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A big-hitting historical analysis of technology which uses the computer as a can-opener to expose the inequality innate in capitalism.

A big-hitting historical analysis of technology which uses the computer as a can-opener to expose the inequality innate in capitalism.
  • Produktdetails
  • Seitenzahl: 320
  • Erscheinungstermin: 15. November 2016
  • Englisch
  • Abmessung: 213mm x 141mm x 30mm
  • Gewicht: 473g
  • ISBN-13: 9781780263298
  • ISBN-10: 1780263295
  • Artikelnr.: 44800237
Bob Hughes worked as a school teacher, calligrapher, and in advertising before getting involved with computers in the mid-1980s, working on interactive information systems, running an interest group, and writing about the new industry's unofficial history and creative traditions. Later, he became involved in campaigning for the rights of migrants, on whose labour the digital economy is built, and was a co-founder, in 2003, of No One Is Illegal, UK. He taught digital media at Oxford Brookes University till 2013, with a particular interest in publishing for social change.
Chapter 1. Technofatalism and the future: is a world without Foxconn possible?
'No progress without oppression': the technology/equality paradox.
The paradox of rising impact from more efficient technology.
What is technology anyway?
Are societies technologies?
Humanity began with technology.
Technology emerges from egalitarian knowledge economies.
The myth of creative competition.
The central capitalist myth: innovation, and especially computers.
What capitalism can't do: the evidence.
Innovation in the 'new economy'.
Why capitalism inhibits innovation.
The human mind, versus 'the capitalist brain'.
Capitalism didn't make computers.
Chapter 2. The same old thing with knobs on.What happens when technologies advance but the moral climate can't.
Yes, the West is exceptional, but not necessarily in a good way.
For electronics, read textiles.
European fatalism vis-a-vis 'progress'.
How a local, mediaeval problem went global.
Rent, and the knowledge economics of the capitalist market.
Immigration controls in the sixteenth century.
Enter obsolescence.
How extreme inequality became entrenched.
Is modern inequality really so extreme?
The all-important moral climate.
Water mills, and the harnessing of European people.
Firearms take a European turn.
Chapter 3. What inequality does to people.
Autonomy and solidarity: the missing nutrients.
Intergenerational effects of inequality.
Stature, and the human/environmental nexus.
Chapter 4. The environmental cost of human inequality.
The rich do matter.
Part of life, or part of geology? A challenge for humans.
Malthus's mistake: not babies, but debt.
Not 'sheer numbers', but inequality.
Ehrlich's last gasp: technology and 'eye-pat'.
Chapter 5. Impact without growth: Jevons, Kuznets, and the power of wishful thinking
Kuznets and fatalism.
High-tech capitalism's mysterious lack of growth.
Inequality: the elephant at the feast.
Chapter 6. The hidden foot: why inequality increases impact.
Technology plus inequality equals meltdown.
Positionality: a general framework for understanding the economics of waste and oppression.
Human nature is what we make it.
Bow-waves and traffic-waves: positionality turns the environment into an energy-sump.
Computers: 'castors' for the positional economy.
The rise of financial services, followed by women in old cars.
Putting a girl on the moon: the price of getting a taxi-driver's daughter into university.
How it got like this: lessons from 'elearning'.
Chapter 7. Enclosure: the start and end-point of the positional economy.
The supernatural enters everyday life: the magic of commodities.
Power over the future: the magic of Intellectual Property.
IP doesn't work without a strong state willing to enforce it.
Seizing the power to define value: the computer's role.
The world gets smaller and hotter.
A state of war: precariousness and the hopeless quest for certainty.
Closing the technological frontier (or trying to): Positional power versus workers' need to control their own work.
Other routines are possible!
Heteronomy versus autonomy: who decides what, for whom.
Chapter 8. Sales effort: positional deployment of technology from the automobile to the microchip
The all-steel automobile as an energy-sump.
'Cultural materialism'.
How the sales effort shaped the chip.
Moore's 'self-fulfilling prophecy': how we got chips with everything.
The visionary turn.
Embracing carnage: faith in 'disruption'.
Chapter 9. Hardware: technoptimism meets the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
The toxic demands of purity.
Rare Earth Elements, and the high impact of low-energy devices.
Obsolescence and eWaste: a total system.
Piecemeal regulation in the EU triggers war in the DRC.
Needed: a new way of measuring cost.
Entropy-a real measure of cost, and of what's possible.
Maxwell's demon: the spoiler in the green growth dream.
Puncturing the weightless economists.
The meaning of Ridley and the meaning of life.
Chapter 10. Data: how competitive pressure turned the weightless economy into a juggernaut
Forced migration: the iron logic of corporate flight into the cloud.
How the Web became an entropy-pump.
The high environmental cost of saying not very much about Marc Andreesen.
The cost of the dot.com bubble and Web 2.0.
Chapter 11. Computers: how we ended up with so little choice
The buried world of analog computing.
'Cultural materialism', and the apparent oddness of analogue devices.
What analogue computers are, and why capitalism prefers digital ones.
Sales effort and the 'natural selection' of technology.
Clocks: why capitalist computers mostly do nothing, but very quickly.
Soviet computing: diversity under scarcity and bureaucracy.
Time-sharing: a case of unprofitable parsimony.
Competitive pressure narrows all options.
Chapter 12. Planning by whom for what? The battle for control from the USSR to Walmart
Electrification of the USSR: heteronomous planning becomes the global norm.
Linear programming, with and without computing machinery.
The curious incident of the Capitalist Calculation Debate.
Connection-making and the ecology movement.
Operational research.
Ultrastability, 'requisite variety', and 'viable systems'.
Variety engineering: attenuation, amplification, and shouting.
Chapter 13. A Socialist Computer: Chile, 1970-1973.
From postwar consensus to shock doctrine.
A global crisis of inequality.
The Unidad Popular: a moderately egalitarian programme.
Stafford Beer and 'Cybernetic socialism'.
How much computer hardware does a viable society need?
The October 'strike' exposes the redundancy of capital.
Cheap, radical technology.
'War' is declared.
Chapter 14. Utopia or bust
Needed: a vision of Utopia.
A world turned right way up.
Utopian working life.
Beauty and lower impact, from the bottom up.
An 'unexplored territory' at your fingertips.
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: the case of 'disaster Utopias'.
The Right knows the power of solidarity, even if the Left doesn't.
Good work for all: a right, not a privilege.
Reclaiming 'Flow': the elements of revolutionary experience, repackaged for the corporate away-day.
Solidarity: capitalism's unpaid nursemaid.
The continuum of connectedness.
Demands and expectations: from the age of feedback, to one of feed-forward.
Equality, truth, and the experience of being believed.
One foot in Utopia, why not both?
How different would an equal society's structure be?
Who's afraid of Peter Saunders?
The apparatus of repression v the apparatus of justification?