Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster. There may be physical disaster (for example, some form of environmental catastrophe), or there may be disaster in terms of human dignity (reduction of the human race to a degraded and servile condition). But disaster of one kind or another will certainly result from continued technological progress.
This is not an eccentric opinion. Among those frightened by the probable consequences of technological progress are Bill Joy, whose article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” is now famous, Martin Rees, author of the book Our Final Century, and Richard A. Posner, author of Catastrophe: Risk and Response. None of these three is by any stretch of the imagination radical or predisposed to find fault with the existing structure of society. Richard Posner is a conservative judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Bill Joy is a well-known computer wizard, and Martin Rees is the Astronomer Royal of Britain. These last two men, having devoted their lives to technology, would hardly be likely to fear it without having good reason to do so.( Collapse )