Sex, Bombs and Burgers : How War, Porn and Fast Food Created Technology as We Know it Paperback
by PETER NOWAK
War. Fast Food. Pornography. Pervasive in our culture, these three obsessions may seem to represent the worst qualities of humankind.
But what have our lust, greed and rage driven us to achieve? In this surprising and original book, Peter Nowak argues that most of the major technological advances of the last sixty years have stemmed from the trio of billion-dollar industries that cater to our basest impulses.
From cling film to aerosols, digital cameras to cold medicine and GM foods to Google, many of the gadgets and conveniences we enjoy today can be traced back to either the porn, military or fast food industry. Nowak reveals such unexpected links as: -how the inventors of toys like Barbie and the Slinky perfected their creations with military-tech know-how. -why "one giant leap for mankind" brought us better hospital meals and stricter food quality control guidelines. -how innovations in the adult-film industry will help us build better robotic limbs.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 376 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin
- Publication Date: 01/06/2011
- Category: Popular culture
- ISBN: 9781742376349
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Review by timtom
Nowak's book is a treasure trove of interesting miscellanea about the sometimes surprising origins of everyday items. Sadly, the fascinating stories are mixed with a very disturbing technocratic evangelism: gadgets promising a "clean" war in Irak are never questioned, and the criticism against genetically-modified crops is dismissed as a typical example of Europe's failure to embrace progress. Also unsettling to the gourmet reader is the unadulterated praise for the McDonaldization of food: in what universe is a machine-made concoction of pre-processed ingredients cooked in less than a minute by a blast of microwave-heated air called a "perfect pizza"?