Neil Postman is one of the most level-headed analysts of education, media, and technology, and in this book he spells out the increasing dependence upon technology, numerical quantification, and misappropriation of "Scientism" to all human affairs. No simple technophobe, Postman argues insightfully and writes with a stylistic flair, profound sense of humor, and love of language increasingly rare in our hastily scribbled e-mail-saturated world.
From Publishers Weekly
Mixing provocative insights and oft-heard criticism, cultural critic Postman ( Conscientious Objections ) defines the U.S. as an emerging "technopoly," a society in which machines and technology are deified to a near-totalitarian degree. Technopoly elevates experts to "priestly" status, whether in economics or in child-rearing; it maintains a bureaucracy to control the flow of information; it likens human beings to computers in reductionist fashion, misapplies statistics in IQ tests and public opinion polls, and uses advertising to "devour the psyches of consumers" through symbolic manipulation. In medicine, technopoly is evident in doctors who aggressively overuse machines and X-rays. Postman's arguments are sometimes strained (the Bible is an "information control mechanism") and he offers almost no solutions, yet his erudite jeremiad presents a stark, often terrifying vision of a soulless society beholden to machines. He is most original when discussing the social scientist as one who constructs stories using archetypes and metaphors. BOMC alternate; QPB selection.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.