Technological Advances: Don't Believe the Future Hype

All the things you hear about technological advances often aren't what they're cracked up to be.

| October/November 2009

  • technological advances - Future Hype cover
    "Future Hype" deflates some of the overblown claims that frequently accompany modest technological advances.

  • technological advances - Future Hype cover

Are you one of those people who suspects that all the hoopla we hear about technological advances is mainly hype? I don’t mean just marketing hyperbole, but fundamentally misleading and shameless exaggeration.

It turns out that hyping technology — that is, overstating its significance and overrating its usefulness — may be deeply imbedded in our western psyche, and here’s a book that may convince you: Bob Seidensticker’s Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change. It was, for me, one of the best and most enjoyable critiques I’ve seen of modern society’s drive for technological change.

Some may not be prepared to believe that the hype is as misplaced as Seidensticker shows it to be, but you will be pleasantly surprised how entertaining the discussion about it can be. His style allows us to laugh at ourselves; how else do you explain that a book deeply critical of computer hype is being promoted by Seidensticker’s former employer, Microsoft?

Future Hype has been available for a while, but be forewarned that exaggeration of the merits of technology continues unabated: Green algae was recently promoted as 100 times more powerful than the best energy crop. How did they get that figure? The hypers turned an acre slice of soil on its side sticking up in the air like a skyscraper (you can grow algae in tall narrow tanks), and they measured the yield in terms of the tiny footprint on the ground! It turns out, algae is twice as productive as some of our best crops, it just happens to cost 5,000 times more per acre to implement. Keep a close eye on those facts, folks!

You can find the book and more at Future Hype online.


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me