Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations

Utopia Is Creepy And Other Provocations With a razor wit Nicholas Carr cuts through Silicon Valley s unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question Have we been seduced by a lie Gathering a decade s worth of

  • Title: Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations
  • Author: Nicholas Carr
  • ISBN: 9780393254549
  • Page: 265
  • Format: Hardcover
  • With a razor wit, Nicholas Carr cuts through Silicon Valley s unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question Have we been seduced by a lie Gathering a decade s worth of posts from his blog, Rough Type, as well as his seminal essays, Utopia Is Creepy offers an alternative history of the digital age, chronicling its roller coaster crazes andWith a razor wit, Nicholas Carr cuts through Silicon Valley s unsettlingly cheery vision of the technological future to ask a hard question Have we been seduced by a lie Gathering a decade s worth of posts from his blog, Rough Type, as well as his seminal essays, Utopia Is Creepy offers an alternative history of the digital age, chronicling its roller coaster crazes and crashes, its blind triumphs, and its unintended consequences.Carr s favorite targets are those zealots who believe so fervently in computers and data that they abandon common sense Cheap digital tools do not make us all the next Fellini or Dylan Social networks, diverting as they may be, are not vehicles for self enlightenment And likes and retweets are not going to elevate political discourse When we expect technologies designed for profit to deliver a paradise of prosperity and convenience, we have forgotten ourselves In response, Carr offers searching assessments of the future of work, the fate of reading, and the rise of artificial intelligence, challenging us to see our world anew.In famous essays including Is Google Making Us Stupid and Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Privacy, Carr dissects the logic behind Silicon Valley s liberation mythology, showing how technology has both enriched and imprisoned us often at the same time Drawing on artists ranging from Walt Whitman to the Clash, while weaving in the latest findings from science and sociology, Utopia Is Creepy compels us to question the technological momentum that has trapped us in its flow Resistance is never futile, argues Carr, and this book delivers the proof.

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    620 Comment

    • Jason Pettus says:

      (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)To be clear, I would've loved to have read a book of insightful, thought-provoking essays about how everything we assume about the internet is in fact wrong, as Nicholas Carr promises with his new book, Utopia is Creepy and Other Provocations; so what a profound shame, then, that what this book actually consis [...]

    • Sean says:

      More a compendium of blogs and articles than a full length book such as Nicholas Carr's The Glass Cage, Utopia is Creepy explores the often pernicious effects of technology on humanity and the individual psyche. The book only receives two stars because it does not envelop the reader in a unified overarching narrative but instead jumps from sub-theme to sub-theme. Overall, though, Carr lays out nicely the difference between a life on the screen vs one off with his trenchant commentary such as the [...]

    • Terence says:

      …and regards to Captain Dunsel.Utopia Is Creepy is a collection of blog posts and essays touching on various aspects (some good but most problematic, at best) of our increasing reliance on technology. Carr isn’t a Luddite; he’s capable of seeing the benefits that high-tech has brought to the world. (“Technology is as crucial to the work of knowing as it is to the work of production” [p. 299].) His concern – like the actual Luddites – centers around the fear that humans are becoming [...]

    • Ietrio says:

      This is a collection of shallow populist articles. A Facebook page means you are a digital sharecropper for example. Who cares the poor sharecroppers were mostly black and where living in terrible conditions? I doubt Carr is a racist. He is simply an attention whore throwing words the same way a toddler throws tantrums.

    • Peter Mcloughlin says:

      Disturbing dispatches about our wired world. This is a collection of blog posts on the disenchanting aspects of the digital age. It is written from 2005 to 2016 and it reflects Carr's misgivings about the way the information superhighway has developed over the past decade or so.

    • Benjamin says:

      Oh look someone printed out the internet and put it into a book! and what is the book about? The internet. So meta, much irony. Seriously this book is great and thought provoking, and with short sections since it's mostly blog posts, great for those of us with short attention spans.

    • David says:

      Really just a collection of blog posts. The book is uneven but occasionally engaging. Readers who enjoy blogs will enjoy this but fans of essays may be disappointed. Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

    • Ted says:

      There’s an irony here. This collection consists in large part, of blog entries and “aphorisms” from the author’s blog, Rough Type, along with reprints of articles and of a section from an earlier book. So, how is it that musings that originally appeared in electronic form work so well in a traditional book? Obviously, the book is not dead (in fact, I have read that e-book sales have plateaued, while sales of physical books remain strong). There are reasons for that, including the fact th [...]

    • C. Hollis Crossman says:

      Nicholas Carr is easily the most important popular voice in current discussions of digital technology and its effects on ourselves and society. It's not that he's the most technologically advanced or the most philosophical thinker around, it's that he's the most balance—he doesn't view the Internet and its many ancillary byproducts as wholly evil or wholly good. Instead, he sees digital technology as a thing to be carefully considered before giving it (and by necessity its inventors and gateke [...]

    • Ron says:

      A collection of essays (blogposts, aphorisms, reviews and occasional essays) by a thoughtful critic of computer technology, robotics, the Internet and related issues. Carr is not willing to take the rosy predictions of what electronic media and other high-tech applications can do for us at face value. Can we increase human potential through genetic engineering and biomedical enhancements? Do we need to, and how do we parcel out such wonderful "improvements"? How is immersion in electronic media [...]

    • Michael Doub says:

      I had read The Shallows by this author several years ago ( which was very good), as well as his essay, Is Google Making Us Stupid? The first two thirds of this book were just reprints of some of his blog posts. This was fine, but lacked the depth of the final third of the book, which consisted of reprints of some of his essays and articles. If I could give this book two ratings I'd have given the first part three stars and the second part four. As s person with a somewhat wary view of technology [...]

    • Jcon4307justin says:

      I've never read his blog but this is mostly a collection of blog posts. Felt a little like I was wasting my time at first, reading 10-year-old blog posts, but I stuck with it and most of his stuff was fairly timeless.He's a consistent perspective: Namely, that maybe this Internet-fueled future we're all welcoming isn't always perfect. He has a book I haven't read called The Shallows and his most frequent target seems to be excessive screen time and what it does to our brains and our world. Hard [...]

    • Professor Shredder says:

      A collection of prior Carr essays. I would assume that many are available online, such as his infamous “Is Google Making Us Dumber” essay. In that sense, nothing here is really new. BUT! The book is still well worth reading nonetheless as it collects Carr essays from 2005 to 2016, spanning the modern era of Web 2.0 and social (really, antisocial) media. It’s like reading snapshots of real-time reactions to the media that promised utopia and later ate democracy. As always, Carr is a great r [...]

    • Gabriel says:

      I have loved Nicholas Carr's previous works including the Shallows. This was more of a clip show, as it highlighted his blog posts over the years as he talks, and rants his way through how technology and the internet are changing the way we interact and think. Interesting from a certain perspective, but you are better off reading his more focused works.

    • Douglas says:

      I'm not sure why I never heard of Mr. Carr before, but his essays really make me think.In all honestly, I skipped around this book, not reading some of the older works.

    • Lisa Rector says:

      This collects several insightful posts from the author's blog "Rough Type", that point out the blind spots of the digital age.

    • Bari Dzomba says:

      Just a bunch of random blogs and news articles.

    • Julene says:

      Interesting compilation of Carr's blog posts over the years. Quotable, to be sure.

    • Nancy Herrera says:

      This book is good for anyone who wants to take a look at the technology we use in a critical lens.

    • Liam says:

      "Narcissism is the user interface for nihilism" (35)"You have to wonder whether, as all that was foggy is rendered clear, the bolder among us will lose the desire to strike out for undiscovered territory. What's the point when every secret becomes, in an internet second, common knowledge?" (57)"The great power of modern digital filters lies in their ability to make information that is of inherent interest to us immediately visible to us. The information may take the form of personal messages or [...]

    • Ron says:

      The book is a series of many blogs that Carr did over the length of several years starting in 2005. I found the early ones to be a bit boring being so far out of date but the book does get more interesting as it goes on. Its not a great book because it covers so many short ideas but it is worth reading because of the arguments made that can make you think. For example, will people really embrace self driving cars and give up the fun of driving themselves? The short blog format allows reading in [...]

    • Eric says:

      Yes, this is mostly a collection of blog posts with a few signature essays thrown in (a few of them even culled from the author’s previous books), but give Nicholas Carr credit for being enough of a sharp thinker and witty writer that Utopia Is Creepy never feels tossed-off or insignificant as so much blog writing often does. If not as focused and studied as Carr’s earlier The Shallows, there’s enough learned and provocative thinking on all things tech that make it worth the time.

    • LadyBlue says:

      First off, this is a pretentious philosophical piece and as such should be approached with a grain of salt. That being said, it does raise some interesting points about interconnectivity and the implications of technological progression. Thought-provoking and occasionally humorous, but it occasionally slides into didacticism.

    • Cat says:

      I've been picking my way through the book, a chapter here, a chapter there, which can be done as they are short entertaining articles. I'm enjoying the read! Backs up what I've been saying for years with good hard evidence. Worth a read.

    • Myles says:


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