The Wrecknology Boom
umair haque

While I am very sympathetic to your perspective, really I am, let’s ask ourselves whether any technology is positive to the human experience. Take the cure for cancer you cite. While the cure is likely to save the occassional child, more than likely the cure would have its greatest impact at the other end of life, extending the twilight years. How many people really want another 10 years in a nursing home? Our fantasies of living forever picture continuing life as a 20 or 30 year old, not as an elder. Yet what individual would turn down the cure at any age? What family would not encourage the grandparents to live another decade? Once we have the cure, who will decide and with what criteria? What if the cancer patient also has early signs of dementia or Parkinson’s or is otherwise compromised beyond the cancer? Who will decide? Who will make the tough decisions? The doctors? The family? The courts? A government panel? The evil insurance companies? I doubt anyone will make the decision and the result will be a blind effort to preserve every life, regardless of quality. Anything less would be Kevorkian.

Stepping back, who is to judge the value of any given technology and on what basis? Which technologies really improve the human experience or reduce our chances of extinction?

Again, I am sympathetic to your perspective and align with it on principle, but find difficulty prescribing specifics.

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