Thursday, September 03, 2009
J. Storrs Hall says: It is the absolute genius of the post-industrial age that we have created a society in which a growing majority of people are doing useless, and in many cases counter-productive work (plus producing luxuries and entertainment), but where we all feel like we’re doing something necessary and important, and that we’re making a difference in the world.
Unlike a century ago, today for everyone who is working on technological progress, there is someone else who thinks that they are saving the planet by stopping them. Has the pace of technological change slowed? It certainly has for technologies that have to run the gauntlet all the way into consumers’ hands and make an obvious difference, because those are the easiest kinds to attack. It has also slowed in areas where scare stories are easy to generate, like nuclear power. In a world of delusional, self-important Eloi, it is much more advantageous to be a screaming coward than to be brave and productive.