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Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology by [Kentaro Toyama]

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Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"High-tech insider Kentaro Toyama's compulsively readable manifesto will change minds about all those new technological quick-fixes for poverty."

-- "William Easterly, professor of economics, New York University"

"Toyama's research reminds us that there are very few one-size-fits-all solutions. If technology is going to improve the lives of the world's poorest, it must be grounded in a deep understanding of human behavior and an appreciation for cultural differences."

-- "Bill Gates"

The book takes a spike-studded tire iron to the efforts by technology entrepreneurs and their enablers to reimagine how we eat, learn, heal, govern, and battle poverty."

-- "New York Times"

A white paper largely of interest to education theorists and aid specialists, with occasional asides for the Jaron Lanier/Nicholas Carr crowd.-- "Kirkus"
--This text refers to the audioCD edition.

From the Inside Flap

After a decade designing technologies meant to address education, health, and global poverty, award-winning computer scientist Kentaro Toyama came to a difficult conclusion: Even in an age of amazing technology, social progress depends on human changes that gadgets can't deliver.

Computers in Bangalore are locked away in dusty cabinets because teachers don't know what to do with them. Mobile phone apps to spread hygiene practices in Africa fail to improve health. Executives in Silicon Valley evangelize novel technologies at work even as they send their children to Waldorf schools that ban electronics. And, four decades of incredible innovation in America have done nothing to turn the tide of rising poverty and inequality. Why then do we keep hoping that technology will solve our greatest social ills?

In this incisive book, Toyama cures us of the manic rhetoric of digital utopians and reinvigorates us with a deeply people-centric view of social change. Contrasting the outlandish claims of tech zealots with stories of people like Patrick Awuah, a Microsoft millionaire who left his 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--
Geek Heresy is a heartwarming reminder that it's human wisdom, not machines, that move our world forward. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00TT1VSA2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ PublicAffairs (May 26, 2015)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 26, 2015
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1185 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 354 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 52 ratings

About the author

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Kentaro Toyama is W. K. Kellogg Professor at the University of Michigan's School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT. Until 2009, he was assistant managing director of Microsoft Research India, which he co-founded in 2005. At MSR India, he started the Technology for Emerging Markets research group, which conducts interdisciplinary research to understand how the world's poorer communities interact with electronic technology and to invent new ways for technology to support their socio-economic development. The award-winning group is known for projects such as MultiPoint, Text-Free User Interfaces, and Digital Green.

Toyama co-founded the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) to provide a global platform for rigorous academic research in this field. He is also co-editor-in-chief of the journal Information Technologies and International Development. Prior to his time in India, Toyama researched computer vision and multimedia at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA and Cambridge, UK, and taught mathematics at Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana. Toyama graduated from Yale with a PhD in Computer Science and from Harvard with a BS in Physics. He was born in Tokyo and raised in both Japan and the United States. He lives in Ann Arbor.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
52 global ratings

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Lindosland
2.0 out of 5 stars A one-track book about computer assisted learning in developing countries
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5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This a very important book. It is full of ...
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on July 12, 2015
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