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Tools for Conviviality
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Tools for Conviviality

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  191 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Questo libro analizza la particolare relazione uomo-strumento che si è affermata nel contesto della società industriale.
Paperback, 110 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Marion Boyars Publishers (first published January 1st 1973)
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(showing 1-30 of 588)
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Having a rather anti-professional stance myself, I was happy to come across Illich's work. He raises a lot of interesting issues and ideas. His basic premise is that over-industrialization has fashioned us into dependent clients of a professional elite. Or, in other words, our tools (using "tools" in the broadest sense, meaning both industry and social systems) have developed beyond our ability to use them as individuals/communities. We cannot learn on our own; we cannot heal on our own; etc. Sa ...more
Hans de Zwart
This is an incredibly dense book with some big thinking. In some ways a typical book from the 70s, but therefore no less urgent today. I would love to have conversation with Illich debating in which ways the Internet and the web are convivial tools and where their risks lie. Next up is Deschooling Society.
Bryan Kibbe
Illich is an author that I frequently find being quoted by numerous authors that I value and respect. It was time for me to read directly from the source. This book was originally published in 1973, but it has stood the test of time, and Illich's insights into the nature of present day technologies and the need for fundamental technology reform are as relevant today as they were then. At the core of Illich's argument is a call to develop and implement technologies that promote and sustain the cr ...more
It is one of the most brilliant book i have ever read in recent time.The book was primarily written for the post industrial era of the west but the book seems more relevant and very appropriate now.He uses the term "Engineering obsolescence" to show how the modern world produces men for the sake of tools once the tools become obsolete the corresponding men also become obsolete and outdated.So the modern world and what he call us "impovershing wealth" with its tools takes away vital skills of the ...more
Oct 15, 2008 Josh added it
Ivan Illich is very smart, and a neglected perspective for radicals that I hope changes. I feel like there are not many people how have a perspective like he does even though he's written a few decades ago now.
The seeds of SonicRim's basic philosophy in respecting, harnessing and empowering the creativity and imagination of everyday people can be found in the brilliant vision of a Convivial Future outlined by Illich
This essay takes a critical look at many large systems and structures that we take for granted. Read this if you like to think deeply about how society shapes you.
Jan 13, 2008 Paco marked it as to-read
How to live together without power or dehumanizing each other? Sounds good in my book. I love Ivan Illich.
DJ Seifert
Having read this again in my mid-life and after seeing with more open eyes the manipulative and oppressive state and culture of government, institutions and corporations, while experiencing a more intentional simple life by choosing the harder way (e.g., gardening, a using a bike as alternative transportation) I am beginning to parse services and products on a continuum between convivial and manipulative while tracking aspects that give them their place on the range of these two terms. This exer ...more
If you are interested in science and technology studies, this is pretty cool, from a historical standpoint, anyway. If you are not, you will probably be disoriented - as I was - by Illich's occasional casual remarks to the effect that he thinks Mao is doing a great job in China and maybe one day the United States will follow his lead. So.
Dans la Convivialité, Illich poursuit sa critique du mode industriel de production. Pour lui, "la surproduction industrielle d'un service a des effets seconds aussi catastrophiques et destructeurs que la surproduction d'un bien" . Dans d'autres ouvrages, il avait déjà développé cette thèse en étudiant des services tels que l'éducation ou la santé.

La machine n'a pas aboli l'esclavage humain car la spécialisation à outrance, la course à la croissance et le gigantisme industriel ont fait de l'outil
Chris Gropp
Illich, a catholic priest, anarchist, and general social critic, correctly identifies that our machines possess us (perhaps somewhat like a demon requiring exorcism), and not the other way around as we commonly believe.
Much as I find Illich's social aims to be congruent with my own I still couldn't get into this book. As radical as Illich is (or is known to be) I found his views almost conservative in this book. For one there's a distorted romanticism with the past, as in admiring the builders of the pyramids because they were physically invested in their labor, as opposed to it being mediated by technology; ancient Egypt hardly seems like a beacon for a progressive labor movement. Also rolled my eyes at a "co ...more
Before reading this, I already shared a lot of his theses -- state socialism and capitalism are sides of an industrial coin; it is the structure of growth-focused institutions that is a problem, not who masters the structure; medicine, schooling, and transportation are corrupted and corrupting tools; credentialism and professional-protectionism are damaging society deeply;

But — and — this gave me the opportunity to do much more than self-congratulatorily stroke my pet bailiwick.

Win Win. Within
Sridhar Guda
Wonderful book. Relevant even this was written before I took birth.
Linda Mason Hunter
A cornerstone of my philosophical library.
One of the more important works by Ivan Illich (others include Deschooling Society and Energy and Equity. He argues for reigning in our technology/tools to support a more livable (convivial) society. He asks us to consider what has been lost in the shift from manual power to fuel power (e.g. walking to cars, hand saw to chainsaw, etc.). His critique of society is fairly fundamental and forces us to acknowledge our underlying operating assumptions.

Illich argues that technology (broadly interpreted, even including institutions such as education) imposes enormous constraints on how we can live and work together. Industrial technology does not offer tools for conviviality, that would allow us to democratically organize production and nurture each other's development; instead, it largely turns us into parts of a huge machine. We must not only replace capitalism, but also our industrial mode of production. Wow.
MS Glennon
Jan 09, 2008 MS Glennon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: credentialled professionals
Illich's usual fair of gadfly anarchism and pseudo-empirical observations on the immanent collapse of western society under the weight of its radically monopolizing institutions. Read him, get a little drunk, if you can figure out a way to apply it, use it as a hermeneutic, or reference, by all means do so...but most people don't.
Regard critique sur la société, passe sur différent thème généraux qu'il ne détail pas trop (voir ses autres livres pour approfondir), propose des solutions, particulièrement subversif et gênant parfois.
Gregory Kaplan
Provoking reflection and challenging complacency. A bit of wishful thinking. Many wild assertions. But still a required criticism of tools and the inversion of means and ends.
I never finished this one, but what I read was fascinating. I think it was an edition from the early or mid seventies.
Oct 27, 2011 Jo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
La critique d’Illich dénonce la servitude que la société industrielle inflige à l’Homme.
Provocative, challenging and illuminating analysis of our flawed systems.
Ivan Illich is my new Marshall McLuhan.
Louis marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2015
Ayşe Kevser Arslan
Ayşe Kevser Arslan marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
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Feb 17, 2015
Muhammad Sharnoubi
Muhammad Sharnoubi marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2015
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Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest and critic of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects of the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, and economic development.
More about Ivan Illich...
Deschooling Society Limits to Medicine: Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health Energy and Equity The Right to Useful Unemployment and Its Professional Enemies In the Vineyard of the Text: A Commentary to Hugh's Didascalicon

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“Societies in which most people depend for most of their goods and services on the personal whim, kindness, or skill of another are called underdeveloped, while those in which living has been transformed into a process of ordering from an all-encompassing store catalogue are called advanced.” 6 likes
“Most curable sickness can now be diagnosed and treated by laymen. People find it so difficult to accept this statement because the complexity of medical ritual has hidden from them the simplicity of its basic procedures. It took the example of
the barefoot doctor in China to show how modern practice by simple workers in their spare time could, in three years,
catapult health care in China to levels unparalleled elsewhere. In most other countries health care by laymen is considered a
crime. A seventeen-year-old friend of mine was recently tried for having treated some 130 of her high-school colleagues for
VD. She was acquitted on a technicality by the judge when expert counsel compared her performance with that of the U.S. Health Service. Nowhere in the U.S.A. can her achievement be considered "standard," because she succeeded in making retests on all her patients six weeks after their first treatment. Progress should mean growing competence in self-care rather than growing dependence. 5”
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