Monday, March 14, 2011

Technology alone won't solve human problems

Krugman said it very well recently.  But, actually, this analysis goes way back, probably before recorded history (in the times when things like agriculture were invented).

As regards to industrailized/industrializing societies, Proudhon said it well in his book System of Economic Contradictions.

“What the economists ought to say is that machinery, like the division of labour, in the present system of social economy is at once a source of wealth and a permanent and fatal cause of misery”
“very far from freeing humanity, securing its leisure, and making the production of everything gratuitous, these things would have no other effect than to multiply labour, induce an increase of population, make the chains of serfdom heavier, render life more and more expensive, and deepen the abyss which separates the class that commands and enjoys from the class that obeys and suffers”

From a great discussion of the possibility (or impossibility) of mechanized intelligence for the human future in this Crooked Timber thread:

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