Jon Lebkowsky on Thu, 17 Apr 1997 01:58:33 +0200 (MET DST)


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Mark Stahlman says:

>Technology threatens humanity.  Technology permits genetic manipulation. 
>Technology permits psychological conditioning.  Technology enslaves us all
>by automating our lives and thereby turning us into automatons. Technology
>is our enemy's favorite weapon.  "Knowledge is Power" is the enemy's
>battlecry in their war to end humanity through liberation from neccessity.

After so many globs of wordplay, Iím glad youíve restated your message more
succinctly, Mark.  I donít doubt your sincerity, but I donít resonate with
your technophobia.

In fact just minutes before I received your post, I wrote a paragraph
orthogonal to your message, saying that technology emanates from humanity,
the two are inseparable.  We're toolmakers, you know? Our creation and use
of tools formed the psychic and physical context for the generation of
culture.

That you see technology as a thing apart from and opposing humanity is the
essential flaw in your paradigm... speaking from my own vision, with no
allusion to Wells or Lewis or Marx or Weiner or Professor Irwin CoreyÖ it
is a denial of integrity at the origin of culture, and it has nihilistic
resonance: dystopian, apocalyptic, a future shock view through a very
narrow tunnel of abstraction.  Sometimes a banana is really just a banana,
and Frankenstein's monster a young girl's technophobic nightmare (or
technophiliac wet dream?)

Iím more of an optimist.

In my various rants about cyborganics, technology as enhancement, I look
for (co)evolution of (highly integrated) mind, body, and technology as
manifestation of practical truth, not abstract apoclayptic nightmare.

Given that this kind of abstract thinking is mostly air, and especially
given that prophecy fails as a matter of course, Iím sure weíre both wrong.
 In the event of a prophecy that is self-fulfilling, however,  I go for the
life-affirming.

(I expressly encourage Bruce Sterling or anyone else... cross-post like
crazy to the WELL or any related system.)

Jon Lebkowsky
Austin
jonl@onr.com



=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Jon Lebkowsky     *     jonl@onr.com     *     www.well.com/~jonl
* Austin conference, Electric Minds  (www.minds.com)
* Electronic Frontiers Forum, HotWired (www.hotwired.com/eff)
* Vice President, EFF-Austin (www.eff-austin.org)
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