The Trap of Unintended Consequences

Future Current >> Blog Archive >> Uncertainty, Complexity, and Taking Action

Jamais Cascio gave the closing talk at GCR08, a Mountain View conference on Global Catastrophic Risks. Titled “Uncertainty, Complexity and Taking Action,” the discussion focused on the challenges …

This is a pretty fascinating/chilling/exciting discussion. Got it off Bruce Sterling’s blog (have I mentioned how he brings me all the best in this stuff?) It opens with: 

 

 

“Did you know that Nick usually says that there have been more papers about the reproductive habits of dung beetles than human extinction. I checked the number for him, and it’s about two orders of magnitude more papers.”

 

 

And ends with:

 

 

“Technology is political behavior. Technology is social. We can talk about all of the wonderful gadgets, all of the wonderful prizes and powers, but ultimately the choices that we make around those technologies (what to create, what to deploy, how those deployments manifest, what kinds of capacities we add to the technologies) are political decisions.

The more that we try to divorce technology from politics, the more we try to say that technology is neutral, the more we run the risk of falling into the trap of unintended consequences.”

 

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