Techno-Optimism Is Techno-Stupidity
Silicon Valley tends to be techno-optimistic, but shouldn't we look at whether we should be more techno-sceptical?
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I recently read an article in the New York Times entitled "The Church of Techno-Optimism", which argues that the dominant ideology of Silicon Valley is techno-optimism, that technology will magically solve the world's problems, and that the state, the bureaucracy, the taxes are nothing more than obstacles to progress. The article is intended to be quite positive about this ideological movement, and I will try to defend the opposing thesis.
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I would avoid as much as possible attacking this subject on purely political and ideological sides, this is not the place, but rather to attack the foundations of this idea.
Technology Can Only Bring Good!
The worst too! Technology has brought us anti-personnel mines, but also carcinogenic pesticides, pollution, the possibility of anonymously selling drugs on the Internet, etc. In short, it would be stupid to see only the good in technology. I often say it and I repeat it every time, technology is a tool, not an end in itself. By rebounding, the positive gain brought by technology depends only on the society in which we live.
So Could It Bring Me Any Harm?
Well, yes, actually. Mass surveillance is made possible, citizen rating is flourishing to the fullest, Edward Snowden is in Russia after working for the NSA (everything is fine, he was able to give a lot of information to the Russians, I imagine they are delighted!), facial recognition of all citizens is about to become widespread in France, and Twitter has become a battlefield of a world civil war, where everyone can be followed and flipped by very vehement political opponents.
Don't laugh, it happens clearly! As a result, we feel watched, judged for our opinions by our relatives and strangers, and the Orwellian dream becomes more and more a reality. One wrong word, a word that doesn't like, and here we are in the pillory! It is therefore in our interest to become "uniform", consensual, smooth, without ideas or convictions. Will technology really deliver us? Or lock us inside our own heads?
Why These Questions Matter!
I would like to focus on the issues of fundamental freedoms, but the subject of techno-optimism must not hide its risks from us. As much as this techno-optimism has allowed the Internet to flourish, and by rebound allows me to learn quickly and free of charge thanks to the net, it would be absurd not to see the risks.
This form of scientism from engineering (I like to separate engineers from researchers) should not prevent us from seeing how technology can really change the world in the right direction. That's what startups sell us to poach us, it's up to us to challenge them!
We must not forget our history books, and remember that the great waves of technological progress do not last forever, technological progress can stop or slow down at any time.
Understanding Technologies Is Not Enough!
What is needed is to cultivate multidisciplinary knowledge to be confident when you say that your technology will change the world. To be able to be fully in control of his judgment. If it can save you from turning into Dr. Frankenstein in your work, it will be great!
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