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  • Blood in the Machine

  • The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech
  • By: Brian Merchant
  • Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
  • Length: 15 hrs and 34 mins
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Blood in the Machine

By: Brian Merchant
Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
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Publisher's Summary

Longlisted for the Financial Times Business Book of the Year

The "rich and gripping" true story of the first time machines came for human jobs—and how the Luddite uprising explains the power, threat, and toll of big tech and AI today (Naomi Klein)

The most urgent story in modern tech begins not in Silicon Valley but two hundred years ago in rural England, when workers known as the Luddites rose up rather than starve at the hands of factory owners who were using automated machines to erase their livelihoods.

The Luddites organized guerrilla raids to smash those machines—on punishment of death—and won the support of Lord Byron, enraged the Prince Regent, and inspired the birth of science fiction. This all-but-forgotten class struggle brought nineteenth-century England to its knees.

Today, technology imperils millions of jobs, robots are crowding factory floors, and artificial intelligence will soon pervade every aspect of our economy. How will this change the way we live? And what can we do about it?

The answers lie in Blood in the Machine. Brian Merchant intertwines a lucid examination of our current age with the story of the Luddites, showing how automation changed our world—and is shaping our future.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Brian Merchant (P)2022 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

“I’ve thrown around the word ‘Luddite’ often in my work, mainly as a cheap insult, so Brian Merchant’s rich and absorbing history of the movement was, for me, both a revelation and an embarrassment. The embarrassment is at how little I’d known about them, and how the lessons I’d taken from their effort were based on a silly caricature. The revelation, in Brian’s deft telling, is that technology never has to be inevitable, that we humans have agency over how we live with the machines, and that perhaps the best way to figure out what to do about the future is to look to the past.”—Farhad Manjoo, New York Times Opinion columnist

“A rich and gripping account of a chronically misunderstood historical chapter, one with urgent relevance to our own time, as we once again pit humans against machines.”—Naomi Klein, New York Times Bestselling author of This Changes Everything

"A thrilling history and a stirring manifesto for seizing the means of production, or smashing it, when necessary. Automation has always been about turning people into machines: brainless and disposable. To be a Luddite is to demand a say in the future. It's not enough to ask what a machine does—we have to ask who it does it for and who it does it to."—Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother and The Internet Con

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  • 12-12-2023

dumb book

Brian Merchant doesn't like the fact that companies dare to adopt labor saving tech which can put people out of work. but you know if companies don't adopt the tech the jobs will still be lost because of companies that do adopt the tech and lower their costs. There's even an example of this in the freaking book!

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