Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Technofixated Pseudosolutions

No political problem for which some imaginary superlative futurological technofix is posed as its pseudo-solution would not be better addressed directly through actually available regulatory, educational, and public investment than through the enablement of the technofix in question -- and all this on the assumption that the imaginary technofix were practically or even potentially possible at all, which in most instances of superlative futurology it is not. This is true, whether the futurologists are peddling "geo-engineering" or genetically engineered adaptation or diaspora offworld via multigeneration spaceships as technofixated solutions to environmental crises, or peddling superabundance via 3D printers or nanobotic desktop "replicators" or immersive virtual reality as technofixated solutions to poverty, or peddling "Friendly Superintelligent AI" as "solution" to the impasses of stakeholder politics in historical struggle, or peddling "soul uploading" or "medical miracles" or "cryonics" as technofixated solutions to infantile denial and fear of mortality.

Correlated to this principle is another, that no political problem for which some imaginary superlative futurological technofix is posed as its pseudo-solution would not bring that very problem with it into the implementation of the technofix itself -- unsustainable practices would follow us off-world, inequity would stratify the distribution of superabundance, stakeholder struggle would not be circumvented but expressed in the code of the super-AI, the fear of death would render the usual death-dealing and death in life however long lives were prolonged -- and again, as before, all this on the assumption that the imaginary technofix were practically or even potentially possible at all, which in most instances of superlative futurology it is not.

This caveat appended to the principle and its corollary reminds us that superlative futurology is not simply in the business of incessantly proposing pseudo-solutions to real problems -- directly diverting our intelligence and effort away from real solutions to urgent problems, but more generally promoting a technofixated imaginary incapable of understanding and addressing political problems on their actual terms -- but does so through what can only be described as pseudo-science.

2 comments:

Summerspeaker said...

I overwhelmingly agree with you here. As first difference, go I'd change "actually available regulatory, educational, and public investment" to "revolution and autonomy." I additionally perceive the possibility of new production technology changing material conditions and thus prospects for transformation.

Dale Carrico said...

Yeah, because incessant insurrection and anarchy is a great pathway to general welfare. That's not an invitation, by the way, to waste time in another discussion with you about your idiotic political views. Just agree to disagree or I'll delete your posts as an effort to commandeer this thread.