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The following is a repost from a newsletter I just launched. It aims to help organizations shape emerging technologies with society, planet, and the long-term in mind.

W e face a systemic issue when it comes to innovation: the development of new technologies is currently outpacing our ability to foresee, understand, and mitigate their negative implications. In the stead of promised techno-utopias we are often left grappling with the undesired, unintended consequences of entrenched technologies.

This is certainly not a new issue. In 1932, H.G. Wells lamented the dearth of dedicated people to study the future consequences of new inventions. …

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Communicating how to communicate. Source: Mike Meyers (Unsplash)

Musings on Technological Determinism, Ontological Design, and the Making of History

In the opening passage of Do Machines Make History (1967), Robert Heilbroner argues that technology has a direct bearing on the human drama of history—but it does not make all of history. The challenge he identifies is whether something systematic can be said about the matter. …

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The first node of ARPANET. Image: Wikimedia

On a recent episode of Exponent, a podcast about technology and society, Ben Thompson and James Allworth argue that the dynamics of the internet are an amoral force. And, moreover, that “technology inherently is amoral.”

Their thinking goes like this: the internet can seen as simply a technology that reduces friction. The internet enables stuff to move “much easier, much faster, and much further.” …


Chris Neels

Founder — 2100. Twitter: @designfor2100

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