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Cover for The End of Patience

The End of Patience

Cautionary Notes on the Information Revolution

David Shenk


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"David Shenk looks at the new face of our world with a curiosity and connection-making responsiveness that make him exhilarating to read. These are bits, takes, provisional sweeps at issues still coming into focus, but taken together they give us a startling glimpse of where we are. Shenk is so close to the present that most readers will mistake it for the future." --SVEN BIRKERTS, author, THE GUTENBERG ELEGIES

"If the world of constant, instantaenous communication makes you a little nervous from time to time, David Shenk can explain why. This book is a very useful antidote to the endless praise lavished on the new electronic mediums. Read it slowly " --BILL McKIBBEN, author, THE AGE OF MISSING INFORMATION

In this provocative collection of essays, David Shenk expands his enlightened skepticism to include thoughts on the dangers of online journalism, the ethical implications of digital photography, and the misguided hopes for computers in the classroom. Shock-jocks, computerized toys, Microsoft-bashing, and genetic testing are all subject to his incisive and discerning criticism.

Is Shenk just another neo-Luddite determined to bash all things digital? Hardly. This self-described technology enthusiast--and avid fan of the Internet--is simply interested in clear-eyed analysis of how machines we use actually affect our lives. As one of the founders of the Technorealism movement, he insists that new technologies must be appraised for their ability to achieve traditional human ends, rather than embraced merely for novelty's sake. The End of Patience includes vignettes from Shenk's conversations with some of the most provocative technology thinkers of our time, including Mitch Kapor, Steven Johnson, Esther Dyson, Douglas Rushkoff and Steve Silberman.

Indiana University Press, 9780253336347, 176pp.

Publication Date: August 22, 1999

About the Author

David Shenk is author of Data Smog: Surviving the Information Glut, which The New York Times called "an indispensable guide to the big picture of technology's cultural impact," and the Chicago Tribune called "A concise, insightful, and welcome critique of the communications world we have created."He is also co-author of Skeleton Key, and has contributed to Wired, Harper's, The New Republic, The New York Times, Feed, Salon, and NPR's All Things Considered. He is a co-founder of Technorealism, which seeks to articulate a more balanced approach to technology. Shenk was a 1995-96 fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center, in New York, and in 1998 traveled to Japan as a U.S.-Japan Foundation fellow.