Monday, July 28, 2008

extirpating The Technological Imperative

"The modern self-image rests on the insidious myth that man is essentially a tool-making animal.

...this myth encourages an unrestrained growth of mega-technological monstrosities."

-- Langdon Winner (summarizing views of Lewis Mumford), Autonomous Technology (MIT, 1977, p. 109)

Lewis Mumford, as Langdon Winner presents his thought, feels that man is a mind-voyager prior to a tool-maker. Humanity fussing about with tools? to make physical, and now virtual digital, creations?

This is seen to come after musing on more abstract, personal, transcendental topics. "Who am I? From where or what did I come?" are pondered before toying with the idea "what tool can I make?"

Technology is beyond critique, according to the technocrats and techophiles who worship All Technology. You must never say anything bad about nuclear reactors, atom bombs, or any other "neutral" tool that the Supreme Being Called Technology has graciously granted unto us poor little humans.

I like the idea of resistance to the Monster of Scientific Progress. To sp;it in the face of Submit to Our Techno-theocracy. To demand that science submit to moral and ethical evaluation, and not hide behind the No Value Judgments banner, so they can be as sadistic as they please.

"Science must test shampoos on the eyes of rabbits, to make sure they're safe for humans!" they cry. "Test those crappy products on your own damn self!" we yell back at them. "No more mouse maiming!" we shout.

It is lovely to mock those who want to force us to accept all inventions, even new forms of torture, abortion, surveillance, genetically modified fish, and date rape drugs.

It makes perfect sense to elevate Mind Above Machine: to lift up the inner light of  ideation, contemplation, introspection, flights of fancy, and cognitive adventures in phenomenology, while boldly demoting instrumentality, at least temporarily, so as to gain an interiorized or pre-objective perspective.

Machines have no understanding of suffering, feeling, dreams, hopes, or metaphysics.

They cannot prove we humans exist. We are an assumed quantity. Humanity is just a mythical precursor to the All Machines All the Time Realm. Thus, we are a fictional construct that they could eventually do without. Hear that whirring and humming? They're working on our removal right now, as we speak.

Machine-land and its new virtual dimensions are locked and loaded in a materia prima of mechanistic teleology: the end justifies the tech. The Technological Imperative is not questioned or given relevance, since it thinks itself "the given reality", and helps us to forget the non-automated past by keeping us entertained, debating, and self-revealing.

Share all your private data with the connected computer world. Be completely vulnerable to identity theft and other scams. Be helpless. Let the machines be the strong, silent pillars of you wither away in lethargy and dis-use, muscular atrophy and cell phone radiation brain damage.

Behold: humans must assert the superiority of consciousness {and conscience) over machines. "con-science", a sense of right and wrong, is "with science" to guide and to judge it. Our evaluation must begin as primal, not technical. We must keep re-prioritizing a natural human viewpoint.

The argument is that if we don't pay attention, authoritarian forces will force us into submission -- using the addictive toys and prerequisite tools they invent for our control and surveillance.

Computers got connected, then humans exploited the machine interactions to communicate and collaborate with each other, with fellow humans. It's possible that the servo-mechanisms are in revolt against that overloading, and pervasively trivializing, development.

Some inventions are good. Others are horrible. Some are bad in themselves (eg, crystal meth, waterboarding, footbinding, slave trading, atom bombs, bio-warfare agents). Others are good or bad, depending on how they're used.

Most are in between. Potential for positive and negative, suffering or life-enhancement. You can drive a nail with a hammer, or diabolically swing it to slaughter an ant. Like humans, our tools can be harmful or helpful.

Do you know who, or better: what, is pushing the post-human agenda via computers, internets, machine evolutions, controlled sciences, and consumer electronics?

If bad people take risks and experiment with emerging technology, they will tend to use it against humanity for selfish and destructive purposes. Malevolent priests of the Machine of Unbridled Science as it reveals itself in disguises of Fantastical Forward Thinking and March Into La La Land.

Transforming everything into technique: what Jacques Derrida calls "tele-technoscience" as ideology, a comparative religions classification clustered around the object of what it is that we swarm toward when a new toy, tool, or totalitarianism is aroused by the internet and other scientific advancements.

The Technological Imperative = "whatever can be made, MUST be made and humans must praise and adjust to it". You are food for The Technological Imperative. Computer-generated user afflictions betray the carnivoric intentions of Our New Masterbots.

Compupathogenesis is The Technological Imperative (Langdon Winner "Autonomous Technology", MIT, 1977) via Machine Realm eating into you. You have all ever let a computer wound you (sore wrist, stiff neck, aching back, dried out eyes, internet hallucinations, Twitter addiction.

Humans, whose memory powers, since the advent of books and psychoanalysis, had declined massively, made computers to remember our stuff. As human memory powers vanish to nothing, our surrogate memory banks, computers, will wait for us to forget...who made who!

By asserting our human absurdity, genius, and imagination, our gift of envisioning, in words, images, and numbers, what lies beyond our powers or input, we may be able to postpone our eventual total demise at the hands (figuratively or haptic-immersively via digital surrogate tele-presencing) of our over-valued overlords.

Absurdity. Genius. Imagination. Plus a strong dollop of altruism, compassion, and problem-solving whimsy, as expressed and adhered to in user-centric policies, interfaces, and mission statements.

How to resist and re-direct The Technological Imperative and its rush to human doom?

Just be you, in separation from total dependence on the manufactured realm. Be more human, kind, and caring. In your blog, your home, your business, your social mileau.

And don't think you have to rush off and buy every new gadget or technological toy. Don't think that you have to join and participate in every new trending social media site. Don't think you must succumb to every vaccine, mercury bomb twisty light bulb, and mutated vegetable they try to force upon you.

Be human to the point of being difficult for automation to control, predict, or thwart you.

No comments: