Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans

Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans

by Simon Head

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We live in the age of Computer Business Systems (CBSs)—the highly complex, computer-intensive management programs on which large organizations increasingly rely. In Mindless, Simon Head argues that these systems have come to trump human expertise, dictating the goals and strategies of a wide array of businesses, and de-skilling the jobs of middle class workers in the process. CBSs are especially dysfunctional, Head argues, when they apply their disembodied expertise to transactions between humans, as in health care, education, customer relations, and human resources management. And yet there are industries with more human approaches, as Head illustrates with specific examples, whose lead we must follow and extend to the mainstream American economy.

Mindless illustrates the shortcomings of CBS, providing an in-depth and disturbing look at how human dignity is slipping as we become cogs on a white collar assembly line.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465069743
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 02/11/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 341 KB

About the Author

Simon Head, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University and Senior Member of St. Antony's College at Oxford University, serves as the Director of Programs at the New York Review of Books Foundation. He divides his time between Oxford, England and New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward a New Industrial State 1

1 Inside the Belly of the Beast 15

2 Walmart and Amazon 29

3 A Future for the Middle Class? 47

4 Managing the Human Resource 63

5 The Case of Goldman Sachs 79

6 Emotional Labor 103

7 The Military Half 129

8 The Nuclear Half 147

9 The Chinese Model 165

10 Any Way Out? 185

Notes 195

Acknowledgments 211

Index 215

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