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

Even when used to better the world, technology fosters unforeseen, often unpleasant consequences that Tenner calls "revenge effects."

For example, air-conditioned subways raise platform temperatures by as much as 10 degrees F; some computer users get painful, wrist-numbing carpal tunnel syndrome; flood control systems encourage settlement of flood-prone areas, inviting disaster; 6% of all hospital patients become infected with microbes they encounter during their stay.

Tenner, a historian of science & visiting researcher at Princeton, looks at revenge effects that pop up in medicine,sports, the computerized office & the environment.

Tenner's cautionary conclusion: revenge effects demand ingenuity and brain- power as technology continues to replace life-threatenting problems with slower-acting, more persistent ones.

(excerpt, Publishers' Weekly, April 15, 1996, page. 57)
This synopsis was taken from a post by ENOBLE@STATELIB.LIB.IN.US to the newsgroup ishmael-list@iastate.edu

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