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Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control
     

Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control

by George Draffan, Derrick Jensen
 

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You could call them the Monkeywrench Gang of the nanotech age. Derrick Jensen and George Draffan are taking down the data mining industry, one converted mind at a time. In the face of RFID chips, consumer tracking strategies, and illegal government wiretapping, Jensen and Draffan are determined to show consumers how to fight back against government and industry to

Overview

You could call them the Monkeywrench Gang of the nanotech age. Derrick Jensen and George Draffan are taking down the data mining industry, one converted mind at a time. In the face of RFID chips, consumer tracking strategies, and illegal government wiretapping, Jensen and Draffan are determined to show consumers how to fight back against government and industry to regain their rights, their privacy, and their humanity. In their new book, Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control, Jensen and Draffan take a hart-hitting look at the way technology is used as a machine, to control us and our environment. Their results are startling.

If the prospect of perpetual surveillance and psychological warfare alarms you, you are not alone. Most people would be disturbed if you told them that everything from their store purchases to their public transit rides are recorded and filed for government or corporate access. But more often than not, the smooth, silent cleanliness of its operation allows the Machine of Western Civilization to go unnoticed. In Welcome to the Machine, Jensen and Draffan draw our attention back to its eerie, persistent white noise and take a cold, hard, human look at the cultural conditions that have led us to all but surrender to its hum.

Jensen and Draffan, who teamed up in 2003 to expose industrial corruption and destruction in Strangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests, are back to reveal both the terrifying extent of surveillance today and our chilling complacency at the loss of everything from consumer privacy to civil liberties. In this timely and important new collaboration, Jensen and Draffan take on all aspects of Control Culture: everything from the government's policy of total information awareness to a disturbing new technology where soldiers can be given medication to prevent them from feeling fear. They write about pharmaceutical packaging that reports consumer information, which is then used to send targeted drug advertisements directly to your TV.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Using philosopher Jeremy Bentham's "panopticon" as a central lens of observation in their eagerly awaited investigation of today's technology-dominated information society, critically acclaimed radical writers Jensen and Draffan (coauthors, Strangely Like War) explore shifting relations between the masses and the powers that govern them, namely, government and corporations. They note that the globalization of industry and capital, made possible by advances in information and communications technologies, is centralizing power through ever-increasing surveillance capabilities (e.g., biometrics, identity chips), thereby creating a society of pawns in a mechanized, dysfunctional civilization obsessed with consumption. Although this book is well researched and intelligently written, the overwhelmingly negative tone distracts from the message. The rebalancing of power is not as completely one sided as the authors preach, and they surprisingly ignore the role of "code warriors" in today's revolutionary times. For larger public and academic libraries.-James A. Buczynski, Seneca Coll. of Applied Arts & Technology, Toronto Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931498524
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Series:
Politics of the Living Series
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 8.37(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Derrick Jensen is the prize-winning author of A Language Older than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Listening to the Land, Strangely Like War, Welcome to the Machine, and Walking on Water. He was one of two finalists for the 2003 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, which cited The Culture of Make Believe as "a passionate and provocative meditation on the nexus of racism, genocide, environmental destruction and corporate malfeasance, where civilization meets its discontents." He writes for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine among many others. He is an environmental activist and lives on the coast of northern California.

George Draffan is a forest activist, public interest investigator, and corporate muckraker. He is the author of The Elite Consensus, A Primer on Corporate Power, and co-author of Railroads & Clearcuts. For the past fifteen years he has provided research services and training to citizens and public interest groups that are investigating and challenging corporate power. Some of his work can be found at Endgame, a project of the Public Information Network (www.endgame.org).

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