- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679745408
- ISBN-13: 978-0679745402
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 116 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
This item, sold by Amazon.com, is currently reserved exclusively for Prime members.
- Unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping
- Instant streaming of over 40,000 movies and TV episodes
- A Kindle book to borrow for free each month - with no due dates
- Over a million songs and hundreds of playlists
Also available to Amazon Students. Check for eligibility
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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 cliched criticisms, Postman defines the U.S. as a society in which technology is deified to a near-totalitarian degree.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As one who absolutely loves progress and scientific advancement, I found myself nodding my head again and again as he critiqued how our culture has mindlessly and carelessly embraced a scientific approach to life which ultimately has no purpose or meaning for its existence. Ultimately, I would argue that his critique is that science and technology move us so furiously in the realm of doing things that we are losing all concept of what it means to be human.
As much as his book is a critique of the underlying philosophies of this age, his is not a Christian approach. While I found his critiques valid, it saddened me to see his careless disregard for religion. As much as he lamented a cultural philosophy which embraces modernity and progress over and against the past, his rejection of religion bore all the traits of a dismissal based on the assumption, "We've developed (progressed) beyond that now...." In short, his uncritical dismissal of religion belies a blindspot in his own reasoning.
That said, I did enjoy, in his concluding chapter, the assertion of the need for classical elements in educational curriculum, both in literature and sciences and the arts. Included in this is an argument for the inclusion of an overview of religions and their histories. He asserts no religion over any other, and I'm curious exactly how he thinks such a thing should be taught - but I enjoyed the fact that he included the thought.
The book itself was written in an engaging manner, and I think it would be accessible to most readers of almost any education level. I would especially encourage any teachers or educators to read the book, for many of his critiques have fascinating and significant implications in the realm of education. I would also encourage pastors to read the book, because it offers a critique of modern culture which includes many specific areas which will help Pastors think well about culture and how it impacts people. Overall a great and insightful book, and a pretty easy read.
Although he overplays his hand a bit when discussing what he perceives as technology's totalitarian grip on society, more broadly his argument has merit, explanatory insight, and predictive value. (Overplayed for example that "Technopoly" completely robs us of history, when in fact the data boom it can be argued is creating a clearer record of it.) But this is a minor criticism, as overall his critiques and insights are spot-on ... it's almost as if he's viewing the world from a 4th dimension the rest of us can't see...or more superstitiously, he's clairvoyant. From this he raises important challenges to the Information Age ethos that insufficient information is the assumed source of major problems, for example from this passage:
"You need only ask yourself, What is the problem in the Middle East, or South Africa, or Northern Ireland? Is it lack of information that keeps these conflicts at fever pitch? Is it lack of information about how to grow food that keeps millions at starvation levels? Is it lack of information that brings soaring crime rates and physical decay to our cities? Is it lack of information that leads to high divorce rates and keeps the beds of mental institutions filled to overflowing?"
He provides a clear rebuke to the notion that social science is superior to literary tradition in understanding human behavior. It's ultimately about the age of old challenge of converting qualitative information into quantitative information, so it be made into a form to make generalized observations about large populations and bespoke ones about its individuals. Postman clearly reasons that abstraction and generalization that are made to seem irrefutable by attaching the qualifier "science" to "social" clearly do much more harm than good.
This book goes to dark places, and perhaps "dark" is the best word to describe its overall tone. At times I found myself reading it not because I wanted to, but because I had to. But with an inspiring final chapter on how to counter the negative consequences of what he calls "Technopoly", and uplifting commentary on mankind derived from the classic "Ascent of Man", it ends on a liberating note.
Again I'm not saying it's a perfect work either ... I wonder for example how Postman would view advances in AI nearly 30 years since publish date at being more "human-like". He seems to assume that people will always be more morally responsible than machines. But with all the strife in the world can we rely on human judgement and action, versus a machine that be programmed to behave within strict guidelines? He also makes his own presumed unchallengable "leap of faith" that life without meaning is essentially the worse kind. Something that a zen Buddhist could launch a serious challenge to, as in destructiveness of "gaining" notions.
My own criticisms aside, this remains one of the most fundamentally important works I've ever read. It's also very topical and an important reality-check with all the hype-selling these days in tech (some of it most certainly legit, some most certainly not).
Nothing that Postman says in this book is particularly surprising or fresh, but he writes in such a refreshing and entertaining way that I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It’s so unfortunate that we no longer have Postman with us today to critique the Internet and the rise of smartphones – it would have made for devastatingly funny reading.