novel technological solutions to the world’s persistent social problems. Together with his team, he invented electronic devices for under-resourced urban schools and developed digital platforms for remote agrarian communities. But after a decade of designing technologies for humanitarian causes, Toyama concluded that no technology, however dazzling, could cause social change on its own. Technologists and policy-makers love to boast about modern innovation, and in their excitement, they exuberantly tout technology’s boon to society. But what have our gadgets actually accomplished? Over the last four decades, America saw an explosion of new technologies – from the Internet to the iPhone, from Google to Facebook – but in that same period, the rate of poverty stagnated at a stubborn 13%, only to rise in the recent recession. So, a golden age of innovation in theworld’s most advanced country did nothing for our most prominent social ill. Toyama’s warning resounds: Don’t believe the hype! Technology is never the main driver of social progress.Geek Heresy inoculates us against the glib rhetoric of tech utopians by revealing that technology is only an amplifier of human conditions. By telling the moving stories of extraordinary people like Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft millionaire who left his lucrative engineering job to open Ghana’s first liberal arts university, and Tara Sreenivasa, a graduate of a remarkable South Indian school that takes children from dollar-a-day families into the high-tech offices of Goldman Sachs and Mercedes-Benz,Toyama shows that even in a world steeped in technology, social challenges are best met with deeply social solutions.

Technologies of Choice?

ICTs, Development, and the Capabilities Approach

Author: Dorothea Kleine

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262018209

Category: Computers

Page: 267

View: 9898

A new framework for assessing the role of information and communication technologies in development that draws on Amartya Sen's capabilities approach. Information and communication technologies (ICTs)--especially the Internet and the mobile phone--have changed the lives of people all over the world. These changes affect not just the affluent populations of income-rich countries but also disadvantaged people in both global North and South, who may use free Internet access in telecenters and public libraries, chat in cybercafes with distant family members, and receive information by text message or email on their mobile phones. Drawing on Amartya Sen's capabilities approach to development--which shifts the focus from economic growth to a more holistic, freedom-based idea of human development--Dorothea Kleine in Technologies of Choice? examines the relationship between ICTs, choice, and development. Kleine proposes a conceptual framework, the Choice Framework, that can be used to analyze the role of technologies in development processes. She applies the Choice Framework to a case study of microentrepreneurs in a rural community in Chile. Kleine combines ethnographic research at the local level with interviews with national policy makers, to contrast the high ambitions of Chile's pioneering ICT policies with the country's complex social and economic realities. She examines three key policies of Chile's groundbreaking Agenda Digital: public access, digital literacy, and an online procurement system. The policy lesson we can learn from Chile's experience, Kleine concludes, is the necessity of measuring ICT policies against a people-centered understanding of development that has individual and collective choice at its heart.

Information Ecologies

Using Technology with Heart

Author: Bonnie A. Nardi,Vicki O'Day

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262640428

Category: Computers

Page: 232

View: 4278

"An information ecology is a system of people, practices, technologies, and values in a local environment. Like their biological coounterparts, information ecologies are diverse, continually evolving, and complex. Nardi and O'Day encourage the reader to become more aware of the ways people and technology are interrelated. A key to thoughtful action, they say, is to ask more "know-why" questions, before jumping to the more straightforward "know-how" questions. They talk about practical ways to have more "know-why" questions, to dig deeper and reflect more on how we use technology"--

From Fear to Facebook

One School's Journey

Author: Matt Levinson

Publisher: International Society for Technology in Education

ISBN: 1564844196

Category: Education

Page: 200

View: 3304

Matt Levinson shares his experience integrating a laptop program and how teachers, students, and parents discovered, dealt with, and overcame challenges. Honesty and insightful anecdotes make this an indispensible guide for everyone looking for a path away from fear and into the future of education.

Massive change

Author: Bruce Mau,Jennifer Leonard,Institute without Boundaries

Publisher: Phaidon Press

ISBN: 9780714844015

Category: Architecture

Page: 239

View: 5825

Includes transcripts of interviews with: Philip Ball, Janine Benyus, Stewart Brand, Stephen Browne, Carol Burns, James Der Derian, Bill Drayton, Gwynne Dyer, Freeman Dyson, Ian Foster, Felice Frankel, Robert Freling, Ashok Gadgil, Catherine Gray, Hazel Henderson, Dean Kamen, Arthur Kroker, Robert S. Langer, Jaime Lerner, Lawrence Lessig, David Malin, Michael McDonough, William McDonough, Seymour Melman, Nancy Padian, Matt Ridley, Jeffrey Sachs, Richard Smalley, Hernando de Soto, Bruce Sterling and Eugene Thacker.

The Dark Side of Technology

Author: Peter Townsend

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198790538

Category:

Page: 336

View: 5844

The Dark Side of Technology is aimed at a mass market of intelligent people who are concerned about human progress, interested or amused by many of the unexpected consequences of technological advance, and probably unaware of the dangers which we are accruing for ourselves. Although the book spans a very wide spectrum of ideas, no previous scientific knowledge is required. Other books have focussed on different topic areas, but none have previously presented thegenerality of the patterns across medicine to agriculture, electronics, communications, a global economy and a burgeoning population. Technology invariably advances faster than our understanding of sideeffects, or our realisation that we have become vulnerable to natural events that could eliminate advanced nations, nor that mutagenic changes may not be apparent for one or two generations. This is therefore both an alarm call and a guide to survival.

De-bug

Voices from the Underside of Silicon Valley

Author: Raj Jayadev,Jean Melesaine

Publisher: Heyday Books

ISBN: 9781597143196

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 123

View: 2112

The first collection of material from the organization that has brought attention to the other side of Silicon Valleys prosperity largely through revealing the stories of those just getting by. A refreshingly honest and different take on the Silicon Valley boom and income inequality.

Obfuscation

A User's Guide for Privacy and Protest

Author: Finn Brunton,Helen Nissenbaum

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262331322

Category: Computers

Page: 136

View: 952

With Obfuscation, Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum mean to start a revolution. They are calling us not to the barricades but to our computers, offering us ways to fight today's pervasive digital surveillance -- the collection of our data by governments, corporations, advertisers, and hackers. To the toolkit of privacy protecting techniques and projects, they propose adding obfuscation: the deliberate use of ambiguous, confusing, or misleading information to interfere with surveillance and data collection projects. Brunton and Nissenbaum provide tools and a rationale for evasion, noncompliance, refusal, even sabotage -- especially for average users, those of us not in a position to opt out or exert control over data about ourselves. Obfuscation will teach users to push back, software developers to keep their user data safe, and policy makers to gather data without misusing it.Brunton and Nissenbaum present a guide to the forms and formats that obfuscation has taken and explain how to craft its implementation to suit the goal and the adversary. They describe a series of historical and contemporary examples, including radar chaff deployed by World War II pilots, Twitter bots that hobbled the social media strategy of popular protest movements, and software that can camouflage users' search queries and stymie online advertising. They go on to consider obfuscation in more general terms, discussing why obfuscation is necessary, whether it is justified, how it works, and how it can be integrated with other privacy practices and technologies.

Science Left Behind

Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left

Author: Alex Berezow,Hank Campbell

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610391659

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 1215

To listen to most pundits and political writers, evolution, stem cells, and climate change are the only scientific issues worth mentioning—and the only people who are anti-science are conservatives. Yet those on the left have numerous fallacies of their own. Aversion to clean energy programs, basic biological research, and even life-saving vaccines come naturally to many progressives. These are positions supported by little more than junk-science and paranoid thinking. Now for the first time, science writers Dr. Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell have drawn open the curtain on the left's fear of science. As Science Left Behind reveals, vague inclinations about the wholesomeness of all things natural, the unhealthiness of the unnatural, and many other seductive fallacies have led to an epidemic of misinformation. The results: public health crises, damaging and misguided policies, and worst of all, a new culture war over basic scientific facts—in which the left is just as culpable as the right.

The Sceptical Optimist

Why Technology Isn't the Answer to Everything

Author: Nicholas Agar

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198717059

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 3639

Radical optimism and the technology bias -- Is there a law of technological progress? -- Does technological progress make us happier? -- The new paradox of progress -- We need technological progress experiments -- Why technological progress won't end poverty -- Choosing a tempo of technological progress -- Afterword : don't turn well-being technologies in Procrustean beds.

The Unpersuadables

Adventures with the Enemies of Science

Author: Will Storr

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781468308181

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 355

View: 4215

Interweaves personal memoir and investigative journalism with the latest neuroscience and experimental psychology research to reveal how the stories individuals tell themselves about the world shape their beliefs, leading to self-deception, toxic partisanship, and science denial.

The Great Decision

Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court

Author: Cliff Sloan,David McKean

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 0786744960

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 1052

Following the bitterly contested election between Adams and Jefferson in 1800, the United States teetered on the brink of a second revolution. When Adams sought to prolong his policies in defiance of the electorate by packing the courts, it became evident that the new Constitution was limited in its powers. Change was in order and John Marshall stepped up to the challenge. The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison, through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transformed the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state. Rich in atmospheric detail, political intrigue, and fascinating characters, The Great Decision is an illuminating tale of America's formative years and the evolution of our democracy.

Rebooting India

Realizing a Billion Aspirations

Author: Nandan Nilekani,Viral Shah

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141978600

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 352

View: 9665

A timely call to reshape government through technology, from Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah, two leading experts in the field. For many aspects of how our countries are run - from social security and fair elections to communication, infrastructure and the rule of law - technology can play an increasingly positive, revolutionary role. In India, for example, where many underprivileged citizens are invisible to the state, a unique national identity system is being implemented for the first time, which will help strengthen social security. And throughout the world, technology is essential in the transition to clean energy. This book, based on the authors' collective experiences working with government, argues that technology can reshape our lives, in both the developing and developed world, and shows how this can be achieved. Praise for Nandan Nilekani: 'A pioneer . . . one of India's most celebrated technology entrepreneurs' Financial Times 'There is a bracing optimism about Nilekani's analysis . . . which can only be welcome in this age of doom and gloom' Telegraph 'The Bill Gates of Bangalore . . . Nilekani achieves an impressive breadth' Time Nandan Nilekani is a software entrepreneur, Co-founder of Infosys Technologies, and the head of the Government of India's Technology Committee. He was named one of the '100 Most Influential People in the World' by TIME magazine and Forbes' 'Business Leader of the Year', and he is a member of the World Economic Forum Board. Viral B. Shah is a software expert who has created various systems for governments and businesses worldwide.

Poor Economics

A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty

Author: Abhijit Banerjee,Esther Duflo

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610391608

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 320

View: 1120

Why do the poor borrow to save? Why do they miss out on free life-saving immunizations, but pay for unnecessary drugs? In Poor Economics, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two practical visionaries working toward ending world poverty, answer these questions from the ground. In a book the Wall Street Journal called “marvelous, rewarding,” the authors tell how the stress of living on less than 99 cents per day encourages the poor to make questionable decisions that feed—not fight—poverty. The result is a radical rethinking of the economics of poverty that offers a ringside view of the lives of the world's poorest, and shows that creating a world without poverty begins with understanding the daily decisions facing the poor.

Humans 3.0

The Upgrading of the Species

Author: Peter Nowak

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1493016210

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 1304

Life for early humans wasn’t easy. They may have been able to walk on two feet and create tools 4 million years ago, but they couldn’t remember or communicate. Fortunately, people got smarter, and things got better. They remembered on-the-spot solutions and shared the valuable information of their experiences. Clubs became swords, caves became huts, and fires became ovens. Collectively these new tools became technology. As the 21st century unfolds, the pace of innovation is accelerating exponentially. Breakthroughs from robotics to genetics appear almost on a daily basis. It’s all happening so quickly that it’s hard to keep track—but recently there’s been a shift. We used to create technology to change the world around us; now we’re using it to change ourselves. With vaccinations, in-vitro fertilization, and individual genetic therapy, we’re entering a new epoch, a next step, faster and more dramatic than the shift from Australopithicines to Homo Sapiens. The technology that set us apart from our earliest selves is becoming part of the evolutionary process. Advancements in computing, robotics, nanotechnology, neurology, and genetics mean that our wildest imaginings could soon become commonplace. Peter Nowak deftly presents the potential outcomes—both exciting and frightening—of key, rapidly advancing technologies and adroitly explores both the ramifications of adopting them and what doing so will reveal about the future of our species. We’ve come a long way in 4 million years. Welcome to Human 3.0.

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The Folly of Technological Solutionism

Author: Evgeny Morozov

Publisher: Public Affairs

ISBN: 1610391381

Category: Computers

Page: 415

View: 9561

Argues that technology is changing the way we understand human society and discusses how the disciplines of politics, culture, public debate, morality, and humanism will be affected when responsibility for them is delegated to technology.

Those who Have Borne the Battle

A History of America's Wars and Those who Fought Them

Author: James Edward Wright

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610390725

Category: History

Page: 351

View: 341

A history of America's complicated relationship with its armed forces, cites key changes in warfare strategy and the regard of veterans while explaining how the military has become less representative of American society.