Fearful Symmetry

Film. Books. Comics. TV. Music.

Backroom Boys by Francis Spufford

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Backroom Boys

Recently finished Backroom Boys and was a bit disappointed in it to be honest since its been portrayed as the best book on technology in recent years. Admittedly, for the most part, it’s an easy read and there is quite a lot of interest in it – especially the story of the rise of mobile phones – but instead of looking at the hard-core techy bits it mostly dances around the peripheries of its stories looking at the sociological and economic aspects. This is probably why it’s been so highly rated by none-technologists… it’s technology-lite.

When I was a kid I had a poster of Concord on my wall and I always thought it’s one of the sadder aspects of the new century that such an engineering wonder is no longer flying. Spufford’s book has a chapter on Concord… but instead of looking at why is was so ground-breaking in the first place, or the reasons it was stopped from flying so quickly, Spufford concentrates on some economic jiggery-pokery that allowed it to keep going in the 80s. Interesting in itself but I can’t help feeling it’s not the real story.

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Written by Fearful Symmetry

July 24, 2009 at 10:07 am

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