“Reflections” is a new category of posts aimed to engage discussion about broader issues in technology and ethics. This first “Reflections” post on Techno-optimism and Techno-pessimism asks you to consider, “What are your general views towards technology, and how did you arrive at those views?”
Many of us have opinions about technology that can be classified along the spectrum of being a “techno-optimist” or a “techno-pessimist” — categorizations that reflect our general attitude about our technological past, present, and future.
When you think about the way in which technology has impacted our world—from the environment, to our medical achievements, to human relationships — are you generally optimistic or pessimistic about its influence?
Are you a techno-optimist? Do you think technology has consistently improved our lives for the better, and that it will continue to do so into the future? When you consider problems in society, or even problems with current technology, do you think that the solution to those problems is more technology?
Or would you characterize yourself as a techno-pessimist? Are you generally concerned with the impact that modern technology has had on humanity, believing that it has created just as many problems as solutions? Do you think that seeking out more technology is likely to bring about new problems, because technology inevitably introduces unforeseen consequences and dangers? Do you think that since technology creates so many of its own problems, the answer to human progress often lies in a reduction of technological dependence, rather than an expansion of it?