Originally published on: 1992
Number of pages: 250
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
This is one my top books I’ve ever read and liked. In this book, Postman argues that we are living in a technopoly, a society in which technology is deified and all other aspects of culture are subordinated to it. He defines technopoly as “a culture ruled by technique” and argues that it is characterized by a number of features, including:
- The belief that technology is the solution to all problems.
- The use of technology to manage and control people and institutions.
- The dominance of quantitative thinking over qualitative thinking.
- The erosion of traditional values and beliefs.
This book kind of shares a lot of ideas of Unabomber’s manifest. 1 Both Postman and the Unabomber argue that technology is not neutral and that it has a profound impact on the way we think, the way we live, and the way we value things. They also both argue that technopoly is a totalitarian system that demands the “submission of all forms of cultural life to the sovereignty of technique and technology.”
However, there are also some important differences between the two works. Postman’s argument is more nuanced than the Unabomber’s. He acknowledges that technology can be a force for good as well as for evil, and he argues that we need to be careful about how we use technology. The Unabomber, on the other hand, is more extreme in his views. He believes that technology is inherently evil and that we should do everything we can to stop its spread.
Despite their differences, both Technopoly and the Unabomber’s manifesto raise important questions about the role of technology in our lives. They are both thought-provoking works that challenge us to think critically about the future of our society.
Theodore John Kaczynski also known as the Unabomber was an American mathematician and domestic terrorist, who sent a letter to The New York Times promising to “desist from terrorism” if the Times or The Washington Post published his manifesto. ↩