The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in Its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future

book_Smart Enough City

Ben Green
Foreword by Jascha Franklin-Hodge
MIT Press, 2019

Available to be reviewed, please contact

Why technology is not an end in itself, and how cities can be “smart enough,” using technology to promote democracy and equity.

The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding from the MIT Libraries.

Smart cities, where technology is used to solve every problem, are hailed as futuristic urban utopias. We are promised that apps, algorithms, and artificial intelligence will relieve congestion, restore democracy, prevent crime, and improve public services. In The Smart Enough City, Ben Green warns against seeing the city only through the lens of technology; taking an exclusively technical view of urban life will lead to cities that appear smart but under the surface are rife with injustice and inequality. He proposes instead that cities strive to be “smart enough”: to embrace technology as a powerful tool when used in conjunction with other forms of social change—but not to value technology as an end in itself. Continue reading

Tecnopolíticas: aproximaciones a los estudios de ciencia, tecnología y sociedad en Chile

book_ Tecnopoliticas

Edited by Alejandro Espinosa, Francisca Ortíz and Nicolás Sanhueza
UAH Ediciones, 2019

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El libro presenta las investigaciones de diversos académicos y académicas de Chile que han realizado aportes sustantivos a este campo de estudios transdisciplinares, tanto en su país de origen como en el extranjero. Estos trabajos cubren una amplia diversidad de temas, desde el estudio de la innovación y el consumo, hasta la gestión de desastres, conflictos ambientales, salud y políticas públicas familiares. Más allá de esta diversidad temática, lo que los unifica es la voluntad expresa de entender ciencia, tecnología y sociedad como áreas íntimamente imbricadas, imposibles de ser realmente comprendidas de forma separada. Desde esta perspectiva, el desarrollo chileno actual es visto finalmente como un proyecto tecnopolítico en el cual nuevas formas de hacer y entender la política y la cultura siempre han ido, y requieren seguir yendo, de la mano con el surgimiento, estabilización y crítica de innovaciones científicas y tecnológicas. Continue reading

Into the Field Human: Scientists of Transwar Japan

book_ Into the field

Miriam Kingsberg Kadia
Stanford University Press, 2019

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In the 1930s, a cohort of professional human scientists coalesced around a common and particular understanding of objectivity as the foundation of legitimate knowledge, and of fieldwork as the pathway to objectivity. Shared experiences reinforced their identity as a generation, building a collective cognitive framework, identity, and interpersonal network. Into the Field is the first collective biography of this cohort, evocatively described by one contemporary as the men of one age. Continue reading

How to Be Human in the Digital Economy

book_ How to be human in the digital economy

Nicholas Agar
MIT Press 2019

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An argument in favor of finding a place for humans (and humanness) in the future digital economy.

In the digital economy, accountants, baristas, and cashiers can be automated out of employment; so can surgeons, airline pilots, and cab drivers. Machines will be able to do these jobs more efficiently, accurately, and inexpensively. But, Nicholas Agar warns in this provocative book, these developments could result in a radically disempowered humanity. Continue reading