Welcome to the Machine
Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of ControlBook - 2004
You could call them the Monkeywrench Gang of the nanotech age. Derrick Jensen and George Draffan are taking down the data mining industry, one converted mind at a time. In the face of RFID chips, consumer tracking strategies, and illegal government wiretapping, Jensen and Draffan are determined to show consumers how to fight back against government and industry to regain their rights, their privacy, and their humanity. In their new book,Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control, Jensen and Draffan take a hart-hitting look at the way technology is used as a machine, to control us and our environment. Their results are startling.
If the prospect of perpetual surveillance and psychological warfare alarms you, you are not alone. Most people would be disturbed if you told them that everything from their store purchases to their public transit rides are recorded and filed for government or corporate access. But more often than not, the smooth, silent cleanliness of its operation allows the Machine of Western Civilization to go unnoticed. InWelcome to the Machine, Jensen and Draffan draw our attention back to its eerie, persistent white noise and take a cold, hard, human look at the cultural conditions that have led us to all but surrender to its hum.
Jensen and Draffan, who teamed up in 2003 to expose industrial corruption and destruction inStrangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests, are back to reveal both the terrifying extent of surveillance today and our chilling complacency at the loss of everything from consumer privacy to civil liberties. In this timely and important new collaboration, Jensen and Draffan take on all aspects of Control Culture: everything from the government's policy of total information awareness to a disturbing new technology where soldiers can be given medication to prevent them from feeling fear. They write about pharmaceutical packaging that reports consumer information, which is then used to send targeted drug advertisements directly to your TV.
A mix of cold factual research and superheated activism powers Jensen and Draffan as they dig deep into questions of privacy, intellectual property, and power and control in our technological society. In the surveillance that's increasingly part of everyday life (smart cards, data mining, the Patriot Act) they see a stealing away of freedom of choice and even humanity. Jensen is the author of The Culture of Make Believe , among other works, and Draffan is a freelance researcher and writer based in Seattle. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)