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This title in other editions

The Crime of Reason: And the Closing of the Scientific Mind

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The Crime of Reason: And the Closing of the Scientific Mind Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is “technical”—but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because its technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark

Review:

"The provocative premise of this short book is that even as we appear to be awash in information, governments and industry are restricting access to knowledge by broadening the concept of intellectual property to include things as diverse as gene sequences and sales techniques . According to Laughlin, 'the right to learn is now aggressively opposed by intellectual property advocates, who want ideas elevated to the status of land, cars, and other physical assets so the their unauthorized acquisition can be prosecuted as theft.' With examples drawn from nuclear physics, biotechnology and patent law, Laughlin, a Nobel laureate in physics, paints a troubling picture of a society in which the only information that is truly valuable in dollars and cents is controlled by a small number of individuals. But while Laughlin poses urgent questions, he provides neither in-depth analysis nor potential solutions. Many intriguing arguments — for example, that 'electronic technologies such as the Internet, which inundate us with useless information, are not instruments of knowledge dissemination at all but agencies of knowledge destruction' — are offered but none are usefully explored." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

The question of what is considered intellectual property and therefore subject to legal protection has become thorny in these litigious days. Laughlin (physics, Stanford University) deplores the recent legal trend of considering such things as a gene sequence or a marketing technique to be patentable. He also finds that the suppression of information under the cover of "national security" is also a suppression of scientific inquiry. He takes on governments, corporations and computer spammers. His arguments are cogent but his logic not always linear. An algorithm in a computer program is not analogous to a gene sequence in a human body, for instance, but rather to a phrase in a novel. Unfortunately, the legal system is also confused about such distinctions. Therefore the issues brought up by Laughin should launch healthy debate. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

A Nobel Laureate physicist argues that ours is not an age of information but an age of disinformation and ignorance, where access to knowledge is becoming increasingly restricted and even criminalized.

Synopsis:

We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is “technical”—but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because its technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark

About the Author

Robert B. Laughlin is the Robert M. and Anne Bass Professor of Physics at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1985. In 1998 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the fractional quantum Hall effect. The author of A Different Universe, he lives in Stanford, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780465005079
Subtitle:
And the Closing of the Scientific Mind
Author:
Laughlin, Robert B
Author:
Laughlin, Robert B.
Publisher:
Basic Books
Subject:
General Technology
Subject:
General
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Censorship
Subject:
Communication of technical information
Subject:
Academic freedom
Subject:
General science
Subject:
Knowledge management
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080923
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.30x5.70x.90 in. .70 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Reference » Science Reference » Technology

The Crime of Reason: And the Closing of the Scientific Mind Used Hardcover
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Product details 192 pages Basic Books - English 9780465005079 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The provocative premise of this short book is that even as we appear to be awash in information, governments and industry are restricting access to knowledge by broadening the concept of intellectual property to include things as diverse as gene sequences and sales techniques . According to Laughlin, 'the right to learn is now aggressively opposed by intellectual property advocates, who want ideas elevated to the status of land, cars, and other physical assets so the their unauthorized acquisition can be prosecuted as theft.' With examples drawn from nuclear physics, biotechnology and patent law, Laughlin, a Nobel laureate in physics, paints a troubling picture of a society in which the only information that is truly valuable in dollars and cents is controlled by a small number of individuals. But while Laughlin poses urgent questions, he provides neither in-depth analysis nor potential solutions. Many intriguing arguments — for example, that 'electronic technologies such as the Internet, which inundate us with useless information, are not instruments of knowledge dissemination at all but agencies of knowledge destruction' — are offered but none are usefully explored." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
A Nobel Laureate physicist argues that ours is not an age of information but an age of disinformation and ignorance, where access to knowledge is becoming increasingly restricted and even criminalized.
"Synopsis" by ,
We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is “technical”—but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because its technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark
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