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High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian Paperback – September 12, 2000
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"Stoll's long experience with technology gives him authority. . . . His claims are based on facts, logic and common sense." --The Seattle Times
"Wonderful. . . . Stoll has Internetted there, computed that and seen through the hype about computers and education." --Chicago Sun-Times
"When Stoll says something, gearheads and non-gearheads alike usually listen. Not only is he an entertaining writer, but he is completely sensible in his approach about the role computers should play in our lives." --The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Wonderful...SHould be in the hands of every school administrator ready to sign a check for more computers."-Chicago Sun-Times
Top Customer Reviews
Stoll questions the 'empowerment' of the Internet. Empowerment in what way, exactly? On the Internet, everyone is a de facto editor / publisher, and much material that would never be printed is given equal status with the greatest novels. As the most thoughful and well-researched works are equalized by the net to the grammatically fractured toss-offs of anyone, the net actually weakens critical faculties.
If empowerment means strengthening, then Stoll concludes that the Internet actually enfeebles. Being online is a solitary activity masquerading as a social one. Every minute spent online is another minute in which true opportunties for social contact and interaction have been lost.
Stoll has a real affection for libraries, and does not like changes involving purchase of CD ROMs and computers. He notes that computers and media technology are obsolete in five to ten years, but that many communities have incurred 30 year debts to purchase such equipment, frequently by reducing or eliminating new book acquisitions.
The problem in the end has nothing to do with Stoll. As a web engineer with a dot com, as a self-employed web designer, I shuddered when people wanted to put streaming video on a website. I would always ask, why not make a TV commercial?
This idea was met with distaste, but streaming video was exciting.Read more ›
For those looking for a more scholarly work that addresses the false promises spouted by Gates and his ilk, look elsewhere (John Locke's "The De-Voicing of Society" is a prime example), as Cliff Stoll writes in a more popular style.
The amount spent on purchasing, maintaining, and updating both computer hardware and software borders on the criminal, with school administrators caught between the veritable rock and hard place. The populist idea that computer usage equals brighter students is a poison for which there is no antidote. Stoll is correct: the hard way is the only way. Nor can there be any substitute for excellent teachers and face-to-face dialog. The overemphasis on computers provides an easy out for all three points.
There is no sin in confessing that this path is a deadend. But with so much money riding on the decision, the outcome seems pre-ordained. Stoll shares this less encouraging belief.
I once encountered in Palo Alto a network specialist whose sole work was with two Silicon Valley school districts. His consulting and implementation fees earned him a cool quarter million a year - a quarter million that could easily have provided dozens of other more beneficial educational programs. It was his soulless laugh over the way he taking these schools for a ride that was the clincher for me.
Yes, the hard way is the only way. Take the time to read this book and you'll be a believer, too.
Stoll's wit and humor throughout the book are entertaining enough, but soon become arid and repetitive. His focus on condemning technology is tiresome. He centers his argument on the theory that computers will replace teachers in the classroom, when such a thing could never feasibly be accomplished. His theoretical situations, while thought provoking, are simply the manifestation of his paranoia.
I am a student at a university equipped with several computer labs. I own two computers and do not consider them to be useless pieces of equipment only suitable for word processing. I use my computer for valuable research as well as communicating from friends around the globe, hardly a wasteful pastime. I not only collect information, but new and valuable experiences I will be able to use throughout my life. If Stoll influenced my computer exploits I could turn into the cynical, mistrustful person that Stoll appears to be in High-Tech Heretic. Clifford Stoll tries hard to be philosophical, but comes off as contemptuous.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was promised between November 16 - 19. Then it was promised between November 26 -December 11. The book has not been received, so the rating is not a true one. Read morePublished on November 26, 2012 by June Bearden
Though I agree with some of what Stoll says on technology in the classroom, I feel he needs to update his book to reflect current trends and new thoughts on the subject of... Read morePublished on December 6, 2011 by jjohnson0625
High Tech Heretic
Clifford Stoll took my pure ignorance of computers and technology and turned it around completely. Read more
I have to admit this wasn't one of my favorite reads but it was inciteful and it offered alot of new information to me about computer literacy. Read morePublished on May 11, 2006 by Andrew McHenry
Clifford Stoll's High Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer Contrarian starts off his book by asking, Am I the only one scratching my head over the relentless invocation of the... Read morePublished on May 10, 2006 by jared dillow
The high tech heretic was a good book i believe in what he was saying when he said that teachers shouldn't be pushed aside because they don't want to use the computer, teachers... Read morePublished on May 10, 2006 by Brock Taylor
Clifford Stoll makes some incredibly good points in his book, "High Tech Heretic". We are in the computer age, and it does effect the schools and education. Read morePublished on May 10, 2006 by Rachel L. Kittredge
Get a grip! Mr. Stoll is right on target. We as humans are going to need another hand to grasp hold of our laptops. Read morePublished on May 10, 2006 by michelle kitchen
In my opinion the book "High-Tech Heretic" was extremely repetitive. When reading the first chapter it sounds as if the whole book is going to have different reasons as to why... Read morePublished on May 9, 2006 by Samantha