The Bleeding Edge : Why Technology Turns Toxic in an Unequal World.

Hughes, Bob.
Oxford : New Internationalist, 2016.
1 online resource (272 pages)

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Information society.
Electronic books.
A big-hitting historical analysis of technology which uses the computer as a can-opener to expose the inequality innate in capitalism.
About the Author
Title Page
1. Technofatalism and the future - is a world without Foxconn even possible?
Two paradoxes about new technology
Humanity began with technology
Technology emerges from egalitarian knowledge economies
The myth of creative competition
Why capitalism inhibits innovation
Capitalism didn't make computers… but took computing down the wrong path
2. From water mills to iPhones: why technology and inequality do not mix
Egalitarian hopes for computing
The return of medieval economics
The first modern environmental crisis
An unequal society is a dangerous place for powerful ideas
Water mills, and how new technology can be a curse
Firearms take a European turn
3. What inequality does to people
Inequality reduces life expectancy
Equality and the Soviet Union
Autonomy and solidarity: the essential nutrients
Inequality makes people shorter
Today's inequality will damage future generations
4. The environmental cost of human inequality
Are the rich destroying the earth?
Inequality turns humans into a geological force
Malthus's mistake: not too many babies, but too much debt
Ehrlich's last gasp: technology and 'eye-pat'
The power to choose a low-impact life
5. Ever greater impact, ever less benefit: high-tech capital's mysterious lack of growth
'Keep your nerve' or 'tough it out'
Why computers have grown nothing but themselves
Inequality: the elephant in the room
6. The invisible foot: why inequality increases impact
Technology plus inequality equals meltdown
'Positionality' and 'human nature'
Traffic waves and why faster is slower
Computers and the positional economy: obsolescence gone mad.
The rise of financial services, trailed by women in old cars
Putting a girl on the moon: the cost of education
How 'e-learning' rebounded on the poor
7. Enclosure in the computer age: the magic of control
The supernatural enters everyday life: the magic of commodities
Power over the future: the magic of intellectual property
Computers and the making of money
The world gets smaller and hotter
Closing the technological frontier (or trying to)
Other routines are possible!
8. Sales effort: from the automobile to the microchip
The all-steel automobile as an energy sump
How the sales effort shaped the chip
Moore's self-fulfilling prophecy: chips with everything
Dictating the future
The visionary turn
Embracing carnage: faith in disruption
9. Technoptimism hits the buffers
The toxic deWmands of purity
Obsolescence and e-waste: a total system
Displacing the problem to Africa
Entropy: measuring what's possible
Maxwell's demon: the spoiler in the green growth dream
Puncturing the weightless economists
10. The data explosion: how the cloud became a juggernaut
Forced migration: corporate flight into the cloud
How the web became an entropy pump
The cost of the dotcom bubble and Web 2.0
11. 'The least efficient machine humans have ever built': how capitalism drove the computer down a dead end
The buried world of analog computing
Clocks: why today's computers mostly do nothing, but very quickly
Soviet computing: diversity under scarcity and bureaucracy
Time-sharing: another abandoned road
Competitive pressure narrows all options
12. Planning by whom and for what? The battle for control from the Soviet Union to Walmart
The benefits and dangers of centralized planning
Electrification of the Soviet Union: heteronomous planning becomes the global norm.
Linear programming, with and without computers
The curious incident of the capitalist calculation debate
Connection-making and the ecology movement
Operational Research and cybernetics
Variety engineering: the difference between amplification and shouting
13. A socialist computer: Chile, 1970-1973
A global crisis of inequality
The Unidad Popular: a moderately egalitarian program
Stafford Beer and 'cybernetic socialism'
How much computer hardware does a viable society need?
Cheap, radical technology
'War' is declared
14. Utopia or bust
Envisioning Utopia: the world turned right way up
Utopian practicalities: food and work
Beauty and lower impact, from the bottom up
Shrinking roads, expanding diversity
Putting babies and children at the heart of the economy
Shared work: Utopia's powerhouses
Community is stronger than we think: 'Disaster Utopias'
The Right knows the power of solidarity, even if the Left doesn't
Equality, truth and the experience of being believed
The 'apparatus of justification'
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Local notes:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2021. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries.
Other format:
Print version: Hughes, Bob The Bleeding Edge