What Faculty colleagues are reading and recommending:
Evgeny Morozov. To Save Everything, Click Here:The Folly of Technological Solutionism PublicAffairs [Perseus Books Group]: 2013 - Data collection and processing have gone large-scale, and many in our society see technology as the solution to any social or political problem. The MOOC mania of the past year or so is clear evidence of that trend, as is the continuing push for more and more data collection and centralized processing.Morozov provides a well-informed and thoughtful counterpoint to the siren call of technology. He asserts that “solutionism,” which he defines as the tendency to define problems as problems based solely on the fact that we have nice and quick technological solutions for solving them, leads inevitably to an impoverished understanding of the world around us. He also argues that techno-evangelist reverence for the Internet is misplaced and notes that with data, as with so much else, more is not always better. By no means is Morozov’s text a light read; however, it is a wickedly intellectual manifesto debunking some of the snake-oil peddled by so many Silicon Valley apostles of technology. (Steve Filling [Stanislaus]; Vice Chair, ASCSU)
Michael Sandel. What Money Can’t Buy—The Moral Limits of Markets Farrar, Strauss & Giroux: 2012 - How far can/should we push market-based solutions? Can we ethically transact in kidneys or eyes? What are the ethics of paying extra to get to the front of the queue? Should we bribe children to get good grades? Should we raise money for public services by selling advertising space on fire trucks and police cars? Sandel addresses some difficult questions arising from the continued economization of our life-world, and does a masterful job of highlighting those difficult questions with clear and thought-compelling anecdotes. Reading Sandel’s text one gets a feel for what his [always oversold] courses at Harvard must be like—he excels at questioning the core values of our society in ways that encourage engagement. Given strong and continuing attempts to shift education from a public good valued by and funded by society into a private good sourced only in economic transactions, this text is critical reading for those who have dedicated their lives to education or social justice. (Steve Filling)
Gavin Newsom. Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government Penguin: 2013 - The Lieutenant Governor’s book has some interesting ideas regarding the use of technology to increase democratic governance. I recommend it. (Bill Blischke, Professor Emeritus, CSU Dominguez Hills; ERFA Liaison to the ASCSU)
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