Gentlemachines
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Curated by Artur Alves
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Secularizing the Tech Debate | Dissent Magazine

Secularizing the Tech Debate | Dissent Magazine | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

"Evgeny Morozov and Jaron Lanier are themselves lapsed true believers in the Internet gospel, though Morozov tells us he was only “one of those people . . . very briefly,” whereas Silicon Valley insider Lanier was a seminal figure in developing some of the technologies and ideologies he now criticizes. Both assert that the widespread and quasi-messianic enthusiasm for the Internet underwrites a technocratic agenda inimical to the survival of democracy. The celebrated cause of “Internet freedom,” they tell us, is about the freedom of data, not people, and strengthens the hand of a small elite positioned to profit from that data. They also reject the idea that the Internet follows an autonomous, self-directing logic, asserting instead that we must decide the future of network technology and our relation to it through reasoned collective deliberation. Both authors, then, set out to secularize contemporary discussions of technology and dispel the dubious theologies and teleologies peddled by evangelists of the cyber-creed."

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New Left Review - Rob Lucas: The Critical Net Critic

"Today, amid increasing media noise about such things as Facebook addiction and Twitter trolling, the sceptical literature has taken on a new prominence, with books pouring from the trade presses and a steady stream of articles fretting about the deleterious effects of technology. If we are to attempt a disillusioned, materialist critique of current technology, an interrogation of such existing negative literature may be a useful step, helping us at least to deflate the grander claims of Silicon Valley’s chief boosters. Within this huge literature, the work of Nicholas Carr stands out for the clarity and breadth of historical vision he has brought to bear. With its expansive interdisciplinary scope, weaving economic and technological history, neuroscience and McLuhanist media theory, Carr’s project offers a particularly fertile basis for reflection."

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