By Langdon Winner
The reality of the problem is that our deficiency doesn't lie within the wish of well-verified "facts." What we lack is our bearings. The modern adventure of items technological has many times confounded our imaginative and prescient, our expectancies, and our skill to make clever judgments. different types, arguments, conclusions, and offerings that might were totally noticeable in prior occasions are visible no longer. styles of perceptive pondering that have been fullyyt trustworthy some time past now lead us systematically off target. a lot of our commonplace conceptions of expertise show a disorientation that borders on dissociation from truth. And so long as we lack the facility to make our scenario intelligible, the entire "data" on the planet will make no distinction. ;From the creation
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Extra info for Autonomous technology: technics-out-of-control as a theme in political thought
To complain that humans have been left out of the final scenes is merely an example of outdated whether taken in a positive or negative light, species chauvinism. all theories of echnoevolutio suffer from the same basic flaw. ___ major discovery-the eclipse of mankind-turns out to be something they had assumed in the first place. The evolutionary perspective begins with the adoption of abstract categories which do not include a role for free, conscious human agents. 'lllutl I" look ing for man, they find that the human role has thf"tta I n vll' l ma ll y nothing?
While not everything is possible, there is much that can still be chosen. " 25 Rostow, in the same vein, sees the process of technological development as a grand staging ground, which gives shape to all of society's most important decisions. " 27 The effect of these developments is to lay on "the agenda a succession of pressures to allocate the outputs of govern ment in new ways. " 28 But once the fundamental agenda has been set, there is considerable choice about the specific sociotechnical forms the development will take.
While Ellul is obviously aware of the myriad of complex and delicate nuances bearing on his subject matter, he has elected to ignore many of them in order to proceed with his theory. Choices of this sort always involve a risk. But in taking that risk Ellul achieves something that is increasingly rare in modem social theory-the willingness to offer a complete, un compromising statement. What, then, is the significance of Ellul's position on self-augmenta tion? What questions of interest does it raise about technological change?