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The False Promises of the Digital Revolution

How Computers transform Education, Work, and International Development in Ways that are Ecologically Unsustainable

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C.A Bowers

The False Promises of the Digital Revolution examines what currently goes largely unnoticed because of the many important uses of digital technologies. While many people interpret digital technologies as accelerating the global rate of progress, C. A. Bowers focuses attention on how they reinforce the deep and ecologically problematic cultural assumptions of the West: the myth of progress, the substitution of data for different cultural traditions of wisdom, the connections between print and abstract thinking, the myth of individual autonomy, the conduit view of language that hides how words (metaphors) reproduce earlier misconceptions, and a Social Darwinian justification for colonizing other cultures that is now leading to armed resistance – which, in turn, strengthens the ties between corporations, the military, and the computer science industry. The book also investigates how to understand the cultural non-neutrality of digital technologies; how print and the emphasis on data undermine awareness of the tacit information pathways between cultural and natural ecologies; and how to identify educational reforms that will contribute to a more informed public about the uses of digital technologies.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bowers, C. A. The false promises of the digital revolution: how computers transform education, work, and international development in ways that are ecologically unsustainable / C. A. Bowers. pages cm. — (Counterpoints; vol. 469) Includes bibliographical references. 1. Information technology—Social aspects. 2. Information technology— Environmental aspects. 3. Digital media—Social aspects. 4. Education—Social aspects. I. Title. HM851.B6926 303.48’33—dc23 2013046513 ISBN 978-1-4331-2613-0 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2612-3 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1295-9 (e-book) ISSN 1058-1634

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data is available on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

Cover image: Relevant Cosmologies, by Art Paz. Reprinted with permission.

© 2014 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 www.peterlang.com

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