There is an ongoing prosthetic elaboration of agency -- where "culture" is the widest word for prostheses in this construal -- and which is roughly co-extensive with the ongoing historical elaboration of "humanity." But there are only techniques in the service of ends, and the ends are articulated by pretty conventional moral and aesthetic values and embedded in pretty conventional political narrative -- democratization against elitism, change against incumbency, consent against tyranny, equity for all against excellence for few, and so on.The pretense or gesture of a technoscientific circumvention of the political seems to me to conduce usually to de facto right wing politics, since it functions to de-politicize as neutrally "technical" a host of actually moral, aesthetic, political quandaries actually under contest. This is a mistake as easily made by dedicated well-meaning people of the left or the right, as by cynical or dishonest ones, or simply by foolish people, whatever their political sympathies. But it is always a mistake.
To which someone "Anonymously" responded:
Your "always" triggers me Dale. Technology changes the rules of the political game.
My replies to their (italicized) comments follow:
Weather changes the rules of the political game. Pandemics change the rules of the political game. Personalities change the rules of the political game. The devils, as well as the angels, are in the details.
When I insist that "technology" does not exist "in general" this is far from a denial that a diversity of techniques and devices exist and have an impact in the world. Quite the opposite.
There is no such thing as a "technology" that subsumes or subtends all the instances to which that description attaches in a way that can be isolated as a factor with a general predictable impact on political, social, cultural, historical change.
It is the deployment of technologies and the exercise of techniques arising out of unique historical situations, playing out unpredictably in historical dynamisms, and in the service of a diversity of ends that yields technodevelopmental effects.
To ascribe an outcome to "technology" is almost always vacuous. That this sort of utterance has become such an explanatory commonplace is enormously curious and even suspicious.
When most people became literate, it was possible to discuss politics with a much broader group of people.
And "becoming literate" = "technology" in this example?
What, everybody suddenly got bonked in the head with a book or maybe even a printing press? Just think of the complex multivalent practical, cultural, economic, institutional, legal, moral, psychological dynamisms and trajectories that materially fleshed out "becoming literate" in different historical, demographic, personal situations.
What developmental generalization are you drawing from that complex that presumably also obtain for all other instances of the "technological" including inventing and distributing and making use of the cotton gin and the internal combustion engine and the crossbow and anaesthesia and the technique of perspective painting?
If/when people are able to upload and thereby create close to immortal entities they wont have the same priorities as people restricted to living less than a century.
Here we go. Look, you are playing fast and loose with the English language in an all too customarily religious manner here, if I may say so. "If/then" statements cite causal conventions arising from and depending for their intelligibility on our experience of a world with mid-scale furniture and communicative peers and so on behaving in familiar ways.
When a religious person speaks of their expectation of personal resurrection as a soul and of its ascent into an immortal afterlife in Heaven these utterances can only be taken by sensible people as metaphorical utterances without literal reference or as public signals of subcultural membership in a moral or otherwise interpretative community, rather like a secret handshake -- or less charitably they can be taken as expressions of extreme confusion or insanity.
Precisely the same goes for statements about "uploading." When I dismiss these utterances you misunderstand me if you assume I am disagreeing with you on a matter of a testable hypothesis -- even when the form my dismissal takes is "never gonna happen." I am saying that what we mean by "persons," what we mean by "living" cannot coherently accommodate "uploading" or "immortality" and that people who say these things must be speaking metaphorically or subculturally (indeed, Robot Cult-urally) or be deeply confused or possibly a little crazy. Life is lived in vulnerable bodies, intelligence is performed in squishy brains and squishy socialities.
I believe that a majority of the elderly able to do so will do it,
When you use the verb "able" and the pronoun "it" here in respect to "uploading" you make the mistake of imagining you know something about which you are talking. Unfortunately, you don't.
and they will be both a minority (of earths total population) and a very resourceful group.
See, you are indulging in a full froth of faithful handwaving and imagine yourself to be engaging in some sort of policy wonk discourse. This is a problem.
If/when we are able to live comfortably on other planets, environmental issues on this planet wont be as important as they are now.
No doubt the same would be true if we could live in other dimensions or perform spells with wands. That human life on other suitably terraformed planets is logically feasible in ways that interdimensionality or magicality likely are not is irrelevant given that the scientific and, more to the point, political, legal, practical problems of environmentalism are urgently proximate in ways that render remote developmental possibilities like interplanetary diaspora and logical impossibilities like practical wand magic exactly equally irrelevant (at best) to those who would attend to actual problems.
Every second wasted in the contemplation of techno-utopian "solutions" to real problems -- however earnest -- is functionally equivalent to time devoted to the active frustration of problem-solving or active denialism about the problem in the first place. Again, at best it is a matter of handwaving by the faithful confusing itself and others for policy discourse.
Whatever political system that will evolve within the next hundred years I don't think the above will change.
Political systems don't "evolve." And I have no idea what actually substantial thing you have described in "the above" is presumably not going to change or what significance you think attaches to whatever invariance you think you have hit upon.
If the world were otherwise than it is, its problems would be different than they are, too.
Uh, sure. So what?