3 times humans panicked about tech ‘disasters’ that never destroyed society
“There is nothing so old as warnings about modernity.” Tech naysayers have existed throughout human history, and Harvard’s late Calestous Juma posited that humans’ fundamental fear of tech advancements is instead an emotion response to something that challenges their outlook on the world. Reflecting on these tech ‘disasters’ from the past seem as silly today as the people in history who opposed refrigeration and coffee. Seems like Professor Juma was onto something.
Remember Dolly, the cloned sheep? 1997 was off to a wild start thanks to our furry friend who made her first media appearance in February. The mania was obsessed with Dolly because she was the first mammal cloned from an adult cell which represented a huge scientific breakthrough that led many to worry about cloning. Many worried about the effect and prevalence of cloning, thinking it would get out of control. We haven’t heard much since Dolly passed away in 2003 and clones aren’t bumping into each other on the streets like zombies in the movies.
Responsible for capturing joyful family memories, embarrassing school recitals and countless birthday parties — the humble video recorder was initially met with fierce opposition. The Motion Picture Association of America tried to ban video recorders because they’d make the film industry “bleed and bleed and haemorrhage” In an delicious reversal of fate, the video recorder actually saved the film industry (until the internet killed it)
The Y2K bug
Airplanes falling from the sky, a global computer meltdown at midnight, police were hunkered down in bunkers awaiting mass riots and…nothing happened. Society and our electronics are still very much intact, so either all the preparation for Y2K worked, subsequently saving humanity, or it was all for naught. Guess we’ll never know 😉
Something we should worry about? Facebook’s latest data breach