The Perils of the Hype Machine When It Comes to Science and Tech
From the New Books Network's Book of the Day Podcast
Bombastic headlines about science and technology are nothing new. To cut through the constant stream of information and misinformation on social media, or grab the attention of investors, or convince governments to take notice, strident headlines or bold claims seem necessary to give complex, nuanced information some wow factor. But hype has a dark side, too. It can mislead. It can distract. It can blinker us from seeing what is actually going on.
From AI, quantum computing, and brain implants to cancer drugs, future foods, and fusion energy, science and technology journalist Gemma Milne reveals hype to be responsible for fundamentally misdirecting or even derailing crucial progress. Hype can be combated and discounted, though, if you’re able to see exactly where, how, and why it is being deployed. Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It (Robinson, 2021) is your guide to doing just that.
Marci Mazzarotto is an Assistant Professor of Digital Communication at Georgian Court University in New Jersey. Her research interests center on the interdisciplinary intersection of academic theory and artistic practice with a focus on film and television studies.