NOW: “luddite” and “luddism” refer to anyone who opposes industrial technology, or technology more generally
E.g. “Unabomber” Theodore Kaczynski, including bomb sent to Yale computer scientist David Gelernter
Knowledge Revolution 20th century
Better record keeping and communication
Flexible, programmable tools allow more customized short production runs, so supply can more accurately follow demand
Better scheduling and inventory control provides basis for geographically distributed production systems (globalization)
Increased need for specialized education
Kaczynski: 3 possibilities
1. “The human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines’ decisions. As society and the problems that fact it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decisions for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. …
… Eventually, a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently.”
2. A tiny elite will eliminate the rest of humanity.
3. A tiny elite will engineer a purposeless and therefore harmless humanity, like domesticated animals.
Ray Kurzweil: The New Luddite Challenge
New jobs are on a higher level and increasingly involved with education
Need a viable alternative to the nightmare envisioned by luddites such as Kaczynski
Can’t drop technology:”there is too little nature left to return to”
Education will reach a human limit, but will be human competence will be extended by merging with the technology
Different forms of value and relations to intrinsic value reveal how complicated it is to assess the value of technology
These distinctions may nevertheless help clarify the conflicts among the various costs and benefits of technology.