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The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology…
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The Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness (Contemporary…

by Giles Slade

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Slade is often successful in making the case "that our progressive reliance on technology for companionship is part of a prolonged and increasing disconnection from nature," which includes disconnection from our own humanity. A better book on the same subject is Sherry Turkle's Alone Together. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
When I picked up this book, I wrongly assumed "technology" mean digital computers and similar devices. This author traces the "disconnect" clear back to the Industrial Revolution. Some of the history in the first chapter was entirely new to me, especially regarding coin operated machines and radio. Fascinating. You have to wade through many details sometimes to reach the author's final analysis.

I would have appreciated more information bridging distant history (1800's -1950's) with modern history (1960's-present). The thesis that technology has primarily separated humans and drawn us apart as a community doesn't even begin to explain or address modern social networking. So, I find this book lacking in some respects.

I wouldn't have imagined such a thorough description of the Civil War would belong in a book like this. I admit to slogging though that part, only to find a discussion about the early use of voting machines that was rather interesting and more on topic.

Overall, this is an engaging read that addresses relevant topics, such as our relationship to robots and devices like the iPhone or iPod. Are we moving towards a society which lessens the value of a human being, when compared to devices which are often deemed as "infallible" compared to humans? Will we prefer to have a tidy, pseudo-relationship with a device, or a real, messy relationship with a human? ( )
  kslibi | Oct 8, 2012 |
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Argues that the growing technological world is detrimental to the human spirit and that people need to reconnect with not only other people, but also the non-human natural world.

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