Here is a very practical and realistic way to look at technology and it's sometimes dangerous consequences. Every new innovation has a positive and optimistic beginning, but also many times has darker and unintended or unknown side effects. We live in an age of Technology Worship, assuming it will solve all of our problems. Read the following list in the context of deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, or Genetically Modified Foods, or Television, etc, etc, etc...

Ten Recommended Attitudes About Technology

By Jerry Mander
from In The Absence Of The Sacred (1991)

1.Since most of what we are told about new technology comes from its proponents, be deeply skeptical of all claims.

2. Assume all technology "guilty until proven innocent".

3. Eschew the idea that technology is neutral or "value free". Every technology has inherent and identifiable social, political, and environmental consequences.

4. The fact that technology has a natural flash and appeal is meaningless. Negative attributes are slow to emerge.

5. Never judge a technology by the way it benefits you personally. Seek a holistic view of its impacts. The operative question is not whether it benefits you but who benefits most? And to what end?

6. Keep in mind that an individual technology is only a piece of a larger web of technologies, "metatechnology". The operative question here is how the individual technology fits the larger one.

7. Make distinctions between technologies that primarily serve the individual or the small community (for example, solar energy) and those that operate on a scale of community control (for example, nuclear energy).

8. When it is argued that the benefits of the technological lifeway are worthwhile despite harmful outcomes, recall that Lewis Mumford referred to these alleged benefits as "bribery". Cite the figures about crime, suicide, alienation, drug abuse, as well as environmental and cultural degradation.

9. Do not accept the homily that "once the genie is out of the bottle, you cannot put it back", or that rejecting technology is impossible. Such attitudes induce passivity and confirm victimization.

10. In thinking about technology within the present climate of technological worship, emphasize the negative. This brings balance. Negativity is a positive.


Luddism
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