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Who Gives a Gigabyte?: A Survival Guide for the Technologically Perplexed | Ebook

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This book is dedicated to the proposition that almost anyone can acquire a basic understanding of today's technological marvelsand that, perhaps, everyone ought to. Consistently understandable (but thankfully more sober than its somewhat dippy title suggests), Who Gives a Gigabyte? offers a brisk, guided tour of the high technologies currently having, or soon to have, the greatest impact on our lives and society. These include computing and telecommunications, genetic engineering, molecular medicine, bioengineering, lasers, smart materials, alternative fuels, and green technology. If you don't know what some of these are, don't worry. Stix and Lacob leave no technical jargon undefined, and their explanations of the workings of fin-de-millennium gadgetrymicrochips, compact discs, electric cars, cloned sheepare thorough and lucid. But just as important as the technical details are the social, political, and economic issues surrounding them, and these, too, get a clear and comprehensive airing out. In an increasingly technological world, they explain, "technological literacy ... enables us to be better citizens," helping us make informed social decisions that would otherwise be left to scientists, business leaders, and bureaucrats. Stix and Lacob don't belabor the point, though. What they promise is the essentials of a contemporary technological education, and that, no more or less, is what they deliver.-julian Dibbell

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