i came to this title from the reading list of a course my friend teaches at university. of all the titles on the syllabus i picked this one first because i tend to believe that technology is misapplied to many aspects of our daily lives and suspected that was going to be the thesis here. not only does the author present that case much better than i could, i think the book could have been alternatively titled “a guide to critical thinking” – another skill that seems to be in short supply and little demand in our society.
from the author – an example of the problem: typically, pollsters ask questions that will elicit yes or no answers. is it necessary to point out that such answers do not give a robust meaning t the phrase “public opinion”? were you , for example, to answer “no” to the question “do you think the drug problem can be reduced by government programs?” one would hardly know much of interest or value about your opinion. but allowing you to speak or write at length on the matter would, of course, rule out using statistics. the point is that the use of statistics in polling changes the meaning of “public opinion” as dramatically as television changes the meaning of “political debate”. in the american technopoly, public opinion is a yes or no answer to an unexamined question.
and my favorite indication from the author that one is a “resistance fighter” to technopoly: [people] who take seriously the meaning of family loyalty and honor, and who, when they “reach out and touch someone,” expect that person to be in the same room