The cult of information: the folklore of computers and the true art of thinking

Front Cover
Pantheon, 1986 - Computers - 238 pages
2 Reviews
Explains what computers can--and cannot--do and decries the uncritical way in which computers are being incorporated into school systems and curriculums where information and data processing are becoming substitutes for thinking and science

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lady_Lazarus - LibraryThing

Mostly still relevant, although first published in 1986. Maybe it was because of Herbert Marcuse I was reading at the same time, but the confrontation between "liberal arts" and "natural sciences ... Read full review



7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1986)

Born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of a cabinetmaker, Theodore Roszak received a Ph.D. from Princeton University and then taught at Stanford University. Since the mid-1960s, Roszak has been teaching at California State University, Hayward. His only lengthy departure from academia was when he served as editor of Peace News s in London during 1964 and 1965. Roszak's writings and social philosophy have been controversial since the publication of The Making of a Counter Culture in 1968. In his classic work, Roszak views the youthful dissident culture of the 1960s as an alternative to the dominant technocratic environment. To transform society from "technological totalitarianism" and the depersonalized methodology of science, Roszak gracefully suggests a merger of subjectivity, individualism, mysticism, a symbiotic relationship with nature, and an ethical concern for the well-being of others. A major criticism of Roszak's emphasis on spiritual transformation and his faith in youthful dissidents is his "apolitical" philosophy. Reliance on expanded consciousness and personal fulfillment is not viewed as a viable force for change. In his subsequent books, especially Where the Wasteland Ends (1972) and Person/Planet (1978), Roszak articulates an "intercommunion between man and nature," which recognizes that a synthesis of human needs and the well-being of the planet can be a force to displace the ideologies of industrial society. Unfortunately, these works often have been simplistically read as paeans to individual expanded consciousness. Roszak analyzes the influences on the radical movement of the 1960s, seeking a union between scientific thinking and other modes of consciousness: mystic, aesthetic, and ethical. In The Voice of the Earth (1992), Roszak bridges the scientific and the subjective mind to stimulate a culture that nourishes both personal fulfillment and the well-being of the earth. Roszak departs from his general thesis in The Cult of Information (1986) to challenge the folklore surrounding the computer revolution and to address the distinction between the processing of information and thinking. He opposes technological-industrial development and the preeminence of science but continues to support changes in attitudes, consciousness, and values in order to transform technological and scientific achievements into engines for the well-being of human beings.

Bibliographic information