Rise of the Nerds

We are at a dangerous moment in history; something started to go wrong with the digital revolution. An ever-expanding array of new technologies is infiltrating our lives. Only now we are beginning to understand the far-reaching consequences. The excessive use of electronic devices threatens our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The warning signs are everywhere. But although all of us see the same picture, we interpret it in different ways. The technophiles promised us greater leisure, comfort, and wealth. But we got internet addiction, obesity, loneliness, and anxieties. Powerful companies have more access to our private matters than ever before. Reality goes beyond Orwell.

Artificial intelligence is all around us without many people being aware of it. Sophisticated algorithms can predict our behavior with increasing accuracy. Some extreme futurists are fantasizing about a ┬źsuperintelligence,┬╗ smarter than humans. Machines are taking away jobs, rewarding their owners richly. The global economy is plagued by a persistent unemployment and growing income inequality. Millions of people live from paycheck to paycheck and can hardly keep their heads above water. What will happen if their labor is no longer needed? The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a small elite is eroding democracy. The changes are not only technical in nature, but also transform us humans. Genetic engineering and human enhancement therapies gamble with the basis of our existence. Are we ready to hand over our future to these 'improvers of mankind?'

Like priests at the altar, the technodeterminists are pushing their agenda with evangelical fervor. Technology-friendly literature can be found like sand on the beach. It's not a surprise that those people who benefit most from technology celebrate it. This book is different because it approaches the matter from a skeptic's point of view. It throws crucial light on the question of who will be the winners of the transformations and who will be the losers. It puts current issues in a historical perspective and presents some people behind today's influential technology.