Our modern information society relies heavily on science, technology and systems analysis. These tools of control are used to rationalize and simplify social activities, to make them more readable for decision-makers, and to direct them toward achieving societys predetermined goals. But, the use of the tools of systems analysis often results in unintended consequences, many of them negative. Why? A recent book, Seeing Like a State, by James C. Scott, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University provides useful insights into the social and psychological dynamics that attend their use. Although written primarily for colleagues in his field, Scotts book is also of value to any reader who is interested in systems or the functioning of the information society.
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