Shrinking the Technosphere
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Shrinking the Technosphere : Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-Sufficiency and Freedom

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Over the past two centuries we have witnessed a wholesale replacement of most of the previous methods of conducting both business and daily life with new, technologically advanced, more efficient methods. What exactly is progressive or efficient about this new arrangement is hardly ever examined in depth: if the new ways of doing things are so much better, then we must all be leading relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable lives with plenty of free time to devote to art and leisure activities. But a more careful look at these changes shows us that many of these advances are not weighing favourably in a harm/benefit comparison. The harm to the environment, society, and even to our own personalities, on an individual level, is plain to see, but is brushed off with hollow claims about efficiency and progress. Shrinking the Technosphere guides readers through the process of bringing technology down to a manageable number of carefully chosen, essential, well-understood and controllable elements. It is about regaining the freedom to use technology for our own benefit, and is critical reading for all who seek to get back to a point where technologies assist us rather than control us.
Dmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad, USSR, and emigrated to the United States in the mid-1970s. He holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and has worked in a variety of fields, including high-energy physics, Internet commerce, network security and advertising. He is the author of several previous books, including Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 153 x 229 x 20mm | 397g
  • Gabriola Island, United States
  • English
  • 0865718385
  • 9780865718388
  • 330,037

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Can we bring our technology choices back under control?


...a clear and compelling exploration of what is wrong with the technosphere, and what we can do about it. DERRICK JENSEN, author, Endgame and The Myth of Human Supremacy


...we need to work out where we go from here, individually and, more importantly, collectively. Dmitry Orlov guides us through this process more effectively, and entertainingly, than almost anyone else writing today. NICOLE FOSS, Senior Editor, The Automatic Earth


OVER THE PAST two centuries we have witnessed a wholesale replacement of most of the previous methods of conducting both business and daily life with new, technologically advanced, more efficient methods. What exactly is progressive or efficient about this new arrangement is hardly ever examined in depth: if the new ways of doing things are so much better, then we must all be leading relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable lives with plenty of free time to devote to art and leisure activities. But a more careful look at these changes shows us that many of these advances are not weighing favorably in a harm/benefit comparison. The harm to the environment, society, and even to our own personalities, on an individual level, is plain to see, but is brushed off with hollow claims about efficiency and progress.


Shrinking the Technosphere guides readers through the process of bringing technology down to a manageable number of carefully chosen, essential, well-understood and controllable elements. It is about regaining the freedom to use technology for our own benefit, and is critical reading for all who seek to get back to a point where technologies assist us rather than control us.


Shrinking the Technosphere is part self-help book, part philosophical tour de force. It is both entertaining and shockingly eye-opening; it is a book that liberates the mind. RICHARD HEINBERG, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute


DMITRY ORLOV was born in Leningrad, USSR and emigrated to the US in the mid-1970s. He holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and has worked in a variety of fields, including high-energy physics, Internet commerce, network security and advertising. He is the author of several previous books, including Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse.
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Back cover copy

Can we bring our technology choices back under control?


...a clear and compelling exploration of what is wrong with the technosphere, and what we can do about it. DERRICK JENSEN, author, Endgame and The Myth of Human Supremacy


...we need to work out where we go from here, individually and, more importantly, collectively. Dmitry Orlov guides us through this process more effectively, and entertainingly, than almost anyone else writing today. NICOLE FOSS, Senior Editor, The Automatic Earth


OVER THE PAST two centuries we have witnessed a wholesale replacement of most of the previous methods of conducting both business and daily life with new, technologically advanced, more efficient methods. What exactly is progressive or efficient about this new arrangement is hardly ever examined in depth: if the new ways of doing things are so much better, then we must all be leading relaxed, stress-free, enjoyable lives with plenty of free time to devote to art and leisure activities. But a more careful look at these changes shows us that many of these advances are not weighing favorably in a harm/benefit comparison. The harm to the environment, society, and even to our own personalities, on an individual level, is plain to see, but is brushed off with hollow claims about efficiency and progress.


Shrinking the Technosphere guides readers through the process of bringing technology down to a manageable number of carefully chosen, essential, well-understood and controllable elements. It is about regaining the freedom to use technology for our own benefit, and is critical reading for all who seek to get back to a point where technologies assist us rather than control us.


Shrinking the Technosphere is part self-help book, part philosophical tour de force. It is both entertaining and shockingly eye-opening; it is a book that liberates the mind. RICHARD HEINBERG, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute


DMITRY ORLOV was born in Leningrad, USSR and emigrated to the US in the mid-1970s. He holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and has worked in a variety of fields, including high-energy physics, Internet commerce, network security and advertising. He is the author of several previous books, including Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse.
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Table of contents

Foreword
1 The Technosphere Defined
2 What is at Stake?
3 Approaches and Departures
4 Harm/Benefit Analysis
5 Naturelike Technologies
6 Social Machines
7 Political Technologies
8 Wresting Control
9 The Settled and the Nomadic
10 The Great Transition
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Review quote

The religion of technological progress cedes control of our lives to machines and money. Dmitry Orlov tells us how to return human values, pleasures, and freedoms to the driver's seat. Shrinking the Technosphere is part self-help book, part philosophical tour de force. It is both entertaining and shockingly eye-opening; it is a book that liberates the mind. ---Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute This book is simply essential reading. It will jolt you out of your comfort zone, but do not let that put you off. We absolutely need to take a critical look at our world and the assumptions upon which our lives and society are based. And we need to work out where we go from here, individually and, more importantly, collectively. Dmitri Orlov guides us through this process more effectively, and entertainingly, than almost anyone else writing today. ---Nicole Foss, senior editor, The Automatic Earth Dmitry Orlov has written a clear and compelling exploration of what is wrong with the technosphere, and what we can do about it. This book needs to be read and understood by policy-makers as well as the rest of us. It is a valuable contribution to the resistance to the sacrifice of the living planet on the altar of the machine. ---Derrick Jensen, author of Endgameand The Myth of Human Supremacy. It was Ivan Illich who first described how our doctors induce illness, our teachers dumb down our kids, our judges institutionalize injustice, and our "defense" establishment makes us insecure. Dmitry Orlov now tells us our most beloved tools make us incompetent. Written with delicious humor, this is an absolutely essential guide to avoiding Revenge of the Idiots. --- Albert Bates is an Emergency Planetary Technician and author of The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook, The Biochar Solution, and The Paris Agreement. A brilliant new book on a crucially important theme. Our dignity, our autonomy, and quite possibly the survival of our species depends on our willingness to extract ourselves from the dysfunctional and metastatic mess that modern technology has become, and craft a new relationship with technology and the world. Shrinking the Technosphere marks an important step in that necessary direction. -- John Michael Greer, author of After Progress and Dark Age America
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About Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad, USSR, into an academic family, and emigrated to the US in the mid-1970s. He holds degrees in Computer Engineering and Linguistics, and has worked in a variety of fields, including high-energy physics, Internet commerce, network security and advertising. He is the author of several previous books, including Reinventing Collapse and The Five Stages of Collapse.
show more

Rating details

46 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 28% (13)
4 39% (18)
3 22% (10)
2 7% (3)
1 4% (2)
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