Why Things Bite Back has ratings and 48 reviews. Mero said: Edward Tenner’s book is rather dated by now (!), but in everything but its discussion.. . Edward Tenner’s Why Things Bite Back examines technology in medicine, agriculture and the environment, the computerized office, and sports. A historian of. “No one is safe from Mr. Tenner’s analytical eye. He has amassed a staggering amount of research in `Why Things Bite Back,’ all of it clearly and succinctly.

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Nevertheless, this book is a goldmine of interesting and surprising information about how our efforts to improve our lot tend to backfire–or at least stutter. Lists with This Book. Don’t invite the author of this book to your tenenr party. And not only did they do it, but within two years, they scaled up penicillin from preparation in one-liter flasks to 10,gallon vats.

Why Things Bite Back really is a study of “unintended consequences”. I’d recommend reading this in conjunction with Duncan Watts’s more contemporary “Everything is Obvious Once You Know the Answer ” which explores similar ground, but instead focuses on how we often finger point to the clever “culprits,” accusing them of creating the blow-back.

Antibiotics cause antibiotic-resistant germs to appear, and pesticides – pesticide-resistant pests. Return to Book Page. The lesson of the Titanic, for a lot of the contemporaries, was that you must have enough lifeboats for everyone on the ship.

And the Government Research Bureau brought representatives together and told them that this is something that has to be done.

Edward Tenner

What about the origins of agriculture? Sep 02, Pages Buy. Think thinhs the financial world, for example. There are tjings coming from both government and private sectors to create much documentation concerning patient information.

That was the origin of the word “bug. There are scores of well known cases of revenge effects like these listed in Tenner’s book. Thomas Edison would have been very, very comfortable in the atmosphere of a software firm today. However, there was a study created that proved exactly the opposite.

Dec 10, Elizabeth rated it really liked it Shelves: Both well-researched and well-written, this is a book that benefits from the academic rigor behind it without being marred by jargon or theory that would make it inaccessible for a more popular audience. And the anthropologist Randall White has made a very interesting observation: But the individual incidents are quite amusing. And Mark Twain, who knew all about typesetting, really was smitten by this machine. There are many examples given in the book, but there is one I thought that was quite interesting.


May 06, Mitchell rated it really liked it Shelves: Why Things Bite Back: But it is the genius of Edward Tenner’s Why Things Bite Back to provide us with new tools to analyze our predicament–tools we can use, perhaps, to occupy our time while trapped in a traffic jam in the car that was supposed to speed edawrd on our way, or while idled by carpal tunnel syndrome caused by the machines that substitute information for physical labor, or while keeping vigil by the bedside of a chronically and painfully ill relative who would long since have been dead save for the miracles of medicine.

May 20, Leo Walsh rated it really liked it. So were the followers of Hippocrates.

I think the subject matter is interesting though. Titanic, the ship that was so unsinkable that it led to over-confidence that ended up sinking it. He received the A. Tenner discusses subjects near and dear to my heart — like how computers, created to simplify rote secretarial work and thus save organizations money by thkngs support staff, but instead leads to the need to hire higher-priced IT talent.

Penicillin was discovered inbut even byno commercially and medically useful quantities of it were being produced. In fact, this book is packed with so much data noise that I kept forgetting the point he was trying to make. So these things are kind of relative to hwy you or your ancestors happen to stand.

Sep 16, Nathan rated it liked it Recommends it for: But do read the new book If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.

I once took a software safety class; the professor told us that if her friends in the nuclear power industry had their way, they would have installed automatic alarms and pumps with autonomous power sources in all refrigerators. I’d like to read the meta-book almost implied by this book which would talk about types of nite and instances of each type. But only in the quite last chapter where conclusions are drawn do we get a peek at possible solutions. The downside of this book is that it is a catalog with very few analytic pegs to hang one’s hat on.

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If there had been rational technology assessment then, I think they very well might have said, “Let’s call the whole thing off.

Edward Tenner – Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences

Sports safety equipment such as hi-tech climbing gear causes athletes to take more risks; preventing acute traumas, it lulls them into thinking that nothing is dangerous, and allows small injuries to accumulate, which have a cumulative impact that is just as bad. The mentor of Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham, developed his system of value investing as a result of his own losses in the crash.

Why Things Bite Back: Science and technological endeavors are the source of many improvements to human survival and ability – yet the risk of unintended consequences will always be present think of asbestos, or thalidomide.

Oct 17, Brian rated it liked it Shelves: And he also discusses things I’ve learned about in different contexts, like the higher chimneys of coal-burning bak making the immediate area’s air more breathable, but sullying air remote to the plants.

Tenner goes on to discuss things I wasn’t aware of. Tenner covers a lot of ground, from things Interesting. And this was an important thing about bire century technology, that all these relationships among parts could make the most brilliant idea fall apart, even when judged by the most expert people.

It was the origin of the Xerox copier, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone.

There has been a study done with physicians and level of patient care. The Hippocratic manuscripts also — repeatedly, bitee to recent studies — show how important it is not to do harm.