4 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2017
    1. Everyone knows the two statements that answer our question. One says: Technology is a means to an end. The other says: Technology is a human activity. The two definitions of technology belong together. For to posit ends and procure and utilize the means to them is a human activity.

      Heidegger attempts to define the foundation of his argument by creating an absolute. Rather than stating "One could define technology as..." or even "Many accredited scholars and scientists agree technology is...." our author goes for the jugular and declares "Everyone knows..." With this statement he hopes to not only construct the platform for his essay, but also make his concept irrefutable by cementing it in the court of public opinion. With these choice words, he may even subtly convince readers with undefined opinions to adopt this perspective. Because for many people, being told - even discreetly - that they are different and alone in their thoughts is enough to sway the silent majority in many cases.

    1. Well, I don’t think there is any question about it. It can only be attributable to human error. This sort of thing has cropped up before  and it has always been due to human error.

      this was left on the cutting room floor, but Hal's behavior can actually be attributed to human error. In the novelized version written by co-screenplay author - the famous Arthur C. Clarke - it is stated that Hal is briefed on the mission, but told to lie about it and obfuscate the facts about the mission and it's details to the crew. It is implied that this is what ultimately makes Hal malfunction. This helped me to understand this movement in the context of the film far more easily, and it also highlights Heidegger's focus on mankind's responsibility to it's technology and those unintended consequences.

    1. Good proposed a meta-golden rule, which might be paraphrased as “Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your superiors.” Its a wonderful, paradoxical idea

      The author provides us here with some insightful guidance for navigating the pitfalls of technology in our near future. However, the dichotomy is that this poetic and magnanimous declaration is also implicitly self-serving. 'Let's be benevolent to our creations, so they don't rise up and incarcerate us.' This statement shows the complexity and discord of the human animal. I agree with Vinge that we should indeed adopt this philosophy in the future. I doubt that will happen though, as we don't do it now. As a rule, we don't treat 'lesser' species with any regard or 'humanity'. We don't even treat other humans with much compassion. The difference in living conditions and experiences from the richest of humans to the poorest would be inconceivable and rage inducing. We exploit the animals and our planet all to 'better' ourselves and get shiny new stuff. This duality comes from both our insecurity, and our hubris. Another quote sums this up succinctly. "In humans, the hardest development problems have already been solved." It would seem that even the authors think we've got it all figured out, even though they spend most of their piece warning of and impending techno-doom. But we haven't got anything figured out. Humanity is like a five-year-old with a gun. Do we really need a bigger gun?

    1. Admittedly, most high-tech interventions in the body’s functioning aim merely at restoring ordinary human health, or else at least opposing its decline. But that might easily change as our methods grow in power. Already, many interventions do much more than this, or something rather different

      Not to sound ominous, but this could be considered the path to a slippery slope. Blackford asserts that these advancements have indeed started out with the best of intentions, the may however - like many technologies before them - leave humanity with unintended and dire consequences it their wake. For example, amazing breakthroughs like GPS embedded microchips can track your children's whereabouts in an emergency. Conversely, humans can now be tracked anywhere on the globe by anyone with the means.