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To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,104 ratings  ·  183 reviews
In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make large-scale and sophisticated interventions in politics, culture, and everyday life. Technology will allow us to solve problems in highly original ways and create new incentives to get more people to do the right thing. But how will such “solutionism” affect our society, once deeply politica ...more
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by PublicAffairs (first published 2013)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,104 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Emma Sea
Feb 25, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Goddamit, Morozov, don't be so disingenuous. I know you FUCKING KNOW that Rosa Parks did not just "happen" to be sitting in the whites-only section of the bus, and her "courageous act" was NOT only "possible because the bus and the sociotechnological system in which [the bus] operated were terribly inefficient." (p. 204)

Don't. Just . . .don't.

Similarly, a woman who turns down cider because of the sugar content does not do so because the fact that "she might derive great sensual pleasure from dr
Tara Brabazon
To use a cliche from music reviewers, this book is 'a grower.' It improves as it progresses, and the Postscript is a corker.

The arguments are clear. There is a wide and disturbing gulf between the internet and 'the Internet.' A technological system is being stuff with ideologies, tropes and mantras of progress, revolution and transformation. Actually, it is just the internet. Get over it.

The problems with the first half of the book - and I recognize how this happens - is that Morozov becomes f
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In some circles, this will not be a popular read. But like Morozov's previous book, The Net Delusion, this is an incredibly important and interesting read. If nothing else, this book serves to bring down to earth those of us who have gotten carried away with the notion that the Internet will save us.

I don't necessarily agree with everything Morozov says, but I do appreciate what he's done with his two books on technological utopianism and solutionism. What I appreciate the most is the critical e
Aug 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. I picked up this book hoping to read about the folly of technological solutionism - what I got was a snide treatise on the follies of technological solutionists.

The book scarcely goes a page without calling out a particular name in the current app-y noosphere, and essentially reads like the memoir of a grumpy old man telling kids why they're all dumb.

If you follow the cults of personality surrounding individuals in the Silicon Valley elite, this book will trample on your heroes and tell yo
Sean Blevins
What if I told you there was no “Internet”?

What if I told you that imperfection is not a bug, but a feature?

It has become so easy to talk about “The Internet” that we don’t stop to think about what we actually mean when we say it. Instead of “the Internet” what we usually mean is a particular technology, program, device, or method. But because we lump these various technologies together we give them greater significance than they individually deserve. This greater, undeserved significance has ma
Where to begin with this one. In general, I tend to find that with non-fiction writers, regardless the topic and for whatever reason, I tend to agree with the premise but reject the conclusion. Reading back through my reviews, it is not unusual to find this complaint amongst them. My read of Morozov, at least in this book, is a little different; here I tend to agree with Morozov's conclusions while the premise I have trouble buying.

Part of the reason for this is Morozov's rather unusual style o
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic and original read. Morozov is an unconventional and broad thinker. His latest book bounces from philosophy to technnology to history to sociology without any awkwardness or forced moves. He does the reader a great service by pulling back the curtain on the unintended and unseen consequences of our growing reliance on 'solutions' thinking.

Here is a challenge to the talking points of Silicon Valley that is never shrill nor bombastic.

Morozov provokes, challenges and, above all, he bre
John Mark Agosta
This book, the author's second, picks a fight with the greed and self-adulation in Silicon Valley culture that would justify any technological advance as an unmitigated good and gift to humanity.
To identify his target, Morozov coins the term "solutionism" as the rampant trend of proponents of internet technology to identify things in society they find undesirable as problems to be fixed, by placing efficiency above all else, and putting aside the harder questions that the consequences of techno
Jesper Balslev
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digital-kultur
Nødvendigt kritisk katalog til vor tid og et et overbevisende forsvar for tænkning (og det at være et uperfekt menneske). Besvarer stort set alle de spørgsmål som jeg langsomt var begyndt at stille til den evangelistiske diskurs bag megen ny teknologi. Men også et deprimerende gok i hovedet på rigtig mange optimistiske tanker for ny teknologi. Alternativet til solutionism fremstår en smule uklart, men noget a la: demokrati, samtale, institutioner, kompromisser og teknologi der skaber 'moralske r ...more
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of this book would have made for a fantastic article but was stretched way too thin over several hundred pages. I see great value in arguing against solutionism and internet-centrism but, in order to fill the pages, the author is forced to repeat himself ad nauseum and level a series of attacks against other authors that do little to further his argument. If you are thinking of picking this up just read the first few sections and you will have a solid understanding of the rest of the ...more
Reading Evgeny Morozov's writing is like watching a man lob gasoline-soaked tennis balls at the system, at the lie-machine produced by West Coast techies (some of whom I once worked for) and legions of wooden-headed "intellectuals" whose level of ethical sophistication stopped developing somewhere shy of the 9th grade. I watch the lie-machine burn, and I cackle, and I can feel the flames' reflection glinting off my irises.

But then I get tired, and I get what I call Dissent-ery, which is the inte
Mike Caulfield
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit over-meticulous with the examples at times, but the depth of the approach excuses it. Morozov is known for his eviscerations of net celebs, but the strength of this book is in its deep roots, not its acid -- He pulls from everything from mid-20th century conservatism to classic liberalism to the post-structuralism of Bruno Latour. Morozov at his best not only unpacks the implications of Silicon Valley "solutionism", but aligns that unpacking with a broad intellectual tradition that Morozov ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind - Blowing: Een visie die compleet breekt met het standaard Silicon Valley 'technologie-utopianisme', wat verfrissend is, maar vooral noodzakelijk.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and think everyone in tech should read it.

Morozov makes a difficult argument, one that could be easily misunderstood, but he navigates it with intelligence and acerbic humor: people who believe tech will save us and people who believe tech will ruin us are both wrong. He particularly advocates against both solutionism (looking for solutions to problems that aren't really problems) and Internet-centrism (the Internet is always part of those solutions), while pointing out example
Gizem Kendik
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blinkist
Sağlıktan iklim değişimine her şeyin çözümü internette arayan, "şu sağlık sorunları için bir app çıksa da çözülse" diyen ve her türlü teknolojik gelişmeyi insanlığa bir armağan olarak gören Silikon Vadici kültüre (ki bunlara "solutionist" diyor) laflar hazırlamış.
Problem çözme işini Silikon Vadisi'ne devredicez diye regüle edilmesi gereken bir alanı boşlamayalım. Misal obezite sorununu sadece kişisel monitoring projelerine ve app'lere bırakmak regüle etmekle uğraşacağımız bir alanı boş bırakıyor
Apr 13, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
According to Evgeny Morozov, the world has gone crazy and he's one of the few sane people left. Zynga and Facebook, he writes, in his strange new book, "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism," have "become models to think about civic engagement." Yelp and Amazon have "become models to think about criticism." People who believe the open Internet can be a tool for good and who worry about and try to oppose people who are using it to hurt others, actually treat the ...more
Nov 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Internet will help us save everything.

If you frowned upon or scoffed at the above statement, and you love sarcasm and word play, then this book is for you. "Galton's iPhone" and "So Open It Hurts".. come on. Morozov addresses and unpacks our techno-utopian and solutionist view of the Internet, but in a more approachable, conversational manner. Take that with a pinch of salt though, because he comes off as someone who is irked by everything anyone else says about the Internet. So not so much
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fascinating read on the dangers of oversimplification of human behavior and moral/societal problems via quantification and the emergence of Big Data. Every technopreneur should read this book and decide if he or she wants to just make another "fun" App, hoping to create enough hype to make money or be acquired by an Advertising Supported tech giant (Facebook, Yelp, etc)or actually change the world for the better by creating technologies that make us reflect and think about bigger moral and ethic ...more
Soham Chakraborty
I came across this little short story from guernica magazine while I was writing this review and I must recommend it as it conveys much more thought, expression, nuance, reason than I could write in this review.

At the very outset, let me articulate what this book is not. This book is not a page turner. This book will take your time and if you cannot keep up with the heavy dose of interdisciplinary research that Morozov so painstakingly has put up, then you
David Dinaburg
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To Save Everything Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism thankfully evades the formulaic trap of the “how-to” subtitle and smartly presents a series of cogent arguments refuting internet exceptionalism:
Recasting all complex social situations either as neatly defined problems with definite, computable solutions or as transparent and self-evident processes that can be easily optimized—if only the right algorithms are in place!—this quest is likely to have unexpected consequences that
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fue sólo ver el índice y ya estaba haciendo ovaciones al autor. Y así durante todo el libro.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read, full of little tidbits, started to drag mid way, overall decent.
Matt Schiavenza
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superb, brilliantly-written, and important critique of "solutionism" and internet-centrism. The notion that maximizing efficiency in every situation is desirable — something that is taken for granted in our culture where "disruption" is celebrated and "friction" is a bad word — comes under sustained attack here.

The ubiquity of smartphones and the explosion of apps has made it easier than ever for people to record and quantify every aspect of their life. I suppose, as a person who writes revie
Dan Schiff
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fascinating, of-the-moment book is jam-packed with thoughtful insights, many of which gave voice to problems that I didn't quite realize I had with many current technologies. Though it starts off somewhat slow with a lot of media theory and (albeit essential) historical context, Morozov then dives into attacking the "solutionism" and "Internet-centrism" that too often propose to fix problems that don't actually need fixing.

For people who attempt to reform politics and circumvent the traditi
To anyone beyond a certain age, it is a regular event to be scolded by those younger than oneself as being technologically ignorant or worse still resistant to change. My children occasionally do this to me and who knows what is said out of earshot. After my son suggested I was a Luddite for questioning that MOOCs (huge online classes) will come to dominate the educational world, I asked him to look up what a "Luddite" to see if he really meant the charge.

But I digress.... My interest in Morozov
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technology, sociology
In the end, while some could take this book as a reason not to boldly go forth and solve life's niggling problems, ultimately, for me, this book serves as a reminder that human's, in the end, adapt technology to make life better, and at each step along the way, yes, there are trade-offs, unintended consequences cause collateral damage, but ultimately, we work through those issues and we do arrive at a better place. I doubt many cavemen would chose to stay in the cave after experiencing all of ou ...more
Peter Aronson
This book is what you might call a mixed bag. On one hand, Morozov has some really interesting, and possibly important things to say, on the other hand, this book is full of strawmen (regiments of them, legions of them, armies of them), ad hominem attacks, overstatements, sweeping generalizations and repeated attacks against the same easy targets. Every time he rants about "geeks", I want to interrupt and demand he explain just who he’s ranting about. Morozov is definitely at his best when addre ...more
Tim Harrison
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a very frustating book for me. For the most part, I am on the same side as Morozov, but I think his arguments are imprecise in a way that will lead to people rejecting his premise and this book.

As he hits out at solutionism, he does so rather indiscriminately. There are quite a few things he mentions as problematic that to my mind are unqualified good ends of technology, the worst offender political transparency.

He makes the argument (poorly) that we need to allow politicians to be ab
It took me several months to read this book. I didn't like it very much. It is what many nonfiction books have recently become. A hysterical scree against (you fill in the blank) which is a threat to human existence, or some such twaddle.

In this case Internet solution ism, meaning the societal powers are trying to make us solve all our problems with or on the Internet.

At first I tried to see this as philosophy, but it isn't that. Then I tried to fit it into a monodilectical rant, but of course
Nelson Zagalo
A powerful and highly necessary reflection on the politics of technology. Morozov ability to synthesise current discourses around technology and more specifically “the internet” is simply brilliant.

I was impressed by the depth but also by the range of domains touched throughout the discussion - Openness, Neutrality, Big Data, Quantification, Gamification, Self-augmentation, Algorithmic ruling, Philosophy vs. Psychology, etc. Morozov is an avid observer and thinker, he’s someone interested in und
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Evgeny Morozov is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and runs the magazine's "Net Effect" blog about the Internet's impact on global politics. Morozov has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, a Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, a Yahoo! fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, a fellow at George Soros's Open Society Institute, and th ...more
“The goal of privacy is not to protect some stable self from erosion but to create boundaries where this self can emerge, mutate, and stabilize.” 9 likes
“We must not fixate on what this new arsenal of digital technologies allows us to do without first inquiring what is worth doing.” 5 likes
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