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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:42 PM

 

The "You can't stop technology" mantra, and one issue we never seem to address.

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." - Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park

I think we can come up with some valid examples of where this lesson has been poorly learned. Monsato is a good one. Automated vote counting machines is another.

We let the mantra of "you can't stop technology" so completely take over our society that we never even question the DIRECTION of said progress. Progress must go on, no matter what path it takes, no matter what it steps on in the process. It's progress, thus it must be good.

It doesn't matter if it intrudes on your privacy without your consent, we make excuses for it. "If you've got nothing to hide" or "they're not interested in you" or all the other infamous delusions or even outright canards.

Technology is like a car, you drive it recklessly and there will be accidents and lives lost. Just ask Union Carbide about that, or better yet their surviving victims in Bhopal, India. There have to be controls, and yes, also restrictions.

If we don't put the brakes on technology in some areas, we eventually come to this.

31 replies, 2453 views

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Reply The "You can't stop technology" mantra, and one issue we never seem to address. (Original post)
Zalatix Jun 2012 OP
randome Jun 2012 #1
Zalatix Jun 2012 #2
randome Jun 2012 #3
Zalatix Jun 2012 #4
randome Jun 2012 #5
Zalatix Jun 2012 #8
Posteritatis Jun 2012 #13
randome Jun 2012 #15
Zalatix Jun 2012 #16
HiPointDem Jun 2012 #18
Zalatix Jun 2012 #24
randome Jun 2012 #19
Zalatix Jun 2012 #23
randome Jun 2012 #25
Zalatix Jun 2012 #26
randome Jun 2012 #27
Zalatix Jun 2012 #28
randome Jun 2012 #29
FrodosPet Jun 2012 #30
randome Jun 2012 #31
DCBob Jun 2012 #6
Zalatix Jun 2012 #9
xchrom Jun 2012 #7
Posteritatis Jun 2012 #10
Fozzledick Jun 2012 #11
Johonny Jun 2012 #12
hobbit709 Jun 2012 #14
Zalatix Jun 2012 #20
hobbit709 Jun 2012 #21
Capt. Obvious Jun 2012 #17
Zalatix Jun 2012 #22

Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 08:57 PM

1. Yeah, well, quoting an actor doesn't help your case.

But I agree with you in general. Technology does not need to absorb everything around us.

But the sad truth is that there are too many people in this country and in this world. The more people there are, the more competition there is. The more competition there is, the more likely someone will come up with some new-fangled way of doing things that will provide an advantage.

And then someone else has to outdo that 'invention'. And so forth and so forth.

We are in an unhealthy spiral. Technology could definitely be better applied but there are too many competing factions for that to be viable.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:02 PM

2. Wait... too many people? What does that mean?

 

Vicious competition has been around ever since there was more than 1 tribe of humans.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:04 PM

3. I think it's worse now.

Too many people, too many factions.

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Response to randome (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:13 PM

4. Too many people, eh? Okay, and who do you think should be cut down on?

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:15 PM

5. Hey, I don't have the answers.

I'm only reporting what I see as Reality. This world was already over populated when I came into it!

I don't think humans have the capacity to think for the long term. If we did, we would recognize the problem and do what we can to reduce our population through attrition.

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Response to randome (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:36 PM

8. Attrition? Care to be specific?

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:34 AM

13. I've noticed extinctionists and similar types tend to get quiet when asked for details. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:13 AM

15. Say what?

'Attrition', to me, means reducing birth rates as much as possible. Making birth control widely available and appealing to people's sense of long-term survival, which usually doesn't work well for humans, unfortunately.

It's not science fiction to see the stress we are putting on our planet. I maintain that it's our overpopulation that contributes to the over complexity of the markets and why technology gets wildly bent out of shape.

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Response to randome (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:02 PM

16. But the rich won't suffer any kind of reductions.

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:04 PM

18. and they use most of the resouces, contrary to what they want us to believe.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:16 PM

24. What, are you kidding me? A yacht uses less resources than an old used beater.

 

Just kidding.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:06 PM

19. I'm not terribly concerned about the rich when the entire planet is endangered.

If there are rules and laws, and maybe progressive tax rates to keep the population from spiraling out of control, we could and should try it. The alternative is to watch millions of people die needlessly as portions of the planet become uninhabitable.

By 'progressive tax rates', I mean charge 10% of everyone's adjusted income for each child. That should 'encourage' a smaller population.

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Response to randome (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:15 PM

23. Actually, no, the Republican economic model is the best way to curb population growth.

 

Regressive taxation penalizes the poor, taking away welfare starves them to death, lack of health care can kill a lot of people, and dangerous workplaces serve to further cull the herd. The reason the population is not imploding in America is the Republicans simply aren't going far enough. That, and immigration. If you believe what you say then social Darwinism is the most efficient way to cut down on the number of people.

Personally I prefer to listen to Stephen Hawking's solution to this - aka, colonization.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:20 PM

25. Yeah, well, maybe in four or five hundred years, we'll be up to that colonization thing.

In the meantime, we need to stop despoiling our world. A greater population equals greater resource depletion equals more and more convoluted financial systems equals greater population equals.... The system feeds in on itself.

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Response to randome (Reply #25)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:22 PM

26. And until we can colonize another world

 

the Republican POV is better suited for what you're saying than anything we Democrats have to offer.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:31 PM

27. No, I think my way is better.

Contraception. Education. Tax rates.

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Response to randome (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:42 PM

28. The rich will evade the taxes, or go overseas.

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:57 PM

29. We would need common-sense laws and regulations to back anything up.

No loopholes. No dodges.

Not a very likely scenario, I know. As I said, humans seem incapable of thinking for the long term.

Politicians even LESS so.

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Response to randome (Reply #27)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 02:23 AM

30. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink

How much education is enough? And how do you make reluctant people get educated?

Should we make a law that ALL TV channels have to show nothing but population control programming until everyone gets it? Just think...hours and hours and hours of programming about how terrible children are, and how you hate the earth if you reproduce, and how to put on a rubber or take a pill.

Beyond that, higher tax rates for having children. Shut down day care and make it illegal to watch someone else's child for hire? Do everything to make the lives of parents so intolerable that no sane person would have a child, declare anyone who still does as insane, and force them to be sterilized because they are an unfit parent because of insanity?

And after all that, there are STILL people who will want to have children.

So how do you do it? Please don't give broad one and two word answers - I would like to see some DETAILS!

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #30)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 07:06 AM

31. The alternative is to die so I think we should try something!

Public reminders that the planet cannot sustain many billions of people. Showing images of an Indian slum should help. Showing images of the pollution in China should help. Public service reminders that we are all part of the solution.

Tax rates? Like I said, 10% of after-tax income for each child.

I never said anything about leaving children already here to languish without daycare or anything like that. Or forced sterilization.

I once was an advocate for China's policy of one child per family because their population was out of control but I now believe that won't work for a world population.

I don't think those answers are TOO broad.

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:23 PM

6. Technology is driven by the market.

If its something that makes us more productive or makes our lives easier or makes life more fun then it will be developed because people will buy it. You will have hard time stopping that because people want it.

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Response to DCBob (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 10:55 PM

9. More work needs to be done about studying long-term consequences.

 

We were too quick to get things like Google Street View out in the market before working out ways in which citizens could defend themselves from it. If you want to research surveillance tech, fine, but let's also research and legalize people's rights to defend against it.

If we want technology that makes people more productive, great, but then let's counter that with technology that fixes THIS situation:

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 09:25 PM

7. We do need to tHINK about the applications of tech. Nt

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:00 PM

10. Woo, straw-man take on science citing mediocre fiction.

That's a convincing start to an argument.

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:11 PM

11. This reminds me of something that Timothy Leary said back in the 60's

Once a technology has been discovered and is known to exist there is no question of whether or not it should be used, it will inevitably be used. The question is how it will be used, either by individuals to increase their own freedom, or by authorities to reduce individual freedom.

Most people at the time thought he was just talking about LSD, but he was actually trying to place that controversy into a broader historical context.

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 11:19 PM

12. America proves you can stop technology

you just stop funding it. I'm still waiting on that Apollo project on alternative energy. and waiting and waiting. Just about every science agency I know is cutting back and becoming more end product orient. The future cuts promised by this Republican congress aren't super exciting prospect for the immediate future. Obama ran on a vision that science could be a way to achieve a future, conservatives in congress have spent 3.5 years making sure that will never happen.

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:42 AM

14. And at what level do you think technology should be stopped?

Dr. Leakey once replied when asked about when did man upset the balance of nature "When he learned to use a club"

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:07 PM

20. When it takes a turn toward creating bio-weapons, for one.

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:09 PM

21. Even that idea isn't new.

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Response to Zalatix (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:04 PM

17. I saw the title of this thread and immediately knew who wrote it

We need to put the brakes on technology before all of our lawyers are robots - the real kind, not just soul-less kind.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #17)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:11 PM

22. Automate all the lawyers. Automate all the judges.

 

Invent artificial intelligence to run our legal system and even our combat drones. Put everyone out of work except the handful who program and maintain the robots, and those who own the means of production. What the hell could go wrong with that?

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