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Apps, ‘big data,’ and the ‘folly of technological solutionism’

by AirTalk®

Evgeny Morozov's new book “To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism” PublicAffairs

Are you tired of hearing, “There’s an app for that?” In today’s technologically-savvy world, there seems to be an app to solve everything. This has many techies expectant of a promising future. As technology develops, it’s presenting solutions for problems as big as education reform and as basic as forgetting something.

Not so, says Evgeny Morozov. In his new book, “To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism,” Morozov unabashedly attacks “solutionists” and the ideas coming out from the Silicon Valley. Morozov criticizes solutionists, those who try to solve problems with technology, for their utopian ideals because technology could never provide a solution to complex human problems. Rather, its solution can even make issues worse. With education, Morozov argues that technology can limit teacher-student interactions, which hinders development through discussions. In politics, online transparency discourages political activism because individuals want to keep their privacy.

Is Morozov right? Are we so caught up with “big data” hype that we believe in an unrealistic Utopia? Can the internet cause more problems than find solutions?

Evgeny Morozov, author of “To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism” (Public Affairs) and “The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom” (Public Affairs, 2012)

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