For – Against – With

There are three ways to deal with Technology when thinking about its effects on our health, culture…future.

The first involves working for Technology. There’s no doubt that technology is advancing at such an accelerating pace that the gap between our powers and its may widen to the point where we have no choice but to submit.

The second – which is one conclusion from the recognition of the first – is to work against Technology. It’s not impossible that, if you extrapolate Technology’s advancement, that we will go extinct…that technology is an absolute enemy.

The third approach involves working with Technology, accepting both the inevitable good and badĀ of its unstoppable advancement and our right to be who we are in this world: human.

The first two approaches are easy to take:

  • If you like to accept things and let technology take care of your needs, no need to work too hard. At least at first. So work for technology.
  • If you’re a fighter, someone who refuses to submit to the power of the non-human, it’s easy to rage or flee. At least at first. So work against technology.

But the third approach – now that’s a challenge. It’s an art. It’s a discipline. It’s a skill to navigate the boundaries of the human and the technological. It’s an intelligence of where technology takes itself…and us. In other words: it requires leadership.

We humans are between Nature and Technology.

We embraced Technology in response to Nature’s nourishing cruelty. Our ancestors would not have survived into our special version without Technology. But now Technology too is emerging as a nourishing cruelty.

Just as Nature could finish us at any moment, so too can Technology.

And just as the answer to the dangers of Nature isn’t to destroy Nature, so too must we appreciate our situation with Technology.

This is the world individuals and organizations face with social and other digital technologies: work entirely for them, ignore or work against them, or figure out how to work with them.

For. Against. With.

Those are our choices.

Are you with me?

@PhilBaumann – @HealthIsSocial – Newsletter



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