Re: Uncritical Techno-Cheerleaders--was ENTROPIAN ALERT! Another warning for us to organize

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 17:59:08 MST

Point taken. Counterpoint: oftentimes when a "new" technology is developed
it has no known currently practical application. Take for instance
fiber-optics. No one woke up one day and said, "hey if I create a laser and
shine it down a strand of very pure silica that just might make for some
pretty bad-ass broadband data transfer." It was the bringing together of a
number of seemingly unrelated breakthroughs that led to the ability to
transfer data through a fiber.

If you want to put off developing technology until it has a demonstrated use
in service of humans, you may well indeed be waiting an unnecessarily long
time before you can make any use of your technology. Sometimes you just
have to do it because you can, and then figure out the benefits/hazards of
using it later. Climb the mountain because its there, then figure out if
the other side looks like its worth climbing down to.

My $.02


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>From: "John Marlow" <>

>You are so labeled. Label me otherwise: Technology is an artificial
>construct which has no purpose without application. That application,
>I would argue, should be in the service of Mankind, or whatever
>Mankind becomes. Technology "for its own sake" is, I feel, an unwise
>if not foolish team to cheerlead for.

>On 10 Mar 2001, at 20:42, Zero Powers wrote:
> > >From:
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> > >We do not want to be or be labeled as
> > >uncritical cheerleaders of technology for its own sake, but rather as
> > >proponents of a coherent and defensible set of values that improve the
> > >quality of life.
> >
> > I cannot tell a lie. Feel free to label me an uncritical cheerleader of
> > technology for its own sake. I have an unbridled fetish for efficiency.
> If
> > it can be done faster, better, cheaper, I say let's have at it. That
> > doesn't necessarily mean however I'm in favor of all *uses* of efficient
> > technology. Hitler after all was the most efficient genocidist in
> > But as for the tech itself, I say bring it on no holds barred.
> >
> > -Zero
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