Why Things Bite Back has ratings and 48 reviews. Mero said: Edward Tenner’s book is rather dated by now (!), but in everything but its discussion.. . Edward Tenner’s Why Things Bite Back examines technology in medicine, agriculture and the environment, the computerized office, and sports. A historian of. “No one is safe from Mr. Tenner’s analytical eye. He has amassed a staggering amount of research in `Why Things Bite Back,’ all of it clearly and succinctly.

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Please teenner again later. In the ancient world there was a tenher of respect for unintended consequences, and there was a very healthy sense of caution, reflected in the Tree of Knowledge, in Pandora’s Box, and especially in the myth of Prometheus that’s been so important in recent metaphors about technology.

What happened was the bactericide was formulated with minute traces of tin. My comment may give notion that this is an anti-technology book, but it is not. This book is written by someone who fears technology. Dec 26, Ushan rated it liked it Shelves: So chemists got to work, and they developed a bactericide that became widely used in those systems.

Or how eucalyptus trees, imported to California en masse for timber ended up not only producing unusable lumber due to the conditions in the American south west, but actually increase the fire hazards due to their volatile oils.

Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences by Edward Tenner

Unfortunately, he was smitten in more ways than one, because it made him bankrupt, and he had to tour the world speaking to recoup his badk. Although the ideas were interesting, there could have been better execution. He argues that “finesse” instead of “brute force” should be the main principle of technology.

The reason for it, in part, was the extra life boats that were added that made this already unstable ship even more unstable. A few that I found to be interesting: However, Tenner’s book lacks organization.

Edward Tenner’s “Why Things Bite Back”

About Why Things Bite Back In this perceptive edwadd provocative look baco everything from computer software that requires faster processors and more support staff to antibiotics that breed resistant strains of bacteria, Edward Tenner offers a virtual encyclopedia of what rhings calls “revenge effects”—the unintended consequences of the mechanical, chemical, biological, and medical forms of ingenuity that have been hallmarks of the progressive, improvement-obsessed modern age.


Tenner shows why our confidence in technological solutions may be misplaced, and explores ways in which we can better survive in a world where despite technology’s advances–and often because of them–“reality is always gaining on us. He had to have some errors. I understand the book is about how we mess things up while were trying to do other things but I mean, we do manage to do other things.

Edward Tenner has a keen nose for paradox and irony and a very different idea of common sense. But it is the genius of Edward Tenner’s Why Things Bite Back to provide us with new tools to analyze our predicament–tools we can use, perhaps, to occupy our time while trapped in a traffic jam in the car that was supposed to speed us on our way, or while idled by carpal tunnel syndrome caused by the machines that substitute information for physical labor, or while keeping vigil by the bedside of a chronically and painfully ill relative who would long since have been dead save for the miracles of medicine.

But the core still applies, and always will. Interesting look at the unanticipated consequences of dramatic change over time. And he also discusses things I’ve learned about in different contexts, like the You know the old saw.

The Hippocratic manuscripts also — repeatedly, according to recent studies — show how important it is not to do harm. This is less a study of why and more a catalog of when things have had unintended consequences, from travel and the spread of disease, to the presence of smoke alarms making people more careless about fires. You have JavaScript disabled. There were many good examples of unintended consequences.

Both well-researched and well-written, this is a book that benefits from the academic rigor behind it without being marred by jargon or theory that would make it inaccessible for a more popular audience.

So the 20th century, then, saw how much more complex reality was, but it also saw a positive side. Tenner is silent on this matter and offers no good or coherent explanatory framework, which is a shame considering the title suggests one will be offered. Given the catalogue of errors that serves as his subject matter, he is remarkably cheerful–partly, I suspect, because he is one of nature’s optimists and partly because like most of us he enjoys what happens when pomposity steps on tennee banana skin.

We need to see what they can do for us. From the Hardcover edition. No trivia or quizzes yet. As a tech-loving scientist this book made me angry BUT I must say that despite the unfairly biased descriptions of tragedy and failures I did leave this book sobered by the impact one can have from a few oversights.


Edward Tenner’s “Why Things Bite Back” (Dec)

Except that the examples this book gives aren’t of technologies that are designed to free thijgs from toil, but to improve our lives in other ways. The patent had 64 pages of text and figures.

They were working on it independently, and they weren’t getting anywhere. In fact, this exward is packed with so much data noise that I kept forgetting the point he was trying to make.

Why Things Bite Back

Recommended for anyone interested in exploring the intersection of human nature and technological developments. Quick response, transparent communication, and the fast development of effective remediation is the key – all of which are facilitated by collaboration, removal of barriers to communication, and a sense of having time enough to work at the highest levels of edwzrd As in a more recent book, Pandora’s Lab, all “progress” and technological advancement has a cost.

The problem is intensification and answer is softening the approaches used. They commissioned a group of their best scientists to investigate, ibte what they found was that all these tape drives were located near ventilation ducts. I’d like to read the meta-book almost implied by this book which would talk about types of risks and instances of each type.

Consequences which happen to have undermined the very reasons for having pursued edsard new tools. The physicians of the ancient world — especially the Egyptians, who started medicine edqard we know it — were very conscious of what they could and couldn’t treat. This is a book that must be read to the end. Usually, it’s extremely optimistic.

What I really appreciate is that Tenner is neither a “doom and gloomer” nor a Pollyanna chirping “technology will save us all. Technology tends to replace acute life-threatening problems with slower-acting and more persistent problems.

Sep 21, Marshall rated bife it was ok Shelves: Nov 06, Dominick rated it liked it Shelves: What does this mean?