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Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations

Nicholas Carr

A freewheeling, sharp-shooting indictment of a tech-besotted culture.

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Book Information

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date: 09/05/2016
Pages: 384
ISBN-13: 9780393254549
ISBN-10: 0393254542
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 23, 2016

The five finalists in the Innovation & Creativity category span styles and subject matter, but all do one thing well: make learning interesting. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 08, 2016

Nicholas Carr reminds us that digital utopianism is just like all the utopias that came before it—unrealistic and a little creepy. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 01, 2016

If you're going to read 40 business books published in 2016, make them this 40—or, I suppose, choose from among them. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

With a razor wit, Nicholas Carr cuts through Silicon Valley's unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question: Have we been seduced by a lie? Gathering a decade's worth of posts from his blog, Rough Type, as well as his seminal essays, Utopia Is Creepy offers an alternative history of the digital age, chronicling its roller-coaster crazes and crashes, its blind triumphs, and its unintended consequences.

Carr's favorite targets are those zealots who believe so fervently in computers and data that they abandon common sense. Cheap digital tools do not make us all the next Fellini or Dylan. Social networks, diverting as they may be, are not vehicles for self-enlightenment. And "likes" and retweets are not going to elevate political discourse. When we expect technologies--designed for profit--to deliver a paradise of prosperity and convenience, we have forgotten ourselves. In response, Carr offers searching assessments of the future of work, the fate of reading, and the rise of artificial intelligence, challenging us to see our world anew.

In famous essays including "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" and "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Privacy," Carr dissects the logic behind Silicon Valley's "liberation mythology," showing how technology has both enriched and imprisoned us--often at the same time. Drawing on artists ranging from Walt Whitman to the Clash, while weaving in the latest findings from science and sociology, Utopia Is Creepy compels us to question the technological momentum that has trapped us in its flow. "Resistance is never futile," argues Carr, and this book delivers the proof.

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