Just two short years ago at a biometrics conference in London, a senior-level technologist at the FBI poo-pooed the idea of implementing a massive facial recognition database upon the American people. Not…
Discussions about the future are almost always framed in terms of a tug of war for tomorrow between the forces of utopia and dystopia. Prognosticators love to promise us either the apocalypse or immortality, but when have things ever never been that cut and dry?
The dichotomy between machine and a sentient being has especially been examined by artists since Mary Shelley’s Romantic novel Frankenstein envisioned scientific technology having the power to resurrect life.
This was originally published on Jan Wellmann’s website. You can follow him on Twitter: @janwe. It’s Monday morning and you’re preparing your first cup of coffee when the tanks roll into your neighborhood….
If we were in fact drawing closer to the scenario he describes fifty years ago, what would the drug in question be?
Aldous Huxley, speaking at U.C. Berkeley in 1962, outlines his vision for the ‘ultimate revolution’, a scientific dictatorship where people will be conditioned to enjoy their servitude, and will pose little opposition to the ‘ruling oligarchy’, as he puts it. He also takes a moment to compare his book, “Brave New World,” to George Orwell’s “1984” and considers the technique in the latter too outdated for actual implementation.
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears…they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
How devices will soon begin pressuring us to “fix” our behavior. Via the Wall Street Journal, Evgeny Morozov writes: Many smart technologies are heading in a disturbing direction. A number of thinkers…
I’ve been following this website for a while now. I heard of it through science fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling. I think many disinfonauts would enjoy it as well. The basic premise is that while nature becomes culture ( picture a wilderness area being cleared and turned into a subdivision) culture also eventually becomes nature (picture the Exclusion zone of Chernobyl becoming a wilderness again, or urban areas becoming habitats for wild animals) Man-made systems, seeking to simplify nature, often become overly complex and devolve back in to chaos:
An underground coalition with a dystopian view of nuclear and nanotechnology advancement has unleashed several recent shooting and bombing attacks. Their purpose is to push back against science that they say are…