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Will technology be the death of us?
Michael considered fate at 19:57   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

Technology doesn't kill people. People kill people. 
Along the lines of the uncanny valley and the singularity, don't forget the words of Ted K:
In his own words the Unabomber says: "The system does not and cannot exist to satisfy human needs. Instead, it is human behavior that has to be modified to fit the needs of the system. This has nothing to do with the political or social ideology that may pretend to guide the technological system. It is the fault of technology, because the system is guided not by ideology but by technical necessity.”
Oh but there is more! While we might not see it yet technology will eventually transcend us. What can yah do, really? Unfortunately, the answer is not to go around bombing those who understand it. Good try, though, Ted.
As best I understand, the Unabomber’s argument goes like this:
  1. Personal freedoms are constrained by society, as they must be.
  2. The stronger that technology makes society, the less freedoms.
  3. Technology destroys nature, which strengthens technology further.
  4. This ratchet of technological self-amplification is stronger than politics.
  5. Any attempt to use technology or politics to tame the system only strengthens it.
  6. Therefore technological civilization must be destroyed, rather than reformed.
  7. Since it cannot be destroyed by tech or politics, humans must push industrial society towards its inevitable end of self-collapse.
  8. Then pounce on it when it is down and kill it before it rises again.
In short, Kaczynski claims that civilization is the disease and not the cure. He wasn’t the first to make this claim. Rants against the machine of civilization go back as far as Freud and beyond. But the assaults against industrial society speed up as industry sped up. Edward Abbey, the legendary wilderness activist, considered industrial civilization to be a “destroying juggernaut” wrecking both the planet and humans. Abbey did all he could personally to stop the juggernaut with monkey wrenching maneuvers – sabotaging logging equipment and so forth. Abbey was the iconic Earth Firster who inspired many fire throwing followers. The luddite theorist, Kirkpatrick Sale, who unlike Abbey, railed against the machine while living in a brownstone in Manhattan, refined the idea of “civilization as disease.” Kirk Sale and I had a public debate which led to
[sic] public bet of $1,000 on whether civilization would collapse by 2020 (me nay, he yay).
And it goes on. It's an interesting read.

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