The Cult Of Information: A Neo-Luddite Treatise on High-Tech, Artificial Intelligence, and the True Art of Thinking
a book by Theodore Roszak
(our site's book review)
In this book, Roszak (who coined the term "counterculture" in 1968, in his The Making of a Counter Culture) questions the benevolence and progress represented by the Information Age. Not quite Luddite, the book nevertheless complains about computers, A.I., and jobs being lost to machines. He says it’s the quality of information that matters, not the quantity, referring to the vast wasteland on the Internet and elsewhere. On the other hand he hopes citizens' access to the Internet and the national data-highway can turn computer technology into a democratic and liberating force. He worries about such trends as the fusion—and confusion—of data with knowledge, the erosion of human-centered values, and the rise of a digital oligarchy at just about everyone else's expense.
In 1994 when the book was written, he couldn't have known just how many rich-oligarchy-caused losses there would be in the future in so many areas of U.S. life for its people
Of course, this 1994 tome was too early to see the writing on the wall about oligarchies. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.) It turns out that in 2014, the rise of a digital oligarchy (e.g., Google) is merely one example of a system-wide corruption process. The U.S. now is using its corporatocracy to enrich and empower the oligarchies to obscene degrees, and, as Roszak warns, it is at just about everyone else's expense (except the rich, the corporate big-wigs, and the oligarchy itself). Political contests are a joke—bought and paid for by the corporatocracy—as democracy dies a horrible death. As the rich get richer and everyone else finds their money mysteriously ending up in the wallets of the corporatocracy, to keep the unwary public distracted from the robbery, the oligarchy makes sure election platforms dwell on emotion-laden, hot-button issues that get predictable responses from the sheep/public as their buttons are pushed. Elections' only purpose is distraction from the robbery and maintaining a democratic pretense.
The rich are shaking us down
See also the other books found in our Technology and Media section on the Articles page.
Luddites: wanted machines gone; in the U.K. in 1812 the death penalty was available for this type of criminal damage
Roszak complains about A.I., and his book is especially useful at refuting claims about A.I.