A comment of mine from another topic which i think could open an interesting discussion

are you referring to

TLDR: “clean energy” and technological innovation won’t save us (source: tech person myself, please don’t trust us to make serious decisions for the future of humanity). only less consumption a serious deconstruction of the car/concrete society, high ecological standards (think no paints, no plastics, no concrete in daily life) and a serious fight against planned obsolescence (and intellectual property of any kind that makes it possible in the first place) might have a chance to save humanity, not exactly as we know it (over-abundance and misery) but as a society of reasonable-abundance and justice.

agree. there is a term for the ideology, that technological innovations (alone) will solve our problems: solutionism


I was not aware of this concept but that’s exactly what i’m talking abou


Technology is just a tool that could be used both ways. but because only those who hold power get to decide who gets to use it and how it will be used. you can guess the outcome.


Technology is not neutral. It is developed from a certain context, with certain perspectives in mind. So yes, a global popular revolution could theoretically produce human-friendly technology, but that’s not the context we’re in, so like you say we can “guess the outcome” :)


Correct by technology I was meaning to infer its broader scope ‘science’.
Take for instance AI. On one hand it is showing very promising results in detection of early stages of some diseases like cancer. but on the other hand AI is being used to enforce a state of global and omnipresent surveillance and tighten the grips of governments on the freedoms of their citizens.
I don’t think we can have good AI. and prevent the development and use of bad AI.
Once it is there. it is there!


I’d suggest defining technology here first because it’s too broad a concept. Are you saying that if we froze all technological progress that we have the means to in our current form change the world to save humanity? I’m guessing a few people would have to die for that to happen.


if we froze all technological progress

That’s not exactly what i’m saying but it’s not far. Most “technological progress” has very little positive impact for humanity as a whole, and a whole bunch of negative consequences (take IoT for example). It’s not just a matter of actual progress, but also a matter of durability and waste. If you want to save humanity, we need to abolish competition so all parties are working on interoperable durable/recyclable solutions… but i don’t see that happening any time soon.


Interoperable/recyclable solutions would in themselves become technological innovations though.


Well if you call it that, then yes i guess. My personal feelings agree with this definition that taking a step back, NOT doing things, and actively improving existing things is some kind of innovation. But it does not really fit into the narrative of progress that sustainability is just one form of innovation among others. I mean i do believe millions of scientists around the planet would be happy to be working full-time on durable/ecological alternatives to existing solutions (most scientists/engineers are depressed about their dayjob), but i don’t believe there’s going to be a planet-wide green new deal, and even if there were it would certainly be just a marketing stunt to pour public money into private pockets with very little concern for actual ecology.

Also, most times interoperable-recyclable solutions are not “innovations” per se but refinements of common popular wisdom. If you take agriculture, architecture, plumbing, cooking… We had very inteoperable-recyclable-efficient-durable-whatever solutions for thousands of years, although sometimes lacking scientific expertise to understand the why’s and how’s. For example permaculture is by far the best agricultural method we found so far, is based on very ancient traditions we had no clue why they were so good, and to which we applied modern scientific methods to learn new stuff. So that kind of critical look at existing technology/knowledge i don’t call so much “innovation”. I prefer the “low-tech” label for that.


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