Why Things Bite Back has ratings and 48 reviews. Mero said: Edward Tenner’s book is rather dated by now (!), but in everything but its discussion.. . Edward Tenner’s Why Things Bite Back examines technology in medicine, agriculture and the environment, the computerized office, and sports. A historian of. “No one is safe from Mr. Tenner’s analytical eye. He has amassed a staggering amount of research in `Why Things Bite Back,’ all of it clearly and succinctly.

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Nearly pages are dedicated to further reading, footnotes and an index – the book is very well researched, and still quite readable without being too dry. The Paige typesetter had 18, parts. Other people have articulated these ideas in far more intelligible and interesting ways. Edward Tenner is the author of Our Own Devices and Why Things Bite Backformer college teacher and executive editor in book publishing, now an independent writer and speaker on technology and society thinga contributor to major newspapers, magazines, and web sites.

And this was the result of the tragic loss of lives of people who could not get into them. Revenge of the Chronic. Antibiotics cause antibiotic-resistant germs to appear, and pesticides – pesticide-resistant pests. I think the subject matter is interesting though.

Started well, then got political.

Why Things Bite Back

If we think, for example, of Louis Pasteur, who in the s was asked to study the diseases of silk worms for the silk industry, and his discoveries were really the beginning of the germ theory of disease. So very often, some kind of disaster — sometimes the consequence, for example, of over-cultivation of silk worms, which was a problem in Europe at the time — can be the key to something much bigger.


But the core still applies, and always will. Cushing, who killed patients in the course of his early operations. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. And this is when it really gets interesting.

They were making it possible for us to do what they do, and yet, they didn’t really understand how they did it. The fact that the Green Revolution averted mass starvation predicted by people like Paul Ehrlich shows that some solutions are preferable to their absence. Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences Vintage. What happened was the bactericide was formulated with minute traces of tin. And the history of plant importations that backfire That’s not necessarily a bad unintended consequence.

It was thought that automobility would save people time, while in fact if you add up the time spent sitting in traffic and earning the money to buy and maintain the car, the driver could just as well ride a bicycle. I’m pretty sure Stephen King already turned this concept into a horror novel, yet as is often the case, reality is a little scarier.

This book was a fight to read and now that it is over, I’m happy. Sep 02, Pages Buy.

Why Things Bite Back – Wikipedia

And I could just imagine the committees reporting back to them on where agriculture was going to take humanity, at least in the next few hundred years. But we will always end up producing effects no one could ever foresee.

What do football helmets and laser printers have in common? That approach does show the ubiquity of the revenge effect, but it doesn’t thins much in understanding it.


He mentions them in the first and last chapters, but the rest of the book reads like a recitation of interesting research findings with no particular clear ordering or framework to tie baci together. The beginning and most of the book goes to excruciating detail about various things and convinces one of revenge and other effects.

Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences

About Why Things Bite Back In this perceptive and provocative look at everything from computer software that requires faster processors and more support staff to antibiotics that breed tennfr strains of bacteria, Edward Tenner offers a virtual encyclopedia of what he calls “revenge effects”—the unintended consequences of the mechanical, chemical, biological, and medical forms of ingenuity that have been hallmarks of the progressive, improvement-obsessed modern age.

Nov 08, Janice Sheufelt rated it liked it. Why things bite back: Bwck, for example, that result in new generations of anti-biotic resistant bacteria.

May 20, Leo Walsh rated it really liked it. Antibiotics cause antibiotic-r This is a study of technology gone bad – a pastiche of Robert Sheckley’s “Watchbird”, Murphy’s Law and those ancient Greek stories about gods punishing mortals for their hubris. Stay in Touch Sign up. Well, technology to tennner rescue. Jul 17, Peter Tillman rated it liked it Recommended to Peter by:

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