Ted Bauman Blog | I Won’t Get Chipped … and Neither Should You | Talkmarkets - Page 2
Editor, The Bauman Letter
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Ted Bauman joined Banyan Hill Publishing in 2013 and serves as the editor of The Bauman Letter, Plan B Club and Smart Money Alert, specializing in asset protection, privacy, international migration issues and low-risk investment strategies. He lives ... more

I Won’t Get Chipped … and Neither Should You

Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2017 10:16 AM EDT

Paul says: “… When you look back at history, the pessimists have been utterly and completely wrong on technological developments.” He cites initial skepticism attending the invention of printing, email and Facebook, which critics thought would make us crazy, stupid and immoral, respectively.

No Such Thing as a Neutral Technology

It’s true that people have worried about the impact of new technologies throughout history. Usually those initial concerns turn out to be unfounded … at least when considered over a long enough time frame.

But technologies do change us … usually in unforeseen ways.

Consider Paul’s examples:

  • The invention of printing enabled mass communication, disrupting Europe’s socio-political order and resulting in the fragmentation of Christendom and the collapse of feudalism.
  • Email may not be worse than marijuana, but it has radically transformed the way we communicate, both qualitatively (“IMHO”) and quantitatively. (“Inbox bankruptcy” is an actual thing.)
  • I happen to agree that Facebook has made us less moral, at least politically. The initial worry was that rapid information flows would eliminate time for introspection. Whether that’s true or not, nobody can deny social media’s role in self-segregating society ideologically, giving rise to ever more extreme political opinions and making democracy increasingly unworkable.

The Science of the Possible

In my writings, I’ve consistently argued that as technologies change, so too do the principles that govern the use of that technology.

For example, the authors of the U.S. Constitution would undoubtedly consider the electronic surveillance practices of the U.S. government to be antithetical to that document. Most modern decision-makers, however, accept them because of their purported benefits for law enforcement, combating terrorism, etc.

Those benefits, of course, only became apparent once the technologies were invented — thus posing a brand-new moral and political question asking for an answer.

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