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A romantic vision of technology is dangerous. The assumption that it’s an enabler, liberating knowledge and facilitating growth, is fallacious. James Bridle’s new book, New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future (Verso), presents evidence of technology’s shadowing effect on the planet, our bodies, minds, morals — and our future.Bridle, an artist and computer-and cognitive scientist, isn’t beguiled by algorithms. Probing the modern world’s machinery and data to decipher its impact, he discerns intriguing, troubling connections and uncovers much that is obscured: amorphous, hyper-connected digital networks, pervasive military-intelligence surveillance, and incognito applications of artificial intelligence. Global systems rely on a vast infrastructure of undersea cables, orbiting satellites, and underground fibre optics. Hidden from view, their mechanisms confound understanding.Global warming is warning us: technology is playing brinkmanship with mother earth. We experience thi...

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