Technology Doesn't Have to be Heartless

Technology Doesn’t Have to be Heartless

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Technology Doesn’t Have to be Heartless

There are no shackles that bind technology to the cravings of the human ego. It may feel as though there are, but the truth is that our tools are a neutral extension of us that can hold any of our intentions. That gives us an enormous freedom for the future of technology.

#ego #technology


  1. It is technology’s own cravings that we must be most concerned about.

  2. Does technology really have it’s own cravings though, Jon Schull?

    I think volition is a very tough nut to crack.

  3. This is going to be an important branch of philosophy in the near future (if it isn’t already). We’d need to volition (implies free will) and cravings (implies feelings) and “want” (as in “what technology wants”) are all different. As are learning (the process of acquisition) and intelligence (the state of competence) vs consciousness (implies awareness). We’re not even sure how to name and define the nuts, let alone crack them.

    So I agree that “cravings” doesn’t carry over to technology (today, probably). I think it will someday, probably.

    But meanwhile, it’s technology’s wants (implying nothing more than we mean when we say “water wants to go downhill”) that we really do need to be concerned about. Technology, unlike water, notoriously evolves new ways of addressing its wants. And when those wants deviate from ours…well you can imagine the hilarious consequences.

    You might be interested in some past work on related topics.

    Maybe it’s time to update and explicate the relevance to technology.

    Anyone want to organize a symposium?. – Are Species Intelligent?

    William [James] and the World Wide Web

    The uncertain response in Humans and Animals. [Metacognition]

    SCHULL, J. 1996. “William James and the broader implications of a multilevel selectionism.” In R. Belew and M. Mitchell, eds. Adaptive Individuals in Evolving Populations: . Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

  4. An beautiful article with a fresh perspective! Good one.

  5. That’s a lot to digest, Jon Schull, but will try to take on some of them. The first one on species intelligence looks very interesting to me. It’s something that I’m drawn to. I like to think of it as a kind of “Earth Wisdom” – a biological intelligence that differs in some important ways from the more abstract realms of logic. There are clear connections between them, of course.

    I didn’t know you were at Haverford, by the way. We visited on college tours over the summer. Very nice place.

    On the distinctions you’re raising, I agree that understanding these nuances is going to be a very important undertaking in the decades to come. The “want” drive is clearest and it’s more like an affordance, which architects, designers and a growing number of professionals have come to embrace. I haven’t heard as many coders using terms like that, but Wolfram sort of uses language like that.

    Cravings feel like they are quite rooted in our wetness — our chemistry. Seems like there might very well be a way to simulate digitally as part of an intelligent, goal-driven system. It’s interesting to think about how something like that might fit into the way that machine learning happens.

    Free will? The more I dig into that through my own meditation work, the more difficult and ephemeral it becomes — especially now, as I dig into more non-dualist approaches to understanding consciousness.

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

  6. Thank you, Sri Kumar.

  7. Well, /you/ brought up volition ;-). You’ll be interested in William James on consciousness and free will….

  8. Gideon Rosenblatt thank you for a deeply thought provoking article and introduction.

    A tapestry of bootstrapping.

    01, 10, 0, 1

    in one.


    We have 8

    Nice. Just a physical state still. Write a code, imagine a circuit, wire up a breadboard, eat a sandwich, how can I pattern an input to an output.

    My PLC teacher made his own code for a keyboard to use on a bespoke human machine interface he also built. A lot of work. However, next time he needed a keyboard he had his very own worked saved and ready for the next round/job.

    I guess those of us lucky enough to see an infinity, and know all, can direct us, is everything in touch, or thought of touch?

    I agree with a steam train commentary where the author had incredible praise for the men in a photo standing next to their steam train; which; the author said was an achievement since they had built it entirely themselves; including making their own tap and dies; threads; everything; round wheels; balanced motion gear, ratio of smoke box, ratio of steam chest. Plus so much. Good on em I say.

    Analogue electronics; a little bit able to follow.

    Microprocessors, ok. I’ll go and make one. Um, how does the time bit work with the math bit and the thing next to the thing?

    In making such wonders, we have had to remove ego and work together.

    Greed has shifted where we see technology the most, somewhat.

    The ease and speed to pay and get something is incredible.

    The hard work bit to get paid, hasn’t changed too much for most of us I think.

    Well, at least I can wash my own dishes. Jump on board someone/s great work and type a quick thanks to you for a cool article.

    In sets in maths, I was fascinated to learn and wonder.

    I joke with myself about upper case 1 and lower case one.

    Both are one.

    Infinity apart

    Infinity together

    Infinity same

    Infinity not same



    Not going to pay the bills and feed my family though. Oh well. All good haha.

    Loved the reading from your write, and what it left in thought!!

  9. I have an emulator on my brain.

  10. Gideon Rosenblatt have we reach the heart of our humanity? Even glancing around online, we still lack to a large degree of mindful heart and kindness, some very stealth type undermines  and erodes, will be resolved or must we work in tandem with AI as we create that consciousness?

  11. ˙˙˙愛情以搜走報 ˙午

  12. I can help you use better graphics. One possible service is Google Sites, but I design solutions after I understand a person’s goals.

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