But just because you tell a story over and over again doesn't make it true--indeed, it often makes that story more dangerous. One of our most brilliant and perceptive social critics, Curtis White knows all about the danger of a seductive story, and in As If, he turns his sights on the so-called thinkers who are convinced that the future is rose-colored and technologically enhanced. Labor, they say, will be flexible; government regulation will be redundant; social problems will be solved by brilliant robots. Tesla, Uber, and Google will run our lives, they say, and we'll be grateful for it.
Not only is this story horrifying, but it's also deeply wrong. With tremendous erudition and a punchy wit, White shows us how we've been deluded by technology before, and how we should be skeptical of anyone who tells us to put aside our individuality. And in As If's rousing final section, White gives us an alternative to a technologically determined life. This is the philosophy of "as if," and if we take it seriously, White says, we can introduce more contingency, humor, and open-endedness into our lives. Technology needn't be the answer, he suggests, because we're doing just fine on our own.