Technology Increasing Quotes

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I suppose it’s not a social norm, and not a manly thing to do — to feel, discuss feelings. So that’s what I’m giving the finger to. Social norms and stuff…what good are social norms, really? I think all they do is project a limited and harmful image of people. It thus impedes a broader social acceptance of what someone, or a group of people, might actually be like.
Jess C. Scott (New Order)
Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.
J.G. Ballard
Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.
Jean Arp
The goal of religious thinking is exactly the same as that of technological research -- namely, practical action. Whenever man is truly concerned with obtaining concrete results, whenever he is hard pressed by reality, he abandons abstract speculation and reverts to a mode of response that becomes increasingly cautious and conservative as the forces he hopes to subdue, or at least to outrun, draw ever nearer.
René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth. What remains in the bum or studiedly jocular desperation of one who is aware of the obscene Presence in the corner of the room and knows that the door is locked, that there aren’t any windows. And now the thing bears down on him. He feels a hand on his sleeve, smells a stinking breath, as the executioner’s assistant leans almost amorously toward him. “Your turn next, brother. Kindly step this way.” And in an instant his quiet terror is transmuted into a frenzy as violent as it is futile. There is no longer a man among his fellow men, no longer a rational being speaking articulately to other rational beings; there is only a lacerated animal, screaming and struggling in the trap. For in the end fear casts out even a man’s humanity. And fear, my good friends, fear is the very basis and foundation of modern life. Fear of the much touted technology which, while it raises out standard of living, increases the probability of our violently dying. Fear of the science which takes away the one hand even more than what it so profusely gives with the other. Fear of the demonstrably fatal institutions for while, in our suicidal loyalty, we are ready to kill and die. Fear of the Great Men whom we have raised, and by popular acclaim, to a power which they use, inevitably, to murder and enslave us. Fear of the war we don’t want yet do everything we can to bring about.
Aldous Huxley (Ape and Essence)
go back to the Dalai Lama. He says, “I think technology has really increased human ability. But technology cannot produce compassion.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
One-third to one-half of humanity are said to go to bed hungry every night. In the Old Stone Age the fraction must have been much smaller. This is the era of hunger unprecedented. Now, in the time of the greatest technical power, is starvation an institution. Reverse another venerable formula: the amount of hunger increases relatively and absolutely with the evolution of culture.
Marshall Sahlins (Stone Age Economics)
Extrapolated, technology wants what life wants: Increasing efficiency Increasing opportunity Increasing emergence Increasing complexity Increasing diversity Increasing specialization Increasing ubiquity Increasing freedom Increasing mutualism Increasing beauty Increasing sentience Increasing structure Increasing evolvability
Kevin Kelly (What Technology Wants)
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)
We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind—mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality.
J.G. Ballard (Crash)
Technology causes problems as well as solves problems. Nobody has figured out a way to ensure that, as of tomorrow, technology won't create problems. Technology simply means increased power, which is why we have the global problems we face today." (Interview, Sierra Magazine, May/June 2005)
Jared Diamond
We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind — mass-merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the pre-empting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen.
J.G. Ballard
Teaching kids how to nourish their creativity and curiosity, while still providing a sound foundation in critical thinking, literacy and math, is the best way to prepare them for a future of increasingly rapid technological change.
Peter H. Diamandis (Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think)
The aspirations of democracy are based on the notion of an informed citizenry, capable of making wise decisions. The choices we are asked to make become increasingly complex. They require the longer-term thinking and greater tolerance for ambiguity that science fosters. The new economy is predicated on a continuous pipeline of scientific and technological innovation. It can not exist without workers and consumers who are mathematically and scientifically literate.
Ann Druyan
The Iron Law of Liberalism states that any market reform, any government initiative intended to reduce red tape and promote market forces will have the ultimate effect of increasing the total number of regulations, the total amount of paperwork, and the total number of bureaucrats the government employs.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
This is the only industry where technology advances have increased costs instead of lowering them.
Steven Brill (America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System)
We in our age are faced with a strange paradox. Never before have we had so much information in bits and pieces flooded upon us by radio and television and satellite, yet never before have we had so little inner certainty about our own being. The more objective truth increases, the more our inner certitude decreases. Our fantastically increased technical power, and each forward step in technology is experienced by many as a new push toward our possible annihilation. Nietzsche was strangely prophetic when he said, “We live in a period of atomic chaos…the terrible apparition…the Nation State…and the hunt for happiness will never be greater than when it must be caught between today and tomorrow; because the day after tomorrow all hunting time may have come to an end altogether.” Sensing this, and despairing of ever finding meaning in life, people these days seize on the many ways of dulling their awareness by apathy, by psychic numbing, or by hedonism. Others, especially young people, elect in alarming and increasing numbers to escape their own being by suicide.
Rollo May (The Discovery of Being: Writings in Existential Psychology)
If man--if each one of us--abdicates his responsibilities with regard to values; if each one of us limits himself to leading a trivial existence in a technological civilization, with greater adaptation and increasing success as his sole objectives; if we do not even consider the possibility of making a stand against these determinants, then everything will happen as I have described it, and the determinates will be transformed into inevitabilities.
Jacques Ellul (The Technological Society)
[T]he problem was too much information. The population was being inundated with conflicting versions of increasingly complex events. People were giving up on understanding anything. The glut of information was dulling awareness, not aiding it. Overload. It encouraged passivity, not involvement.
Jerry Mander (Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television)
Your every positive action in your life will increase your self-esteem and this self-esteem will boost you for more positive action to take you on success
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
And thanks to increasing press freedom and improving technology, we hear more, about more disasters, than ever before. When Europeans slaughtered indigenous peoples across America a few centuries ago, it didn’t make the news back in the old world. When central planning resulted in mass famine in rural China, millions starved to death while the youngsters in Europe waving communist red flags knew nothing about it. When in the past whole species or ecosystems were destroyed, no one realized or even cared. Alongside all the other improvements, our surveillance of suffering has improved tremendously. This improved reporting is itself a sign of human progress, but it creates the impression of the exact opposite.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
It seemed to me that transhumanism was an expression of the profound human longing to transcend the confusion and desire and impotence and sickness of the body, cowering in the darkening shadow of its own decay. This longing had historically been the domain of religion, and was now the increasingly fertile terrain of technology.
Mark O'Connell (To Be a Machine : Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death)
No civilization can possibly survive to an interstellar spacefaring phase unless it limits its numbers. Any society with a marked population explosion will be forced to devote all its energies and technological skills to feeding and caring for the population on its home planet. This is a very powerful conclusion and is in no way based on the idiosyncrasies of a particular civilization. On any planet, no matter what its biology or social system, an exponential increase in population will swallow every resource. Conversely, any civilization that engages in serious interstellar exploration and colonization must have exercised zero population growth or something very close to it for many generations.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
The only things that are increasing in cost while everything else heads to zero are human experiences—which cannot be copied. Everything
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
So the modern world may be increasing in technological knowledge, but, paradoxically, it is making things a lot more unpredictable.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
Technology isn’t bad. If you know what you want in life, technology can help you get it. But if you don’t know what you want in life, it will be all too easy for technology to shape your aims for you and take control of your life. Especially as technology gets better at understanding humans, you might increasingly find yourself serving it, instead of it serving you.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced [robots] wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.
Stephen Hawking
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
Albert Einstein (Why Socialism?)
The overwhelming noise we live with has made a fundamental pleasure like sex somehow less exciting, less satisfying, than it was for our libidinous forefathers and mothers. It seems to me that for sex and other pleasures to be enjoyed to the fullest, a certain contemplative quality to life must be present. If you doubt this imagine yourself for a moment having sex. Now imagine you wished to increase the pleasure you were feeling, feel it more intensely. What might you do? Well one of the things you'd probably do is close your eyes. What this does of course is shut out other stimuli. The visual quiet increases your sensual enjoyment and you concentrate more fully on the pleasure. The same is true for the removal of auditory noise as well. Well my feeling is that the average person has a much harder time doing this today than they would have decades ago. Today you close your eyes and shut off Television but the noise persists. It's part of our fabric now, our biology, and all other pleasures including sex are diminished as a result. We don't notice this derogation by the way and sex still feels great, don't get me wrong, but I think the difference is there nonetheless. Like the difference between seeing breasts when you're thirty as opposed to when you were thirteen.
Sergio de la Pava (A Naked Singularity)
There has not been a piece of technology designed to save labor that has not increased labor. Word processors allow you to do what your secretary used to do for you. The Internet, BlackBerries, iPhones, yes they keep you tethered, but that's not the main problem. It's that along with increasing personal productivity, they increase the expectation of productivity. It no longer becomes a bonus to do the work of one and a half men, but the norm. And then when everyone’s working at one hundred and fifty percent capacity, they can fire a third of the workforce and still maintain output.
Wayne Gladstone (Notes from the Internet Apocalypse)
It is the thesis of this book that society can only be understood through a study of the messages and the communication facilities which belong to it; and that in the future development of these messages and communication facilities, messages between man and machines, between machines and man, and between machine and machine, are destined to play an ever-increasing part.
Norbert Wiener
We found that external approvals were negatively correlated with lead time, deployment frequency, and restore time, and had no correlation with change fail rate. In short, approval by an external body (such as a manager or CAB) simply doesn’t work to increase the stability of production systems, measured by the time to restore service and change fail rate. However, it certainly slows things down. It is, in fact, worse than having no change approval process at all.
Nicole Forsgren (Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations)
B-quadrant businesses get tax credits for hiring employees, for increasing their research and development, and for investing in green technology.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Education on Tax Secrets)
So, as networks expand in size, their potential intellectual synergy increases much faster: “larger and denser populations equal faster technological advance.
David Christian (Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History (California World History Library))
[T]he salient question is whether the increasing awareness of [heart] disease beginning in the 1920s coincided with the budding of an epidemic or simply better technology for diagnosis.
Gary Taubes (Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease)
The world is changing rapidly, and everyone changes along with the world. Discoveries is now becoming rampant; intellectually, technologically,etc, each having its advantage and disadvantage.
Michael Bassey Johnson
The slow cancellation of the future has been accompanied by a deflation of expectations. There can be few who believe that in the coming year a record as great as, say, the Stooges’ Funhouse or Sly Stone’s There’s A Riot Goin’ On will be released. Still less do we expect the kind of ruptures brought about by The Beatles or disco. The feeling of belatedness, of living after the gold rush, is as omnipresent as it is disavowed. Compare the fallow terrain of the current moment with the fecundity of previous periods and you will quickly be accused of ‘nostalgia’. But the reliance of current artists on styles that were established long ago suggests that the current moment is in the grip of a formal nostalgia, of which more shortly. It is not that nothing happened in the period when the slow cancellation of the future set in. On the contrary, those thirty years has been a time of massive, traumatic change. In the UK, the election of Margaret Thatcher had brought to an end the uneasy compromises of the so-called postwar social consensus. Thatcher’s neoliberal programme in politics was reinforced by a transnational restructuring of the capitalist economy. The shift into so-called Post-Fordism – with globalization, ubiquitous computerization and the casualisation of labour – resulted in a complete transformation in the way that work and leisure were organised. In the last ten to fifteen years, meanwhile, the internet and mobile telecommunications technology have altered the texture of everyday experience beyond all recognition. Yet, perhaps because of all this, there’s an increasing sense that culture has lost the ability to grasp and articulate the present. Or it could be that, in one very important sense, there is no present to grasp and articulate anymore.
Mark Fisher (Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures)
Our society distinguishes itself by conquering the centrifugal social forces with Technology rather than Terror, on the dual basis of an overwhelming efficiency and an increasing standard of living.
Herbert Marcuse (One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society)
Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to break through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited. We have seen in the Romantic movement an instance of the way in which the making of images may react upon the collective representations. It is a fairly rudimentary instance, but even so it has already gone beyond the dreams and responses of a leisured few. The economic and social structure of Switzerland is noticeably affected by its tourist industry, and that is due only in part to increased facilities of travel. It is due not less to the condition that (whatever may be said about their ‘particles’) the mountains which twentieth-century man sees are not the mountains which eighteenth-century man saw. It may be objected that this is a very small matter, and that it will be a long time before the imagination of man substantially alters those appearances of nature with which his figuration supplies him. But then I am taking the long view. Even so, we need not be too confident. Even if the pace of change remained the same, one who is really sensitive to (for example) the difference between the medieval collective representations and our own will be aware that, without traveling any greater distance than we have come since the fourteenth century, we could very well move forward into a chaotically empty or fantastically hideous world. But the pace of change has not remained the same. It has accelerated and is accelerating. We should remember this, when appraising the aberrations of the formally representational arts. Of course, in so far as these are due to affectation, they are of no importance. But in so far as they are genuine, they are genuine because the artist has in some way or other experienced the world he represents. And in so far as they are appreciated, they are appreciated by those who are themselves willing to make a move towards seeing the world in that way, and, ultimately therefore, seeing that kind of world. We should remember this, when we see pictures of a dog with six legs emerging from a vegetable marrow or a woman with a motorbicycle substituted for her left breast.
Owen Barfield
In my view, it is an error to think about 'alternatives to prison' if what we mean by that is 'electronic bracelets,' through which people are subject to computer-monitored house arrest, or granting fuller surveillance and disciplinary powers and technologies to other state agencies, such as welfare and mental health, through 'transcarceration' policies...We need to decrease, not increase, the means by which the state, in its multifarious networks of authority, controls human lives and selectively incapacitates people who, no less than others, have the potential to contribute to the improvement of hte human condition.
Karlene Faith (Unruly Women: The Politics of Confinement & Resistance)
Currently we see around us an ever more apparent loss of vigor of our society: increasing fixity of the power structure and bureaucratization of all levels of life; impotence of political institutions to carry off great projects; the proliferation of regulations affecting all aspects of public, private, and commercial life; the spread of irrationalism; the banalization of opular culture; the loss of willingness by individuals to take risks, to fend for themselves or think for themselves; economic stagnation and decline, the decleration of the rate of technological innovation...Everywhere you look, the writing is on the wall.
Robert Zubrin (The Case for Mars)
The laws of Nature are written in the language of mathematics.” Math is a way to describe reality and figure out how the world works, a universal language that has become the gold standard of truth. In our world, increasingly driven by science and technology, mathematics is becoming, ever more, the source of power, wealth, and progress. Hence those who are fluent in this new language will be on the cutting edge of progress.
Edward Frenkel (Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality)
Civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span. The trend might be coming from the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multitasking. All are on the increase. Some sort of balancing corrective to the short-sightedness is needed—some mechanism or myth that encourages the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility, where “the long term” is measured at least in centuries.
Stewart Brand (The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility)
When technology is mobile, and transactions occur in cyberspace, as they increasingly will do, governments will no longer be able to charge more for their services than they are worth to the people who pay for them.
James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age)
As technological civilization diminishes the biotic diversity of the earth, language itself is diminished. As there are fewer and fewer songbirds in the air, due to the destruction of their forests and wetlands, human speech loses more and more of its evocative power. For when we no longer hear the voices of warbler and wren, our own speaking can no longer be nourished by their cadences. As the splashing speech of the rivers is silenced by more and more dams, as we drive more and more of the land’s wild voices into the oblivion of extinction, our own languages become increasingly impoverished and weightless, progressively emptied of their earthly resonance.17
David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (Vintage))
There are two ways to tell the story of the twentieth century. You can describe a series of wars, revolutions, crises, epidemics, financial calamities. Or you can point to the gentle but inexorable rise in the quality of life of almost everybody on the planet: the swelling of income, the conquest of disease, the disappearance of parasites, the retreat of want, the increasing persistence of peace, the lengthening of life, the advances in technology.
Matt Ridley (The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge)
The Cherokee lives as a natural part of his environment and strives to complement it, not subdue or dominate it. It’s an Indian philosophy that is playing an increasing role in everyone’s life now that we realize that natural resources are limited and imbalance between man’s technology and nature is perilously close to disaster. —HUEY P. LONG, CHEROKEE
Terri Jean (365 Days Of Walking The Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day (Religion and Spirituality))
Our reluctance to honestly examine the experience of aging and dying has increased the harm we inflict on people and denied them the basic comforts they most need. Lacking a coherent view of how people might live successfully all the way to their very end, we have allowed our fates to be controlled by the imperatives of medicine, technology, and strangers.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
The rules of the game have changed. The number of players has increased. New cartels spring up quickly, devouring territories and entire regions. It’s crazy making, all these new cartels. More flexible structures, faster responses, familiarity with new technology, ostentatiously lurid killings, and obscure, pseudoreligious philosophies. It is altogether a new level of frenzy.
Roberto Saviano (Zero Zero Zero)
Today’s rapidly changing world, marked by increased speed and dense interdependencies, means that organizations everywhere are now facing dizzying challenges, from global terrorism to health epidemics to supply chain disruption to game-changing technologies. These issues can be solved only by creating sustained organizational adaptability through the establishment of a team of teams.
Stanley McChrystal (Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World)
By the 1980's and 1990's, Moore's Law had emerged as the underlying assumption that governed almost everything in the Valley, from technology to business, education, and even culture. The "law" said the number of transistors would double every couple of years. It dictated that nothing stays the same for more than a moment; no technology is safe from its successor; costs fall and computing power increases not at a constant rate but exponentially: If you're not running on what became known as " Internet time," you're falling behind.
John Markoff (What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry)
While it is undoubtedly true that there are areas that require individuals with Tiger’s precocity and clarity of purpose, as complexity increases—as technology spins the world into vaster webs of interconnected systems in which each individual only sees a small part—we also need more Rogers: people who start broad and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives while they progress. People with range.
David Epstein (Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World)
As a practical matter I’ve learned to seek the minimum amount of technology for myself that will create the maximum amount of choices for myself and others. The cybernetician Heinz von Foerster called this approach the Ethical Imperative, and he put it this way: “Always act to increase the number of choices.” The way we can use technologies to increase choices for others is by encouraging science, innovation, education, literacies, and pluralism. In my own experience this principle has never failed: In any game, increase your options.      
Kevin Kelly (What Technology Wants)
The concerns and methods vary, but there is to it all, at bottom, a message that is unmistakably Luddistic: beware the technological juggernaut, reckon the terrible costs, understand the worlds being lost in the world being gained, reflect on the price of the machine and its systems on your life, pay attention to the natural world and its increasing destruction, resist the seductive catastrophe of industrialism.
Kirkpatrick Sale
The next phase of the Digital Revolution will bring even more new methods of marrying technology with the creative industries, such as media, fashion, music, entertainment, education, literature, and the arts. Much of the first round of innovation involved pouring old wine—books, newspapers, opinion pieces, journals, songs, television shows, movies—into new digital bottles. But new platforms, services, and social networks are increasingly enabling fresh opportunities for individual imagination and collaborative creativity. Role-playing games and interactive plays are merging with collaborative forms of storytelling and augmented realities. This interplay between technology and the arts will eventually result in completely new forms of expression and formats of media. This innovation will come from people who are able to link beauty to engineering, humanity to technology, and poetry to processors. In other words, it will come from the spiritual heirs of Ada Lovelace, creators who can flourish where the arts intersect with the sciences and who have a rebellious sense of wonder that opens them to the beauty of both.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Not only are the new technologies exponential, digital, and combinatorial, but most of the gains are still ahead of us. In the next twenty-four months, the planet will add more computer power than it did in all previous history. Over the next twenty-four years, the increase will likely be over a thousand-fold.
Erik Brynjolfsson (The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies)
Sometimes parents avoid dealing with their child’s feelings by turning to technology as a way of removing themselves from the stress of the moment. According to research, this only increases the child’s misery and inspires even more bad behavior … which parents then use as an excuse to isolate themselves even further.
Marc Brackett (Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive)
Just because teens can and do manipulate social media to attract attention and increase visibility does not mean that they are equally experienced at doing so or that they automatically have the skills to navigate what unfolds. It simply means that teens are generally more comfortable with—and tend to be less skeptical of—social media than adults. They don’t try to analyze how things are different because of technology; they simply try to relate to a public world in which technology is a given.
Danah Boyd (It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens)
We cannot deal with the increasing maldistribution of wealth, the increasing alienation of millions, or the lack of a unified purpose and goal by increasing the efficiency of production, increasing the automation of industry, accelerating our technology, or increasing our reliance on the profit motives of multinational corporations.
Carl R. Rogers (A Way of Being)
As the creators of sophisticated technologies, we have made ourselves increasingly machine-like; robotic servants of institutional systems we have been conditioned to revere, whose purposes we neither understand nor control, and of which we are afraid to ask questions. Our corporate-state world plunders, enslaves, controls and destroys us, all in the name of advancing our liberty and material well-being. Most of us are dominated by an unfocused fear of uncertainty, a longing for the security of emptiness.
Butler Shaffer (The Wizards of Ozymandias: Reflections on the Decline and Fall)
The nearly perfect historical correlation between increasing productivity and rising incomes broke down: wages for most Americans stagnated and, for many workers, even declined; income inequality soared to levels not seen since the eve of the 1929 stock market crash; and a new phrase—“jobless recovery”—found a prominent place in our vocabulary.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
To begin with, there is the frightful debauchery of taste that has already been effected by a century of mechanisation. This is almost too obvious and too generally admitted to need pointing out. But as a single instance, take taste in its narrowest sense - the taste for decent food. In the highly mechanical countries, thanks to tinned food, cold storage, synthetic flavouring matters, etc., the palate it almost a dead organ. As you can see by looking at any greengrocer’s shop, what the majority of English people mean by an apple is a lump of highly-coloured cotton wool from America or Australia; they will devour these things, apparently with pleasure, and let the English apples rot under the trees. It is the shiny, standardized, machine-made look of the American apple that appeals to them; the superior taste of the English apple is something they simply do not notice. Or look at the factory-made, foil wrapped cheeses and ‘blended’ butter in an grocer’s; look at the hideous rows of tins which usurp more and more of the space in any food-shop, even a dairy; look at a sixpenny Swiss roll or a twopenny ice-cream; look at the filthy chemical by-product that people will pour down their throats under the name of beer. Wherever you look you will see some slick machine-made article triumphing over the old-fashioned article that still tastes of something other than sawdust. And what applies to food applies also to furniture, houses, clothes, books, amusements and everything else that makes up our environment. These are now millions of people, and they are increasing every year, to whom the blaring of a radio is not only a more acceptable but a more normal background to their thoughts than the lowing of cattle or the song of birds. The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
There has not been a piece of technology designed to save labor that has not increased labor,
Wayne Gladstone (Notes from the Internet Apocalypse)
generating text yourself “requires more cognitive effort than does reading, and effort increases memorability,
Clive Thompson (Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better)
By relentless and constant experimentation in their daily work, they were able to continually increase capacity, often without adding any new equipment or hiring more people.
Gene Kim (The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations)
the true power of technology in marketing is relationship building.
Josh Turner (Connect: The Secret LinkedIn Playbook To Generate Leads, Build Relationships, And Dramatically Increase Your Sales)
No communication technology has ever disappeared, but instead becomes increasingly less important as the technological horizon widens.
Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology)
In 2011, big companies generated an average of $420,000 in revenue for each employee, an increase of more than 11 percent over the 2007 figure of $378,000.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
we’ve been redefining what it means to be human. Over the past 60 years, as mechanical processes have replicated behaviors and talents we thought were unique to humans, we’ve had to change our minds about what sets us apart. As we invent more species of AI, we will be forced to surrender more of what is supposedly unique about humans. Each step of surrender—we are not the only mind that can play chess, fly a plane, make music, or invent a mathematical law—will be painful and sad. We’ll spend the next three decades—indeed, perhaps the next century—in a permanent identity crisis, continually asking ourselves what humans are good for. If we aren’t unique toolmakers, or artists, or moral ethicists, then what, if anything, makes us special? In the grandest irony of all, the greatest benefit of an everyday, utilitarian AI will not be increased productivity or an economics of abundance or a new way of doing science—although all those will happen. The greatest benefit of the arrival of artificial intelligence is that AIs will help define humanity. We need AIs to tell us who we are.
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
In a recent analysis, Martin Grötschel of the Zuse Institute in Berlin found that, using the computers and software that existed in 1982, it would have taken a full eighty-two years to solve a particularly complex production planning problem. As of 2003, the same problem could be solved in about a minute—an improvement by a factor of around 43 million. Computer hardware became about 1,000 times faster over the same period, which means that improvements in the algorithms used accounted for approximately a 43,000-fold increase in performance.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
There are many reasons for increased spending on health care, including an aging population, technological change, perverse incentives, supply-induced demand, and fear of malpractice litigation. The broader point is that the basic underlying problem does not entail misbehavior or incompetence but rather stems from the nature of the provision of labor-intensive services.
William J. Baumol (The Cost Disease: Why Computers Get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn't)
The explosion of paperwork, in turn, is a direct result of the introduction of corporate management techniques, which are always justified as ways of increasing efficiency, by introducing competition at every level. What these management techniques invariably end up meaning in practice is that everyone winds up spending most of their time trying to sell each other things: grant proposals; book proposals; assessments of our students’ job and grant applications; assessments of our colleagues; prospectuses for new interdisciplinary majors, institutes, conference workshops, and universities themselves, which have now become brands to be marketed to prospective students or contributors. Marketing and PR thus come to engulf every aspect of university life.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
I don’t believe in boundaries, either for what we can do in our personal lives or for what life and intelligence can accomplish in our universe. We stand at a threshold of important discoveries in all areas of science. Without doubt, our world will change enormously in the next fifty years. We will find out what happened at the Big Bang. We will come to understand how life began on Earth. We may even discover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. While the chances of communicating with an intelligent extra-terrestrial species may be slim, the importance of such a discovery means we must not give up trying. We will continue to explore our cosmic habitat, sending robots and humans into space. We cannot continue to look inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. Through scientific endeavour and technological innovation, we must look outwards to the wider universe, while also striving to fix the problems on Earth. And I am optimistic that we will ultimately create viable habitats for the human race on other planets. We will transcend the Earth and learn to exist in space. This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of what I hope will be billions of years of life flourishing in the cosmos. And one final point—we never really know where the next great scientific discovery will come from, nor who will make it. Opening up the thrill and wonder of scientific discovery, creating innovative and accessible ways to reach out to the widest young audience possible, greatly increases the chances of finding and inspiring the new Einstein. Wherever she might be. So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it. In war it serves that we may poison and mutilate each other. In peace it has made our lives hurried and uncertain. Instead of freeing us in great measure from spiritually exhausting labor, it has made men into slaves of machinery, who for the most part complete their monotonous long day's work with disgust and must continually tremble for their poor rations. It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase man's blessings. Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours; [..] concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations. - From a speech to students at the California Institute of Technology, in "Einstein Sees Lack in Applying Science", The New York Times (16 February 1931)
Albert Einstein
Participatory Medicine is a model of cooperative health care that seeks to achieve active involvement by patients, professionals, caregivers, and others across the continuum of care on all issues related to an individual’s health. Participatory medicine is an ethical approach to care that also holds promise to improve outcomes, reduce medical errors, increase patient satisfaction and improve the cost of care.
Bertalan Meskó (The Guide to the Future of Medicine: Technology AND The Human Touch)
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.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
The increasing fascination with and funding of genetic technology is simply another medical dead end, another reductionist rabbit hole that will lead us no further toward preventing and reversing chronic illness.
T. Colin Campbell (Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition)
Unfortunately, the technological fixes have frequently only enabled those who run the commercial airlines, the general aviation community, and the military to run greater risks in search of increased performance.
Charles Perrow (Normal Accidents: Living with High Risk Technologies - Updated Edition)
As our technological capacities continue to increase and our environment becomes ever more fragile and endangered, we find that changes to the Earth that used to take ten thousand years now take a fraction of that.
Robert David Steele (The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust)
This could seem counterintuitive for many dictators running communist or socialist single-party states, but a thriving private tech industry can contribute invaluable tools to help you implement a controllable internet. The reason is fairly simple: the technologies that transform internet applications into more personalized, efficient and enjoyable experiences are usually the same ones that increase the capacity to monitor its users.
Laurier Rochon (The Dictator's Practical Internet Guide to Power Retention)
Certainly we can say that the pace of modern life, increased and supported by our technology in general and our personal electronics in particular, has resulted in a short attention span and an addiction to the influx of information. A mind so conditioned has little opportunity to think critically, and even less chance to experience life deeply by being in the present moment. A complex life with complicated activities, relationships and commitments implies a reflexive busy-ness that supplants true thinking and feeling with knee-jerk reactions. It is a life high in stress and light on substance, at least in the spiritually meaningful dimensions of being.
Arthur Rosenfeld
All of these are signs “that our societal structures are failing to keep pace with the rate of change,” he said. Everything feels like it’s in constant catch-up mode. What to do? We certainly don’t want to slow down technological progress or abandon regulation. The only adequate response, said Teller, “is that we try to increase our society’s ability to adapt.” That is the only way to release us from the society-wide anxiety around tech. “We can either push back against technological advances,” argued Teller, “or we can acknowledge that humanity has a new challenge: we must rewire our societal tools and institutions so that they will enable us to keep pace.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
We -- the industrialized, technologized world -- have never been richer. And yet to an extraordinary extent we in the West continue to inhabit a moral and cultural universe shaped by the hedonistic imperatives and radical ideals of the Sixties. Culturally, morally the world we inhabit is increasingly a trash world: addicted to sensation, besieged everywhere by the cacophonous, mind-numbing din of rock music, saturated with pornography, in thrall to the lowest common denominator wherever questions of taste, manners or intellectual delicacy are concerned. Marwick was right: 'The cultural revolution, in short, had continuous, uninterrupted, and lasting consequences'.
Roger Kimball (The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America)
We live in an age in which the pace of technological change is pulsating ever faster, causing waves that spread outward toward all industries. This increased rate of change will have an impact on you, no matter what you do for a living.
Andrew S. Grove (Only the Paranoid Survive)
1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced” countries.
Theodore John Kaczynski (Industrial Society and Its Future)
Like his predecessors, Marx totally neglected the possibility of durable technological progress and steadily increasing productivity, which is a force that can to some extent serve as a counterweight to the process of accumulation and concentration of private capital.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
The Indian countryside has transformed into this wasteland of near-terminal despair and increasingly impossible survival, by new technologies, forced integration with globalized markets, and an uncaring state. For a sector which employs half the population, contributes a sixth of the GDP, the state allocates as little as a twentieth of total public investment. It is no wonder, then, that tens of thousands of farmers each year poison or hang themselves; and millions of the young flee, when they can, to wherever they can, while they still can. Unequal
Harsh Mander (Looking Away: Inequality, Prejudice and Indifference in New India)
In post-modern culture there is a deep hunger to belong. An increasing majority of people feel isolated and marginalised. Experience is haunted by fragmentation. Many of the traditional shelters are in ruins. Society is losing the art of fostering community. Consumerism is now propelling life towards the lonely isolation of individualism. Technology pretends to unite us, yet more often than not all it delivers are simulated images. The “global village” has no roads or neighbours; it is a faceless limbo from which all individuality has been abstracted. Politics seems devoid of the imagination that calls forth vision and ideals; it is becoming ever more synonymous with the functionalism of economic pragmatism. Many of the keepers of the great religious traditions now seem to be frightened functionaries; in a more uniform culture, their management skills would be efficient and successful. In a pluralistic and deeply fragmented culture, they seem unable to converse with the complexities and hungers of our longing. From this perspective, it seems that we are in the midst of a huge crisis of belonging. When the outer cultural shelters are in ruins, we need to explore and reawaken the depths of belonging in the human mind and soul; perhaps, the recognition of the depth of our hunger to belong may gradually assist us in awakening new and unexpected possibilities of community and friendship.
John O'Donohue (Eternal Echoes)
The industrial and technological revolutions have made our lives simpler, in terms of what is physically required of us on a daily basis, but they have also made it possible for us to do a whole lot less than we ought to be doing, and we suffer for it. We have become flabby and overweight; our joints and muscles have become stiff from lack of use. We suffer from all sorts of problems related to our lack of physical exercise; it affects us on all levels, causing high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, anxiety, depression, insomnia and the list goes on and on. We know, too, how much better we feel for a bit of exercise. Those “feel-good” hormones lift our spirits, boost self-esteem and improve our overall sense of well-being. It’s a sort of built-in reward system. There’s a reason for that. It’s because we are meant to be active.
Liberty Forrest (The Power and Simplicity of Self-Healing: With scientific proof that you can create your own miracle)
There will be a severe backlash against this drift from the usual suspects, but increased sharing is inevitable. There is an honest argument over what to call it, but the technologies of sharing have only begun. On my imgainary Sharing Meter Index we are still at 2 out of 10. There is a whole list of subjects that experts once believed we modern humans would not share—our finances, our health challenges, our sex lives, our innermost fears—but it turns out that with the right technology and the right benefits in the right conditions, we’ll share everything. How
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
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)
But the “jobs of the future” do not need scientists who have memorized the periodic table. In fact, business leaders say they are looking for creative, independent problem solvers in every field, not just math and science. Yet in most schools, STEM subjects are taught as a series of memorized procedures and vocabulary words, when they are taught at all. In 2009, only 3% of high school graduates had any credits in an engineering course. (National Science Board, 2012) Technology is increasingly being relegated to using computers for Internet research and test taking.
Sylvia Libow Martinez (Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom)
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 Family Guide to Natural Home Remedies: Safe and Effective Treatments for Common Ailments)
In an age of increasingly mechanized production, the genesis of scientific knowledge remains an unyieldingly, obstreperously hand-hewn process. It is among the most human of our activities. Far from being subsumed by the dehumanizing effects of technology, science remains our last stand against it.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013)
What I have observed over the past twenty years has increased my sense of urgency about the need for spiritual practice among us. If we do not learn to honor and strengthen the inner life of spirit, all the external changes in the world cannot save us. New laws, regulations, and technological fixes are all susceptible to human corruption and self-interest. If we do not know ourselves as beings created to reflect the divine image, we will lose the immense opportunity for transformation God has offered us in the gift of life itself. And if the love of God embodied in Christ cannot turn us, how shall we be turned?
Marjorie, J. Thompson (Soul Feast, Newly Revised Edition: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life)
The development of productive technologies offered western society a choice: to have more leisure time, or to increase the production and consumption of consumer goods. Capitalism took us down the latter path, and the Utopian dream of ease and leisure for all was buried under a mountain of commodities. [ch.three]
David Frayne (The Refusal of Work: Rethinking Post-Work Theory and Practice)
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
Their customers’ business environments are more competitive than ever, technological advances are radically altering their industries and markets, and their margin for error is always shrinking. The increased complexity of their environment translates directly to increased complexity in the problems they need to solve.
Jeff Thull (Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes are High!)
Scarlett activated the viola and it came down like short shimmering curtain that covered her eyes with a band of violet light. It dilated her eyes, increasing her binocular summation so that everything in her field of vision was magnified and clear. It also protected her retinas from any sort of laser fire or plasma flash.
April Adams (Drawing the Dragon)
The irrational simply changes its look and its fashions. We may no longer have literal witch hunts, but in the twentieth century, not so very long ago, we witnessed the show trials of Stalin, the McCarthy hearings in the U.S. Senate, and the mass persecutions during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Various cults are continually being generated, including cults of personality and the fetishizing of celebrities. Technology now inspires religious fervor. People have a desperate need to believe in something and they will find it anywhere. Polls have revealed that increasing numbers of people believe in ghosts, spirits, and angels, in the twenty-first century.
Robert Greene (The Laws of Human Nature)
potentially unlimited output can be achieved by systems of machines which will require little cooperation from human beings.”3 The result would be massive unemployment, soaring inequality, and, ultimately, falling demand for goods and services as consumers increasingly lacked the purchasing power necessary to continue driving economic growth.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
We live in an exciting time. We now know more than ever about our biology and about our history, allowing us to peer into the future with greater clarity than has previously been possible. But at the same time, the changes we are undergoing, brought about by our own advances in technology, medicine, transportation-- and by the growing impact we are having on the world around us-- mean that we live in a time in which the future looks increasingly less like the past. We have become an odd species, indeed, but our story is not yet over. Like all species, Homo sapiens continues to evolve, so there is one thing we can say with certainty: the people of tomorrow will not be the same as the people of today.
Scott Solomon (Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution)
The entire global economy is tipping away from the material and toward intangible bits. It is moving away from ownership and toward access. It is tilting away from the value of copies and toward the value of networks. It is headed for the inevitability of constant, relentless, and increasing remixing. The laws will be slow to follow, but they will follow.
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists and limits the power of its predecessors. This modifies the picture which is sometimes painted of a progressive emancipation from tradition and a progressive control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human power. In reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the patients of that power. They are weaker, not stronger: for though we may have put wonderful machines in their hands we have pre-ordained how they are to use them.
C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)
And yet the time saved did not seem to mean additional leisure or greater opportunities for meditation and reflection. Instead, with each new wave of technology, the pace of life increased; there was more to do, more choices to make, more things to experience, and people eagerly seized upon those experiences and filled the hours that had only moments ago become empty.
Richard Paige (The Door to December)
When copies are free, you need to sell things that cannot be copied. Well, what can’t be copied? Trust, for instance. Trust cannot be reproduced in bulk. You can’t purchase trust wholesale. You can’t download trust and store it in a database or warehouse it. You can’t simply duplicate someone’s else’s trust. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long). Since we prefer to deal with someone we can trust, we will often pay a premium for that privilege. We call that branding. Brand companies can command higher prices for similar products and services from companies without brands because they are trusted for what they promise. So trust is an intangible that has increasing value in a copy-saturated world.
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
the ethical and political ideas of Locke, Rousseau and Jefferson. However, once the heretical scientific insights are translated into everyday technology, routine activities and economic structures, it will become increasingly difficult to sustain this double-game, and we – or our heirs – will probably require a brand-new package of religious beliefs and political institutions.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
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)
Our prediction is that the emerging tracking and rendering technologies offered by Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s Kinect, and PlayStation’s Move will combine with 3-D monitors and inexpensive head-mounted displays to increase consumer demand substantially in the next few years. In other words, virtual reality will soon become the killer app of the multibillion dollar gaming industry.
Jim Blascovich (Infinite Reality: Avatars, Eternal Life, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution)
Nonetheless, that know-how is often unmanageable. Avoidable failures are common and persistent, not to mention demoralizing and frustrating, across many fields—from medicine to finance, business to government. And the reason is increasingly evident: the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably.9
Richard Susskind (The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts)
Insofar as Americans have a popular image of postal workers, it has become increasingly squalid. But this didn’t just happen. It is the result of intentional policy choices. Since the 1980s, legislators have led the way in systematically defunding the post office and encouraging private alternatives as part of an ongoing campaign to convince Americans that government doesn’t really work.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
Access to useful information also was determined by literacy and the availability of reading material. It is now widely agreed at least for Britain that increases in literacy were relatively modest during the Industrial Revolution. Yet literacy is not particularly useful unless people actually read, and for the purposes of technological change it also matters how much and what people read.
Joel Mokyr (The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy)
In this setting modern modern science tends increasingly to become one of two things: either a high form of technology, often with a goal of increasing affluence, or what I would call sociological science. By the latter I mean that, with a weakened certainty about objectivity, people find it easier to come to whatever conclusions they desire for the sociological ends they wish to see attained.
Francis A. Schaeffer (How Should We Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture)
In any event, there was no “fall” into “Dark Ages.” Instead, once freed of the bondage of Rome, Europe separated into hundreds of independent “statelets.”16 In many of these societies progress and increased production became profitable, and that ushered in “one of the great innovative eras of mankind,” as technology was developed and put into use “on a scale no civilization had previously known.
Rodney Stark (The Triumph of Christianity: How the Jesus Movement Became the World's Largest Religion)
While the entire US population has increased by about a third since 1980, the federal prison population has grown at an astonishing rate – by almost 800 per cent. It’s still growing – despite the fact that federal prisons are operating at nearly 40 per cent above capacity. Even though this country comprises just 5 per cent of the world’s population, we incarcerate almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.
Philip G. Zimbardo (Man Disconnected: How technology has sabotaged what it means to be male)
But what help is it to us to look into the constellation of truth? We look into the danger and see the growth of the saving power. Through this we are not yet saved. But we are thereupon summoned to hope in the growing light of the saving power. How can this happen? Here and now and in little things, that we may foster the saving power in its increase. This includes holding always before our eyes the extreme danger.
Martin Heidegger (The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays)
First agriculture, and then industry, changed two fundamental things about the human experience. The accumulation of personal property allowed people to make more and more individualistic choices about their lives, and those choices unavoidably diminished group efforts toward a common good. And as society modernized, people found themselves able to live independently from any communal group. A person living in a modern city or a suburb can, for the first time in history, go through an entire day—or an entire life—mostly encountering complete strangers. They can be surrounded by others and yet feel deeply, dangerously alone. The evidence that this is hard on us is overwhelming. Although happiness is notoriously subjective and difficult to measure, mental illness is not. Numerous cross-cultural studies have shown that modern society—despite its nearly miraculous advances in medicine, science, and technology—is afflicted with some of the highest rates of depression, schizophrenia, poor health, anxiety, and chronic loneliness in human history. As affluence and urbanization rise in a society, rates of depression and suicide tend to go up rather than down. Rather than buffering people from clinical depression, increased wealth in a society seems to foster it.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
Brain-imaging research is showing that glowing screens - like those of iPads - are as stimulating to the brain's pleasure centre and as able to increase levels of dopamine (the primary feel-good neurotransmitter) as much as sex does. This brain-orgasm effect is what makes screen so addictive for adults, but even more so for children with still-developing brains that just aren't equipped to handle that level of stimulation
Nicholas Kardaras (Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids -- And How to Break the Trance)
But what’s troubling about this shift toward personalization is that it’s largely invisible to users and, as a result, out of our control. We are not even aware that we’re seeing increasingly divergent images of the Internet. The Internet may know who we are, but we don’t know who it thinks we are or how it’s using that information. Technology designed to give us more control over our lives is actually taking control away.
Eli Pariser (The Filter Bubble)
Those smarts would be crucial. “People thought that the keyboard we delivered wasn’t sophisticated, but in reality it was super-sophisticated,” Williamson says. “Because the touch region of each key was smaller than the minimum hit size. We had to write a bunch of predictive algorithms technology to think about the words you could possibly be typing, artificially increase the hit area of the next few keys that would correspond to
Brian Merchant (The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone)
To be sure, there will always be evil in the world, there will always be criminality, there will always be swindlers who use the fruits of technological progress or the freedom of cyberspace to cheat the community or their neighbor or a stranger. To talk about how to better govern such realms is always, at best, to talk about increasing the odds of restraining more bad behaviors than not—because they will never be eliminated. The
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
The long, slow turn of world-time as the geologist has known it, and the invisibly moving hour hand of evolution perceived only yesterday by the biologist, have given way in the human realm to a fantastically accelerated social evolution induced by industrial technology. So fast does this change progress that a growing child strives to master the institutional customs of a society which, compared with the pace of past history, compresses centuries of change into his lifetime. I myself, like others of my generation, was born in an age which has already perished. At my death I will look my last upon a nation which, save for some linguistic continuity, will seem increasingly alien and remote. It will be as though I peered upon my youth through misty centuries. I will not be merely old; I will be a genuine fossil embedded in onrushing man-made time before my actual death.
Loren Eiseley (The Invisible Pyramid)
Progress in science and technology is real, but it builds on past truths without rejecting them. Computers don’t have to be re-invented in order to keep getting better; innovations expand what they already do. Knowledge accumulates, so it can increase. Scientists and engineers know this, but artists, authors, and philosophers keep trying to start over from ground zero in the humanities. Thus, they don’t really progress—they become primitive.
Gene Edward Veith Jr.
advances in AI are poised to drive dramatic productivity increases and perhaps eventually full automation. Radiologists, for example, are trained to interpret the images that result from various medical scans. Image processing and recognition technology is advancing rapidly and may soon be able to usurp the radiologist’s traditional role. Software can already recognize people in photos posted on Facebook and even help identify potential terrorists in airports.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
Phaethon asked: “Do you think there is something wrong with the Sophotechs? We are Manorials, father! We let Rhadamanthus control our finances and property, umpire our disputes, teach our children, design our thoughtscapes, and even play matchmaker to find us wives and husbands!” “Son, the Sophotechs may be sufficient to advise the Parliament on laws and rules. Laws are a matter of logic and common sense. Specially designed human-thinking versions, like Rhadamanthus, can tell us how to fulfill our desires and balance our account books. Those are questions of strategy, of efficient allocation of resources and time. But the Sophotechs, they cannot choose our desires for us. They cannot guide our culture, our values, our tastes. That is a question of the spirit.” “Then what would you have us do? Would you change our laws?” “Our mores, not our laws. There are many things which are repugnant, deadly to the spirit, and self-destructive, but which law should not forbid. Addiction, self-delusion, self-destruction, slander, perversion, love of ugliness. How can we discourage such things without the use of force? It was in response to this need that the College of Hortators evolved. Peacefully, by means of boycotts, public protests, denouncements, and shunnings, our society can maintain her sanity against the dangers to our spirit, to our humanity, to which such unboundried liberty, and such potent technology, exposes us.” (...) But Phaethon certainly did not want to hear a lecture, not today. “Why are you telling me all this? What is the point?” “Phaethon, I will let you pass through those doors, and, once through, you will have at your command all the powers and perquisites I myself possess. The point of my story is simple. The paradox of liberty of which you spoke before applies to our entire society. We cannot be free without being free to harm ourselves. Advances in technology can remove physical dangers from our lives, but, when they do, the spiritual dangers increase. By spiritual danger I mean a danger to your integrity, your decency, your sense of life. Against those dangers I warn you; you can be invulnerable, if you choose, because no spiritual danger can conquer you without your own consent. But, once they have your consent, those dangers are all-powerful, because no outside force can come to your aid. Spiritual dangers are always faced alone. It is for this reason that the Silver-Gray School was formed; it is for this reason that we practice the exercise of self-discipline. Once you pass those doors, my son, you will be one of us, and there will be nothing to restrain you from corruption and self-destruction except yourself. “You have a bright and fiery soul, Phaethon, a power to do great things; but I fear you may one day unleash such a tempest of fire that you may consume yourself, and all the world around you.
John C. Wright (The Golden Age (Golden Age #1))
Growth in median incomes during this period tracked nearly perfectly with per capita GDP. Three decades later, median household income had increased to about $61,000, an increase of just 22 percent. That growth, however, was driven largely by the entry of women into the workforce. If incomes had moved in lockstep with economic growth—as was the case prior to 1973—the median household would today be earning well in excess of $90,000, over 50 percent more than the $61,000 they do earn.
Martin Ford (Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future)
At the same time, such technology—from the television to the computer and phone—can put pressure on the brain by presenting it with more information, and of a type of information, that makes it hard for us to keep up. That is particularly true of interactive electronics, delivering highly relevant, stimulating social content, and with increasing speed. The onslaught taxes our ability to attend, to pay attention, arguably among the most important, powerful, and uniquely human of our gifts.
Matt Richtel (A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention)
Socrates tried to soothe us, true enough. He said there were only two possibilities. Either the soul is immortal or, after death, things would be again as blank as they were before we were born. This is not absolutely comforting either. Anyway it was natural that theology and philosophy should take the deepest interest in this. They owe it to us not to be boring themselves. On this obligation they don’t always make good. However, Kierkegaard was not a bore. I planned to examine his contribution in my master essay. In his view the primacy of the ethical over the esthetic mode was necessary to restore the balance. But enough of that. In myself I could observe the following sources of tedium: 1) The lack of a personal connection with the external world. Earlier I noted that when I was riding through France in a train last spring I looked out of the window and thought that the veil of Maya was wearing thin. And why was this? I wasn’t seeing what was there but only what everyone sees under a common directive. By this is implied that our worldview has used up nature. The rule of this view is that I, a subject, see the phenomena, the world of objects. They, however, are not necessarily in themselves objects as modern rationality defines objects. For in spirit, says Steiner, a man can step out of himself and let things speak to him about themselves, to speak about what has meaning not for him alone but also for them. Thus the sun the moon the stars will speak to nonastronomers in spite of their ignorance of science. In fact it’s high time that this happened. Ignorance of science should not keep one imprisoned in the lowest and weariest sector of being, prohibited from entering into independent relations with the creation as a whole. The educated speak of the disenchanted (a boring) world. But it is not the world, it is my own head that is disenchanted. The world cannot be disenchanted. 2) For me the self-conscious ego is the seat of boredom. This increasing, swelling, domineering, painful self-consciousness is the only rival of the political and social powers that run my life (business, technological-bureaucratic powers, the state). You have a great organized movement of life, and you have the single self, independently conscious, proud of its detachment and its absolute immunity, its stability and its power to remain unaffected by anything whatsoever — by the sufferings of others or by society or by politics or by external chaos. In a way it doesn’t give a damn. It is asked to give a damn, and we often urge it to give a damn but the curse of noncaring lies upon this painfully free consciousness. It is free from attachment to beliefs and to other souls. Cosmologies, ethical systems? It can run through them by the dozens. For to be fully conscious of oneself as an individual is also to be separated from all else. This is Hamlet’s kingdom of infinite space in a nutshell, of “words, words, words,” of “Denmark’s a prison.
Saul Bellow (Humboldt's Gift)
In the long run, the best way to reduce inequalities with respect to labor as well as to increase the average productivity of the labor force and the overall growth of the economy is surely to invest in education. If the purchasing power of wages increased fivefold in a century, it was because the improved skills of the workforce, coupled with technological progress, increased output per head fivefold. Over the long run, education and technology are the decisive determinants of wage levels.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
We cannot rely on trial-and-error approaches to deal with existential risks… We need to vastly increase our investment in developing specific defensive technologies… We are at the critical stage today for biotechnology, and we will reach the stage where we need to directly implement defensive technologies for nanotechnology during the late teen years of this century… A self-replicating pathogen, whether biological or nanotechnology based, could destroy our civilization in a matter of days or weeks.
Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology)
The problem is that we are leading lives fully intermediated by screens and other technologies that, although they give the appearance of transparency, are in fact programmed, controlled, and operated by others. Worse, none of us have a freaking clue as to how any of it works. Increasingly, we are living in a “black box” society, one in which magical boxes provide directions, report the news, execute stock trades, make phone calls, recommend restaurants, and put the world’s knowledge at our fingertips.
Marc Goodman (Future Crimes)
America's poor and working-class people have long been subject to invasive surveillance, midnight raids, and punitive public policy that increase the stigma and hardship of poverty. During the nineteenth century, they were quarantined in county poorhouses. During the twentieth century, they were investigated by caseworkers, treated like criminals on trial. Today, we have forged what I call a digital poorhouse from databases, algorithms, and risk models. It promises to eclipse the reach and repercussions of everything that came before. Like earlier technological innovations in poverty management, digital tracking and automated decision-making hid poverty from the professional middle-class public and give the nation the ethical distance it needs to make inhuman choices: who gets food and who starves, who has housing and who remains homeless, and which families are broken up by the state. The digital poorhouse is part of a long American tradition. We manage the individual poor in order to escape our shared responsibility for eradicating poverty.
Virginia Eubanks (Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor)
that the power of technology will keep increasing, while the price for this power will keep decreasing. With Moore’s Law proving to be a reality, it is easier to understand the recent price increases of stocks in the technology sector. Tacking onto this price increase is the realization that perhaps never before have we had this confluence of events: a technological revolution that is industrial revolution sized, and a new type of stock market to trade the stocks, which is the Nasdaq market. This is a major story. This book covers
Max Isaacman (The Nasdaq Investor)
Most people are suffering from very high levels of toxicity because of what they eat, drink, and come into contact with. It is a sobering though that the HAARP technology in Alaska, which bounces radiation off the upper atmosphere and back to earth, is capable of producing energy fields that amplify poisons and chemicals in the body to the point where they can be made instantly lethal by activating a process called “cyclotron resonance” through which electromagnetic fields can increase the strength of chemicals by a thousand times.
David Icke
As a practical matter I’ve learned to seek the minimum amount of technology for myself that will create the maximum amount of choices for myself and others. The cybernetician Heinz von Foerster called this approach the Ethical Imperative, and he put it this way: “Always act to increase the number of choices.” The way we can use technologies to increase choices for others is by encouraging science, innovation, education, literacies, and pluralism. In my own experience this principle has never failed: In any game, increase your options.
Kevin Kelly (What Technology Wants)
Technology isn’t bad. If you know what you want in life, technology can help you get it. But if you don’t know what you want in life, it will be all too easy for technology to shape your aims for you and take control of your life. Especially as technology gets better at understanding humans, you might increasingly find yourself serving it, instead of it serving you. Have you seen those zombies who roam the streets with their faces glued to their smartphones? Do you think they control the technology, or does the technology control them?
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Technology and its isolating effects Technology in the form of computers, cellphones, and the Internet have increased productivity, access to information, and the ability to communicate. Personally, we love computers — they've enabled us to write more and to research with greater ease than ever. Sometimes we spend days at a time holed up in our offices, banging away on the computer and not speaking to other living beings. Yet, because we don't want to lose real, face-to-face communication, we try to monitor our isolation to make sure we don't go overboard with cyber communication. Unfortunately, some people find themselves drawn into a digital, virtual world that becomes more exciting than their real lives. They spend day after day socializing on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and online gaming sites. They lose contact with the people around them, and they become fully absorbed in their virtual selves. Consider the following ways in which many people choose to relate to others: Joining a World of Warcraft team rather than the soccer team Participating in live Webcasts rather than meeting up
Charles H. Elliott (Borderline Personality Disorder For Dummies)
All this is not to suggest that the growth in useful knowledge is leading us to a world of bliss. Athena's gifts were many: she gave King Cecrops the olive tree, but she also gave the city of Troy the wooden horse that led to its destruction. Technology makes people more powerful in exploiting nature, but how and for what purpose they do so remains indeterminate. If the twentieth century has shown us anything, it is that the capacity of humans for intolerance, stupidity, and selfishness has not declined as their technological power has increased.
Joel Mokyr (The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy)
It is not just the number of choices that has increased exponentially, it is also the strength and number of outside influences on our decisions that has increased. While much has been said and written about how hyperconnected we now are and how distracting this information overload can be, the larger issue is how our connectedness has increased the strength of social pressure. Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
The essence of my case is this: given the fast pace of modern life, most of us tend to react too quickly. We don’t, or can’t, take enough time to think about the increasingly complex timing challenges we face. Technology surrounds us, speeding us up. We feel its crush every day, both at work and at home. Yet the best time managers are comfortable pausing for as long as necessary before they act, even in the face of the most pressing decisions. Some seem to slow down time. For good decision-makers, time is more flexible than a metronome or atomic clock.
Frank Partnoy (Wait: The Art and Science of Delay)
new world, empowered and entranced by the rapid-fire introduction of new technologies—a world where our metaphysical front door is always open, where anyone can whisper in our ear, where a “room of one’s own” no longer means you’re all alone. Creative minds are exceedingly sensitive to the buzz and whir of the world around them, and we now have to contend with a constant stream of chirps, pings, and alerts at all hours of the day. As these urgent demands tug us this way and that, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a centered space for creativity.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
Technology, while providing us many advantages, encourages us to race through our days so that we no longer know what we'd do if we were to slow down. Labor-saving devices seem not only to have failed to enhance the quality of our lives and free up more time, but get between us and the immediate, sensory pleasures of life and increase the pressures on us to do more. Many of us feel cut off from life's blessings, from our neighbors, from the wonders of nature, and from our sense of our own significance in the scheme of things. Modern life leaves us spiritually starved
Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett
The largest, fastest growing, most profitable companies in 2050 will be companies that will have figured out how to harness aspects of sharing that are invisible and unappreciated today. Anything that can be shared—thoughts, emotions, money, health, time—will be shared in the right conditions, with the right benefits. Anything that can be shared can be shared better, faster, easier, longer, and in a million more ways than we currently realize. At this point in our history, sharing something that has not been shared before, or in a new way, is the surest way to increase its value.
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
While we think of the boundary between what is legal and what is not as a clear dividing line, it is far from being so. Rather, the boundary becomes further and further indented and folded over time, yielding a jagged and complicated border, rather than a clear straight line. In the end, the law turns out to look like a fractal: no matter how much you zoom in on such a shape, there is always more unevenness, more detail to observe. Any general rule must end up dealing with exceptions, which in turn split into further exceptions and rules, yielding an increasingly complicated, branching structure.
Samuel Arbesman (Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension)
In retrospect, the word “remote control” was ultimately a misnomer. What it finally did was to empower the more impulsive circuits of the brain in their conflict with the executive faculties, the parts with which we think we control ourselves and act rationally. It did this by making it almost effortless, practically nonvolitional, to redirect our attention—the brain had only to send one simple command to the finger in response to a cascade of involuntary cues. In fact, in the course of sustained channel surfing, the voluntary aspect of attention control may disappear entirely. The channel surfer is then in a mental state not unlike that of a newborn or a reptile. Having thus surrendered, the mind is simply jumping about and following whatever grabs it. All this leads to a highly counterintuitive point: technologies designed to increase our control over our attention will sometimes have the very opposite effect. They open us up to a stream of instinctive selections, and tiny rewards, the sum of which may be no reward at all. And despite the complaints of the advertising industry, a state of distracted wandering was not really a bad one for the attention merchants; it was far better than being ignored.
Tim Wu (The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads)
This leads to the idea of a race between education and technology: if the supply of skills does not increase at the same pace as the needs of technology, then groups whose training is not sufficiently advanced will earn less and be relegated to devalued lines of work, and inequality with respect to labor will increase. In order to avoid this, the educational system must increase its supply of new types of training and its output of new skills at a sufficiently rapid pace. If equality is to decrease, moreover, the supply of new skills must increase even more rapidly, especially for the least well educated.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
Under Coolidge, the federal debt fell. Under Coolidge, the top income tax rate came down by half, to 25 percent. Under Coolidge, the federal budget was always in surplus. Under Coolidge, unemployment was 5 percent or even 3 percent. Under Coolidge, Americans wired their homes for electricity and bought their first cars or household appliances on credit. Under Coolidge, the economy grew strongly, even as the federal government shrank. Under Coolidge, the rates of patent applications and patents granted increased dramatically. Under Coolidge, there came no federal antilynching law, but lynchings themselves became less frequent and Ku Klux Klan membership dropped by millions. Under Coolidge, a man from a town without a railroad station, Americans moved from the road into the air. Under Coolidge, religious faith found its modern context: the first great White House Christmas tree was lit, an ingenious use for the new technology, electricity. Under Coolidge, the number of local telephone calls went up by a quarter. In Silent Cal’s time, Americans learned to chatter. Under Coolidge, wages rose and interest rates came down so that the poor might borrow more easily. Under Coolidge, the rich came to pay a greater share of the income tax.
Amity Shlaes (Coolidge)
This is the Sandman,’ Francisco said. ‘Its non-lethal mode is derived from the same technology as the Sleeper guns that you’re already familiar with, but with far greater range and accuracy.’ He pressed a button just above the rifle’s trigger guard and a glowing, blue holographic sight appeared in the air above the weapon. ‘This targeting array will identify and track multiple targets through heat signature, electromagnetic emissions or movement. It’s also capable of up to twelve times’ magnification for long-range sniping. If it should prove necessary the weapon can also be switched to lethal mode which fires magnetically accelerated microslugs, which have the stopping power of a bullet but are much lower in mass, giving it greatly increased ammo capacity. Each clip holds two hundred and fifty rounds, allowing for sustained rapid fire if necessary. The Sandman fires almost silently, with no muzzle flash and without the need for a suppressor, making it an ideal stealth weapon. It also has a full thermoptic camouflage coating tied into the system on board your ISIS armour. You have ten minutes to fire the weapon on the range in order to better familiarise yourself with it. Any questions?’ ‘Are they going to be in the shops in time for Christmas?’ Shelby asked.
Mark Walden (Deadlock (H.I.V.E., #8))
The Western industrial complex would not change even if millions of people perished in Africa or India or some other faraway place. The population of the earth increases by millions every month, and such losses would be seen as a little drop in the ocean. But if something serious were to occur in the West, then that would turn upside down the currently held vision of Western people with regard to the impact of modern technology on nature. It would be something that would wake them up and perhaps help to stop this really suicidal course that modern civilization is currently pursuing and that the rest of the world is trying to follow.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (در جستجوي امر قدسي)
In 1980 there was no Internet or cell phone network, most people did not travel by air, most of the advanced medical technologies in common use today did not yet exist, and only a minority attended college. In the areas of communication, transportation, health, and education, the changes have been profound. These changes have also had a powerful impact on the structure of employment: when output per head increases by 35 to 50 percent in thirty years, that means that a very large fraction—between a quarter and a third—of what is produced today, and therefore between a quarter and a third of occupations and jobs, did not exist thirty years ago.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
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)
The resource of generational history is accorded little attention our society, which seems ever more obsessed with making “new” and “better” synonymous. From my family I became aware of the importance of passing along wisdom from one generation to the next. Yet despite the increasing proliferation of digital recording and other communication technologies, we’re passing on less knowledge today than our parents did through the oral tradition alone. We’re drowning in photographs and videos, capturing every mundane moment of our birthdays, holidays, and vacations. Yet these can be no more than pleasant distraction, only scratching the surface of our real relationships.
Ralph Nader (The Seventeen Traditions)
The increasing sophistication of robots and the progress of artificial intelligence has generated considerable anxiety about what would happen to our societies if only a few people had interesting jobs and everyone else had either no work or had a horrible job, and inequality ballooned as a result. Especially if this happened because of forces largely out of their control. Tech moguls are getting desperate to find ideas to solve the problems their technologies might cause. But we don’t need to contemplate the future in order to get a sense of what happens when economic growth leaves behind the majority of a country’s citizens. This has already happened—in the United States since 1980.
Abhijit V. Banerjee (Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems)
The cheapest orbit available is LEO (Low Earth Orbit). People often think that "orbit" means there's no gravity. This is incorrect. In fact, the International Space Station (which is in LEO right now) is usually around 250 miles high and experiences about 90% of the gravity you experience on Earth. So why do the astronauts float around like there's no gravity? Although they are pulled toward the Earth all the time, they always "miss" it. Think of it like this: Imagine you fire a cannonball from the top of a tower. If you fire it softly, the ball will go a little ways then fall to the ground. If you fire it incredibly fast, it will just fly off into space. But between falling right down and going off into space, there are a lot of intermediate regimes. For a given height, there is some speed that is slow enough that it can't leave Earth, but fast enough that you'll never plop to the ground. If you were ridong that cannonball, you'd be falling, because gravity is tugging you down. At the same time, because you're going so fast, you'd be able to see Earth's curve. As you move from a point on the globe in a straight line, Earth curves down and away from you, increasing your distance from the surface. At this particular speed, you have two balanced effects: Gravity wants you down low, but your speed keeps you up high. So you just keep going around and around. You "orbit.
Kelly Weinersmith (Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything)
There is something self-destructive about Western technology and distribution. Whenever any consumer object is so excellent that it attracts a devoted following, some of the slide rule and computer types come in on their twinkle toes and take over the store, and in a trice they figure out just how far they can cut quality and still increase market penetration. Their reasoning is that it is idiotic to make and sell a hundred thousand units of something and make 30 cents a unit when you can increase the advertising, sell five million units, and make a nickel profit a unit. Thus, the very good things of the world go down the drain, from honest turkey to honest eggs to honest tomatoes. And gin.
John D. MacDonald (The Dreadful Lemon Sky (Travis McGee #16))
I have been sent many images by a Morgellons sufferer of extraordinary phenomena found in the bodies of those with the syndrome. Among them are hollow filaments, fibers, crystals, silica (often in hexagram form), even insect-like synthetic 'creature' remarkably similar to the one inserted into Neo's belly by agents in the Matrix movie.... Those tested who do not have visible symptoms of Morgellons have been found to be infested with fiber cultures grown from their saliva, body tissue, and urine.... Morgellons is proliferating because the takeover is proliferating and you will see this massive increase with the introduction of 5G which this body-invasion technology is designed to interact with.
David Icke (Everything You Need to Know But Were Never Told)
But a predominantly scientific and technological education, such as is the usual thing nowadays, can also bring about a spiritual regression and a considerable increase of psychic dissociation. With hygiene and prosperity alone a man is still far from health, otherwise the most enlightened and most comfortably off among us would be the healthiest. But in regard to neuroses that is not the case at all, quite the contrary. Loss of roots and lack of tradition neuroticize the masses and prepare them for collective hysteria. Collective hysteria calls for collective therapy, which consists in abolition of liberty and terrorization. Where rationalistic materialism holds sway, states tend to develop less into prisons than into lunatic asylums.
C.G. Jung
because of Marx’s capacity to discover the long-term laws of motion of the capitalist mode of production in its essence, irrespective of thousands of ‘impurities’ and of secondary aspects, that his long-term predictions – the laws of accumulation of capital, stepped-up technological progress, accelerated increase in the productivity and intensity of labour, growing concentration and centralization of capital, transformation of the great majority of economically active people into sellers of labour-power, declining rate of profit, increased rate of surplus value, periodically recurrent recessions, inevitable class struggle between Capital and Labour, increasing revolutionary attempts to overthrow capitalism – have been so strikingly confirmed by history.
Karl Marx (Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol 1)
The world has been changing even faster as people, devices and information are increasingly connected to each other. Computational power is growing and quantum computing is quickly being realised. This will revolutionise artificial intelligence with exponentially faster speeds. It will advance encryption. Quantum computers will change everything, even human biology. There is already one technique to edit DNA precisely, called CRISPR. The basis of this genome-editing technology is a bacterial defence system. It can accurately target and edit stretches of genetic code. The best intention of genetic manipulation is that modifying genes would allow scientists to treat genetic causes of disease by correcting gene mutations. There are, however, less noble possibilities for manipulating DNA. How far we can go with genetic engineering will become an increasingly urgent question. We can’t see the possibilities of curing motor neurone diseases—like my ALS—without also glimpsing its dangers. Intelligence is characterised as the ability to adapt to change. Human intelligence is the result of generations of natural selection of those with the ability to adapt to changed circumstances. We must not fear change. We need to make it work to our advantage. We all have a role to play in making sure that we, and the next generation, have not just the opportunity but the determination to engage fully with the study of science at an early level, so that we can go on to fulfil our potential and create a better world for the whole human race. We need to take learning beyond a theoretical discussion of how AI should be and to make sure we plan for how it can be. We all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. We stand on the threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting, if precarious, place to be, and we are the pioneers. When we invented fire, we messed up repeatedly, then invented the fire extinguisher. With more powerful technologies such as nuclear weapons, synthetic biology and strong artificial intelligence, we should instead plan ahead and aim to get things right the first time, because it may be the only chance we will get. Our future is a race between the growing power of our technology and the wisdom with which we use it. Let’s make sure that wisdom wins.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
The three topics of this book - technological change, education, and inequality - are intricately related in a kind of 'race.' During the first three-quarters of the twentieth century, the rising supply of educated workers outstripped the increased demand caused by technological advances. Higher real incomes were accompanied by lower inequality. But during the last two decades of the century the reverse was the case, and there was sharply rising inequality. Put another way, in the first half of the century, education raced ahead of technology, but later in the century, technology raced ahead of educational gains. The skill bias of technology did not change much across the century, nor did its rate of change. Rather, the sharp rise in inequality was largely due to an educational slowdown.
Claudia Goldin (The Race between Education and Technology)
The argument that technology cannot create ongoing structural unemployment, rather than just temporary spells of joblessness during recessions, rests on two pillars: 1) economic theory and 2) two hundred years of historical evidence. But both of these are less solid than they first appear. First, the theory. There are three economic mechanisms that are candidates for explaining technological unemployment: inelastic demand, rapid change, and severe inequality. If technology leads to more efficient use of labor, then as the economists on the National Academy of Sciences panel pointed out, this does not automatically lead to reduced demand for labor. Lower costs may lead to lower prices for goods, and in turn, lower prices lead to greater demand for the goods, which can ultimately lead to an increase in demand for labor as well.
Erik Brynjolfsson (The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies)
But to what extent has computer technology been an advantage to the masses of people? To steelworkers, vegetable-store owners, teachers, garage mechanics, musicians, bricklayers, dentists, and most of the rest into whose lives the computer now intrudes? Their private matters have been made more accessible to powerful institutions. They are more easily tracked and controlled; are subjected to more examinations; are increasingly mystified by the decisions made about them; are often reduced to mere numerical objects. They are inundated by junk mail. They are easy targets for advertising agencies and political organizations. The schools teach their children to operate computerized systems instead of teaching things that are more valuable to children. In a word, almost nothing that they need happens to the losers. Which is why they are losers.
Neil Postman (Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology)
When historians write the epitaph for neoliberalism, they will have to conclude that it was the form of capitalism that systematically prioritized political imperatives over economic ones. That is: given a choice between a course of action that will make capitalism seem like the only possible economic system, and one that will make capitalism actually be a more viable long-term economic system, neoliberalism has meant always choosing the former. Does destroying job security while increasing working hours really create a more productive (let alone innovative, loyal) workforce? There is every reason to believe that exactly the opposite is the case. In purely economic terms the result of neoliberal reform of labor markets is almost certainly negative—an impression that overall lower economic growth rates in just about all parts of the world in the eighties and nineties would tend to reinforce. However it has been spectacularly effective in depoliticizing labor. The same could be said of the burgeoning growth in armies, police, and private security services. They’re utterly unproductive—nothing but a resource sink. It’s quite possible, in fact, that the very weight of the apparatus created to ensure the ideological victory of capitalism will itself ultimately sink it. But it’s also easy to see how, if the ultimate imperative of those running the world is choking off the possibility of any sense of an inevitable, redemptive future that will be fundamentally different than the world today must be a crucial part of the neoliberal project. Antithesis Yet even those areas of science and technology that did receive massive funding have not seen the breakthroughs originally anticipated
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
There are very few SJWs who would be willing to give up indoor plumbing or their iPhones for their ideals. The fact that they cannot see the contradiction now does not mean they will always be unable to do so, particularly given the way in which their corrupted institutions are falling into rapid decline, one after the other, and being replaced by radical new institutions. The public schools can no longer educate, so people are turning to homeschooling. The universities can no longer provide liberal arts educations, so people are becoming technology-assisted autodidacts. The banks no longer loan, the state and local governments no longer provide basic public services, the military does not defend the borders, the newspapers no longer provide news, the television networks no longer entertain, and the corporations are increasingly unable to provide employment.
Vox Day (SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police)
[Huxley's Perennial Philosophy is concerned with] the need to love the earth and respect nature instead of following the example of those who 'chopped down vast forests to provide the newsprint demanded by that universal literacy which was to make the world safe for intelligence and democracy, and got wholesale erosion, pulp magazines, and organs of Fascist, Communist, capitalist, and nationalist propaganda.' He attacked 'technological imperialism' and the mechanisation which was 'increasing the power of a minority to exercise a co-ersive control over the lives of their fellows' and 'the popular philosophy of life... now moulded by advertising copy whose one idea is to persuade everybody to be as extroverted and uninhibitedly greedy as possible, since of course it is only the possessive, the restless, the distracted, who spend money on the things that advertisers want to sell.
Nicholas Murray (Aldous Huxley: A Biography)
We are unprepared in part because, for the first time, the preponderance of choice has overwhelmed our ability to manage it. We have lost our ability to filter what is important and what isn’t. Psychologists call this “decision fatigue”: the more choices we are forced to make, the more the quality of our decisions deteriorates.5 TOO MUCH SOCIAL PRESSURE It is not just the number of choices that has increased exponentially, it is also the strength and number of outside influences on our decisions that has increased. While much has been said and written about how hyperconnected we now are and how distracting this information overload can be, the larger issue is how our connectedness has increased the strength of social pressure. Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
It is critical to recognize that we live in an increasingly complex world - biologically, socially, politically, technologically, you name it - that holds many inherent contradictions. In the middle of this complex world are we humans, who have a natural tendency to seek coherence in what we see, feel, think, and do. When we experience conflict, this tendency intensifies. Conflict is essentially a contradiction, an incompatibility, oppositely directed forces, and a difference that triggers tension. When we encounter conflict, within the field of forces that constitute it, the natural human tendency is to reduce that tension by seeking coherence through simplification. Research shows that this tendency toward simplification becomes even more intensified when we are under stress, threat, time constraints, fatigue, and various other conditions all absolutely typical of conflict. So what is the big idea? It is NOT that coherence is bad and complexity is good. Coherence seeking is simply a necessary and functional process that helps us interpret and respond to our world efficiently and (hopefully) effectively. And complexity in extremes is a nightmare - think of Mogadishu, Somalia, in the 1990s or the financial crisis of 2009 or Times Square during rush hour on a Friday afternoon. On the other hand, too much coherence can be just as pathological: for example, the collapse of the nuances and contradictions inherent in any conflict situation into simple 'us versus them' terms, or a deep commitment to a rigid understanding of conflicts based on past sentiments and obsolete information. Either extreme - overwhelming complexity or oversimplified coherence - is problematic. But in difficult, long-term conflicts, the tide pulls fiercely toward simplification of complex realities. This is what we must content with.
Peter T. Coleman (The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts)
The 1990s to the present: feminism, historicism, postcolonialism, ethics There has never been a better time to study Virginia Woolf. Woolf studies, in the 1990s and in the new millennium, has continued to flourish and diversify in all its numerous and proliferating aspects. In this recent period the topics that occupied earlier critics continue in new debates, on her modernism, her philosophy and ethics, her feminism and her aesthetics; and there have also been marked turns in new directions. Woolf and her work have been increasingly examined in the context of empire, drawing on the influential field of postcolonial studies; and, stimulated by the impetus of new historicism and cultural materialism, there have been new attempts to understand Woolf ’s writing and persona in the context of the public and private spheres, in the present as well as in her own time. Woolf in the context of war and fascism, and in the contexts of modernity, science and technology, continue to exercise critics. Serious, sustained readings of lesbianism in Woolf ’s writing and in her life have marked recent feminist interpretations in Woolf studies. Enormous advances have also been made in the study of Woolf ’s literary and cultural influences and allusions. Numerous annotated and scholarly editions of Woolf ’s works have been appearing since she briefly came out of copyright in 1991, accompanied by several more scholarly editions of her works in draft and holograph, encouraging further critical scrutiny of her compositional methods. There have been several important reference works on Woolf. Many biographies of Woolf and her circle have also appeared, renewing biographical criticism, along with a number of works concerned with Woolf in geographical context, from landscape and London sites to Woolf ’s and her circle’s many houses and holiday retreats.
Jane Goldman (The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf)
As noted in About ESC Electrol Specialties Company began fabricating CIP System components as a vendor to one of the nations largest suppliers of cleaning chemicals to the Dairy industry more than 50 years ago. This vendor was a major provider of the engineering services, components and skilled personnel required to design and install CIPable automaed processes, for dairies initialy, and later food and beverage processors. This vendor was actively involved with new facility construction, but more importantly, also developed and applied the methodos of applying such new technology equally well to "recycle old dairies" via rennovation projects planned to provide the exisitng facility increased capacity, efficiency and quality capabilities, and keep it running during the rennovation process. This vendor worked on a design and install" basis and used its own wsanitary welding crews, even Internationally, through the mid 70s.
John Franks
There was no reason whatever to make a wholesale choice between handicraft and machine production: between a single contemporary part of the technological pool and all the other past accumulations. But there was a genuine reason to maintain as many diverse units in this pool as possible, in order to increase the range of both human choices and technological inventiveness. Many of the machines of the nineteenth century, as Kropotkin pointed out, were admirable auxiliaries to handicraft processes, once they could be scaled, like the efficient small electric motor, to the small workshop and the personally controlled operation. William Morris and his colleagues, who almost single-handed salvaged and restored one ancient craft after another, by personally mastering the arts of dyeing, weaving, embroidering, printing, glass-painting, paper-making, book-binding, showed superior technological insight to those who scoffed at their romanticism.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
here is one other element of the apocalyptic tradition to be considered, namely transition. I said a minute ago that one of the assumptions prevalent in sophisticated apocalyptism was what Yeats called 'antithetical multiform influx'--the forms assumed by the inrushing gyre as the old one reaches its term. The dialectic of Yeats's gyres is simple enough in essence; they are a figure for the co-existence of the past and future at the time of transition. The old narrows to its apex, the new broadens towards its base, and the old and new interpenetrate. Where apex and base come together you have an age of very rapid transition. Actually, on Yeats's view of the historical cycle, there were transient moments of perfection, or what he called Unity of Being; but there was no way of making these permanent, and his philosophy of history is throughout transitional. In this he is not, of course, original; but his emphasis on the traditional character of our own pre-apocalyptic moment, in contrast with those exquisite points of time when life was like the water brimming beautifully but unstably over the rim of a fountain, seems, for all the privacy of the expression, characteristically modern. It is commonplace that our times do in fact suffer a more rapid rate of change technologically, and consequently in the increase of social mobility, than any before us. There is nothing fictive about that, and its implications are clear in our own day-to-day lives. What is interesting, though, is the way in which this knowledge is related to apocalypse, so that a mere celebratory figure for social mobility, like On the Road, acquires apocalyptic overtones and establishes the language of an elect; and the way in which writers, that is to say, clerks, are willing to go along, arguing that the rate of change implies revolution or schism, and that this is a perpetual requirement; that the stage of transition, like the whole of time in an earlier revolution, has become endless.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
When I was growing up it was still acceptable—not to me but in social terms—to say that one was not interested in science and did not see the point in bothering with it. This is no longer the case. Let me be clear. I am not promoting the idea that all young people should grow up to be scientists. I do not see that as an ideal situation, as the world needs people with a wide variety of skills. But I am advocating that all young people should be familiar with and confident around scientific subjects, whatever they choose to do. They need to be scientifically literate, and inspired to engage with developments in science and technology in order to learn more. A world where only a tiny super-elite are capable of understanding advanced science and technology and its applications would be, to my mind, a dangerous and limited one. I seriously doubt whether long-range beneficial projects such as cleaning up the oceans or curing diseases in the developing world would be given priority. Worse, we could find that technology is used against us and that we might have no power to stop it. I don’t believe in boundaries, either for what we can do in our personal lives or for what life and intelligence can accomplish in our universe. We stand at a threshold of important discoveries in all areas of science. Without doubt, our world will change enormously in the next fifty years. We will find out what happened at the Big Bang. We will come to understand how life began on Earth. We may even discover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. While the chances of communicating with an intelligent extra-terrestrial species may be slim, the importance of such a discovery means we must not give up trying. We will continue to explore our cosmic habitat, sending robots and humans into space. We cannot continue to look inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. Through scientific endeavour and technological innovation, we must look outwards to the wider universe, while also striving to fix the problems on Earth. And I am optimistic that we will ultimately create viable habitats for the human race on other planets. We will transcend the Earth and learn to exist in space. This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of what I hope will be billions of years of life flourishing in the cosmos. And one final point—we never really know where the next great scientific discovery will come from, nor who will make it. Opening up the thrill and wonder of scientific discovery, creating innovative and accessible ways to reach out to the widest young audience possible, greatly increases the chances of finding and inspiring the new Einstein. Wherever she might be. So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
From every direction, the place is under assault—and unlike in the past, the adversary is not concentrated in a single force, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, but takes the form of separate outfits conducting smaller attacks that are, in many ways, far more insidious. From directly above, the air-tour industry has succeeded in scuttling all efforts to dial it back, most recently through the intervention of Arizona’s senators, John Kyl and John McCain, and is continuing to destroy one of the canyon’s greatest treasures, which is its silence. From the east has come a dramatic increase in uranium-mining claims, while the once remote and untrammeled country of the North Rim now suffers from an ever-growing influx of recreational ATVs. On the South Rim, an Italian real estate company recently secured approval for a massive development whose water demands are all but guaranteed to compromise many of the canyon’s springs, along with the oases that they nourish. Worst of all, the Navajo tribe is currently planning to cooperate in constructing a monstrous tramway to the bottom of the canyon, complete with a restaurant and a resort, at the confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado, the very spot where John Wesley Powell made his famous journal entry in the summer of 1869 about venturing “down the Great Unknown.” As vexing as all these things are, what Litton finds even more disheartening is the country’s failure to rally to the canyon’s defense—or for that matter, to the defense of its other imperiled natural wonders. The movement that he and David Brower helped build is not only in retreat but finds itself the target of bottomless contempt. On talk radio and cable TV, environmentalists are derided as “wackos” and “extremists.” The country has swung decisively toward something smaller and more selfish than what it once was, and in addition to ushering in a disdain for the notion that wilderness might have a value that extends beyond the metrics of economics or business, much of the nation ignorantly embraces the benefits of engineering and technology while simultaneously rejecting basic science.
Kevin Fedarko (The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon)
So we had better call upon our lawyers, politicians, philosophers and even poets to turn their attention to this conundrum: how do you regulate the ownership of data? This may well be the most important political question of our era. If we cannot answer this question soon, our sociopolitical system might collapse. People are already sensing the coming cataclysm. Perhaps this is why citizens all over the world are losing faith in the liberal story, which just a decade ago seemed irresistible. How, then, do we go forward from here, and how do we cope with the immense challenges of the biotech and infotech revolutions? Perhaps the very same scientists and entrepreneurs who disrupted the world in the first place could engineer some technological solution? For example, might networked algorithms form the scaffolding for a global human community that could collectively own all the data and oversee the future development of life? As global inequality rises and social tensions increase around the world, perhaps Mark Zuckerberg could call upon his 2 billion friends to join forces and do something together?
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
By the end of the 1970s, a clear majority of the employed population of Britain, Germany, France, the Benelux countries, Scandinavia and the Alpine countries worked in the service sector—communications, transport, banking, public administration and the like. Italy, Spain and Ireland were very close behind. In Communist Eastern Europe, by contrast, the overwhelming majority of former peasants were directed into labour-intensive and technologically retarded mining and industrial manufacture; in Czechoslovakia, employment in the tertiary, service sector actually declined during the course of the 1950s. Just as the output of coal and iron-ore was tailing off in mid-1950s Belgium, France, West Germany and the UK, so it continued to increase in Poland, Czechoslovakia and the GDR. The Communists’ dogmatic emphasis on raw material extraction and primary goods production did generate rapid initial growth in gross output and per capita GDP. In the short run the industrial emphasis of the Communist command economies thus appeared impressive (not least to many Western observers). But it boded ill for the region’s future.
Tony Judt (Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945)
IS CARDIO BEST BEFORE OR AFTER LIFTING? NEITHER! Doing cardio right before or after lifting can seriously hinder muscle and strength gains. Why? Researchers from RMIT University worked with well–trained athletes in 2009 and found that “combining resistance exercise and cardio in the same session may disrupt genes for anabolism.” In laymen’s terms, they found that combining endurance and resistance training sends “mixed signals” to the muscles37. Cardio before the resistance training suppressed anabolic hormones such as IGF–1 and MGF, and cardio after resistance training increased muscle tissue breakdown. Several other studies, such as those conducted by Children’s National Medical Center38, the Waikato Institute of Technology39, and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland)40 , came to same conclusions: training for both endurance and strength simultaneously impairs your gains on both fronts. Training purely for strength or purely for endurance in a workout is far superior. Cardio before weightlifting also saps your energy and makes it much harder to train heavy, which in turn inhibits your muscle growth. So, how do you do it right?
Michael Matthews (Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body)
Some researchers, such as psychologist Jean Twenge, say this new world where compliments are better than sex and pizza, in which the self-enhancing bias has been unchained and allowed to gorge unfettered, has led to a new normal in which the positive illusions of several generations have now mutated into full-blown narcissism. In her book The Narcissism Epidemic, Twenge says her research shows that since the mid-1980s, clinically defined narcissism rates in the United States have increased in the population at the same rate as obesity. She used the same test used by psychiatrists to test for narcissism in patients and found that, in 2006, one in four U.S. college students tested positive. That’s real narcissism, the kind that leads to diagnoses of personality disorders. In her estimation, this is a dangerous trend, and it shows signs of acceleration. Narcissistic overconfidence crosses a line, says Twenge, and taints those things improved by a skosh of confidence. Over that line, you become less concerned with the well-being of others, more materialistic, and obsessed with status in addition to losing all the restraint normally preventing you from tragically overestimating your ability to manage or even survive risky situations. In her book, Twenge connects this trend to the housing market crash of the mid-2000s and the stark increase in reality programming during that same decade. According to Twenge, the drive to be famous for nothing went from being strange to predictable thanks to a generation or two of people raised by parents who artificially boosted self-esteem to ’roidtastic levels and then released them into a culture filled with new technologies that emerged right when those people needed them most to prop up their self-enhancement biases. By the time Twenge’s research was published, reality programming had spent twenty years perfecting itself, and the modern stars of those shows represent a tiny portion of the population who not only want to be on those shows, but who also know what they are getting into and still want to participate. Producers with the experience to know who will provide the best television entertainment to millions then cull that small group. The result is a new generation of celebrities with positive illusions so robust and potent that the narcissistic overconfidence of the modern American teenager by comparison is now much easier to see as normal.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
RAIN IN MEASURED AMOUNTS Another item of information provided in the Qur'an about rain is that it is sent down to Earth in "due measure." This is mentioned in Surat az-Zukhruf as follows: It is He Who sends down water in measured amounts from the sky by which We bring a dead land back to life. That is how you too will be raised [from the dead]. (Qur'an, 43:11) This measured quantity in rain has again been discovered by modern research. It is estimated that in one second, approximately 16 million tons of water evaporates from the Earth. This figure amounts to 513 trillion tons of water in one year. This number is equal to the amount of rain that falls on the Earth in a year. Therefore, water continuously circulates in a balanced cycle, according to a "measure." Life on Earth depends on this water cycle. Even if all the available technology in the world were to be employed for this purpose, this cycle could not be reproduced artificially. Even a minor deviation in this equilibrium would soon give rise to a major ecological imbalance that would bring about the end of life on Earth. Yet, it never happens, and rain continues to fall every year in exactly the same measure, just as revealed in the Qur'an. The proportion of rain does not merely apply to its quantity, but also to the speed of the falling raindrops. The speed of raindrops, regardless of their size, does not exceed a certain limit. Philipp Lenard, a German physicist who received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1905, found that the fall speed increased with drop diameter until a size of 4.5 mm (0.18 inch). For larger drops, however, the fall speed did not increase beyond 8 metres per second (26 ft/sec).57 He attributed this to the changes in drop shape caused by the air flow as the drop size increased. The change in shape thus increased the air Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an 113 resistance of the drop and slowed its fall rate. As can be seen, the Qur'an may also be drawing our attention to the subtle adjustment in rain which could not have been known 1,400 years ago. Harun Yahya Every year, the amount of water that evaporates and that falls back to the Earth in the form of rain is "constant": 513 trillion tons. This constant amount is declared in the Qur'an by the expression "sending down water in due measure from the sky." The constancy of this quantity is very important for the continuity of the ecological balance, and therefore, life.
Harun Yahya (Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an)
So what are people actually referring to when they talk about "deregulation"? In ordinary usage, the word seems to mean "changing the regulatory structure in a way that I like." In practice this can refer to almost anything. In the case of airlines or telecommunications in the seventies and eighties, it meant changing the system of regulation from one that encouraged a few large firms to one that fostered carefully supervised competition between midsize firms. In the case of banking, "deregulation" has usually meant exactly the opposite: moving away from a situation of managed competition between mid-sized firms to one where a handful of financial conglomerates are allowed to completely dominate the market. This is what makes the term so handy. Simply by labeling a new regulatory measure "deregulation," you can frame it in the public mind as a way to reduce bureaucracy and set individual initiative free, even if the result is a fivefold increase in the actual number of forms to be filled in, reports to be filed, rules and regulations for lawyers to interpret, and officious people in offices whose entire job seems to be to provide convoluted explanations for why you're not allowed to do things. (p. 17)
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
if consumption by the one billion people in the developed countries declined, it is certainly nowhere close to doing so where the other six billion of us are concerned. If the rest of the world bought cars and trucks at the same per capita rate as in the United States, the world’s population of cars and trucks would be 5.5 billion. The production of global warming pollution and the consumption of oil would increase dramatically over and above today’s unsustainable levels. With the increasing population and rising living standards in developing countries, the pressure on resource constraints will continue, even as robosourcing and outsourcing reduce macroeconomic demand in developed countries. Around the same time that The Limits to Growth was published, peak oil production was passed in the United States. Years earlier, a respected geologist named M. King Hubbert collected voluminous data on oil production in the United States and calculated that an immutable peak would be reached shortly after 1970. Although his predictions were widely dismissed, peak production did occur exactly when he predicted it would. Exploration, drilling, and recovery technologies have since advanced significantly and U.S. oil production may soon edge back slightly above the 1970 peak, but the new supplies are far more expensive. The balance of geopolitical power shifted slightly after the 1970 milestone. Less than a year after peak oil production in the U.S., the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began to flex its muscles, and two years later, in the fall of 1973, the Arab members of OPEC implemented the first oil embargo. Since those tumultuous years when peak oil was reached in the United States, energy consumption worldwide has doubled, and the growth rates in China and other emerging markets portend further significant increases. Although the use of coal is declining in the U.S., and coal-fired generating plants are being phased out in many other developed countries as well, China’s coal imports have already increased 60-fold over the past decade—and will double again by 2015. The burning of coal in much of the rest of the developing world has also continued to increase significantly. According to the International Energy Agency, developing and emerging markets will account for all of the net global increase in both coal and oil consumption through the next two decades. The prediction of global peak oil is fraught with
Al Gore (The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change)
Many of us who have observed our own behavior don't need science to prove that technology is altering us, but let's bring some in anyway. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that records certain experiences in our brain (typically described as pleasurable) and prompts us to repeat them, plays a part not only in sex and drugs, but also the swiping and tapping we do on our smartphones. Scott Barry Kaufman--- scientific director of the Imagination Institute...gave me the straight dope on dopamine. "It's a misconception that dopamine has to do with our feelings of happiness and pleasure," he said. "It's a molecule that helps influence our expectations." Higher levels of dopamine are linked to being more open to new things and novelty seeking. Something novel could be an amazing idea for dinner or a new book. . . or just getting likes on a Facebook post or the ping of a text coming in. Our digital devices activate and hijack this dopamine system extremely well, when we let them. ...Kaufman calls dopamine "the mother of invention" and explains that because we have a limited amount of it, we must be judicious about choosing to spend it on "increasing our wonder and excitement for creating meaning and new things like art--- or on Twitter.
Manoush Zomorodi (Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self)
In North America, there is no nostalgia for the postwar period, quite simply because the Trente Glorieuses never existed there: per capita output grew at roughly the same rate of 1.5–2 percent per year throughout the period 1820–2012. To be sure, growth slowed a bit between 1930 and 1950 to just over 1.5 percent, then increased again to just over 2 percent between 1950 and 1970, and then slowed to less than 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. In Western Europe, which suffered much more from the two world wars, the variations are considerably greater: per capita output stagnated between 1913 and 1950 (with a growth rate of just over 0.5 percent) and then leapt ahead to more than 4 percent from 1950 to 1970, before falling sharply to just slightly above US levels (a little more than 2 percent) in the period 1970–1990 and to barely 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. Western Europe experienced a golden age of growth between 1950 and 1970, only to see its growth rate diminish to one-half or even one-third of its peak level during the decades that followed. [...] If we looked only at continental Europe, we would find an average per capita output growth rate of 5 percent between 1950 and 1970—a level well beyond that achieved in other advanced countries over the past two centuries. These very different collective experiences of growth in the twentieth century largely explain why public opinion in different countries varies so widely in regard to commercial and financial globalization and indeed to capitalism in general. In continental Europe and especially France, people quite naturally continue to look on the first three postwar decades—a period of strong state intervention in the economy—as a period blessed with rapid growth, and many regard the liberalization of the economy that began around 1980 as the cause of a slowdown. In Great Britain and the United States, postwar history is interpreted quite differently. Between 1950 and 1980, the gap between the English-speaking countries and the countries that had lost the war closed rapidly. By the late 1970s, US magazine covers often denounced the decline of the United States and the success of German and Japanese industry. In Britain, GDP per capita fell below the level of Germany, France, Japan, and even Italy. It may even be the case that this sense of being rivaled (or even overtaken in the case of Britain) played an important part in the “conservative revolution.” Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States promised to “roll back the welfare state” that had allegedly sapped the animal spirits of Anglo-Saxon entrepreneurs and thus to return to pure nineteenth-century capitalism, which would allow the United States and Britain to regain the upper hand. Even today, many people in both countries believe that the conservative revolution was remarkably successful, because their growth rates once again matched continental European and Japanese levels. In fact, neither the economic liberalization that began around 1980 nor the state interventionism that began in 1945 deserves such praise or blame. France, Germany, and Japan would very likely have caught up with Britain and the United States following their collapse of 1914–1945 regardless of what policies they had adopted (I say this with only slight exaggeration). The most one can say is that state intervention did no harm. Similarly, once these countries had attained the global technological frontier, it is hardly surprising that they ceased to grow more rapidly than Britain and the United States or that growth rates in all of these wealthy countries more or less equalized [...] Broadly speaking, the US and British policies of economic liberalization appear to have had little effect on this simple reality, since they neither increased growth nor decreased it.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
Consider first the mechanisms pushing toward convergence, that is, toward reduction and compression of inequalities. The main forces for convergence are the diffusion of knowledge and investment in training and skills. The law of supply and demand, as well as the mobility of capital and labor, which is a variant of that law, may always tend toward convergence as well, but the influence of this economic law is less powerful than the diffusion of knowledge and skill and is frequently ambiguous or contradictory in its implications. Knowledge and skill diffusion is the key to overall productivity growth as well as the reduction of inequality both within and between countries. We see this at present in the advances made by a number of previously poor countries, led by China. These emergent economies are now in the process of catching up with the advanced ones. By adopting the modes of production of the rich countries and acquiring skills comparable to those found elsewhere, the less developed countries have leapt forward in productivity and increased their national incomes. The technological convergence process may be abetted by open borders for trade, but it is fundamentally a process of the diffusion and sharing of knowledge—the public good par excellence—rather than a market mechanism.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
It is a truism today, in this highly technologically-developed culture, that students need technical computer skills. Equally truistic (and, not incidentally, true) is that the workplace has become highly technological. Even more truistic – and far more disturbing – are the shifts in education over the last two decades as public elementary schools, public and private high schools, and colleges and universities have invested scores of billions of dollars on “digital infrastructure,” computers, monitors and printers, “smart classrooms,” all to “meet the demands” of this new technological workplace. "We won’t dwell on the fact – an inconvenient truth? – that those technological investments have coincided with a decline in American reading behaviors, in reading and reading comprehension scores, in overall academic achievement, in the phenomenon – all too familiar to us in academia – of “grade inflation,” in an alarming collapse of our students’ understanding of their own history (to say nothing of the history of the rest of the world), rising ignorance of world and American geography, with an abandonment of the idea of objectivity, and with an increasingly subjective, even solipsistic, emphasis on personal experience. Ignore all this. Or, if we find it impossible to ignore, then let’s blame the teachers...
Peter K. Fallon (Cultural Defiance, Cultural Deviance)
Well, it's been obvious for centuries that capitalism is going to self-destruct: that's just inherent in the logic of system―because to the extent that a system is capitalist, that means maximizing short-term profit and not being concerned with long-term effects. In fact, the motto of capitalism was, "private vices, public benefits"―somehow it's gonna work out. Well, it doesn't work out, and it's never going to work out: if you're maximizing short-term profits without concern for the long-term effects, you are going to destroy the environment, for one thing. I mean, you can pretend up to a certain point that the world has infinite resources and that it's an infinite wastebasket―but at some point you're going to run into the reality, which is that that isn't true. Well, we're running into that reality now―and it's very profound. Take something like combustion: anything you burn, no matter what it is, is increasing the greenhouse effect―and this was known to scientists decades ago, they knew exactly what was happening. But in a capitalist system, you don't care about long-term effects like that, what you have to care about is tomorrow's profits. So the greenhouse effect has been building for years, and there's no known technological fix on the horizon―there may not be any answer to this, it could be so serious that there's no remedy. That's possible, and then human beings will turn out to have been a lethal mutation, which maybe destroys a lot of life with us. Or it could be that there's some way of fixing it, or some ameliorating way―nobody knows.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
I’d gone to an outdoor store in Minneapolis called REI about a dozen times over the previous months to purchase a good portion of these items. Seldom was this a straightforward affair. To buy even a water bottle without first thoroughly considering the latest water bottle technology was folly, I quickly learned. There were the pros and cons of various materials to take into account, not to mention the research that had been done regarding design. And this was only the smallest, least complex of the purchases I had to make. The rest of the gear I would need was ever more complex, I realized after consulting with the men and women of REI, who inquired hopefully if they could help me whenever they spotted me before displays of ultralight stoves or strolling among the tents. These employees ranged in age and manner and area of wilderness adventure proclivity, but what they had in common was that every last one of them could talk about gear, with interest and nuance, for a length of time that was so dumbfounding that I was ultimately bedazzled by it. They cared if my sleeping bag had snag-free zipper guards and a face muff that allowed the hood to be cinched snug without obstructing my breathing. They took pleasure in the fact that my water purifier had a pleated glass-fiber element for increased surface area. And their knowledge had a way of rubbing off on me. By the time I made the decision about which backpack to purchase—a top-of-the-line Gregory hybrid external frame that claimed to have the balance and agility of an internal—I felt as if I’d become a backpacking expert.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare ‘automeals,’ heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be ‘ordered’ the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books. Synchronous satellites, hovering in space will make it possible for you to direct-dial any spot on earth, including the weather stations in Antarctica. [M]en will continue to withdraw from nature in order to create an environment that will suit them better. By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. Ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button. Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. “[H]ighways … in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface. There will be aircraft, of course, but even ground travel will increasingly take to the air a foot or two off the ground. [V]ehicles with ‘Robot-brains’ … can be set for particular destinations … that will then proceed there without interference by the slow reflexes of a human driver. [W]all screens will have replaced the ordinary set; but transparent cubes will be making their appearance in which three-dimensional viewing will be possible. [T]he world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. All earth will be a single choked Manhattan by A.D. 2450 and society will collapse long before that! There will, therefore, be a worldwide propaganda drive in favor of birth control by rational and humane methods and, by 2014, it will undoubtedly have taken serious effect. Ordinary agriculture will keep up with great difficulty and there will be ‘farms’ turning to the more efficient micro-organisms. Processed yeast and algae products will be available in a variety of flavors. The world of A.D. 2014 will have few routine jobs that cannot be done better by some machine than by any human being. Mankind will therefore have become largely a race of machine tenders. Schools will have to be oriented in this direction…. All the high-school students will be taught the fundamentals of computer technology will become proficient in binary arithmetic and will be trained to perfection in the use of the computer languages that will have developed out of those like the contemporary “Fortran". [M]ankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom, a disease spreading more widely each year and growing in intensity. This will have serious mental, emotional and sociological consequences, and I dare say that psychiatry will be far and away the most important medical specialty in 2014. [T]he most glorious single word in the vocabulary will have become work! in our a society of enforced leisure.
Isaac Asimov
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)
GCHQ has traveled a long and winding road. That road stretches from the wooden huts of Bletchley Park, past the domes and dishes of the Cold War, and on towards what some suggest will be the omniscient state of the Brave New World. As we look to the future, the docile and passive state described by Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World is perhaps more appropriate analogy than the strictly totalitarian predictions offered by George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Bizarrely, many British citizens are quite content in this new climate of hyper-surveillance, since its their own lifestyle choices that helped to create 'wired world' - or even wish for it, for as we have seen, the new torrents of data have been been a source of endless trouble for the overstretched secret agencies. As Ken Macdonald rightly points out, the real drives of our wired world have been private companies looking for growth, and private individuals in search of luxury and convenience at the click of a mouse. The sigint agencies have merely been handed the impossible task of making an interconnected society perfectly secure and risk-free, against the background of a globalized world that presents many unprecedented threats, and now has a few boundaries or borders to protect us. Who, then, is to blame for the rapid intensification of electronic surveillance? Instinctively, many might reply Osama bin Laden, or perhaps Pablo Escobar. Others might respond that governments have used these villains as a convenient excuse to extend state control. At first glance, the massive growth of security, which includes includes not only eavesdropping but also biometric monitoring, face recognition, universal fingerprinting and the gathering of DNA, looks like a sad response to new kinds of miscreants. However, the sad reality is that the Brave New World that looms ahead of us is ultimately a reflection of ourselves. It is driven by technologies such as text messaging and customer loyalty cards that are free to accept or reject as we choose. The public debate on surveillance is often cast in terms of a trade-off between security and privacy. The truth is that luxury and convenience have been pre-eminent themes in the last decade, and we have given them a much higher priority than either security or privacy. We have all been embraced the world of surveillance with remarkable eagerness, surfing the Internet in a global search for a better bargain, better friends, even a better partner. GCHQ vast new circular headquarters is sometimes represented as a 'ring of power', exercising unparalleled levels of surveillance over citizens at home and abroad, collecting every email, every telephone and every instance of internet acces. It has even been asserted that GCHQ is engaged in nothing short of 'algorithmic warfare' as part of a battle for control of global communications. By contrast, the occupants of 'Celtenham's Doughnut' claim that in reality they are increasingly weak, having been left behind by the unstoppable electronic communications that they cannot hope to listen to, still less analyse or make sense of. In fact, the frightening truth is that no one is in control. No person, no intelligence agency and no government is steering the accelerating electronic processes that may eventually enslave us. Most of the devices that cause us to leave a continual digital trail of everything we think or do were not devised by the state, but are merely symptoms of modernity. GCHQ is simply a vast mirror, and it reflects the spirit of the age.
Richard J. Aldrich (GCHQ)
HISTORICAL NOTE There are no nuclear power stations in Belarus. Of the functioning stations in the territory of the former USSR, the ones closest to Belarus are of the old Soviet-designed RBMK type. To the north, the Ignalinsk station, to the east, the Smolensk station, and to the south, Chernobyl. On April 26, 1986, at 1:23:58, a series of explosions destroyed the reactor in the building that housed Energy Block #4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station. The catastrophe at Chernobyl became the largest technological disaster of the twentieth century. For tiny Belarus (population: 10 million), it was a national disaster. During the Second World War, the Nazis destroyed 619 Belarussian villages along with their inhabitants. As a result of Chernobyl, the country lost 485 villages and settlements. Of these, 70 have been forever buried underground. During the war, one out of every four Belarussians was killed; today, one out of every five Belarussians lives on contaminated land. This amounts to 2.1 million people, of whom 700,000 are children. Among the demographic factors responsible for the depopulation of Belarus, radiation is number one. In the Gomel and Mogilev regions, which suffered the most from Chernobyl, mortality rates exceed birth rates by 20%. As a result of the accident, 50 million Ci of radionuclides were released into the atmosphere. Seventy percent of these descended on Belarus; fully 23% of its territory is contaminated by cesium-137 radionuclides with a density of over 1 Ci/km2. Ukraine on the other hand has 4.8% of its territory contaminated, and Russia, 0.5%. The area of arable land with a density of more than 1 Ci/km2 is over 18 million hectares; 2.4 thousand hectares have been taken out of the agricultural economy. Belarus is a land of forests. But 26% of all forests and a large part of all marshes near the rivers Pripyat, Dniepr, and Sozh are considered part of the radioactive zone. As a result of the perpetual presence of small doses of radiation, the number of people with cancer, mental retardation, neurological disorders, and genetic mutations increases with each year. —“Chernobyl.” Belaruskaya entsiklopedia On April 29, 1986, instruments recorded high levels of radiation in Poland, Germany, Austria, and Romania. On April 30, in Switzerland and northern Italy. On May 1 and 2, in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and northern Greece. On May 3, in Israel, Kuwait, and Turkey. . . . Gaseous airborne particles traveled around the globe: on May 2 they were registered in Japan, on May 5 in India, on May 5 and 6 in the U.S. and Canada. It took less than a week for Chernobyl to become a problem for the entire world. —“The Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident in Belarus.” Minsk, Sakharov International College on Radioecology The fourth reactor, now known as the Cover, still holds about twenty tons of nuclear fuel in its lead-and-metal core. No one knows what is happening with it. The sarcophagus was well made, uniquely constructed, and the design engineers from St. Petersburg should probably be proud. But it was constructed in absentia, the plates were put together with the aid of robots and helicopters, and as a result there are fissures. According to some figures, there are now over 200 square meters of spaces and cracks, and radioactive particles continue to escape through them . . . Might the sarcophagus collapse? No one can answer that question, since it’s still impossible to reach many of the connections and constructions in order to see if they’re sturdy. But everyone knows that if the Cover were to collapse, the consequences would be even more dire than they were in 1986. —Ogonyok magazine, No. 17, April 1996
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
Therefore, when labour-saving technology reduces total socially necessary labour time (per commodity – for an increase in the number of commodities made may increase socially necessary labour time in absolute terms), there tends to be a relative fall in the surplus value contained in the total value of commodities, ie less surplus value per commodity, despite the fact that the rate of exploitation has increased, ie that each worker is now giving the capitalist more surplus labour time and therefore producing more surplus value relative to their necessary labour. As Grossman says: “Technological progress means that since commodities are created with a smaller expenditure of labour their value falls. This is not only true of the newly produced commodities. The fall in value reacts back on the commodities that are still on the market but which were produced under the older methods, involving a greater expenditure of labour time. These commodities are devalued.”[67] The very possibility of crisis is contained in the contradictory nature of the commodity. It is at once an object of use, or use-value, and something that can be exchanged for another thing, an exchange-value. Since different commodities contain different magnitudes of value and therefore cannot be directly exchanged, the creation of money proceeds logically and historically from the contradiction. It is not the exchange of commodities which regulates the magnitude of their value, but the magnitude of their value which controls their exchange value. Exchange-value is the only form in which the value of commodities can be expressed. Someone will buy a use-value because they need or want it, but only if they can exchange it for something else, ie money. If they do not have enough money, they cannot buy it, and profit goes unrealised. But to focus on this final ‘surface level’ aspect is what produces the mistaken underconsumptionist theory, for it forgets or ignores where it arose from – the dual character of the commodity.
Ted Reese (Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown)
Cataract Treatment Advanced by Laser Eye Surgery It is estimated that half of individuals aged 65 and above will grow a cataract at some period in their life. A cataract is an eye condition that may be hazardous to your eyesight. In a healthy eye, there's a clear lens which enables you to focus. For those who have a cataract, the lens slowly deteriorates over a long period of time. Your vision can be blurry as the cataract develops, until the whole-of the lens is muddy. Your sight will slowly get worse, becoming blurry or misty, which makes it tough to see clearly. Cataracts can occur at any age but generally develop as you get older. Cataract surgery involves removing the cataract by emulsifying the lens by sonography and replacing it with a small plastic lens. This artificial lens is then stabilised within your natural lens that was held by the same lens capsule. The results restore clear vision and generally wholly remove the significance of reading glasses. However, years following the surgery, patients can occasionally experience clouding of their sight again. Vision can become blurred and lots of patients have issues with glare and bright lights. What is truly happening is a thickening of the lens capsule that holds the artificial lens. Medically this is known as Posterior Lens Capsule Opacification. This thickening of the lens capsule occurs in the back, meaning natural lens cells develop across the rear of the lens. These cells are sometimes left behind subsequent cataract surgery, causing problems with the light entering the-eye and hence problems with your vision. Laser Eye getlasereyesurgery.co.uk y Treatment Lasers are beams of power which may be targeted quite correctly. Nowadays the technology will be used increasingly for the purpose of rectifying the vision of patients after cataract operation. The YAG laser is a focused laser with really low energy levels and can be used to cut away a small circle shaped area in the lens capsule which enables light to once again pass through to the rear of the artificial lens. A proportion of the lens capsule is retained in order to keep the lens in place, but removes enough of the cells to let the light to the retina. If you want to read more information, please Click Here
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The granite complex inside the Great Pyramid, therefore, is poised ready to convert vibrations from the Earth into electricity. What is lacking is a sufficient amount of energy to drive the beams and activate the piezoelectric properties within them. The ancients, though, had anticipated the need for more energy than what would be collected only within the King's Chamber. They had determined that they needed to tap into the vibrations of the Earth over a larger area inside the pyramid and deliver that energy to the power center—the King's Chamber —thereby substantially increasing the amplitude of the oscillations of the granite. Modern concert halls are designed and built to interact with the instruments performing within. They are huge musical instruments in themselves. The Great Pyramid can be seen as a huge musical instrument with each element designed to enhance the performance of the other. While modern research into architectural acoustics might focus predominantly upon minimizing the reverberation effects of sound in enclosed spaces, there is reason to believe that the ancient pyramid builders were attempting to achieve the opposite. The Grand Gallery, which is considered to be an architectural masterpiece, is an enclosed space in which resonators were installed in the slots along the ledge that runs the length of the gallery. As the Earth's vibration flowed through the Great Pyramid, the resonators converted the vibrational energy to airborne sound. By design, the angles and surfaces of the Grand Gallery walls and ceiling caused reflection of the sound, and its focus into the King's Chamber. Although the King's Chamber also was responding to the energy flowing through the pyramid, much of the energy would flow past it. The specific design and utility of the Grand Gallery was to transfer the energy flowing through a large area of the pyramid into the resonant King's Chamber. This sound was then focused into the granite resonating cavity at sufficient amplitude to drive the granite ceiling beams to oscillation. These beams, in turn, compelled the beams above them to resonate in harmonic sympathy. Thus, with the input of sound and the maximization of resonance, the entire granite complex, in effect, became a vibrating mass of energy.
Christopher Dunn (The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt)
In the present time, Information Technology has emerged as one of the most promising Industries across the globe. Globally for the reduction of cost, time and efforts involved in the production and supply of the goods and services has made whole business world to adopt the technological support. And due to this reason only Software development have emerged as a important means of growth of IT Industry in India. Software Development Companies in India Have played a crucial role in rapid development of Software industry in India. These Companies Constantly improve and enhance the world of computers and technology. With the help of Software development all the complicated machines whether its computers, laptops, mobile phones or navigation devices all these machines are the way they are today performing various tasks successfully. As Software Development is having a essential role in many industries, so organizations have realized their importance for improving themselves in various aspects of management. Software Development have increased the productivity of the businesses by reducing the human efforts and errors. This increased demand in the Software Development have also given rise to high demand of Software Development Companies everywhere. Even there is a huge demand of best Software Company in Lucknow as Lucknow being capital of U.P have become a growing market for various industries and now almost every offline brand has setup into online businesses of their products and services. As the number of internet users are increasing day by day so are the businesses entering into the online so that they could influence customers online. Besides Software Development many other web solutions like web hosting, web development and website designing services have great demand in the market also therefore, Software Companies have started offering all these services along with software development. Software Industry is flooded with various software companies which are also Website Development Company in Lucknow offering various web based services but it is required by you to choose wisely which company to choose to help your business sustain successfully in long run and stay ahead of its competitors in the market. The company is choosen such that which provide good quality software’s in affordable price.
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A world where only a tiny super-elite are capable of understanding advanced science and technology and its applications would be, to my mind, a dangerous and limited one. I seriously doubt whether long-range beneficial projects such as cleaning up the oceans or curing diseases in the developing world would be given priority. Worse, we could find that technology is used against us and that we might have no power to stop it. I don’t believe in boundaries, either for what we can do in our personal lives or for what life and intelligence can accomplish in our universe. We stand at a threshold of important discoveries in all areas of science. Without doubt, our world will change enormously in the next fifty years. We will find out what happened at the Big Bang. We will come to understand how life began on Earth. We may even discover whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. While the chances of communicating with an intelligent extra-terrestrial species may be slim, the importance of such a discovery means we must not give up trying. We will continue to explore our cosmic habitat, sending robots and humans into space. We cannot continue to look inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet. Through scientific endeavour and technological innovation, we must look outwards to the wider universe, while also striving to fix the problems on Earth. And I am optimistic that we will ultimately create viable habitats for the human race on other planets. We will transcend the Earth and learn to exist in space. This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of what I hope will be billions of years of life flourishing in the cosmos. And one final point—we never really know where the next great scientific discovery will come from, nor who will make it. Opening up the thrill and wonder of scientific discovery, creating innovative and accessible ways to reach out to the widest young audience possible, greatly increases the chances of finding and inspiring the new Einstein. Wherever she might be. So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future.
Stephen Hawking (Brief Answers to the Big Questions)
This is a good moment to remember one of Mansfield’s Manly Maxims: “Manly men tend their fields.” It means that we take care of the lives and property entrusted to us. It means that we take responsibility for everything in the “field assigned to us.” We cannot do this without knowledge. We cannot do it if we are ignorant of our times, blind to the trends shaping our lives, and oblivious to the basic knowledge that allows us to do what we are called to do as men. We must know enough about law, health, science, economics, politics, and technology to fulfill our roles. We should also know enough about our faith to stand our ground in a secular age, resist heresies, and teach our families. We also shouldn’t be without the benefits of literature and poetry, of good novels and stirring stories, all of which make us more relevant and more effective. We need all of this, and no one is going to force it upon us. Nor will we acquire what we need from a degree program or a study group alone, as valuable as these can be. The truth is that men who aspire to be genuine men and serve well have no choice: they must devote themselves to an aggressive program of self-education. They have to read books, stay current with websites and periodicals, consult experts, and put themselves in a position to know. It isn’t as hard as it sounds, particularly in our Internet age. Much of what a man needs to know can land in his iPad while he is sleeping, but he has to know enough to value this power in the first place. To ignore this duty can mean disaster. How many men have lost jobs because they did not see massive trends on the horizon? How many men have failed to stay intellectually sharp and so gave up ground in their professions to others with more active minds? How many have lost money through uninformed investments or have not taken opportunities in expanding fields or have missed promotions because they had not bothered to learn about new technologies or what changes social media, for example, would bring to their jobs? I do not want to be negative. Learning is a joy. Reading is one of the great pleasures of life. A man ought to invest in knowledge because it is part of living in this world fully engaged and glorifying God. Yet our times also make it essential. The amount of knowledge in the world is increasing. Technology is transforming our lives. New trends can rise like floodwaters and sweep devastation into our homes. Men committed to tending their fields learn, study, research, dig out facts, and test theories. They know how to safeguard their families. They serve well because they serve as informed men.
Stephen Mansfield (Mansfield's Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self)
I do not believe that we have finished evolving. And by that, I do not mean that we will continue to make ever more sophisticated machines and intelligent computers, even as we unlock our genetic code and use our biotechnologies to reshape the human form as we once bred new strains of cattle and sheep. We have placed much too great a faith in our technology. Although we will always reach out to new technologies, as our hands naturally do toward pebbles and shells by the seashore, the idea that the technologies of our civilized life have put an end to our biological evolution—that “Man” is a finished product—is almost certainly wrong. It seems to be just the opposite. In the 10,000 years since our ancestors settled down to farm the land, in the few thousand years in which they built great civilizations, the pressures of this new way of life have caused human evolution to actually accelerate. The rate at which genes are being positively selected to engender in us new features and forms has increased as much as a hundredfold. Two genes linked to brain size are rapidly evolving. Perhaps others will change the way our brain interconnects with itself, thus changing the way we think, act, and feel. What other natural forces work transformations deep inside us? Humanity keeps discovering whole new worlds. Without, in only five centuries, we have gone from thinking that the earth formed the center of the universe to gazing through our telescopes and identifying countless new galaxies in an unimaginably vast cosmos of which we are only the tiniest speck. Within, the first scientists to peer through microscopes felt shocked to behold bacteria swarming through our blood and other tissues. They later saw viruses infecting those bacteria in entire ecologies of life living inside life. We do not know all there is to know about life. We have not yet marveled deeply enough at life’s essential miracle. How, we should ask ourselves, do the seemingly soulless elements of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, zinc, iron, and all the others organize themselves into a fully conscious human being? How does matter manage to move itself? Could it be that an indwelling consciousness makes up the stuff of all things? Could this consciousness somehow animate the whole grand ecology of evolution, from the forming of the first stars to the creation of human beings who look out at the universe’s glittering constellations in wonder? Could consciousness somehow embrace itself, folding back on itself, in a new and natural technology of the soul? If it could, this would give new meaning to Nietzsche’s insight that: “The highest art is self–creation.” Could we, really, shape our own evolution with the full force of our consciousness, even as we might exert our will to reach out and mold a lump of clay into a graceful sculpture? What is consciousness, really? What does it mean to be human?
David Zindell (Splendor)
In 2006, researchers Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler created fake newspaper articles about polarizing political issues. The articles were written in a way that would confirm a widespread misconception about certain ideas in American politics. As soon as a person read a fake article, experimenters then handed over a true article that corrected the first. For instance, one article suggested that the United States had found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The next article corrected the first and said that the United States had never found them, which was the truth. Those opposed to the war or who had strong liberal leanings tended to disagree with the original article and accept the second. Those who supported the war and leaned more toward the conservative camp tended to agree with the first article and strongly disagree with the second. These reactions shouldn’t surprise you. What should give you pause, though, is how conservatives felt about the correction. After reading that there were no WMDs, they reported being even more certain than before that there actually were WMDs and that their original beliefs were correct. The researchers repeated the experiment with other wedge issues, such as stem cell research and tax reform, and once again they found that corrections tended to increase the strength of the participants’ misconceptions if those corrections contradicted their ideologies. People on opposing sides of the political spectrum read the same articles and then the same corrections, and when new evidence was interpreted as threatening to their beliefs, they doubled down. The corrections backfired. Researchers Kelly Garrett and Brian Weeks expanded on this work in 2013. In their study, people already suspicious of electronic health records read factually incorrect articles about such technologies that supported those subjects’ beliefs. In those articles, the scientists had already identified any misinformation and placed it within brackets, highlighted it in red, and italicized the text. After they finished reading the articles, people who said beforehand that they opposed electronic health records reported no change in their opinions and felt even more strongly about the issue than before. The corrections had strengthened their biases instead of weakening them. Once something is added to your collection of beliefs, you protect it from harm. You do this instinctively and unconsciously when confronted with attitude-inconsistent information. Just as confirmation bias shields you when you actively seek information, the backfire effect defends you when the information seeks you, when it blindsides you. Coming or going, you stick to your beliefs instead of questioning them. When someone tries to correct you, tries to dilute your misconceptions, it backfires and strengthens those misconceptions instead. Over time, the backfire effect makes you less skeptical of those things that allow you to continue seeing your beliefs and attitudes as true and proper.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
This brings me to an objection to integrated information theory by the quantum physicist Scott Aaronson. His argument has given rise to an instructive online debate that accentuates the counterintuitive nature of some IIT's predictions. Aaronson estimates phi.max for networks called expander graphs, characterized by being both sparsely yet widely connected. Their integrated information will grow indefinitely as the number of elements in these reticulated lattices increases. This is true even of a regular grid of XOR logic gates. IIT predicts that such a structure will have high phi.max. This implies that two-dimensional arrays of logic gates, easy enough to build using silicon circuit technology, have intrinsic causal powers and will feel like something. This is baffling and defies commonsense intuition. Aaronson therefor concludes that any theory with such a bizarre conclusion must be wrong. Tononi counters with a three-pronged argument that doubles down and strengthens the theory's claim. Consider a blank featureless wall. From the extrinsic perspective, it is easily described as empty. Yet the intrinsic point of view of an observer perceiving the wall seethes with an immense number of relations. It has many, many locations and neighbourhood regions surrounding these. These are positioned relative to other points and regions - to the left or right, above or below. Some regions are nearby, while others are far away. There are triangular interactions, and so on. All such relations are immediately present: they do not have to be inferred. Collectively, they constitute an opulent experience, whether it is seen space, heard space, or felt space. All share s similar phenomenology. The extrinsic poverty of empty space hides vast intrinsic wealth. This abundance must be supported by a physical mechanism that determines this phenomenology through its intrinsic causal powers. Enter the grid, such a network of million integrate-or-fire or logic units arrayed on a 1,000 by 1,000 lattice, somewhat comparable to the output of an eye. Each grid elements specifies which of its neighbours were likely ON in the immediate past and which ones will be ON in the immediate future. Collectively, that's one million first-order distinctions. But this is just the beginning, as any two nearby elements sharing inputs and outputs can specify a second-order distinction if their joint cause-effect repertoire cannot be reduced to that of the individual elements. In essence, such a second-order distinction links the probability of past and future states of the element's neighbours. By contrast, no second-order distinction is specified by elements without shared inputs and outputs, since their joint cause-effect repertoire is reducible to that of the individual elements. Potentially, there are a million times a million second-order distinctions. Similarly, subsets of three elements, as long as they share input and output, will specify third-order distinctions linking more of their neighbours together. And on and on. This quickly balloons to staggering numbers of irreducibly higher-order distinctions. The maximally irreducible cause-effect structure associated with such a grid is not so much representing space (for to whom is space presented again, for that is the meaning of re-presentation?) as creating experienced space from an intrinsic perspective.
Christof Koch (The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread But Can't Be Computed)
Hello,” she says. “My name is Amanda Ritter. In this file I will tell you only what you need to know. I am the leader of an organization fighting for justice and peace. This fight has become increasingly more important--and consequently, nearly impossible--in the past few decades. That is because of this.” Images flash across the wall, almost too fast for me to see. A man on his knees with a gun pressed to his forehead. The woman pointing it at him, her face emotionless. From a distance, a small person hanging by the neck from a telephone pole. A hole in the ground the size of a house, full of bodies. And there are other images too, but they move faster, so I get only impressions of blood and bone and death and cruelty, empty faces, soulless eyes, terrified eyes. Just when I have had enough, when I feel like I am going to scream if I see any more, the woman reappears on the screen, behind her desk. “You do not remember any of that,” she says. “But if you are thinking these are the actions of a terrorist group or a tyrannical government regime, you are only partially correct. Half of the people in those pictures, committing those terrible acts, were your neighbors. Your relatives. Your coworkers. The battle we are fighting is not against a particular group. It is against human nature itself--or at least what it has become.” This is what Jeanine was willing to enslave minds and murder people for--to keep us all from knowing. To keep us all ignorant and safe and inside the fence. There is a part of me that understands. “That is why you are so important,” Amanda says. “Our struggle against violence and cruelty is only treating the symptoms of a disease, not curing it. You are the cure. “In order to keep you safe, we devised a way for you to be separated from us. From our water supply. From our technology. From our societal structure. We have formed your society in a particular way in the hope that you will rediscover the moral sense most of us have lost. Over time, we hope that you will begin to change as most of us cannot. “The reason I am leaving this footage for you is so that you will know when it’s time to help us. You will know that it is time when there are many among you whose minds appear to be more flexible than the others. The name you should give those people is Divergent. Once they become abundant among you, your leaders should give the command for Amity to unlock the gate forever, so that you may emerge from your isolation.” And that is what my parents wanted to do: to take what we had learned and use it to help others. Abnegation to the end. “The information in this video is to be restricted to those in government only,” Amanda says. “You are to be a clean slate. But do not forget us.” She smiles a little. “I am about to join your number,” she says. “Like the rest of you, I will voluntarily forget my name, my family, and my home. I will take on a new identity, with false memories and a false history. But so that you know the information I have provided you with is accurate, I will tell you the name I am about to take as my own.” Her smile broadens, and for a moment, I feel that I recognize her. “My name will be Edith Prior,” she says. “And there is much I am happy to forget.” Prior. The video stops. The projector glows blue against the wall. I clutch Tobias’s hand, and there is a moment of silence like a withheld breath. Then the shouting begins.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))