Dependence On Technology Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Dependence On Technology. Here they are! All 99 of them:

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
Carl Sagan
We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
People today have forgotten they're really just a part of nature. Yet, they destroy the nature on which our lives depend. They always think they can make something better. Especially scientists. They may be smart, but most don't understand the heart of nature. They only invent things that, in the end, make people unhappy. Yet they're so proud of their inventions. What's worse, most people are, too. They view them as if they were miracles. They worship them. They don't know it, but they're losing nature. They don't see that they're going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.
Akira Kurosawa (Yume (Japanese Edition))
Our growing dependence on technologies no one seems to understand or control has given rise to feelings of powerlessness and victimization. We find it more and more difficult to achieve a sense of continuity, permanence, or connection with the world around us. Relationships with others are notably fragile; goods are made to be used up and discarded; reality is experienced as an unstable environment of flickering images. Everything conspires to encourage escapist solutions to the psychological problems of dependence, separation, and individuation, and to discourage the moral realism that makes it possible for human beings to come to terms with existential constraints on their power and freedom.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations)
But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this world-wide neighborhood into a world – wide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers or together we will be forced to perish as fools. We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Even the most ardent environmentalist doesn't really want to stop pollution. If he thinks about it, and doesn't just talk about it, he wants to have the right amount of pollution. We can't really afford to eliminate it - not without abandoning all the benefits of technology that we not only enjoy but on which we depend.
Milton Friedman (There's No Such Thing As a Free Lunch)
We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster.
Carl Sagan
With the arrival of electric technology, man has extended, or set outside himself, a live model of the central nervous system itself. To the degree that this is so, it is a development that suggests a desperate suicidal autoamputation, as if the central nervous system could no longer depend on the physical organs to be protective buffers against the slings and arrows of outrageous mechanism.
Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man)
One essential characteristic of modern life is that we all depend on systems—on assemblages of people or technologies or both—and among our most profound difficulties is making them work.
Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right)
As we distance ourselves further from the natural world, we are increasingly surrounded by and dependent on our own inventions. We become enslaved by the constant demands of technology created to serve us.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
Technology is always perfectly dependable until it isn't.
Kevin Hearne (Heir to the Jedi (Star Wars))
The paramount doctrine of the economic and technological euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on innovation. It was understood as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on from one technological innovation to the next, which would cause the economy to "grow" and make everything better and better. This of course implied at every point a hatred of the past, of all things inherited and free. All things superceded in our progress of innovations, whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all.
Wendell Berry
If my nightmare is a culture inhabited by posthumans who regard their bodies as fashion accessories rather than the ground of being, my dream is a version of the posthuman that embraces the possibilities of information technologies without being seduced by fantasies of unlimited power and disembodied immortality, that recognizes and celebrates finitude as a condition of human being, and that understands human life is embedded in a material world of great complexity, one on which we depend for our continued survival.
N. Katherine Hayles (How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics)
Our lives depend on whether safety standards at a nuclear power plant are properly maintained; on how much pesticide is allowed to get into our food or how much pollution into our air; on how skillful (or incompetent) our doctor is; whether we lose or get a job may depend on decisions made by government economists or corporation executives; and so forth. Most individuals are not in a position to secure themselves against these threats to more [than] a very limited extent.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (The Unabomber Manifesto: A Brilliant Madman's Essay on Technology, Society, and the Future of Humanity)
The socioeconomic impact of such a minor outburst is due to our technological development (air travel)—a century ago, such an eruption would have passed unnoticed. Technological development makes us more independent from nature. At the same time, at a different level, it makes us more dependent on nature’s whims.
Slavoj Žižek
People addicted with technology. Technology has indulged mankind. Beware of technology dependency!
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
The business we're in is more sociological than technological, more dependent on workers' abilities to communicate with each other than their abilities to communicate with machines.
Tom DeMarco (Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams)
Ours was now a country in which the cost of replacing a broken machine with a newer model was typically lower than the cost of having it fixed by an expert, which itself was typically lower than the cost of sourcing the parts and figuring out how to fix it yourself. This fact alone virtually guaranteed technological tyranny, which was perpetuated not by the technology itself but by the ignorance of everyone who used it daily and yet failed to understand it. To refuse to inform yourself about the basic operation and maintenance of the equipment you depended on was to passively accept that tyranny and agree to its terms: when your equipment works, you’ll work, but when your equipment breaks down you’ll break down, too. Your possessions would possess you.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
The technologies which have had the most profound effects on human life are usually simple. A good example of a simple technology with profound historical consequences is hay. Nobody knows who invented hay, the idea of cutting grass in the autumn and storing it in large enough quantities to keep horses and cows alive through the winter. All we know is that the technology of hay was unknown to the Roman Empire but was known to every village of medieval Europe. Like many other crucially important technologies, hay emerged anonymously during the so-called Dark Ages. According to the Hay Theory of History, the invention of hay was the decisive event which moved the center of gravity of urban civilization from the Mediterranean basin to Northern and Western Europe. The Roman Empire did not need hay because in a Mediterranean climate the grass grows well enough in winter for animals to graze. North of the Alps, great cities dependent on horses and oxen for motive power could not exist without hay. So it was hay that allowed populations to grow and civilizations to flourish among the forests of Northern Europe. Hay moved the greatness of Rome to Paris and London, and later to Berlin and Moscow and New York.
Freeman Dyson (Infinite in All Directions)
In the pursuit of greater equality in our education system, from K to PhD, technology access, print literacies, and verbal skill all collide as requirements for even basic participation in an information-based, technology-dependent economy and society.
Adam J. Banks
LLMs represent some of the most promising yet ethically fraught technologies ever conceived. Their development plots a razor’s edge between utopian and dystopian potentials depending on our choices moving forward.
I. Almeida (Introduction to Large Language Models for Business Leaders: Responsible AI Strategy Beyond Fear and Hype (Byte-sized Learning Book 2))
When you depend on the computer to remember your past, you focused on whatever past is kept on the computer.
Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other)
The process of discovery (or innovation, or technological progress) itself depends on antifragile tinkering, aggressive risk bearing rather than formal education.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
I have been corrupted as much as anyone else by the vast number of menial services which our society has grown to expect and depend on. We should do for ourselves or let the machines do for us, the glorious technology that is supposed to be the new light of the world. We are like a man who has bought a great amount of equipment for a camping trip, who has the canoe and the tent and the fishing lines and the axe and the guns, the mackinaw and the blankets, but who now, when all the preparations and the provisions are piled expertly together, is suddenly too timid to set out on the journey but remains where he was yesterday and the day before and the day before that, looking suspiciously through the white lace curtains at the clear sky he distrusts. Our great technology is a God-given chance for adventure and for progress which we are afraid to attempt. Our ideas and our ideals remain exactly what they were and where they were three centuries ago. No. I beg your pardon. It is no longer safe for a man to even declare them!
Tennessee Williams
In those years before mobile phones, email and Skype, travelers depended on the rudimentary communications system known as the postcard. Other methods--the long-distance phone call, the telegram--were marked "For Emergency Use Only." So my parents waved me off into the unknown, and their news bulletins about me would have been restricted to "Yes, he's arrived safely,"and "Last time we heard he was in Oregon," and "We expect him back in a few weeks." I'm not saying this was necessarily better, let alone more character-forming; just that in my case it probably helped not to have my parents a button's touch away, spilling out anxieties and long-range weather forecasts, warning me against floods, epidemics and psychos who preyed on backpackers.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Our enthusiasm for digital technology about which we have little understanding and over which we have little control leads us not toward greater agency, but toward less...We have surrendered the unfolding of a new technological age to a small elite who have seized the capability on offer. But while Renaissance kings maintained their monopoly over the printing press by force, today's elite is depending on little more than our own disinterest.
Douglas Rushkoff (Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age)
...wondering, not for the first time, when exactly she had become so technologically dependent that her first instinct in every unpredicted circumstance was to outsource her imagination to her phone.
Eleanor Catton (Birnam Wood)
We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements—transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting—profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
The human is a being created according to Nature's laws and is therefore dependent upon them. In the course of time our magnum opus, our self-created pseudo-culture, has become a meaningless and incoherent monstrosity. Through the immense power of technology it has reached such gargantuan proportions that it almost equals the power of Nature herself. At the very least it is already able to interfere destructively with her great life-giving functions.
Viktor Schauberger
The only truly dependable production technologies are those that are sustainable over the long term. By that very definition, they must avoid erosion, pollution, environmental degradation, and resource waste. Any rational food-production system will emphasize the well-being of the soil-air-water biosphere, the creatures which inhabit it, and the human beings who depend upon it.
Eliot Coleman (The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener)
That little walk powerfully reminded me that nature is our touchstone. However sophisticated and technologically advanced we may be, we are biological creatures, utterly dependent on her beneficence for clean air, water and food.
David Suzuki
If J. K. Rowling had written Harry Potter in Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word, she would have granted Google the worldwide rights to her work, the right to adapt or dramatize all the Muggles as Google saw fit, to say nothing of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Google would have retained the rights to sell her stories to Hollywood studios and to have them performed on stages around the world, as well as own all the translation rights. Had Rowling written her epic novel in Google Docs, she would have granted Google the rights to her $15 billion Harry Potter empire—all because the ToS say so.
Marc Goodman (Future Crimes: How Our Radical Dependence on Technology Threatens Us All)
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of preeminence can we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war.
John F. Kennedy
the laws of nature are rigged in favor of life.” In this view, “life emerges from a soup in the same dependable way that a crystal emerges from a saturated solution,
Kevin Kelly (What Technology Wants)
Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place” (Deming 2000).
Nicole Forsgren (Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations)
The technology is the independent variable, the social system the dependent variable. Social, systems are therefore determined by systems of technology; as the latter change, so do the former.
Leslie White
The success of human beings depends crucially, but precariously, on numbers and connections. A few hundred people cannot sustain a sophisticated technology: trade is a vital part of the story.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves)
When the lifestyle of a social group becomes obsolete, when work turns into a boring routine and community responsibilities lose their meaning, it is likely that leisure will become increasingly more important. And if a society becomes too dependent on entertainment, it is likely that there will be less psychic energy left to cope creatively with the technological and economic challenges that will inevitably arise.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
When we finally achieve the full right of participation in American life, what we make of it will depend upon our sense of cultural values, and our creative use of freedom, not upon our racial identification. I see no reason why the heritage of world culture—which represents a continuum—should be confused with the notion of race. Japan erected a highly efficient modern technology upon a religious culture which viewed the Emperor as a god. The Germany which produced Beethoven and Hegel and Mann turned its science and technology to the monstrous task of genocide; one hopes that when what are known as the “Negro” societies are in full possession of the world’s knowledge and in control of their destinies, they will bring to an end all those savageries which for centuries have been committed in the name of race. From what we are now witnessing in certain parts of the world today, however, there is no guarantee that simply being non-white offers any guarantee of this. The demands of state policy are apt to be more influential than morality. I would like to see a qualified Negro as President of the United States. But I suspect that even if this were today possible, the necessities of the office would shape his actions far more than his racial identity.
Ralph Ellison (Shadow and Act)
This pleasure taken in violence is timeless; it just takes different forms and emphases depending on the technologies and economy of an age. In the nineteenth century, the rise of literacy and the fall of the price of print allowed a love of blood to flourish in new ways. But it was always there – and still is today.
Lucy Worsley (The Art of the English Murder)
A healthy forest, untouched by forestry technology, is made up of a strange mixture of vegetation. Alongside well-defined areas of noble trees, conditions of apparent chaos can be found, which can best be described as irregular confusion. People who are not aware of the importance of the balance in Nature, of which the forest is a part, want to clear areas of everything they do not consider to be useful. A great deal of sensitive concern and observation is necessary to begin to understand why Nature depends on an apparently chaotic disorder.
Viktor Schauberger
Jazz presumes that it would be nice if the four of us--simpatico dudes that we are--while playing this complicated song together, might somehow be free and autonomous as well. Tragically, this never quite works out. At best, we can only be free one or two at a time--while the other dudes hold onto the wire. Which is not to say that no one has tried to dispense with wires. Many have, and sometimes it works--but it doesn't feel like jazz when it does. The music simply drifts away into the stratosphere of formal dialectic, beyond our social concerns. Rock-and-roll, on the other hand, presumes that the four of us--as damaged and anti-social as we are--might possibly get it to-fucking-gether, man, and play this simple song. And play it right, okay? Just this once, in tune and on the beat. But we can't. The song's too simple, and we're too complicated and too excited. We try like hell, but the guitars distort, the intonation bends, and the beat just moves, imperceptibly, against our formal expectations, whetehr we want it to or not. Just because we're breathing, man. Thus, in the process of trying to play this very simple song together, we create this hurricane of noise, this infinitely complicated, fractal filigree of delicate distinctions. And you can thank the wanking eighties, if you wish, and digital sequencers, too, for proving to everyone that technologically "perfect" rock--like "free" jazz--sucks rockets. Because order sucks. I mean, look at the Stones. Keith Richards is always on top of the beat, and Bill Wyman, until he quit, was always behind it, because Richards is leading the band and Charlie Watts is listening to him and Wyman is listening to Watts. So the beat is sliding on those tiny neural lapses, not so you can tell, of course, but so you can feel it in your stomach. And the intonation is wavering, too, with the pulse in the finger on the amplified string. This is the delicacy of rock-and-roll, the bodily rhetoric of tiny increments, necessary imperfections, and contingent community. And it has its virtues, because jazz only works if we're trying to be free and are, in fact, together. Rock-and-roll works because we're all a bunch of flakes. That's something you can depend on, and a good thing too, because in the twentieth century, that's all there is: jazz and rock-and-roll. The rest is term papers and advertising.
Dave Hickey (Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy)
The trouble with painting though, with all art, is you can’t prove you’re better. It’s not like a hundred-yard sprint where there’s a piece of technology to indisputably grade the contestants. Artists, like criminals, are dependent on a jury.
Glenn Haybittle (The Way Back to Florence)
At the end of the day, bitcoin is programmable money. When you have programmable money, the possibilities are truly endless. We can take many of the basic concepts of the current system that depend on legal contracts, and we can convert these into algorithmic contracts, into mathematical transactions that can be enforced on the bitcoin network. As I’ve said, there is no third party, there is no counterparty. If I choose to send value from one part of the network to another, it is peer-to-peer with no one in between. If I invent a new form of money, I can deploy it to the entire world and invite others to come and join me. Bitcoin is not just money for the internet. Yes, it’s perfect money for the internet. It’s instant, it’s safe, it’s free. Yes, it is money for the internet, but it’s so much more. Bitcoin is the internet of money. Currency is only the first application. If you grasp that, you can look beyond the price, you can look beyond the volatility, you can look beyond the fad. At its core, bitcoin is a revolutionary technology that will change the world forever. Join
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (The Internet of Money)
Technology presumes there’s just one right way to do things and there never is. And when you presume there’s just one right way to do things, of course the instructions begin and end exclusively with the rotisserie. But if you have to choose among an infinite number of ways to put it together then the relation of the machine to you, and the relation of the machine and you to the rest of the world, has to be considered, because the selection from many choices, the art of the work is just as dependent upon your own mind and spirit as it is upon the material of the machine. That’s why you need the peace of mind.
Robert M. Pirsig
The experience of the twentieth century made highly problematic the claims of progress on the basis of science and technology. For the ability of technology to better human life is critically dependent on a parallel moral progress in man. Without the latter, the power of technology will simply be turned to evil purposes, and mankind will be worse off than it was previously.
Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man)
Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing. This failed to happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented society.” George Orwell. “Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984).
At issue is not only knowledge of the world but our survival as individuals and as a species. All the basic technologies ever invented by humans to feed and protect themselves depend on a relentless commitment to hard-nosed empiricism: you cannot assume that your arrowheads will pierce the hide of a bison or that your raft will float just because the omens are propitious and you have been given supernatural reassurance that they will. You have to be sure.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America)
Everywhere people ask: "What can I actually do?" The answer is as simple as it is disconcerting: we can, each of us, work to put our own inner house in order. The guidance we need for this work cannot be found in science or technology, the value of which utterly depends on the ends they serve; but it can still be found in the traditional wisdom of mankind.
Ernst F. Schumacher (Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered)
Our quality of life, and perhaps even our survival, depends on how we choose to manage ourselves in relation to the technologies we create.
Ilchi Lee (Earth Citizen)
Inequality is neither economic nor technological; it is ideological and political. This is no doubt the most striking conclusion to emerge from the historical approach I take in this book. In other words, the market and competition, profits and wages, capital and debt, skilled and unskilled workers, natives and aliens, tax havens and competitiveness—none of these things exist as such. All are social and historical constructs, which depend entirely on the legal, fiscal, educational, and political systems that people choose to adopt and the conceptual definitions they choose to work with.
Thomas Piketty (Capital and Ideology)
The challenge, however, is that Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon do not publish their algorithms. In fact, the methods they use to filter the information you see are deeply proprietary and the “secret sauce” that drives each company’s profitability. The problem with this invisible “black box” algorithmic approach to information is that we do not know what has been edited out for us and what we are not seeing. As a result, our digital lives, mediated through a sea of screens, are being actively manipulated and filtered on a daily basis in ways that are both opaque and indecipherable.
Marc Goodman (Future Crimes: How Our Radical Dependence on Technology Threatens Us All)
The scientist of today is distressed by the fact that the results of his scientific work have created a threat to mankind since they have fallen into the hands of morally blind exponents of political power. He is conscious of the fact that technological methods, made possible by his work, have led to a concentration of economic and also of political power in the hands of small minorities which have come to dominate completely the lives of the masses of people, who appear more and more amorphous. But even worse: the concentration of economic and political power has not only made the man of science dependent economically, it also threatens his independence from within; the shrewd methods of intellectual and psychic influences which it brings to bear will prevent the development of independent personalities.
Albert Einstein
What happens if you lose?" Jeremy pressed. "I don't see it as winning or losing. I'm just looking for a middle ground," he [Justin] said. "I get that technology is convenient and has its benefits. We definitely can't live without it. We can't go back to living in caves. But most people are so plugged in, they're not even living in the real world. Our lives aren't grounded by anything. Being too dependent on something makes you a slave to it. And I sure as hell won't worship a digital screen. So I'm looking for a halfway point. A balance. It's not just about ending digital school. It's about having a choice.
Katie Kacvinsky
Western science and technology, while appropriate to the present scale of degradation, is a limited conceptual and methodological tool—it is the “head and hands” of restoration implementation. Native spirituality is the ‘heart’ that guides the head and hands . . . Cultural survival depends on healthy land and a healthy, responsible relationship between humans and the land. The traditional care-giving responsibilities which maintained healthy land need to be expanded to include restoration. Ecological restoration is inseparable from cultural and spiritual restoration, and is inseparable from the spiritual responsibilities of care-giving and world-renewal.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
What gives modern society a superficial appearance of individualism, independence, and self-reliance is the vanishing of the ties that formerly linked individuals into small-scale communities. Today, nuclear families commonly have little connection to their next-door neighbors or even to their cousins. Most people have friends, but friends nowadays tend to use each other only for entertainment. They do not usually cooperate in economic or other serious, practical activities, nor do they offer each other much physical or economic security. If you become disabled, you don’t expect your friends to support you. You depend on insurance or on the welfare department.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (Technological Slavery)
The human is a being created according to Nature's laws and is therefore dependent upon them. In the course of time our magnum opus, our self-created pseudo-culture, has become a meaningless and incoherent monstrosity. Through the immense power of technology it has reached such gargantuan proportions that it almost equals the power of Nature herself. At the very least it is already able to interfere destructively with her great life-giving functions.
Viktor Schauberger
The methods that will most effectively minimize the ability of intruders to compromise information security are comprehensive user training and education. Enacting policies and procedures simply won't suffice. Even with oversight the policies and procedures may not be effective: my access to Motorola, Nokia, ATT, Sun depended upon the willingness of people to bypass policies and procedures that were in place for years before I compromised them successfully
Kevin D. Mitnick
Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations, threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of this system might b e in doubt, for in many areas there were strong democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that h as now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual co st to life. Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technics has at last successfully overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence upon resistant, sometimes actively disobedient servomechanisms, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system. Like the earliest form of authoritarian technics, this new technology is marvellously dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether we are thinking of the output of scientific knowledge or of industrial assembly lines. To maximize energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions that sustain organic life, have become ends in themselves. As with the earliest forms of authoritarian technics, the weight of effort, if one is to judge by national budgets, is toward absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes whose chief by-product would be the mutilation or extermination of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan performed their gory operations under normal human limits. The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an all-powerful king: even in totalitarian dictatorships the center now lies in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent: all its human components, even the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, who alone have access to the secret knowledge by means of which total control is now swiftly being effected, are themselves trapped by the very perfection of the organization they have invented. Like the Pharoahs of the Pyramid Age, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own kind of well-being: as with the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship; and again like the king, they are in the grip of an irrational compulsion to extend their means of control and expand the scope of their authority. In this new systems-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence who issues commands: unlike job's God, the new deities cannot be confronted, still less defied. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only so much of the organism to remain as may be controlled and manipulated.
Lewis Mumford
The re-establishment of an ecological balance depends on the ability of society to counteract the progressive materialization of values. Otherwise man will find himself totally enclosed within his artificial creation, with no exit. Enveloped in a physical, social, and psychological milieu of his own making, he will be a prisoner in the shell of technology, unable to find again the ancient milieu to which he was adapted for hundreds of thousands of years. The ecological balance cannot be re-established unless we recognize again that only persons have ends and that only persons can work toward them. Machines only operate ruthlessly to reduce people to the role of impotent allies in their destructive progress.
Ivan Illich
In all of these areas, the human brain is asked to do and handle more than ever before. We are dealing with several fields of knowledge constantly intersecting with our own, and all of this chaos is exponentially increased by the information available through technology. What this means is that all of us must possess different forms of knowledge and an array of skills in different fields, and have minds that are capable of organizing large amounts of information. The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways. And the process of learning skills, no matter how virtual, remains the same. In the future, the great division will be between those who have trained themselves to handle these complexities and those who are overwhelmed by them—those who can acquire skills and discipline their minds and those who are irrevocably distracted by all the media around them and can never focus enough to learn. The Apprenticeship Phase is more relevant and important than ever, and those who discount this notion will almost certainly be left behind. Finally, we live in a culture that generally values intellect and reasoning with words. We tend to think of working with the hands, of building something physical, as degraded skills for those who are less intelligent. This is an extremely counterproductive cultural value. The human brain evolved in intimate conjunction with the hand. Many of our earliest survival skills depended on elaborate hand-eye coordination. To this day, a large portion of our brain is devoted to this relationship. When we work with our hands and build something, we learn how to sequence our actions and how to organize our thoughts. In taking anything apart in order to fix it, we learn problem-solving skills that have wider applications. Even if it is only as a side activity, you should find a way to work with your hands, or to learn more about the inner workings of the machines and pieces of technology around you. Many Masters
Robert Greene (Mastery)
Fascism’s success almost always depends on the cooperation of the “losers” during a time of economic and technological change. The lower-middle classes—the people who have just enough to fear losing it—are the electoral shock troops of fascism (Richard Hofstadter identified this “status anxiety” as the source of Progressivism’s quasi-fascist nature). Populist appeals to resentment against “fat cats,” “international bankers,” “economic royalists,” and so on are the stock-in-trade of fascist demagogues.
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
What is power, after all? Every one of the power elite’s overwhelming advantages—military forces, surveillance systems, crowd control technology, control over the media, and nearly all the money in the world—depends on having people obeying orders and executing an assigned role. This obedience is a matter of shared ideologies, institutional culture, and the legitimacy of the systems in which we play roles. Legitimacy is a matter of collective perception, and we have the power to change people’s perceptions.
Charles Eisenstein (The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (Sacred Activism Book 2))
the consequences of scientific illiteracy are far more dangerous in our time than in any that has come before. It’s perilous and foolhardy for the average citizen to remain ignorant about global warming, say, or ozone depletion, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, acid rain, topsoil erosion, tropical deforestation, exponential population growth. Jobs and wages depend on science and technology. If our nation can’t manufacture, at high quality and low price, products people want to buy, then industries will continue to drift away and transfer a little more prosperity to other parts of the world. Consider the social ramifications of fission and fusion power, supercomputers, data “highways,” abortion, radon, massive reductions in strategic weapons, addiction, government eavesdropping on the lives of its citizens, high-resolution TV, airline and airport safety, fetal tissue transplants, health costs, food additives, drugs to ameliorate mania or depression or schizophrenia, animal rights, superconductivity, morning-after pills, alleged hereditary antisocial predispositions, space stations, going to Mars, finding cures for AIDS and cancer. How can we affect national policy—or even make intelligent decisions in our own lives—if we don’t grasp the underlying issues?
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
In a sense, scattered dots are exactly what one would expect to see in a pre-Enlightenment, pre-mechanized world. There were disbelievers in Greek antiquity just as there were everywhere, but there was no obvious role for mass-movement atheism in a culture where ensuring the stability of the state—which depended on the favor of the gods—was prized above all else. Atheism has prospered in the West since the eighteenth century because society has a role for it: in an advanced capitalist economy based on technological innovation, it has been necessary to claw intellectual and moral authority away from the clergy and reallocate it to the secular specialists in science and engineering. It is this social function that has allowed atheism to emerge as a movement composed of individual atheists.
Tim Whitmarsh (Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World)
Among this bewildering multiplicity of ideals which shall we choose? The answer is that we shall choose none. For it is clear that each one of these contradictory ideals is the fruit of particular social circumstances. To some extent, of course, this is true of every thought and aspiration that has ever been formulated. Some thoughts and aspirations, however, are manifestly less dependent on particular social circumstances than others. And here a significant fact emerges: all the ideals of human behaviour formulated by those who have been most successful in freeing themselves from the prejudices of their time and place are singularly alike. Liberation from prevailing conventions of thought, feeling and behaviour is accomplished most effectively by the practice of disinterested virtues and through direct insight into the real nature of ultimate reality. (Such insight is a gift, inherent in the individual; but, though inherent, it cannot manifest itself completely except where certain conditions are fulfilled. The principal pre-condition of insight is, precisely, the practice of disinterested virtues.) To some extent critical intellect is also a liberating force. But the way in which intellect is used depends upon the will. Where the will is not disinterested, the intellect tends to be used (outside the non-human fields of technology, science or pure mathematics) merely as an instrument for the rationalization of passion and prejudice, the justification of self-interest. That is why so few even of die acutest philosophers have succeeded in liberating themselves completely from the narrow prison of their age and country. It is seldom indeed that they achieve as much freedom as the mystics and the founders of religion. The most nearly free men have always been those who combined virtue with insight. Now, among these freest of human beings there has been, for the last eighty or ninety generations, substantial agreement in regard to the ideal individual. The enslaved have held up for admiration now this model of a man, now that; but at all times and in all places, the free have spoken with only one voice. It is difficult to find a single word that will adequately describe the ideal man of the free philosophers, the mystics, the founders of religions. 'Non-attached* is perhaps the best. The ideal man is the non-attached man. Non-attached to his bodily sensations and lusts. Non-attached to his craving for power and possessions. Non-attached to the objects of these various desires. Non-attached to his anger and hatred; non-attached to his exclusive loves. Non-attached to wealth, fame, social position. Non-attached even to science, art, speculation, philanthropy. Yes, non-attached even to these. For, like patriotism, in Nurse Cavel's phrase, 'they are not enough, Non-attachment to self and to what are called 'the things of this world' has always been associated in the teachings of the philosophers and the founders of religions with attachment to an ultimate reality greater and more significant than the self. Greater and more significant than even the best things that this world has to offer. Of the nature of this ultimate reality I shall speak in the last chapters of this book. All that I need do in this place is to point out that the ethic of non-attachment has always been correlated with cosmologies that affirm the existence of a spiritual reality underlying the phenomenal world and imparting to it whatever value or significance it possesses.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
In fact, the laboratory may be the greatest friend to dumb animals. As science advances, the lives of animals will improve as we depend less and less on their labor and no longer ignore their conditions in order to improve ours. You know, there is much to learn from animals if we are ever to be truly industrial creatures. The beaver is the finest builder of bridges and the silkworm a better weaver than any man or woman. God gave industry perfectly to the caterpillar while we must learn our arts. That is technology--our way to become closer to being like animals.
Matthew Pearl (The Technologists)
In an advanced industrial society it becomes almost impossible to seek, even to imagine, unemployment as a condition for autonomous, useful work. The infrastructure of society is arranged so that only the job gives access to the tools of production...Housework, handicrafts, subsistence agriculture, radical technology, learning exchanges, and the like are degraded into activities for the idle, the unproductive, the very poor, or the very rich. A society that fosters intense dependence on commodities thus turns its unemployed into either its poor or its dependents.
Ivan Illich
Until fairly recently, every family had a cornucopia of favorite home remedies--plants and household items that could be prepared to treat minor medical emergencies, or to prevent a common ailment becoming something much more serious. Most households had someone with a little understanding of home cures, and when knowledge fell short, or more serious illness took hold, the family physician or village healer would be called in for a consultation, and a treatment would be agreed upon. In those days we took personal responsibility for our health--we took steps to prevent illness and were more aware of our bodies and of changes in them. And when illness struck, we frequently had the personal means to remedy it. More often than not, the treatment could be found in the garden or the larder. In the middle of the twentieth century we began to change our outlook. The advent of modern medicine, together with its many miracles, also led to a much greater dependency on our physicians and to an increasingly stretched healthcare system. The growth of the pharmaceutical industry has meant that there are indeed "cures" for most symptoms, and we have become accustomed to putting our health in the hands of someone else, and to purchasing products that make us feel good. Somewhere along the line we began to believe that technology was in some way superior to what was natural, and so we willingly gave up control of even minor health problems.
Karen Sullivan (The Complete Illustrated Guide to Natural Home Remedies)
When scientists underestimate complexity, they fall prey to the perils of unintended consequences. The parables of such scientific overreach are well-known: foreign animals, introduced to control pests, become pests in their own right; the raising of smokestacks, meant to alleviate urban pollution, releases particulate effluents higher in the air and exacerbates pollution; stimulating blood formation, meant to prevent heart attacks, thickens the blood and results in an increased risk of blood clots in the heart. But when nonscientists overestimate [italicized, sic] complexity- 'No one can possibly crack this [italicized, sic] code" - they fall into the trap of unanticipated consequences. In the early 1950s , a common trope among some biologists was that the genetic code would be so context dependent- so utterly determined by a particular cell in a particular organism and so horribly convoluted- that deciphering it would be impossible. The truth turned out to be quite the opposite: just one molecule carries the code, and just one code pervades the biological world. If we know the code, we can intentionally alter it in organisms, and ultimately in humans. Similarly, in the 1960s, many doubted that gene-cloning technologies could so easily shuttle genes between species. by 1980, making a mammalian protein in a bacterial cell, or a bacterial protein in a mammalian cell, was not just feasible, it was in Berg's words, rather "ridiculously simple." Species were specious. "Being natural" was often "just a pose.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
There are lots of planned economies-the United States is a planned economy, for example. I mean, we talk ourselves as a "free market", but that's baloney. The only parts of the U.S. economy that are internationally competitive are the planned parts, the state-subsidized parts--like capital-intensive agriculture (which has a state-guaranteed market as a cushion in case there are excesses); or high-technology industry (which is dependent on the Pentagon system); or pharmaceuticals (which is massively subsidized by publically funded research). Those are the parts of the U.S. economy that are functioning well.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
Meaningful learning in a community requires both participation and reification to be present and in interplay. Sharing artifacts without engaging in discussions and activities around them impairs the ability to negotiate the meaning of what is being shared. Interacting without producing artifacts makes learning depend on individual interpretation and memory and can limit its depth, extent, and impact. Both participation and reification are necessary. Sometimes one process may dominate the other, or the two processes may not be well integrated. The challenge of this polarity is for communities to successfully cycle between the two.
Etienne Wenger (Digital Habitats: stewarding technology for communities)
Whether one calls slime molds, fungi, and plants “intelligent” depends on one’s point of view. Classical scientific definitions of intelligence use humans as a yardstick by which all other species are measured. According to these anthropocentric definitions, humans are always at the top of the intelligence rankings, followed by animals that look like us (chimpanzees, bonobos, etc.), followed again by other “higher” animals, and onward and downward in a league table—a great chain of intelligence drawn up by the ancient Greeks, which persists one way or another to this day. Because these organisms don’t look like us or outwardly behave like us—or have brains—they have traditionally been allocated a position somewhere at the bottom of the scale. Too often, they are thought of as the inert backdrop to animal life. Yet many are capable of sophisticated behaviors that prompt us to think in new ways about what it means for organisms to “solve problems,” “communicate,” “make decisions,” “learn,” and “remember.” As we do so, some of the vexed hierarchies that underpin modern thought start to soften. As they soften, our ruinous attitudes toward the more-than-human world may start to change. The second field of research that has guided me in this inquiry concerns the way we think about the microscopic organisms—or microbes—that cover every inch of the planet. In the last four decades, new technologies have granted unprecedented access to microbial lives. The outcome? For your community of microbes—your “microbiome”—your body is a planet. Some prefer the temperate forest of your scalp, some the arid plains of your forearm, some the tropical forest of your crotch or armpit. Your gut (which if unfolded would occupy an area of thirty-two square meters), ears, toes, mouth, eyes, skin, and every surface, passage, and cavity you possess teem with bacteria and fungi. You carry around more microbes than your “own” cells. There are more bacteria in your gut than stars in our galaxy. For humans, identifying where one individual stops and another starts is not generally something we
Merlin Sheldrake (Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures)
I find the world is full of people who think that their dependence on others is decreasing, or that they would be better off if they were more self-sufficient, or that technological progress has brought no improvement in the standard of living, or that the world is steadily deteriorating, or that the exchange of things and ideas is a superfluous irrelevance.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist (P.S.))
TO ANYONE INTERESTED in world history, human societies of East Asia and the Pacific are instructive, because they provide so many examples of how environment molds history. Depending on their geographic homeland, East Asian and Pacific peoples differed in their access to domesticable wild plant and animal species and in their connectedness to other peoples. Again and again, people with access to the prerequisites for food production, and with a location favoring diffusion of technology from elsewhere, replaced peoples lacking these advantages. Again and again, when a single wave of colonists spread out over diverse environments, their descendants developed in separate ways, depending on those environmental differences.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (20th Anniversary Edition))
Honesty requires that we each recognize the need to limit procreation, consumption, and waste, but equally we must radically reduce our expectations that machines will do our work for us or that therapists can make us learned or healthy. The only solution to the environmental crisis is the shared insight of people that they would be happier if they could work together and care for each other. Such an inversion of the current world view requires intellectual courage for it exposes us to the unenlightened yet painful criticism of being not only anti-people and against economic progress, but equally against liberal education and scientific and technological advance. We must face the fact that the imbalance between man and the environment is just one of several mutually reinforcing stresses, each distorting the balance of life in a different dimension. In this view, overpopulation is the result of a distortion in the balance of learning, dependence on affluence is the result of a radical monopoly of institutional over personal values, and faulty technology is inexorably consequent upon a transformation of means into ends
Ivan Illich (Tools for Conviviality)
The case I’ve presented in this book suggests that humans are undergoing what biologists call a major transition. Such transitions occur when less complex forms of life combine in some way to give rise to more complex forms. Examples include the transition from independently replicating molecules to replicating packages called chromosomes or, the transition from different kinds of simple cells to more complex cells in which these once-distinct simple cell types came to perform critical functions and become entirely mutually interdependent, such as the nucleus and mitochondria in our own cells. Our species’ dependence on cumulative culture for survival, on living in cooperative groups, on alloparenting and a division of labor and information, and on our communicative repertoires mean that humans have begun to satisfy all the requirements for a major biological transition. Thus, we are literally the beginnings of a new kind of animal.1 By contrast, the wrong way to understand humans is to think that we are just a really smart, though somewhat less hairy, chimpanzee. This view is surprisingly common. Understanding how this major transition is occurring alters how we think about the origins of our species, about the reasons for our immense ecological success, and about the uniqueness of our place in nature. The insights generated alter our understandings of intelligence, faith, innovation, intergroup competition, cooperation, institutions, rituals, and the psychological differences between populations. Recognizing that we are a cultural species means that, even in the short run (when genes don’t have enough time to change), institutions, technologies, and languages are coevolving with psychological biases, cognitive abilities, emotional responses, and preferences. In the longer run, genes are evolving to adapt to these culturally constructed worlds, and this has been, and is now, the primary driver of human genetic evolution. Figure 17.1.
Joseph Henrich (The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter)
But what lies ahead for those who are young now? I can say with confidence that their future will depend more on science and technology than any previous generation’s has done. They need to know about science more than any before them because it is part of their daily lives in an unprecedented way. Without speculating too wildly, there are trends we can see and emerging problems that we know must be dealt with, now and into the future. Among the problems I count global warming, finding space and resources for the massive increase in the Earth’s human population, rapid extinction of other species, the need to develop renewable energy sources, the degradation of the oceans, deforestation and epidemic diseases—just to name a few. There are also the great inventions of the future, which will revolutionise the ways we live, work, eat, communicate and travel. There is such enormous scope for innovation in every area of life. This is exciting. We could be mining rare metals on the Moon, establishing a human outpost on Mars and finding cures and treatments for conditions which currently offer no hope. The huge questions of existence still remain unanswered—how did life begin on Earth? What is consciousness? Is there anyone out there or are we alone in the universe? These are questions for the next generation to work on.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Today’s computer technology exists in some measure because millions of middle-class taxpayers supported federal funding for basic research in the decades following World War II. We can be reasonably certain that those taxpayers offered their support in the expectation that the fruits of that research would create a more prosperous future for their children and grandchildren. Yet, the trends we looked at in the last chapter suggest we are headed toward a very different outcome. BEYOND THE BASIC MORAL QUESTION of whether a tiny elite should be able to, in effect, capture ownership of society’s accumulated technological capital, there are also practical issues regarding the overall health of an economy in which income inequality becomes too extreme. Continued progress depends on a vibrant market for future innovations—and that, in turn, requires a reasonable distribution of purchasing power.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
Perhaps success in the future will depend partly on our ability to generate cheap power, but I think it will depend to a greater extent on our ability to resist a technological formula that is sterile: peas without pageantry, corn without coon, knowledge without wisdom, kitchens without a warm stove. There is more to these rocks than uranium; there is the lichen on the rock, the smell of the fern whose feet are upon the rock, the view from the rock.
E.B. White (Essays of E.B. White)
Perhaps success in the future will depend partly on our ability to generate cheap power, but I think it will depend to a greater extent on our ability to resist a technological formula that is sterile: peas without pageantry, corn without coon, knowledge without wisdom, kitchens without a warm stove. There is more to these rocks than uranium; there is the lichen on the rock, the smell of the fern whose feet are upon the rock, the view from the rock. Last
E.B. White (Essays of E. B. White)
In the medium term, AI may automate our jobs, to bring both great prosperity and equality. Looking further ahead, there are no fundamental limits to what can be achieved. There is no physical law precluding particles from being organised in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains. An explosive transition is possible, although it may play out differently than in the movies. As mathematician Irving Good realised in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could repeatedly improve their design even further, in what science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge called a technological singularity. One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders and potentially subduing us with weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.
Stephen Hawking
Not so long ago a psychiatrist told me that one of the marks of an adult who has never properly grown up is an inability to wait, and a whole therapeutic movement has been built on that one insight alone. Because music takes or demands our time and depends on carefully timed relations between notes, it cannot be rushed. It schools us in the art of patience. Certainly we can play or sing a piece of music faster. But we can do this only to a very limited degree before the piece becomes incoherent. Given today’s technology we can cut and paste, we can hop from track to track on the MP3 player, flip from one song to another, and download highlights of a three-hour opera. But few would claim they hear a piece of music in its integrity that way. Music says to us: “There are things you will learn only by passing through this process, by being caught up in this series of relations and transformations.”34 Music requires my time, my flesh, and my blood for its performance and enjoyment, and this means going at its speed. Simone Weil described music as “time that one wants neither to arrest nor hasten.”35 In an interview, speaking of the tendency of our culture to think that music is there simply to “wash over” us, the composer James MacMillan remarked: “[Music] needs us to sacrifice something of ourselves to meet it, and it’s very difficult sometimes to do that, especially [in] the whole culture we’re in. Sacrifice and self-sacrifice—certainly sacrificing your time—is not valued any more.”36
Jeremy S. Begbie (Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Engaging Culture))
To visit a modern Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) is to enter a world that for all its technological sophistication is still designed on seventeenth-century Cartesian principles: Animals are treated as machines—“production units”—incapable of feeling pain. Since no thinking person can possibly believe this anymore, industrial animal agriculture depends on a suspension of disbelief on the part of the people who operate it and a willingness to avert one’s eyes on the part of everyone else.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
I don’t know to what extent ignorance of science and mathematics contributed to the decline of ancient Athens, but I know that the consequences of scientific illiteracy are far more dangerous in our time than in any that has come before. It’s perilous and foolhardy for the average citizen to remain ignorant about global warming, say, or ozone depletion, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, acid rain, topsoil erosion, tropical deforestation, exponential population growth. Jobs and wages depend on science and technology. If our nation can’t manufacture, at high quality and low price, products people want to buy, then industries will continue to drift away and transfer a little more prosperity to other parts of the world. Consider the social ramifications of fission and fusion power, supercomputers, data “highways,” abortion, radon, massive reductions in strategic weapons, addiction, government eavesdropping on the lives of its citizens, high-resolution TV, airline and airport safety, fetal tissue transplants, health costs, food additives, drugs to ameliorate mania or depression or schizophrenia, animal rights, superconductivity, morning-after pills, alleged hereditary antisocial predispositions, space stations, going to Mars, finding cures for AIDS and cancer.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
After simmering years of censorship and repression, the masses finally throng the streets. The chants echoing off the walls to build to a roar from all directions, stoking the courage of the crowds as they march on the center of the capital. Activists inside each column maintain contact with each other via text messages; communications centers receive reports and broadcast them around the city; affinity groups plot the movements of the police via digital mapping. A rebel army of bloggers uploads video footage for all the world to see as the two hosts close for battle. Suddenly, at the moment of truth, the lines go dead. The insurgents look up from the blank screens of their cell phones to see the sun reflecting off the shields of the advancing riot police, who are still guided by close circuits of fully networked technology. The rebels will have to navigate by dead reckoning against a hyper-informed adversary. All this already happened, years ago, when President Mubarak shut down the communications grid during the Egyptian uprising of 2011. A generation hence, when the same scene recurs, we can imagine the middle-class protesters - the cybourgeoisie - will simply slump forward, blind and deaf and wracked by seizures as the microchips in their cerebra run haywire, and it will be up to the homeless and destitute to guide them to safety.
CrimethInc. (Contradictionary)
When we talk of inter-species romances, I feel it depends if the species are both fully-sentient and the conditions of the romance. Technically speaking, depending on the species it can be somewhat creepy. However for my question we must ask ourselves this - what is the measure of man? Do we consider “sentient” to be only applied to humans? If so, is it because of ignorance, or is it because we have never met a specie with our reasoning and intelligence? If we do, will be see it as “human” or “sentient” or will said ignorance blind us to the friendship or possibly loves that could come of accepting them into our fold? If this world were to be populated with other sentient species, would it be for better or worse? Would it cause humans to see that race is nothing but an illusion of physical traits? I, for one, would welcome new sentient species into our world, providing they did not come to kill us, but rather live with us. If they saw us as beneath them due to their power or technology, yet restrained themselves from doing horrible things due to it, I would see that as amazing restraint. If even one saw that we are, in the end, equal, I would see that as amazing strength. Who’s to say that any sentient species is better than another? It would be the same as saying one "race" of humans is better, which is untrue, despite those who think otherwise. In the end, are we not all mere “humans” of the same cosmos?
Casey Lehman
Book Ten; Chapter Six; Ignorantia "There must be a good side somewhere to this revolution," said Vertue. "It is too solid--it looks too lasting--to be a mere evil. I cannot believe that the Landlord would otherwise allow the whole face of nature and the whole structure of life to be so permanently and radically changed." The Guide laughed. "You are falling into their own error," he said, "the change is not radical, nor will it be permanent. That idea depends on a curious disease which they have all caught--an inability to disbelieve advertisements. To be sure, if the machines did what they promised, the change would be very deep indeed. Their next war, for example, would change the state of their country from disease to death. They are afraid of this themselves--though most of them are old enough to know by experience that a gun is no more likely than a toothpaste or a cosmetic to do the things its makers say it will do. It is the same with all their machines. Their labour-saving devices multiply drudgery; their aphrodisiacs make them impotent: their amusements bore them: their rapid production of food leaves half of them starving, and their devices for saving time have banished leisure from their country. There will be no radical change. And as for permanence--consider how quickly all machines are broken and obliterated. The black solitudes will some day be green again, and of all cities that I have seen these iron cities will break most suddenly.
C.S. Lewis (The Pilgrim's Regress)
We have considered the problem of mental fragmentation and arbitrariness that results when our contact with the world is mediated by representations: representations collapse the basic axis of proximity and distance by which an embodied being orients in the world and draws a horizon of relevance around itself. We noted the prominence of a design philosophy that severs the bonds between action and perception, as in contemporary automobiles that insulate us from the sensorimotor contingencies by which an embodied being normally grasps reality. The case of machine gambling gave us a heightened example of this kind of abstraction, and made clear how such a design philosophy can be turned to especially disturbing purposes in the darker precincts of “affective capitalism,” where our experiences are manufactured for us. We saw that the point of these experiences is often to provide a quasi-autistic escape from the frustrations of life, and that they are especially attractive in a world that lacks a basic intelligibility because it seems to be ordered by “vast impersonal forces” that are difficult to bring within view on a first-person, human scale. I argued that all of this tends to sculpt a certain kind of contemporary self, a fragile one whose freedom and dignity depend on its being insulated from contingency, and who tends to view technology as magic for accomplishing this. For such a self, choosing from a menu of options replaces the kind of adult agency that grapples with things in an unfiltered way.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
GET BEYOND THE ONE-MAN SHOW Great organizations are never one-man operations. There are 22 million licensed small businesses in America that have no employees. Forbes suggests 75 percent of all businesses operate with one person. And the average income of those companies is a sad $44,000. That’s not a business—that’s torture. That is a prison where you are both the warden and the prisoner. What makes a person start a business and then be the only person who works there? Are they committed to staying small? Or maybe an entrepreneur decides that because the talent pool is so poor, they can’t hire anyone who can do it as well as them, and they give up. My guess is the latter: Most people have just given up and said, “It’s easier if I just do it myself.” I know, because that’s what I did—and it was suicidal. Because my business was totally dependent on me and only me, I was barely able to survive, much less grow, for the first ten years. Instead I contracted another company to promote my seminars. When I hired just one person to assist me out of my home office, I thought I was so smart: Keep it small. Keep expenses low. Run a tight ship. Bigger isn’t always better. These were the things I told myself to justify not growing my business. I did this for years and even bragged about how well I was doing on my own. Then I started a second company with a partner, a consulting business that ran parallel to my seminar business. This consulting business quickly grew bigger than my first business because my partner hired people to work for us. But even then I resisted bringing other people into the company because I had this idea that I didn’t want the headaches and costs that come with managing people. My margins were monster when I had no employees, but I could never grow my revenue line without killing myself, and I have since learned that is where all my attention and effort should have gone. But with the efforts of one person and one contracted marketing company, I could expand only so much. I know that a lot of speakers and business gurus run their companies as one-man shows. Which means that while they are giving advice to others about how to grow a business, they may have never grown one themselves! Their one-man show is simply a guy or gal going out, collecting a fee, selling time and a few books. And when they are out speaking, the business terminates all activity. I started studying other people and companies that had made it big and discovered they all had lots of employees. The reality is you cannot have a great business if it’s just you. You need to add other people. If you don’t believe me, try to name one truly great business that is successful, ongoing, viable, and growing that doesn’t have many people making it happen. Good luck. Businesses are made of people, not just machines, automations, and technology. You need people around you to implement programs, to add passion to the technology, to serve customers, and ultimately to get you where you want to go. Consider the behemoth online company Amazon: It has more than 220,000 employees. Apple has more than 100,000; Microsoft has around the same number. Ernst & Young has more than 200,000 people. Apple calls the employees working in its stores “Geniuses.” Don’t you want to hire employees deserving of that title too? Think of how powerful they could make your business.
Grant Cardone (Be Obsessed or Be Average)
I know that the consequences of scientific illiteracy are far more dangerous in our time than in any that has come before. It’s perilous and foolhardy for the average citizen to remain ignorant about global warming, say, or ozone depletion, air pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, acid rain, topsoil erosion, tropical deforestation, exponential population growth. Jobs and wages depend on science and technology. If our nation can’t manufacture, at high quality and low price, products people want to buy, then industries will continue to drift away and transfer a little more prosperity to other parts of the world. Consider the social ramifications of fission and fusion power, supercomputers, data “highways,” abortion, radon, massive reductions in strategic weapons, addiction, government eavesdropping on the lives of its citizens, high-resolution TV, airline and airport safety, fetal tissue transplants, health costs, food additives, drugs to ameliorate mania or depression or schizophrenia, animal rights, superconductivity, morning-after pills, alleged hereditary antisocial predispositions, space stations, going to Mars, finding cures for AIDS and cancer. How can we affect national policy—or even make intelligent decisions in our own lives—if we don’t grasp the underlying issues? As I write, Congress is dissolving its own Office of Technology Assessment—the only organization specifically tasked to provide advice to the House and Senate on science and technology. Its competence and integrity over the years have been exemplary. Of the 535 members of the U.S. Congress, rarely in the twentieth century have as many as one percent had any significant background in science. The last scientifically literate President may have been Thomas Jefferson.* So how do Americans decide these matters? How do they instruct their representatives? Who in fact makes these decisions, and on what basis? —
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Before starting work on this book, we had to ask ourselves a question what is science fiction? Seemingly simple, but in reality the answer was hard to formulate. This is the definition we settled upon: Science fiction is a member of a group of fictional genres whose narrative drive depends upon events, technologies, societies, etc. that are impossible, unreal, or that are depicted as occurring at some time in the future, the past or in a world of secondary creation. These attributes vary widely in terms of actuality, likelihood, possibility and in the intent with which they are employed by the creator. The fundamental difference between science fiction and the other "fantastical genres" of fantasy and horror is this: the basis for the fiction is one of rationality. The sciences this rationality generates can be speculative, largely erroneous, or even impossible, but explanations are, nevertheless, generated through a materialistic worldview. The supernatural is not invoked.
Stephen Baxter (Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy's Greatest Science Fiction)
According to H.G. Wells, you either adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative. It is not necessary to change, after all survival is not mandatory This generation might seem arrogant to the older generation due to some reasons. The older generation believes an older person or someone of higher authority is always right and being sceptical is an insult, lol Our generation is full of people who are so skeptical, they wanna know why this is this and that is that, they don't just hear and believe, they hear, hear from other sides, look at it critically and express their opinions based on their conviction. This generation is full of people who are somewhat confident cos they study, they observe and due to these, they are equipped with better information and like you know, knowledge is power. You know right from wrong, you know truth from lies. When you are with those in authority and have this knowledge, an ignorant person of higher authority would be scared of you, feel threatened and might resort to maltreating and frustrating you, defaming your character etc The older generation and the younger generation are usually having misunderstanding because the older generation are being deceived by pride, the younger generation due to their advanced education do not wanna give merit to whom it isn't due. While the older generation postulates that respect is not earned but compulsory for them to be accorded, the younger generation believes respect must be earned. lol The older generation rules by fiction but the younger generation lives by facts. The older generation uses age to oppress, the younger generation uses their knowledge to defend. The older generation believes they can never be wrong, the younger generation wants fair hearing, demands for it, if denied, they take it by force due to the confidence they've built around themselves. The older generation is unfair to the younger generation, there was once a time they were listened to without doubts and opposition, this is the time for the younger generation to be listened to due to advancement in education and exposure. The younger generation, due to their quest for higher knowledge through research, etc, they have realized the consequences of being ignorant and with their power of conviction, they are not letting the older generation have their autocratic ways affect them. To the younger generation, one should be able to prove whatever he says, no more latent heresies and this is what the older generation don't wanna hear of. The older generation wants to continue enslaving the younger generation but the younger generation is more equipped than the older generation and as such, not letting that happen. Technology advances every day, the younger generation are ever ready to adapt to the changes but the older generation is not ready for that, they wanna remain stagnant and still have the say of the day. Like George Bernard Shaw once said, the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man
Concepts of memory tend to reflect the technology of the times. Plato and Aristotle saw memories as thoughts inscribed on wax tablets that could be erased easily and used again. These days, we tend to think of memory as a camera or a video recorder, filming, storing, and recycling the vast troves of data we accumulate throughout our lives. In practice, though, every memory we retain depends upon a chain of chemical interactions that connect millions of neurons to one another. Those neurons never touch; instead, they communicate through tiny gaps, or synapses, that surround each of them. Every neuron has branching filaments, called dendrites, that receive chemical signals from other nerve cells and send the information across the synapse to the body of the next cell. The typical human brain has trillions of these connections. When we learn something, chemicals in the brain strengthen the synapses that connect neurons. Long-term memories, built from new proteins, change those synaptic networks constantly; inevitably, some grow weaker and others, as they absorb new information, grow more powerful.
Michael Specter
[A Tibetan Legend] "There comes a time when all life on Earth is in danger. Barbarian powers have arisen. Although they waste their wealth in preparations to annihilate each other, they have much in common: weapons of unfathomable devastation and technologies that lay waste the world. It is now, when the future of all beings hangs by the frailest of threads, that the kingdom of Shambhala emerges. "You cannot go there, for it is not a place. It exists in the hearts and minds of the Shambhala warriors. But you cannot recognize a Shambhala warrior by sight, for there is no uniform or insignia, there are no banners. And there are no barricades from which to threaten the enemy, for the Shambhala warriors have no land of their own. Always they move on the terrain of the barbarians themselves. "Now comes the time when great courage is required of the Shambhala warriors, moral and physical courage. For they must go into the very heart of the barbarian power and dismantle the weapons. To remove these weapons, in every sense of the word, they must go into the corridors of power where the decisions are made. "The Shambhala warriors know they can do this because the weapons are manomaya, mind-made. This is very important to remember, Joanna. These weapons are made by the human mind. So they can be unmade by the human mind! The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers that threaten life on Earth do not come from evil deities or extraterrestrial powers. They arise from our own choices and relationships. So, now, the Shambhala warriors must go into training. "How do they train?" I asked. "They train in the use of two weapons." "The weapons are compassion and insight. Both are necessary. We need this first one," he said, lifting his right hand, "because it provides us the fuel, it moves us out to act on behalf of other beings. But by itself it can burn us out. So we need the second as well, which is insight into the dependent co-arising of all things. It lets us see that the battle is not between good people and bad people, for the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. We realize that we are interconnected, as in a web, and that each act with pure motivation affects the entire web, bringing consequences we cannot measure or even see. "But insight alone," he said, "can seem too cool to keep us going. So we need as well the heat of compassion, our openness to the world's pain. Both weapons or tools are necessary to the Shambhala warrior.
Joanna Macy
More than anything, we have lost the cultural customs and traditions that bring extended families together, linking adults and children in caring relationships, that give the adult friends of parents a place in their children's lives. It is the role of culture to cultivate connections between the dependent and the dependable and to prevent attachment voids from occurring. Among the many reasons that culture is failing us, two bear mentioning. The first is the jarringly rapid rate of change in twentieth-century industrial societies. It requires time to develop customs and traditions that serve attachment needs, hundreds of years to create a working culture that serves a particular social and geographical environment. Our society has been changing much too rapidly for culture to evolve accordingly. There is now more change in a decade than previously in a century. When circumstances change more quickly than our culture can adapt to, customs and traditions disintegrate. It is not surprising that today's culture is failing its traditional function of supporting adult-child attachments. Part of the rapid change has been the electronic transmission of culture, allowing commercially blended and packaged culture to be broadcast into our homes and into the very minds of our children. Instant culture has replaced what used to be passed down through custom and tradition and from one generation to another. “Almost every day I find myself fighting the bubble-gum culture my children are exposed to,” said a frustrated father interviewed for this book. Not only is the content often alien to the culture of the parents but the process of transmission has taken grandparents out of the loop and made them seem sadly out of touch. Games, too, have become electronic. They have always been an instrument of culture to connect people to people, especially children to adults. Now games have become a solitary activity, watched in parallel on television sports-casts or engaged in in isolation on the computer. The most significant change in recent times has been the technology of communication — first the phone and then the Internet through e-mail and instant messaging. We are enamored of communication technology without being aware that one of its primary functions is to facilitate attachments. We have unwittingly put it into the hands of children who, of course, are using it to connect with their peers. Because of their strong attachment needs, the contact is highly addictive, often becoming a major preoccupation. Our culture has not been able to evolve the customs and traditions to contain this development, and so again we are all left to our own devices. This wonderful new technology would be a powerfully positive instrument if used to facilitate child-adult connections — as it does, for example, when it enables easy communication between students living away from home, and their parents. Left unchecked, it promotes peer orientation.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
After basic needs are met, higher incomes produce gains in happiness only up to a point, beyond which further increases in consumption do not enhance a sense of well-being. The cumulative impact of surging per capita consumption, rapid population growth, human dominance of every ecological system, and the forcing of pervasive biological changes worldwide has created the very real possibility, according to twenty-two prominent biologists and ecologists in a 2012 study in Nature, that we may soon reach a dangerous “planetary scale ‘tipping point.’ ” According to one of the coauthors, James H. Brown, “We’ve created this enormous bubble of population and economy. If you try to get the good data and do the arithmetic, it’s just unsustainable. It’s either got to be deflated gently, or it’s going to burst.” In the parable of the boy who cried wolf, warnings of danger that turned out to be false bred complacency to the point where a subsequent warning of a danger that was all too real was ignored. Past warnings that humanity was about to encounter harsh limits to its ability to grow much further were often perceived as false: from Thomas Malthus’s warnings about population growth at the end of the eighteenth century to The Limits to Growth, published in 1972 by Donella Meadows, among others. We resist the notion that there might be limits to the rate of growth we are used to—in part because new technologies have so frequently enabled us to become far more efficient in producing more with less and to substitute a new resource for one in short supply. Some of the resources we depend upon the most, including topsoil (and some key elements, like phosphorus for fertilizers), however, have no substitutes and are being depleted.
Al Gore (The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” George Bernard Shaw On a cool fall evening in 2008, four students set out to revolutionize an industry. Buried in loans, they had lost and broken eyeglasses and were outraged at how much it cost to replace them. One of them had been wearing the same damaged pair for five years: He was using a paper clip to bind the frames together. Even after his prescription changed twice, he refused to pay for pricey new lenses. Luxottica, the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, controlled more than 80 percent of the eyewear market. To make glasses more affordable, the students would need to topple a giant. Having recently watched Zappos transform footwear by selling shoes online, they wondered if they could do the same with eyewear. When they casually mentioned their idea to friends, time and again they were blasted with scorching criticism. No one would ever buy glasses over the internet, their friends insisted. People had to try them on first. Sure, Zappos had pulled the concept off with shoes, but there was a reason it hadn’t happened with eyewear. “If this were a good idea,” they heard repeatedly, “someone would have done it already.” None of the students had a background in e-commerce and technology, let alone in retail, fashion, or apparel. Despite being told their idea was crazy, they walked away from lucrative job offers to start a company. They would sell eyeglasses that normally cost $500 in a store for $95 online, donating a pair to someone in the developing world with every purchase. The business depended on a functioning website. Without one, it would be impossible for customers to view or buy their products. After scrambling to pull a website together, they finally managed to get it online at 4 A.M. on the day before the launch in February 2010. They called the company Warby Parker, combining the names of two characters created by the novelist Jack Kerouac, who inspired them to break free from the shackles of social pressure and embark on their adventure. They admired his rebellious spirit, infusing it into their culture. And it paid off. The students expected to sell a pair or two of glasses per day. But when GQ called them “the Netflix of eyewear,” they hit their target for the entire first year in less than a month, selling out so fast that they had to put twenty thousand customers on a waiting list. It took them nine months to stock enough inventory to meet the demand. Fast forward to 2015, when Fast Company released a list of the world’s most innovative companies. Warby Parker didn’t just make the list—they came in first. The three previous winners were creative giants Google, Nike, and Apple, all with over fifty thousand employees. Warby Parker’s scrappy startup, a new kid on the block, had a staff of just five hundred. In the span of five years, the four friends built one of the most fashionable brands on the planet and donated over a million pairs of glasses to people in need. The company cleared $100 million in annual revenues and was valued at over $1 billion. Back in 2009, one of the founders pitched the company to me, offering me the chance to invest in Warby Parker. I declined. It was the worst financial decision I’ve ever made, and I needed to understand where I went wrong.
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
MT: Mimetic desire can only produce evil? RG: No, it can become bad if it stirs up rivalries but it isn't bad in itself, in fact it's very good, and, fortunately, people can no more give it up than they can give up food or sleep. It is to imitation that we owe not only our traditions, without which we would be helpless, but also, paradoxically, all the innovations about which so much is made today. Modern technology and science show this admirably. Study the history of the world economy and you'll see that since the nineteenth century all the countries that, at a given moment, seemed destined never to play anything but a subordinate role, for lack of “creativity,” because of their imitative or, as Montaigne would have said, their “apish” nature, always turned out later on to be more creative than their models. It began with Germany, which, in the nineteenth century, was thought to be at most capable of imitating the English, and this at the precise moment it surpassed them. It continued with the Americans in whom, for a long time, the Europeans saw mediocre gadget-makers who weren't theoretical or cerebral enough to take on a world leadership role. And it happened once more with the Japanese who, after World War II, were still seen as pathetic imitators of Western superiority. It's starting up again, it seems, with Korea, and soon, perhaps, it'll be the Chinese. All of these consecutive mistakes about the creative potential of imitation cannot be due to chance. To make an effective imitator, you have to openly admire the model you're imitating, you have to acknowledge your imitation. You have to explicitly recognize the superiority of those who succeed better than you and set about learning from them. If a businessman sees his competitor making money while he's losing money, he doesn't have time to reinvent his whole production process. He imitates his more fortunate rivals. In business, imitation remains possible today because mimetic vanity is less involved than in the arts, in literature, and in philosophy. In the most spiritual domains, the modern world rejects imitation in favor of originality at all costs. You should never say what others are saying, never paint what others are painting, never think what others are thinking, and so on. Since this is absolutely impossible, there soon emerges a negative imitation that sterilizes everything. Mimetic rivalry cannot flare up without becoming destructive in a great many ways. We can see it today in the so-called soft sciences (which fully deserve the name). More and more often they're obliged to turn their coats inside out and, with great fanfare, announce some new “epistemological rupture” that is supposed to revolutionize the field from top to bottom. This rage for originality has produced a few rare masterpieces and quite a few rather bizarre things in the style of Jacques Lacan's Écrits. Just a few years ago the mimetic escalation had become so insane that it drove everyone to make himself more incomprehensible than his peers. In American universities the imitation of those models has since produced some pretty comical results. But today that lemon has been squeezed completely dry. The principle of originality at all costs leads to paralysis. The more we celebrate “creative and enriching” innovations, the fewer of them there are. So-called postmodernism is even more sterile than modernism, and, as its name suggests, also totally dependent on it. For two thousand years the arts have been imitative, and it's only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that people started refusing to be mimetic. Why? Because we're more mimetic than ever. Rivalry plays a role such that we strive vainly to exorcise imitation. MT
René Girard (When These Things Begin: Conversations with Michel Treguer (Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture))