Reason.com reported in 2001 that an anti-technology movement was on the rise. They discussed people’s fear of technology, especially nanotechnology and biotechnology, two very present and topical new technologies that are carving out a place for themselves worldwide. What I found very telling, however, is something I’ve noticed and written about in the past. The anti-technology sentiment is intrinsically linked to anti-corporation ideologies.
We see this a lot today with the anti-biotechnology movement in particular. There was always the anti-corporation undertone, but post-occupy it’s become a loud mantra for those against technological advances. It’s become so ingrained that people will make up their own “facts” to support the rhetoric and ideological stance against large corporations that produce new technology.
Even when you go back not long ago, people were protesting turning on the Large Hadron Collider because they were sure it was going to start creating black holes and destroy the planet.
Today, people insist that biotechnology is poisoning the population.
It’s no different. This is a good illustration of the fear induced rhetoric that can come from holding to ideologies instead of facts and evidence.
What I’d like to see is a move towards better public education of new technologies and the discarding of political ideologies to make way for a more evidence based worldview for the general population. Well, I can hope at least.
Contributor: Robert Sacerich
Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.
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