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Author Agar, Nicholas
Title The Sceptical Optimist : Why Technology Isn't the Answer to Everything
Imprint Oxford : Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2015
book jacket
Descript 1 online resource (222 pages)
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Note COVER -- THE SCEPTICAL OPTIMIST: WHY TECHNOLOGY ISN'T THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING -- COPYRIGHT -- DEDICATION -- ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS -- CONTENTS -- LIST OF FIGURES -- INTRODUCTION -- An outline of the book -- 1: RADICAL OPTIMISM AND THE TECHNOLOGY BIAS -- Does technological progress increase subjective well-being? -- Radically optimistic forecasts -- How should we prioritize technological progress? -- Concluding comments -- 2: IS THERE A LAW OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS? -- Moore's Law, Kryder's Law, and exponential technological improvement -- Two questions about exponential technological progress -- Exponential technological improvement as a conditional law -- What went wrong with cancer? -- Kurzweil's evolutionary explanation of exponential technological progress -- The difference between reflexive and passive improvement -- Exponential technological improvement is infectious -- Concluding comments -- 3: DOES TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS MAKE US HAPPIER? -- The traditional paradox of progress -- How we hedonically adapt to new well-being technologies -- Complete or incomplete hedonic adaptation? -- Concluding comments -- 4: THE NEW PARADOX OF PROGRESS -- Gibbon versus Ridley on historical happiness -- The perils of attitudinal time travel -- Hedonic normalization -- How to make comparisons that best reveal the effects of technological progress -- Complete or incomplete hedonic normalization -- Why hedonic normalization is probably incomplete -- The new paradox of technological progress -- Concluding comments -- 5: WE NEED TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS EXPERIMENTS -- Technological progress traps -- Two ideals of technological progress -- The fear of falling behind -- How is progress dangerous? -- Rehabilitating the idea of technology experiments -- Jared Diamond on the natural experiments of traditional societies
Creating and nurturing variation in technological progress -- A nuclear power progress experiment -- Why should the winners share with the losers? -- A progress experiment on genetically modified crops -- The future of technological progress -- Concluding comments -- 6: WHY TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS WON'T END POVERTY -- Poverty and well-being -- Ordinary and emergency circumstances of poverty -- Radically optimistic solutions to poverty -- Were there poor people in the Pleistocene? -- How poverty affects life satisfaction -- Misunderstanding the happiness of the Sun King -- Evidence from status competitions for the relevance of social context -- Economic and technological trickledown -- Concluding comments -- 7: CHOOSING A TEMPO OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS -- Comparing different tempos of progress -- Technological progress makes diminishing marginal contributions to well-being -- Mobile phones and cancer therapies -- The importance of subjectively positive technological progress -- Concluding comments -- AFTERWORD: Don't turn well-being technologies into Procrustean beds -- ENDNOTES -- INDEX -- ADVERTS
In The Paradox of Progress, Nicholas Agar challenges the central claims of 'radical optimism': that technological progress will automatically make us happier and healthier. Using recent psychological studies about human well-being, he instead presents a more realistic approach to understand the positive and negative issues that progress brings
Description based on publisher supplied metadata and other sources
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, Michigan : ProQuest Ebook Central, 2020. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest Ebook Central affiliated libraries
Link Print version: Agar, Nicholas The Sceptical Optimist : Why Technology Isn't the Answer to Everything Oxford : Oxford University Press, Incorporated,c2015 9780198717058
Subject Technology -- Philosophy.;Technology -- Psychological aspects.;Technology -- Social aspects
Electronic books
Alt Author Agar, Professor Nicholas
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