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

By Lee Siegel

From the writer hailed by means of the New York instances e-book evaluate 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 concerning the so much consequential cultural improvement of our time: the net.

Of path the net isn't something or one other; if something, its boosters declare, the net is every little thing immediately. It’s turn into not just our basic medium for verbal exchange and data but in addition 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 normal rhythms of our days; it additionally reshapes our minds and tradition, in methods with which we haven’t but reckoned. the internet and its cultural correlatives and by-products—such because the dominance of fact tv and the increase of the “bourgeois bohemian”—have grew to become privateness into functionality, play into trade, and careworn “self-expression” with paintings. or even as know-how experts ply their alternate using the language of freedom and democracy, we cede an increasing number of keep watch over of our freedom and individuality to the desires of the machine—that confluence of industrial and know-how whose obstacles now stretch to surround just about all human job.

Siegel’s argument isn’t a Luddite intervention opposed to the net itself yet quite a bracing allure for us to cope with how it is remodeling us all. Dazzlingly erudite, jam-packed with startlingly unique insights, and buoyed by means of sharp wit, Against the Machine will strength you to determine our culture—for higher and worse—in a completely new way.

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Additional info for Against the Machine: Being Human in the Age of the Electronic Mob

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Guilds also became stronger. The life of the common people during the Kamakura era was marked by the emergence of new Japanese forms of Buddhism. The most distinctive characteristic of these was their appeal to the people at large, as opposed to Heian-period Buddhism which had generally been esoteric and confined to the ruling class. The Jo ¯ do (Pure Land) Sect, founded by the priest Ho ¯ nen (1133–1212), believed salvation could be attained by chanting the name of Amida Buddha. The Jo ¯ do Shin (True Pure Land) Sect, founded by Ho ¯ nen’s disciple Shinran (1173–1263), simplified this further to just one sincere invocation of Amida’s name.

It was not simply a case of the court losing power relative to the provinces. Within the court itself, the emperor lost much of his personal power. There were two main reasons for this. The first was the use of regents. qxd 30 3/2/12 2:41 PM Page 30 A History of Japan the period. The family had long provided imperial consorts and empresses. Then in 858 Yoshifusa (804–72), the head of the family, arranged the enthronement of his seven year-old grandson and promptly declared himself regent. The practice of Fujiwara regency continued after him, becoming the norm till the late eleventh century despite occasional resistance from the imperial family.

Qxd 34 3/2/12 2:41 PM Page 34 A History of Japan house to house. … And by the walls and in the highways you could see everywhere the bodies of those who had died of starvation. And as there was none to take them away, a terrible stench filled the streets. With the combination of natural disasters and the Genpei (MinamotoTaira) War it must certainly have seemed to many that the world was being turned upside-down, and perhaps that the final phase of humankind predicted in mappo ¯ was indeed imminent.

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