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Hello Humanity, it’s me, Technology. We need to talk.

August 8, 2017

Like me, you might have a love-hate relationship with technology. I appreciate the conveniences and comforts it can afford, and I rely on it for my work. Heck, it’s how I’m communicating with you now. But I also wonder about the impacts technology has on my personal health and my relationships. From time to time, these issues appear in mainstream media, in conversations among friends, and even in studies by academic organizations.

But strangely, we rarely consider the negative impacts of technology on our most profound social and environmental problems, like climate change, overpopulation, and biodiversity loss. Many people (even if only on a subconscious level) are waiting for technology to rush in like a superhero to vanquish these crises and lead the way to a sustainable future.

But technology won’t be our great green savior, at least not without first wrestling with the tough moral dilemmas of our time. In a new manifesto, #NoApp4That, I question the pervasive belief that technology alone will save us.

You can start by watching the short animation Post Carbon Institute created with some Oscar Award-winning animators, and then dive a little deeper by reading the manifesto.

I hope these resources can spur open and realistic conversations about technology’s role in addressing the converging crises of the 21st century.

  • jim.swanek

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    Everything you say is premised on “we” being in a global community of shared interests. It seems clear that those nations with men who insist on having seven children will simply export five of those children to nations where the native birth rate is below replacement level. The idea that 3 billion more people in 2100 will somehow “stay” in Sub-Sahel Africa rather that migrating to “the west” seems a pipe-dream, where pipes are in increasingly short supply.

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  • Daniel Cooper

    Let’s not cast about for people to blame. Everyone is to blame. Everyone needs to be part of building a sustainable world. Try to grow technology without limits, and we will all die. Try to eliminate it entirely, and we will all die. Let’s use it intelligently.