Book Reviews

Book Review: Mindless

Simon Head, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University and Senior Member of St. Anthony’s College at Oxford University is eminently qualified to write about modern electronic technology and how these sophisticated machines are making technology-crazed humans dumber

The human mind is fertile, and can cerate wonderful machines or construct devastating bombs capable of destroying entire cultures. It can educate talented people and help them become creative and productive, but can also invent machines that can lead humans to rely too much on them, or control other humans to a degree making them living machines.

This is essentially what the author has explored, how computerized controls and monitoring are changing the workplace.

This sobering and important book is predicting what young people entering the workfare cane expect to find.

Innovation is swiftly overtaking the world – ready or not, voluntarily or by force, for good or evil.

Technology is overturning economies in industrialized countries, all with the claim, to reduce cost, becoming more efficient, at the same time drastically restricting employment opportunities.

While previously several people were needed to monitor the evolution of a batch of wine, now computers do it 24/7 for much less.

This may appear to be a valuable progress, but it also makes humans rely too much on machines. Once the machines that control all these processes fail, few, if any, will know what to do, and remedy the situation.

Rural Africa and India are also changing rapidly thanks to wireless technology. In the process, huge segments of societies leap forward from primitive conditions to highly sophisticates ones, i.e from “Stone Age” to “Post industrial” without going through an evolutionary period. Think of wireless banking in Africa by which eve illiterate people do banking using their iphones and become vulnerable to thugs.

This narrative demonstrates the infinite possibilities by which technology is now being used malicious individuals to control and manipulate others, also to extract funds by fraudulent means. Think of IT fraud, and constant pop ups claiming falsities.

All these sophisticated, real-time technologies have eliminates middle managers by readily supplying vital production information to executives.

The author explains how Wal-Mart and Amazon control tightly control their supply chains, and employees, and how Goldman Sachs manipulated sub-prime mortgages to amass billions.

This is an outstanding book that every high school, university student, manager, and public at large must read to understand the repercussions of technology and its applications.

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