We might expect intelligent life and technological communities to have emerged in the universe billions of years ago. Given that human society is only a few thousand years old, and that human technological society is mere centuries old, the nature of a community with millions or even billions of years of technological and social progress cannot even be imagined. ... What would we make of a billion-year-old technological community?
The ontological concept of truth is in the centre of a logic which may serve as a model of pre- technological rationality. It is the rationality of a two-dimensional universe of discourse which, contrasts with the of thought and behavior that develop in the execution of the technological project.
We have to do away with a false and misleading dualism, one which abstracts man on the one hand and technology on the other, as if the two were quite separate kinds of realities.... Man is by nature a technological animal; to be human is to be technological.... When we speak of technology, this is another way of speaking about man himself in one of his manifestations.
Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences.
Because globalization and technology are different modes of progress, it's possible to have both, either, or neither at the same time. For example, 1815 to 1914 was a period of both rapid technological development and rapid globalization. Between the First World War and Kissinger's trip to reopen relations with China in 1971, there was rapid technological development but not much globalization. Since 1971, we have seen rapid globalization along with limited technological development, mostly confined to IT. This age of globalization has made it easy to imagine that the decades ahead will bring more convergence and more sameness. But I don't think that's true. [... ] Most people think the future of the world will be defined by globalization, but the truth is that technology matters more. Without technological change, if China doubles its energy production over the next two decades, it will also double its air pollution. If every one of India's hundreds of millions of households were to live the way Americans already do-using only today's tools-the result would be environmentally catastrophic. In a world of scarce resources, globalization without new technology is unsustainable.
The paramount doctrine of the economic and technological euphoria of recent decades has been that everything depends on innovation. It was understood as desirable, and even necessary, that we should go on and on from one technological innovation to the next, which would cause the economy to "grow" and make everything better and better. This of course implied at every point a hatred of the past, of all things inherited and free. All things superceded in our progress of innovations, whatever their value might have been, were discounted as of no value at all.
The socioeconomic impact of such a minor outburst is due to our technological development (air travel)-a century ago, such an eruption would have passed unnoticed. Technological development makes us more independent from nature. At the same time, at a different level, it makes us more dependent on nature's whims.
Technological society leads to increasing numbers of people who cannot adapt to the inhuman rhythm of modern life with its emphasis on specialization. A class of people is growing up who are unexploitable because they are not worth employing even for the minimum wage. Technological progress makes whole categories of people useless without making it possible to support them with the wealth produced by the progress.
During this period (of technological confinement / [and language]) the human mind has been placed in its narrowest confines it has experienced since consciousness emerged from its Paleolithic phase. Even the most primitive tribes have a larger vision of the universe, of our place and functioning within it, a vision that extends to celestial regions of space and to interior depths of the human in a manner far exceeding the parameters of our world of technological confinement.
If war can indeed be turned into a relic, then the virtue of greed will recede further. From a given society's standpoint, one big upside of wanton material acquisition has traditionally been the way it drives technological progress-which, after all, helps keep societies strong. In the nineteenth century, Russia ans Germany had little choice about modernizing; in those days stasis invited conquest. But if societies no longer face conquest, breakneck technological advance is an offer they can refuse, and frugality a luxury people can afford.
But technology is the real skin of our species. Humanity, correctly seen in the context of the last five hundred years, is an extruder of technological material. We take in matter that has a low degree of organization; we put it through mental filters, and we extrude jewelry, gospels, space shuttles. This is what we do. We are like coral animals embedded in a technological reef of extruded psychic objects. All our tool making implies our belief in an ultimate tool. That tool is the flying saucer, or the soul, exteriorized in three-dimensional space.
We have too much technological progress, life is too hectic, and our society has only one goal: to invent still more technological marvels to make life even easier and better. The craving for every new scientific discovery breeds a hunger for greater comfort and the constant struggle to achieve it. All that kills the soul, kills compassion, understanding, nobility. It leaves no time for caring what happens to other people, least of all criminals. Even the officials in Venezuela's remote areas are better for they're also concerned with public peace. It gives them many headaches, but they seem to believe that bringing about a man's salvation is worth the effort. I find that magnificent.
The technologists claim that if everything works [in a nuclear fission reactor] according to their blueprints, fission energy will be a safe and very attractive solution to the energy needs of the world. ... The real issue is whether their blueprints will work in the real world and not only in a "technological paradise."... Opponents of fission energy point out a number of differences between the real world and the "technological paradise." ... No acts of God can be permitted.
This has increased with the tremendous technological advances in communications. We have a vast new world of images brought into our sitting rooms electronically. Most of the images of reality on which we base our actions are really based on vicarious experience. This has increased with the tremendous technological advances in communications. We have a vast new world of images brought into our sitting-rooms electronically.