The Dreams of Technology

The Dreams of Technology

17 May 2022 Louis Defèche 2325 views

The health crisis has provoked contrasting, sometimes radical reactions. In the background is a confrontation of worldviews, an ill-conscious debate between technophilia, techno skepticism, and technophobia.

Whether it was vaccinations or tracking technologies – QR code – or remote work, the big question of how humans relate to technology became central to the Covid pandemic. Some people trusted the new technologies and were enthusiastic, others looked at them with a more or less skeptical look, and still others immediately rejected them.

But the ecological crisis also raises the question of technology: which technologies are considered environmentally friendly? What is our position on nuclear energy? Should we completely change our use of technology or reduce it to an absolute minimum? Should we return to a completely natural way of life? What about the production, supply, and use of the energy we consume? – And the war that preoccupies us so much also raises similar questions. Does humanity really need weapons? What is the point of the enormous investments in cutting-edge technologies whose functional goals are destruction and death? In addition, there are the technologies used in high finance, of which Black Rock's Aladdin software is an example. The conquest of space and the starry sky is also coming to the fore again, with Elon Musk's Starlink and SpaceX projects and the Russian-Chinese plans for constructing a lunar base starting in 2026. Technology is at the heart of humanity's dreams and worst nightmares.

Is this race for technology that conquers the sky, the cosmos, and social and economic life not only for blind economic profit at the expense of true human needs? This aspect is clear, but the deeply human character of technology cannot be denied either. Technology has always accompanied and characterized human beings and is the basis of every human civilization. At the same time, it creates the background wave for all major problems of today's civilization. It poses not only the question of their deeper nature but also the question of the nature of technical objects: can machines really become independent and intelligent or even have a consciousness? How do we think, or rather, how do we dream of technology?

This text is an excerpt from an article published in the weekly journal 'Das Goetheanum'. You can read the full article on the website of 'Das Goetheanum'.

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