HIGH TECH/HIGH TOUCH by John Naisbitt

HIGH TECH/HIGH TOUCH

Technology and Our Search for Meaning

KIRKUS REVIEW

Super trend spotter and premier historian of future events Naisbitt (Megatrends, 1982, etc.) and his co-authors (his daughter and artist Philips) examine trends in nascent technology and find much portentous material. They prescribe “high touch” (as in New Age touchy-feely) to counter foreboding high tech. Sixty-nine years ago a little gem called Whither, Whither, Or After Sex, What? was published. Naisbitt and his colleagues have similar concerns, expressed with equal alarm but much more serious mien. They have assiduously surveyed the current scene from the Human Genome Project to the Littleton school massacre. Statistics abound. They have interviewed at least fourscore experts, from the archbishop of the Eastern Province of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, Diocese of the Potomac, to Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. America has entered a “technology intoxication zone,” they say. We worship technology, love it as a toy. We can’t distinguish real from fake. We accept violence, live distracted lives, and use religion as a quick fix. Technology is the currency of our lives, and we look to Martha Stewart to buck the trend. The computer games used by the military to train warriors are exactly the ones played by the nation’s children. “I think it’s scary,” says Gen. Schwarzkopf. Violence in the media is pervasive and becoming hard-wired in our youth. From thoughts of technoviolence, the survey turns to biotech. We can have sex, of course, without having children and have children without having sex. After sex, what? It may be genetic engineering of people as well as food. How that notion affects religion is given appropriate weight before the authors turn to what they call “Specimen Art.” That is the more or less artistic display of specimens like DNA, body fluids, innards, pickled pigs, and human cadavers. It’s becoming popular, and Naisbitt seems well pleased with this particular trend. It shows the essential unity of creation, he says. Eye-opening and not a little frightening, Naisbitt’s passing parade prompts discussion. Whither, indeed! ($125,000 ad/promo; author tour; radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1999
ISBN: 0-7679-0383-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Broadway
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999




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