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Re: humans and technology


From: hector
Subject: Re: humans and technology
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2017 17:16:05 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

I think it is good to have something more than "why * doesn't work?"
posts even if this doesn't exactly fit here. Perhaps we should create
"address@hidden" for this kind of stuff.

On Sat, Apr 29, 2017 at 06:57:52AM +0200, Emanuel Berg wrote:
> You know the Marxist theory of society etc.
> etc.? I you apply that to technology and some
> self-knowledge, it seems to click perfectly
> with us and Unix and Emacs. Only thing is,
> other people will end up with different
> technology. Here, there is a notion that some
> technology is better than the other. But then
> why do people use the inferior technology?

Well. You should formally define "good"
and "better". Not an easy task.

This is a recurrent question everywhere I look.
The answer is always the same: there is no "good"
but "good in this context" or "good in this case".
For any task (in IT field or outside) that you
have to accomplish you have a good deal of
choices. They do basically the same. But they
differ in the details. Some work only under some
circumstances. Perhaps they are "better" (faster,
easier to deploy) but they have more requirements
than other solutions. So this "inferior" solution
could be better because its requirements are
lower. So you could say that this "inferior" solution
(could be slower) is better because it doesn't
require X to work. If you have X available it is
good to have the faster solution but it could
happen that you don't have X. If you don't have X
the faster solution is worse because it could even
refuse to do anything at all.

So in sum, "good" and "better" are always RELATIVE.

> Because they are not as good to begin with?
> Why not? Here is where the theory gets shady.
> But morals aside, it is a perfect match.
> At least for me. But are other people who has
> experienced the same perfect match the same as
> me? How so? And if you do technology too much,
> are you technology as well as human?

I don't know if this is related to what you are
saying here. I think technology is not good or bad
in itself. It is the way you use it what is good
or bad.

As you say, "morals aside", technology is a
reality. 100 years ago a person didn't have to
decide if mobile phones were good of bad because
they didn't exist. Now we are in a point in
history where we have to deal with something
radically different in our lives. Our way of life
has nothing to do with that of our grandfathers.

Is this good? I don't know. Perhaps many things
about technology are good. But I think there it
brings up a big danger: that we lose our humanity.

> If yes,
> how much do you have to do it? If you reproduce
> yourself every day, and a good portion of that
> day is technology, and this goes on every day,
> where does the line go where you produce
> technology and it doesn't produce you?

It's inevitable. Technology is part of our
world. It affects us.

Let me add some thoughts here. :-)
You see? Smile is not part of technology.
It was there long before computers even
existed. That is human. You don't need a
computer to smile. But computers can
make you smile or get angry.

I think everybody should use Emacs. But it's not possible. Even some
of my closer friends don't use (or even know) it. But I couldn't live
without it :-) It's become a big part of my life.

When Richard Stallman began its development about 35(?) years ago I think
he could not imagine what it would become in the future.

And speaking of "good" and "evil"... is Emacs "better" pr "superior" to
other text editors? Again: it depends. You can do a lot of things with it.
But it's becoming heavy weight. Although people try to make it modular
it's inevitable that it becomes slower (starting time) and consumes more
memory.

Anyway in one thing it is clearly superior: freedom.

Even if it wasn't as "good" as other editors (fast, featured) it still
would be more free. How "good" it is depends on several factors and
the weight of those factors. How much do you value freedom?



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