High Tech Heretic

High Tech Heretic by CliffordStoll, New York, Doubleday, 1999 [ISBN 0385489765 ]

... why computers don't belong in the classroom and other reflections by a computer contrarian.

You can read a short excerpt on line: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0385489765/ref=lib_dp_TFCV/104-0991622-5226357?v=glance&s=books&vi=reader#reader-link

From that excerpt:

I see my role as injecting - perhaps without success - a few notes of skepticism into the utopian dreams of a digital wonderland. For I believe that techies have a responsibility to challenge hyperbole, false promises, and gross exaggerations.

. . .

Mind you, I value skepticism, not cynicism. It's easy to be cynical - "I don't believe any of that stuff . . ." On-line, I read plenty of cynical comments directed at government, religion, and community leaders. From cynicism grow disenchantment and apathy.

(Introduction, page xii)


If his comments regarding responsibility to challenge "hyperbole, false promises, and gross exaggerations" had been taken seriously, would things have been different? Would the "bubble" have occurred?

People tried, actually, but found it difficult -- it's also important to keep in mind that although even worse than that occurred (bald-faced lies and extreme credulity, massive and massively-overoptimistic investment, etc), so that a crash was inevitable, nonetheless, the bubble did in fact sharply and rapidly change many aspects of how business is done (e.g. most business, small and large, is now wired to some extent -- an extremely rapid change), and certain aspects of how the economy works (although not the fundamentals). It's not entirely clear whether revolution can happen efficiently.
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