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World Without Mind
MC 4-800, World Bank Headquarters
Over the past few decades there has been a revolution in terms of who controls knowledge and information. We shop with Amazon; socialize on Facebook; turn to Apple for entertainment; and rely on Google for information. As these companies have expanded, marketing themselves as champions of individuality and pluralism, their algorithms have pressed us into conformity and laid waste to privacy. They have produced an unstable and narrow culture of misinformation, and put us on a path to a world without private contemplation, autonomous thought, or solitary introspection—a world without mind. Tracing the intellectual history of computer science—from the Descartes and the enlightenment to Alan Turing to Stuart Brand and the hippie origins of today’s Silicon Valley—Foer exposes the dark underpinnings of our most idealistic dreams for technology. By reclaiming our private authority over how we intellectually engage with the world, we have the power to stem the tide. At stake is nothing less than who we are, and what we will become. Foer explains not just the looming existential crisis but the imperative of resistance.