New PDF release: Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the

By Lee Siegel

ISBN-10: 0385522657

ISBN-13: 9780385522656

From the writer hailed by means of the New York occasions publication overview for his “drive-by brilliance” and dubbed via the New York Times Magazine as “one of the country’s such a lot eloquent and acid-tongued critics” comes a ruthless problem to the traditional knowledge in regards to the such a lot consequential cultural improvement of our time: the web.

Of direction the web isn't something or one other; if something, its boosters declare, the internet is every thing instantly. It’s develop into not just our basic medium for communique and knowledge but additionally where we visit store, to play, to discuss, to discover love. Lee Siegel argues that our ever-deepening immersion in life on-line doesn’t simply reshape the standard rhythms of our days; it additionally reshapes our minds and tradition, in methods with which we haven’t but reckoned. the net and its cultural correlatives and by-products—such because the dominance of truth tv and the increase of the “bourgeois bohemian”—have became privateness into functionality, play into trade, and pressured “self-expression” with artwork. or even as know-how specialists ply their alternate using the language of freedom and democracy, we cede progressively more regulate of our freedom and individuality to the desires of the machine—that confluence of industrial and expertise whose limitations now stretch to surround just about all human task.

Siegel’s argument isn’t a Luddite intervention opposed to the web itself yet really a bracing attraction for us to cope with how it is reworking us all. Dazzlingly erudite, jam-packed with startlingly unique insights, and buoyed by way of sharp wit, Against the Machine will strength you to work out our culture—for greater and worse—in a completely new way.

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Sample text

Notorious’ both for her own loose ways and for her father’s politics, Alicia is persuaded to redeem herself and prove her patriotism by assisting in a spying operation. Through the activity of surveillance, she reverses the gaze, turning her eyes on a circle of men who are unaware of her double role. Alicia becomes an arch-investigator, rising to every challenge assigned her, including the securing of a marriage proposal from one of the Nazi ringleaders. Once in the marital home, she succeeds in procuring the keys to the rooms and closets of her husband’s house.

There is then another trend that comes under the heading of ‘Robber Bridegroom’ stories. In these tales there is one girl, not three, and she is not abducted but is either unwillingly betrothed to her unlikely suitor by her father, or falls in love with him independently. However, she becomes suspicious of him for one reason or another, and so goes to his house alone only to find that it is a murderer’s den. Occasionally these stories feature a locked chamber, such as in the English story Mr Fox, but more often the girl spies on her paramour from behind a barrel or some other obscuring object, and sees him murder, mutilate, and sometimes eat, another girl.

The wicked husband then tells her he is going away for a short while, and that there is one room in the house into which she must not peek. Of course, the wife does peek into the room, and in the room is usually contained the blood and bodies of all the previous wives who had gone before, but this varies: in the Italian tale which features the devil, for instance, the door is opened onto a fiery pit that is hell itself. Inevitably the wife drops the egg or key that she has been told to carry and it becomes stained with INTRODUCTION 7 blood or otherwise magically marked by the room’s contents.

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Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob by Lee Siegel


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