Edward Tenner

marlene lopez

Edward Tenner is a distinguished scholar of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalThe Atlantic, The Wilson Quarterly, and Forbes.com, and he has given talks for many organizations, including Microsoft, AT&T, the National Institute on White Collar Crime, the Smithsonian Associates, and TED. He is the author of Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences. His most recent book, The Efficiency Paradox: What Big Data Can’t Do (Knopf) is a bold challenge to our obsession with efficiency–and a new understanding of how to benefit from the powerful potential of serendipity. One of the great promises of the Internet and big data revolutions is the idea that we can improve the processes and routines of our work and personal lives to get more done in less time than we ever have before. Melding the long-term history of technology with the latest headlines and findings of computer science and social science, The Efficiency Paradox questions our ingrained assumptions about efficiency, persuasively showing how relying on the algorithms of digital platforms can in fact lead to wasted efforts, missed opportunities, and above all an inability to break out of established patterns.