Technopoly

Technopoly
Neil Postman

This book on “the surrender of culture to technology” was first published in 1992 (Postman died in 2003). That date is significant because while the Internet had arrived by then, it was a long way from the very big deal it was about to become, in ways directly bearing, in a profound way, on Postman’s theme. “Will the computer raise egocentrism to the status of a virtue?” Read The Narcissism Epidemic. The danger of a culture, indeed a cult, of information has expanded exponentially in the twenty years since, to the point where literally¬†anything can be broken down (or reduced) to binary code. But Postman’s warning that every new technology brings with it winners and losers is perhaps most worth heeding. With the rise to power of technopoly (“totalitarian technocracy”) this has become only more clear, especially in economic terms. But because the digital revolution is a totalitarian ideology there are, as Postman feared would be the case, no intellectual or even rhetorical tools left to fight it. There isn’t any ground left to surrender.