Surprise! Technology Innovation is not Directed at Things Which Improve Our Lives
I just read this article concerning the fact that technological innovation is mostly directed at things which will not substantially change or improve our lives (reference courtesy of /.). It's a new article on an old topic: materialism versus a higher purpose.
It shouldn't be a surprise that most technology development is directed towards less than useful or noble purposes. Development is driven by commercial interests trying to make money. Research for the public good or for intellectual pursuits is out of fashion. Government funding for basic research is down. Very few corporations do any basic science research, and most do very little applied research outside the narrows bounds of their own products. When the society at large does not invest, how can one expect "noble purpose" to be served?
Finding and serving needs that are of true value while making a profit is not easy to do. Much that is worthwhile has no direct relation to turning a profit. Until there's a societal change to value other things more than profit - something unlikely in a system that runs in a positive feedback loop of consumption, commercialism and media - the process of innovation will be directed toward less than noble ends.
Still, the article is worth reading if only to provide a pause from the breathless boosterism of the techno-industry.
Posted by Mark Wednesday, June 18, 2003 10:13:00 PM |