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The Future Does Not Compute: Transcending the Machines in Our Midst Paperback – 11 May 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (11 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565920856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565920859
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.5 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,248,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 May 1996
Format: Paperback
Do you have the answers? Can you accept the answers? This book asks you questions, tough
questions, about the very technology that put you on this page so you could read this review. Are
computers going to redefine reality, or ruin reality? Is this an evolutionary step up the ladder, or a
slide into an empty abyss? Do you see this as a great boon, or a simple electronic trick?

Talbott's subject is the BIGGEST question ever asked - What does it mean to be a human being?
In examining computers and the cyber-age, the author demands we answer this question. At the
same time he insists we see how limiting the computer is as a human tool. The real questions and
issues are about us, the creators and users of these idiot savants. This book eloquently challenges
us to look at who or what is in control. We really have no choice but to face our answers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Aug 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is well written, provocative and covers a lot of ground in a very short space of time. The author presents a well-reasoned argument for reversing the usual cause and effect critique of the evil computer, and his suggestion that the problem is in the way we think about technology is right on.
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By A Customer on 18 Jan 1998
Format: Paperback
Hey. Listen. If you're going to choose among all the books that criticize computers and the Internet, this is, I promise, your best bet. Calm, rational, articulate, engaging, it manages to be *thoughtful* rather than ranting or over-emotional, which is a common problem that drowns and ultimately destroys the rhetoric of many of Talbott's peers. Talbott's final conclusion, woven beautifully from his collection of sensitive and thought-provoking essays, has everything to do with human beings as well as computers and the Internet: we should remain awake and aware of the subtle consequences of computer and communication technology. Talbott manages--through easy-going qualification and a rational, neutral attitude--to place himself in the role of a guide rather than a preacher. I can not recommend this book more highly.
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By A Customer on 17 May 1999
Format: Paperback
It's okay, I had to read it for a class. He raises some good questions but he's long winded. A lot of us have already thought about these questions. Talbott feeds you some good food for thought though.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, if New-Agey. Read this book. 18 Jan 1998
By Auliya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hey. Listen. If you're going to choose among all the books that criticize computers and the Internet, this is, I promise, your best bet. Calm, rational, articulate, engaging, it manages to be *thoughtful* rather than ranting or over-emotional, which is a common problem that drowns and ultimately destroys the rhetoric of many of Talbott's peers. Talbott's final conclusion, woven beautifully from his collection of sensitive and thought-provoking essays, has everything to do with human beings as well as computers and the Internet: we should remain awake and aware of the subtle consequences of computer and communication technology. Talbott manages--through easy-going qualification and a rational, neutral attitude--to place himself in the role of a guide rather than a preacher. I can not recommend this book more highly.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A richly rewarding challenge to anyone in this computer age. 20 May 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Do you have the answers? Can you accept the answers? This book asks you questions, tough
questions, about the very technology that put you on this page so you could read this review. Are
computers going to redefine reality, or ruin reality? Is this an evolutionary step up the ladder, or a
slide into an empty abyss? Do you see this as a great boon, or a simple electronic trick?

Talbott's subject is the BIGGEST question ever asked - What does it mean to be a human being?
In examining computers and the cyber-age, the author demands we answer this question. At the
same time he insists we see how limiting the computer is as a human tool. The real questions and
issues are about us, the creators and users of these idiot savants. This book eloquently challenges
us to look at who or what is in control. We really have no choice but to face our answers.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A must read for anyone living with technology 8 Aug 2000
By Kirk McElhearn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book should be read by all those who live with the Internet and technology. While not exactly a Luddite (Talbott uses computers and the Internet a great deal), the author presents many reasons why we should not just accept the promises of a technological paradise without reflecting on its consequences.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction to key technology issues. 12 Aug 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is well written, provocative and covers a lot of ground in a very short space of time. The author presents a well-reasoned argument for reversing the usual cause and effect critique of the evil computer, and his suggestion that the problem is in the way we think about technology is right on.
2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The book of the one who has soul 13 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Once being an engineer, a scientist, a professor of Electrical Engineering, etc., etc, now I'm watching this world amazed by its reality and its beauty. My soul is awaken. The wonderful book by Stephen Talbott tells us who we are and to where we do belong
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