Dreadfully Ever After Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Benjamin Parzybok: IMG A Brief History of Video Games Played by Mayors, Presidents, and Emperors



Brandon Bartlett, the fictional mayor of Portland in my novel Sherwood Nation, is addicted to playing video games. In a city he's all but lost... Continue »
  1. $11.20 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

    Sherwood Nation

    Benjamin Parzybok 9781618730862

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$5.75
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Local Warehouse Sociology- General

More copies of this ISBN

Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob

by

Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob Cover

ISBN13: 9780385522656
ISBN10: 0385522657
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $5.75!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author hailed by the New York Times Book Review for his "drive-by brilliance" and dubbed by the New York Times Magazine as "one of the country's most eloquent and acid-tongued critics" comes a ruthless challenge to the conventional wisdom about the most consequential cultural development of our time: the Internet.

Of course the Internet is not one thing or another; if anything, its boosters claim, the Web is everything at once. It's become not only our primary medium for communication and information but also the place we go to shop, to play, to debate, to find love. Lee Siegel argues that our ever-deepening immersion in life online doesn't just reshape the ordinary rhythms of our days; it also reshapes our minds and culture, in ways with which we haven't yet reckoned. The web and its cultural correlatives and by-products — such as the dominance of reality television and the rise of the "bourgeois bohemian" — have turned privacy into performance, play into commerce, and confused "self-expression" with art. And even as technology gurus ply their trade using the language of freedom and democracy, we cede more and more control of our freedom and individuality to the needs of the machine — that confluence of business and technology whose boundaries now stretch to encompass almost all human activity.

Siegel's argument isn't a Luddite intervention against the Internet itself but rather a bracing appeal for us to contend with how it is transforming us all. Dazzlingly erudite, full of startlingly original insights, and buoyed by sharp wit, Against the Machine will force you to see our culture — for better and worse — in an entirely new way.

Review:

"Siegel, a controversial former NewRepublic.com blogger and past Slate.com art critic, provides a fascinating look at how the Internet is reshaping the way we think about ourselves and the world. Siegel explores how the Internet affects culture and social life, particularly the psychological, emotional and social cost of high-tech solitude. Arguing that the Internet's widespread anonymity eliminates boundaries, Siegel discusses the half-fantasy, half-realism of online personas. Internet pornography, Siegel intones, collapses public and private, transforming others into the instrument of the viewer's will. By experiencing virtual selves rather than other individuals, a danger arises: people run the risk of being reduced to personas that other Internet users manipulate toward their own ends. Insightful and well written with convincing evidence to support Siegel's polemic, this book is a welcome addition to the debate on the personal ramifications of living in a wired world." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"What makes Siegel's book so thought-provoking is the way he delineates the economic forces behind the Web." USA Today

Review:

"One of the improbable virtues of Against the Machine is that it presents a rigorously sane, fair and illuminating incarnation of its more often hotheaded author." Janet Maslin, New York Times

Review:

"[An] intelligent and tautly written challenge to online's conventional wisdom." Houston Chronicle

Review:

"[A] healthy dose of iconoclasm on a service that so many accept as crucial." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Synopsis:

In the manner of great works of criticism like Susan Sontag's On Photography, Siegel forces readers to radically rethink a familiar medium. Like On Bullshit and Letter to a Christian Nation, Against the Machine offers a bracingly original perspective to an essential ongoing debate.

About the Author

Lee Siegel is the author of the essay collections Falling Upwards and Not Remotely Controlled. In 2002 he received the National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Andrea Learned, May 20, 2008 (view all comments by Andrea Learned)
Siegel tells it like no one else has yet - and I hope he is not the last to write about this topic. He points out that knowledge is different than information (information being what the Internet serves up and knowledge being what contributes to wisdom) and he offers up much due criticism of the 24/7 news cycle (the airport gate waiting area always comes to my mind - exactly who decided all passengers wanted to be blown away by CNN?): "The manic news cycle, in which the hottest, newest stories immediately give way to hotter, newer stories, gives its audience the illusion that they and the world they live in are ageless. Information has become fashion cycles for the mind."

He criticizes the blog realm for it being solely (pretty much) a popularity contest, and on and on with points that will likely resonate with a lot of readers (even bloggers). I recommend this book as a counterpoint and voice of reason for anyone who's had the sneaking suspicion that information overkill isn't necessarily a positive cultural development.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(333 of 668 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385522656
Subtitle:
Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob
Author:
Siegel, Lee
Publisher:
Spiegel & Grau
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
Information technology
Subject:
Social Aspects - General
Subject:
Social aspects
Subject:
Internet - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20080122
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.7 x 5.8 x .75 in .65 lb

Other books you might like

  1. The Age of American Unreason
    Used Hardcover $4.50
  2. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden... Used Hardcover $9.95
  3. The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the...
    Used Trade Paper $11.00
  4. Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  5. Five Ancestors #03: Snake Used Trade Paper $4.95
  6. Five Ancestors #1: Tiger
    Used Trade Paper $2.50

Related Subjects


Computers and Internet » Internet » General
Computers and Internet » Internet » Information
Computers and Internet » Internet » Web Publishing
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
Reference » Science Reference » Sociology of Science

Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.75 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Spiegel & Grau - English 9780385522656 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Siegel, a controversial former NewRepublic.com blogger and past Slate.com art critic, provides a fascinating look at how the Internet is reshaping the way we think about ourselves and the world. Siegel explores how the Internet affects culture and social life, particularly the psychological, emotional and social cost of high-tech solitude. Arguing that the Internet's widespread anonymity eliminates boundaries, Siegel discusses the half-fantasy, half-realism of online personas. Internet pornography, Siegel intones, collapses public and private, transforming others into the instrument of the viewer's will. By experiencing virtual selves rather than other individuals, a danger arises: people run the risk of being reduced to personas that other Internet users manipulate toward their own ends. Insightful and well written with convincing evidence to support Siegel's polemic, this book is a welcome addition to the debate on the personal ramifications of living in a wired world." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "What makes Siegel's book so thought-provoking is the way he delineates the economic forces behind the Web."
"Review" by , "One of the improbable virtues of Against the Machine is that it presents a rigorously sane, fair and illuminating incarnation of its more often hotheaded author."
"Review" by , "[An] intelligent and tautly written challenge to online's conventional wisdom."
"Review" by , "[A] healthy dose of iconoclasm on a service that so many accept as crucial."
"Synopsis" by , In the manner of great works of criticism like Susan Sontag's On Photography, Siegel forces readers to radically rethink a familiar medium. Like On Bullshit and Letter to a Christian Nation, Against the Machine offers a bracingly original perspective to an essential ongoing debate.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.