Facebook, Berkeley Press, Jacques discussed on The Ezra Klein Show


So I think we are signals are important, but we can't trust him as much to gain short-circuited. That's part of the issue going on here is that these technologies are messing with our brains in ways that we don't completely understand which is why we're seeing such profound impacts that confuse us so much. So I want to go back to some of the underlying flaw. Of how we approach technology. Now, something I've been thinking a lot about is like the I don't want the myth of the Luddites, but the power of anti let him there's this idea that at every point when it technologies introduced you have people who stand in its way, and those people are always wrong because look technology is kept going forward. And here we are. So of course, they were wrong, and I've been going back and reading some of the critics have previous rounds of technology. I mentioned you'll postman a couple of minutes ago, and realizing that a lot of what they said was right? I mean. Yes technology kept moving on. Yes. Society kept moving on. But they were also correct. And it seems to me that as a lot of dominant ideology, do our G towards technology has developed these very powerful defense mechanisms and one defense mechanism. It has is that if you think technology might be bad, you're a Luddite and anybody who's against should auction of technology is always wrong. And I it seems to me that aside from just being intentional about. How you use technology. That we maybe need a different or more rigorous way of thinking about how to introduce technologies, obviously, I don't mean that in regulatory sensor at least not for most technologies. But I I do mean it in a in a kind of philosophical cultural sense those very little room. It seems to me to actually be against new things right now, but the the complete uncritical adoption of everything from like jewel, vaping technology to Facebook. It seems like we should have some kind of bigger rethink that isn't just about those products. But about the culture that just allowed those products to spread like wildfire without thinking twice about it. I'm a huge believer in this idea. I mean, I I read quite a widely in sort of philosophy of technology. And and a lot of interesting people have thought about this. And I think there's a couple relevant points here. First of all, I don't think the actual Luddites are bad example. If you go back and look at what happened in the original light revolution. It was. Actually an economic philosophy. That was actually quite plausible at the time. Right. I mean, you you go to this particular area in in the UK. And there is the advent of steam looms were coming. This was before we had a lot of rigorous sort of economic theory in the way, we think about it today and the workers in this town said wasting and we're thinking about this. If we bring in these steam looms almost everyone's going to lose their job, but a very small number of people who run these mills are going to actually keep a lot more of this money. And they're like, well is this really what we want to do? Right. I mean, maybe the utilitarian arguments should be that we should be trying to actually MAC maximize the average utility of the town this maybe this is a bad move now to a modern sort of classically trained, economists say no, you have to do this creative destruction. You know, you have high EQ and all these very complicated theories about free markets and stuff. So now, we look at that argument is naive. But in the context, it was actually a relatively philosophically, profound and plausible argument. They're putting forward is like this is actually a good time to step back and say, what is our? Goal with economic development. And so there's actually something really human the what was happening with the original Luddite revolution. And that's actually I think a lesson. We should take away which is to encounter new technologies through this human perspective, which we often don't do. So there used to be these really big thinkers like these big think thinkers in the twentieth century, especially the first half of the twentieth century. Then we're tackling these issues and had these huge theories though, there are academic. They read like books like I was recently reading Jacques souls nineteen sixty seven book, the technological society, which it's it's French. But there's a really good translation available through Berkeley press..

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