The Betrayal by Technology: A Portrait of Jacques Ellul

The Betrayal by Technology: A Portrait of Jacques Ellul

1992, Technology  -   78 Comments
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Ratings: 7.78/10 from 37 users.

The Betrayal by Technology: A Portrait of Jacques EllulJacques Ellul was a French theologian/sociologist and anarchist. He first became well-known to American readers when his book The Technological Society was published in English in 1964.

This book leveled a broad critique of technique, a term that means more than gadgets and machines - as the English word technology means.

For Ellul, technique represented an entire way of life characterized by life fragmented so that efficiency ultimately rules over all ethical decisions.

Ellul warned that technique was having drastic effects on all aspects of modern life. His books, Anarchy and Christianity, The Politics of God and the Politics of Man are two examples of how his political and religious outlooks mutually reinforced one another.

Many Green Anarchists have cited Ellul's work on technique as influential on their thought.

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Zv
Zv
6 years ago

The way I see it is like this: science and technology will never be able to give answer to fundamental questions unless it incorporate spirituality. In this form science is leading us away of spiritual and it makes us rebelius or depressed. People are spiritual beeings and all life we are actually seeking spirit in us but we look outside of us instead inside. Why ... because nobody teaches us diferently and the one who does is freak, crackpot and must be critizied and discredited. We are all conditioned by society we live in and when we start to be aware of this we will start to feel more free.

Menelion
Menelion
9 years ago

glaring holes - a lot of what ellul says is always good but he places way too much emphasis on religion. Wisdom he says does not come from intellectual reflection, but by the generational transfer of knowledge in combination with reflection. Patently wrong - it comes from BOTH.

And it is not a question of either/or re technology vs nature - both can be sacred if applied and regarded responsibly. Unfortunately there is no responsibility or balance re the two now (he is right on that at least).

He was right for his time in terms of certain basic concepts, but he shows as dated now.

so he gets a 6 out of 10 :)

However on the theory of propaganda he has always been superb :)

opinus
opinus
9 years ago

Is not technology utilized as a tool of the capitalist system that seeks to exploit science and the people for profit and as such, sustain contemporary social structures?
If technology were not profit driven, it might have the potential of connecting rather than isolating us from ourselves and the natural world. Again, technology rather than seeking to purely exploit natural laws and resources, might approach nature with due reverence.
The non-thinking willingness of people in allowing themselves to be manipulated by those motivated exclusively by the exploitive accrual of power is indeed a faustian contract as Ellul warns.

deep dillon
deep dillon
11 years ago

very true could'nt be explained any better then this

Matt Kukowski
Matt Kukowski
11 years ago

The Shamans of the Amazon are being replaced by science and technology. We need to preserve the Shaman as the Shaman can tell you if you are harming yourself or not, by simply putting the female feeling brain back into the equation and recasting from there.

Male domination science will make life great for some, but miserable for the rest, unless we remember where we came from. Which is the planet, plants and womb of the mother (earth and human mother)

John C. Randolph
John C. Randolph
12 years ago

As a very wise man once said, let the ignor*nt b*stard freeze in the dark.

freelancedaydreamer
freelancedaydreamer
12 years ago

i cant seem to find any reference to this student riot in sweeden in 1953? this point it seems ultimately represents the point being made. trying to discover what has been lost is difficult.

DocuFan
DocuFan
12 years ago

Very pathetic documentary. Bohemian and utopian at its core...

DocuFan
DocuFan
12 years ago

Very pathetic documentary. Bohemian and utopian at its core...

DocuFan
DocuFan
12 years ago

Very pathetic documentary. Bohemian and utopian at its core...

DocuFan
DocuFan
12 years ago

Very pathetic documentary. Bohemian and utopian at its core...

DocuFan
DocuFan
12 years ago

Very pathetic documentary. Bohemian and utopian at its core...

Corey John Scott
Corey John Scott
12 years ago

How about that busker who plays the trumpet and accordion simultaneously? "C'est ça la technique, hein?"

RobbieRowboat
RobbieRowboat
12 years ago

The Noble Savage argument is such bunk - people always wish the lack of technology on others but never themselves.

"Instead of thinking of God they amuse themselves...by means of technology" - this is really what this guy is selling - conservative religious order.

He goes on to cite a few popular problems in modern society (belittling the benefits of course) and then he puts GOD in as the solution. Very boring vapid 'God of the gaps' argument.

His disdain for ordinary people throughout is distasteful to say the least. Glass tower fantasist cr*p done only the way that a christian Platonist can do it.

Daniel Hammond
Daniel Hammond
12 years ago

Replace "technology" with "religion" and everything makes sense all of a sudden; I'm not buying his angle. Interesting, but I don't think he understands that technology is just as natural of a system as anything else in the universe. He's too obsessed with categorizing and dividing the world into the sacred and non-sacred. Technology is amoral - While it's true that human behavior is changing because of technology I don't think it penetrates our morality but rather the other way around (technology is a reflection of what is already there but couldn't before be expressed).

Alex Knowlton
Alex Knowlton
13 years ago

If commercialism is going to determine the future we're in big trouble. Most goods are hyped and meant to con people into having to have "it". What every one believes they want becomes a social and financial trap. I'm amazed to see how much junk pople store in their basements and garages. When a percentage of people are killed, mamied or poisoned for corporate projects only to see that in the next ten or fifteen years many of these projects will already be in need of great repairs. How good is this kind of obsession for something new? Especially that their still are buildings standing that date back to the Eleventh Century B.C. and even earlier.

The quality of life has actually diminished especially, in our love for beauty and culture.

How about only having a child or two? Inventions that have changed the world? In my opinion there are a lot of documentaries about commercially promoted ugly ice boxes called a "new" design for that obsessive drive for something "new" and yet meaningless. Why do we have a five day work week? Who made that mandatory? Our Medical professions are poisoning everyone. I got rid of my lung cancer by avoiding surgery and modern medicine! (I did).

As a builder and architect for 35 years I've seen some awful workmanship and
little pride in what many consider "new idea's".

Few people are aware of the fact that humanity thinks in a dialectical manner. Everything that comes into our thinking is always deciding a decision that is weigh by yes or no, good for me, bad for me, do I prefer brown or green, and why? This inner dialog originates from a existential return to our first cause, that is "being".

Primitives would make some symbol or something resembling a human counterpart to hope that an answer would be forthcoming. And it does often answer the problem. This is today known as meditation. The Greeks and than the Romans, for example, and before them, projected a anthropomorphic (Human) aspect to their God's to whom they could somewhat identify participating with a projection he could identify as "other". All of this is a self projection of participating with "another", that is what we call the projection of our inner mystical spirit of "being". But first a person must understand that it is the process of humility and surrender toward being human.

Samuel Becket's, Waiting For Godot, is actually a very good example of faith, contrary to what many readers think. Didi and Gogo are waiting for Gogot to arrive. Like those who await the present of God from our exterior view of faith have a very difficult understanding for faith arriving.

From a Catholic understanding the existential aspect of man is "interior."

Gogo and Gigi were looking outside themselves for Godot's arrival that's why he doesn't arrive. The tradition,for Catholics, is that the tomb is empty, the Christ is not there. He is located some where in the vicinity of the greatest Temple of Humanity, the human heart, waiting to be invited in. That's why their waiting and searching is absurd. There's no answer. Godot never arrives.

Matt Kukowski
Matt Kukowski
13 years ago

@Arnold Rudge To say technology has done nothing BUT improve life is a fallacy (a false comment/claim) . Although technology has improved lives in certain societies and circles within those societies. (Example: those with money and resources)

Technology has also gave us the power to utterly destroy, pollute, deforest, over populate and radiation everything. technology is a TWO bladed sword. To say technology has not done as much harm as good is very short sighted and ignorant claim.

In fact, if we do not grow up we will kill ourselves WITH all the toys and gadgets we have. THIS must be recognized as well as the 'good' that technology has done. Do not forget the perils, else all your 'toys' will be taken and your species claim to existence!

Indrek Männiste
Indrek Männiste
13 years ago

His ideas are not too dissimilar to those of Martin Heidegger as expressed in his ''The Question Concerning Technology'' and "The Age of the World Picture". I highly recommend reading these pieces.

Arnold Rudge
Arnold Rudge
13 years ago

technology has done nothing but improve life, what decides how the role of technology in our lives is our dominante culture, so in fact hes just looking at a symptom of an underlying bigger problem, Zeitgeist Moving Foward explains this really well.(it's available here)

KC
KC
13 years ago

@Bob Anderson

You can s**k my french d!ck you ignorant dipsh!t.

I guess there is no such thing as being open minded, even though I too, don't entirely agree with Ellul. But at least, I learnt how to analyse and criticize effectively, those of which you fail to express properly.

Sir you are a huge failure !

Merci et bon soir.

Gaius
Gaius
13 years ago

In my opinion Ellul has nothing against technology itself, as it said at the start of the doc, technology's always been present and always will be, we need it. The problem is : what technology has become to us.

Before the renaissance and subsequently the industrial revolution, the relation between humankind and the environment was one of respect and dependence, we were part of nature, and that was due to the fact that this kind of thinking was passed on from generation to generation through thousands of years.

What he is complaining about is that from the moment we discovered a way to increase almost infinitely our quality of life via technology, we just decided that everything that was thought until then was completely discardable and had no use at all. Just as teenagers who think what their parents taught them is rubbish and decide to go on a quest of their own, just to find out, after getting kicked in the face many times, that they actually knew what they were talking about.

Of course, times change and knowledge has to be updated to fit these changes, but some things (essences) DO NOT change, and to acknowledge that all we have to do is to take a look at the world today to see that we are having to dig up old notions about life and the world if we are to survive.

It sucks to see that many intelligent people here on TDF do not allow themselves to be provoked, i see so many comments of people just saying that "this is bulls***" or "this is great" just because the docs support their opinions or not.

Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson
13 years ago

This guy is full s@#$, typical French self-righteous arrogant a$$hole. its the best way i can explain his critical thinking.

Knud Sandbæk Nielsen
Knud Sandbæk Nielsen
13 years ago

"You only get what you give." Give the interview a chance. You don't have to be right about everything to say something of interest. Nobody was ever right about everything, unless we all missed the occation. We must have, or we would have understood and be right, too.

Every choice in the history of mankind leads to a different world. In the case of the atom bomb, it has lead sof far to the present situation, with the laborious attempts to keep it under control.

Thus, every choice of that kind rules out another path of history. If we choose to find out how to live with no respect for nature, we cannot later "un-choose", snap our fingers and have back the dodo.

However, I think recnology, although gone over our heads and beyond the comprehendable, is not the greatest danger that mankind poses to its own survival and health.

Power is. It is the strongest drug in the world. And it comes in the form of money that carry no burdon of history og reality. The current financial crisis shows this with the explicity of a crashing Concord.

As Jacques Ellul said in the interview: they go on and do it just because they can - without even thinking of it. Well, at least some of us can't help themselves. Power does that to most people. The afrodisiac and adrenalin kick of the brave new world. And also the highway to paranoia and total isolation.

Bryan
Bryan
13 years ago

I got nuttin.

O. Von Thomas
O. Von Thomas
13 years ago

To criticize the impact of technology is not parallel to a claim we can do without it. This has been opined too often on this thread. Technologies have afforded better health and incredible capabilities in many respects, but at what cost to our mental and environmental health? Our we privy to the point of excess? Our lives are longer, but is our purpose somehow less significant or meaningful? Our long term impact on the natural world suggests we are much less progressive, human technological achievement thus far is proving to be the fatal catalyst of the biosphere.

duck
duck
13 years ago

@ ez2b12
When I asked Alex B about some guy altruistically coming to my home to clear the sewer pipes, if you noticed, he immediately came up with self cleaning pipes would be invented so that no one would have to do the dirty jobs. I asked him what would be done between now and the time these 'miracle' pipes were conceived and put into use. He then began to tell me that I was not grasping his concept and that I was doomed if I still hung onto the 'old' ways. Oh well................

On to the point that's here......

I have a group of friends who occasionally get together at one or the others homes. Pizza, sub sandwiches, or a light buffet is usually served. We watch a movie, play cards, and end up discussing events that have occurred since we last gathered.

It is a diverse group, several conservatives, several progressive democrats, and a taste of libertarians.

One couple are both conservative and 1960s style radical left wing, near socialist, mad at everybody type. [ Which only proves to me that love can clear all hurdles, if applied...]But, they are a trip to watch when relating to each other.

Friday evening, it was our turn to host the confab. One of the participants brought a workprint of RED, the new Bruce Willis movie. After watching that, I slipped a converted video of Jacques Ellul's 'Betrayal by Technology' into the machine telling everyone that they will soon have something to sink their teeth into.

As I suspected, after the viewing, eight people with eight different views all began debating the rights and the wrongs of the video. The eye's of the beholder can see many divergent things just as eye witnesses of a crime or an memorable event will paint a differently shaded picture in retrospect. This painting ended going into the early hours of this morning. I am glad there was not a great deal of beer on hand or it might have lasted longer....

Viewing this and most likely other documentaries in a communal setting on a large screen is much different than setting solo in front of a computer. There are subliminal and not so reserved reactions given off by the other participants to each other that can both irritate or strengthen one's own information absorption. Sort of a subtly mixed mob rule.

[After a lively discussion, I suggested a few mental exercises. If anyone is interested, I could post what they were and the results.. ]

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ duck

Yep, these guys (Alex B. especially) are stuck on the whole zeitgeist movement, resourced based economy and people working for the betterment of society not the betterment of self. Sounds wonderful, but will never work. In order to not have a dictatorship these guys think that a computer can be the ultimate deciding power (LOL). Yep, you heard me right- a computer will monitor what resources are available and what they should be used for, humans will only make suggestions to the computer. All manual labor that no person would want to do will be taken care of by technology (this will also never work) and we will all live in round buildings that are totally identical so that no one is any better off or has a higher standard of living than anyone else. Its a wonderful caramel utopia that we will all be happy forever and ever in (LOL). I reality it is socialism with a computer calling the shots, thats all.

I admit that it has some very cool architecture in the plans though, I would love to have one of those space aged looking houses they promote. I also agree that maybe computers should help us decide what resources to use and how, notice i said help not run the show. They are the total opposite of this guy in that they say technology is our savior, niether view is right to me. We need a mixture of technology and personal responsibility, in my opinion. Tech is niether our doom or our savior, just another tool.

Fernando
Fernando
13 years ago

great doc. thaks!

Julian
Julian
13 years ago

I think this guy is missing the part of the brain that makes one logical. How does one jump from many Parisians vacationing on the Mediterranean to being predetermined and unfree.

Arstotle
Arstotle
13 years ago

@duck & @ez2b12

And there you have it in @duck’s last comment. That is Ellul’s complaint in a nutshell. I have to admit my view of anything concerning him has a history. I’ve read many of this works and tend to use his other works as a looking glass. (I mentally add to the dialogue) Hegel irritates me but I don’t dismiss him because within his dialogue I find much food for thought for and against.

Any reading of Ellul is painstaking. He does meander around melancholies of the loss of what he considers a better time,” Oldies but Goodies”. His philosophy is used to promote many radical movements. They usually omit any salient negative thrusts at their own and that is one of his complaints, the use of image, mental of visual over substance, propaganda.

There are lists of his essays and books on some religious leaning sites. There you will find portions of his works promoting their viewpoints. They do however omit works like “The Subversion of Christianity” which is a scathing work on their manipulation of the masses and doctrine. We all attack or defend our points of pain and pride.

insomniac
insomniac
13 years ago

@ez2b12: I did not mean to call you a conspiracy nut at all, I agree with most of what you said, indeed our economy is being manipulated by COMPANIES, I'm just trying to debunk the myth that the blame should go on the shoulders of a select few people in these companies who ultimately only serve as scapegoats. The entire corporate system is corrupt by design, not just a few bad apples in it. I'm just tired of hearing on the news that "big bad rich folks X and Y got a slap on the wrist so everything is fixed now".

duck
duck
13 years ago

The real i@#$%& are the one's that take tech as a supplement for intelligence.

The police in my area have been caught doing many disingenuous actions, many outright illegal, so, in order to both protect the public and the police, all traffic stops are video and audio taped.

One of the tapes had a woman speeding at 70 plus miles per hour in a 45 MPH zone. When the police pulled her over, she stated that her speeding was alright because she was wearing a seat belt... Another stated that it was OK because her car could go faster, just look at the speedometer, it goes all the way to 120....

It depends on what use the technology is used for....

SimonTheSorcerer
SimonTheSorcerer
13 years ago

I forced myself to watch this 2 times but I was rather disappointed. I totally agree with ez2b12's first comment.

This guy should just stick to his poetry books. If anything this just straightened my Trans-humanist beliefs and provided no genuine platform for arguments/discussions based on logic and facts.

Something on the more whimsical side :). I just returned from our family winery after 3 days of harvest/wine preparation. I experienced the change of technology firsthand by going from Budapest ( capitol of Hungary ) with wireless Internet, hybrid cars and apple stores to our family winery with no tap-water, electricity or toilet facility :D. My personal conclusion is: Although the winery is fun when drunk , sober I prefer advanced technological equipments any day. :D Take care !

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ duck

Cool man, sounds like a great band I wished i could have heard you guys play. I still play with a friend that lives near by. We just do an accoustical thing and he sings, man he is really good. I mostly play jazz and classical now, though i still love rock and blues. We just have gotten a studio set up here at my house and can turn out cds of a quality you wouldn't believe for a personal studio. Its just a hobby though, no more clubbing.

Listen i don't mean to be rude but, I just had a very close friend die from suicide and I am not really in the mood for conversation tonight. He was a old band member in the last band i played with some two or three years ago. I will keep an eye out for you on here though. Maybe one day we can exchange cds or something, I am always happy to hear another musician play.

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ Arstotle

I tried again to watch this with what you had said in mind. But i do not get that from this documentary at all. He is talking a bunch of nonsense. For example when he says that no one is responsible when something goes wrong, bs. We have scientist that can study the reason for that dam bursting and tell us exactly what the cause was, therefore we know exactly who did not do thier job correctly. He says we get upset when a car gets burned because it is sacred, bs. We get upset because no one has the right to destroy another persons property no matter what it is they disagree with. He says we hold technology as sacred, bs. We do not hold technology as sacred, we hold the valueable contacts with other humans that it makes possible sacred. He says ancients did not use metal tools for agriculture because they held the earth as sacred, bs. They did not use them because even after they discovered metals they were rare and very expensive- not common enough to be used as farming implements. He condemns the liberal movements in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as wrong because they over threw old established traditions, while neglecting to mention these older established traditions were based in religiouse intolerance, absolute monarchial rule, and exploitation of the poor and middle classes that had no say in the institutions that governed thier lives.

During the enlightenment and later in the scientific revolution conservatives took these same stances. They wanted the absolute rule by the aristocracy to continue, the church to control the state, and for change to be slower or infact to never take place. Luckily these few simpletons were over ruled by the masses of people that had come to trust in scientific reason and the ability of people to rule themselves, or at least to participate in governing themselves.

I agree with much of what you had to say when you described his stance, and I am not saying he doesn't express those views in his writings or other documentaries, but not in this one. Here he is simply talking non sense and mischaracterizing peoples views of technology, the purpose of said technology, and the events of history. He continually gives credit to arcane religiouse beliefs, that in reality were intolerant and cost many thier lives.

The only thing he says in the whole thing that i agree with is that the Europeans had no right to come into places like north and south America and destroy the natives. Now he also says we had no right to destroy thier concepts of where we come from or why we exist. Well I agree with that to some degree, we had no right to come in and replace those bs concepts with a new bs concept like christianity. However, there is nothing wrong with sharing reality with superstitious peoples. Unfortunately at that time Europeans had no idea of evolution or science, they only had thier superstitious beliefs to put in place of the natives superstitious beliefs, niether was reality or more valuable than the other. Now no one should force them to believe anything, not even the truth. If, after you explain evolution or cosmology to some person, they choose to cling to thier original beliefs then that is thier choice and no one has the right to force them into anything.

I used to be a militant atheist but I came to the realization at some point that we have no right to "make" someone believe anything. Many people cling to religion because they need it, I understand this now and do not want to take that from them. I had a friend who committed suicide last week because he had lost his dad and his mom in the course of the last six months, one to cancer the other to a bad motorcycle wreck. Someone had recently convienced this kid (just 20 years old) to give up religion. Once he lost his parents though and no longer believed he would see them again and that his dad, whom had been a preacher, wasted his life on a false belief- well it was too much for him obviousely and he killed himself.

I will miss him horribly and really wish no one would have changed his views, maybe he would still be alive. Maybe I should have done something, I dont know what but something. The world is a little colder and less vibrant without him in it. His name was Micheal Norris and he died of a self inflicted gun shot to the head-

Now you rest Micheal, I hope you find peace and I will never forget you or your beautiful music.

duck
duck
13 years ago

@ ez2b12

If you were addicted and managed to come through relatively unscathed, I would think that if you did write a book or articles, it would be of much greater importance and help than someone's sometimes idiotic travels through life. You could actually reach people in trouble if they would take the time to read it.......

duck
duck
13 years ago

@ ez2b12

Now there is a coincidence.. When my family finally moved out of the mountains and into civilization, I became interested in music, art, and engineering. [Music and engineering are both based on math, the art was studied so as to convey engineering ideas to others..]I found that I could pick up the piano and guitar fairly quickly. Eventually, a group of us got together and formed a small band. I played piano, guitar, and we all rotated as lead singer depending on what the song was at any given time. My voice sounded like a cross of Gene Vincent and Conrad Twitty.

Rex Wiener, one of the band members, had taken concert piano lessons plus composing, so he handled all of the arranging. He took up drums as a side and his parents had a cow. His voice had a bit of a Jerry Lee Lewis sound and he could break into a Little Richard voice at the drop of a note... We were always a little concerned, but pleasantly so, when a vocal break would come on and an individual band member would be spotlighted in an instrument solo. If Rex was on drums, everything would proceed as normal. If he was on piano, he would break into Mozart, Beethoven, or any other of the classic composers only with the beat and cadence of the song we were just playing. To this day, I would say that if you have never heard something like Mozart's Requiem played in the same cadence as Jerry Lee Lewis' Whole Lot of Shaken Goin' On or Louie Armstrong's Bring It On Home, you never have heard anything. He could meld that classical right in and make it work every time..

J. Vaden was our tenor sax player and he was a real artist. He could make that sax cry or laugh. His low, gravel voice gave the blues a definite personality. When he sang, everyone stopped to listen.

Our base player was a clown and a half. He would ply his antics just to get us off a beat or distract us and all the while, he wouldn't miss a beat or a note. The audience loved him, he was a good entertainer.

We played together for nearly four years, even got paid most of the time. But, as with most music groups, things happen. We all had part time jobs. I worked for a medical wholesale company in their art department. They were expanding into other fields and wanted a new sign on the building to reflect this. So I painted a large sign on a sheet of plywood, I and another person was mounting the finished sign to the side of the building when a gust of wind came up, caught the sign which knocked me of the ladder I was standing on. I fell backwards and landed dead center on the top of my head. After I woke up, it was found out that I started having problems with words, numbers, and timing which meant that I couldn't remember lyrics, musical beats were off, and while I did eventually work in engineering, it was a real task because of the math...thank someone for the calculator or I would have been a pushing a broom somewhere.

Rex got an offer from some where in southern California. The last I heard, he was working with a large orchestra whose primary function is background music for movies.

J.Vaden, the sax player, and several members of his family were killed by a hit and run driver they assume was high on meth. They never caught him/her. They found the car that hit them, but it was stolen and a bag was found filled with meth and other drug paraphernalia.

Our base player became discouraged with about everything and did as little as possible. He did menial jobs when he could, at least, that was the state he was in when I last seen him.

I haven't seen or heard from any of these guys in years. I assume that they are still doing pretty much the same as before. Maybe I shouldn't make any assumption, most things are in a state of flux. I do hope that their lives have not been 'fluxed' up too badly....

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ Arstotle

Well, I did misunderstand then. Thanks for the run down. I would agree with much of what you are saying he stands for. I am a amateur historian though (degree in wetsern civics) and can not stand his mischaracterization of history. I will attempt to watch this again with this new knowledge in mind, it probably will make much more sense and be far less insulting. In my defense he doesn't make his position very clear, or maybe the people that made this documentary did not do him justice. Thanks again for the information, I was content to write this guy off as a loon.

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ mackenga

I agree with you about technology bringing people together. But I also agree that it does sometimes seperate us as well and reduce our sense of responsibility. I know if I push a button to kill twenty people I would not feel as responsible as if i had to shoot each one or bludgeon them to death. As a result it makes killing those twenty people a much easier thing to do, this allows people to go to war over things that if they had to fight with swords and shields they might try and work out or just live with. It depends on the exact technology in question and its purpose I suppose.

As far as Fresco, I agree with some of what he says but he does go too far in my opinion. I love some of his architectural designs as well, but I do not believe for one second that everyone would be happier living in them or that a computer should be the ultimate authority over society. Computers do not have the capacity to understand the human condition or inspire citizens, well not as well as other humans do anyway. Once you take the computer out of the drivers seat you are left with a dictatorship.

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ Steve

If you are referring to me I never meant to insult you in any way. I am sorry if you took that way. I was trying to defend your conception of the gap between the haves and have nots, did not mean to put words in your mouth at all. I was obviousely wrong about what you meant and where that was rooted, excuse me.

@ Insomniac

DO NOT make me out a conspiracy nut, I hate that bs. I think your cliche example of the smoky room and business suits is laughable. Of course this isn't going on. But the value of the American dollar IS manipulated by the banking system. If you do not want to take my word for it watch The Secret of OZ on this very site. They will give you exact qoutes by bankers at thier yearly convention talking about intentionally manipulating the currency to achieve thier goals. Or take my states (Alabama) health insurance policies. We are not allowed to shop across state lines for insurance. We only have three companies to choose from here in our lovely state. This allows these three companies to get together and decide what to charge for coverage and what rules will apply, to a large degree (some of this is controlled by state and federal legistlation). Another example is the utility companies here in Alabama. They stake out certain territories and if you live within that territory your power, water, natural gas, etc., etc. has to come from a certain company. As a result they can charge whatever they like and you will pay it or do without. The prices they charge are insane when compared to thier over head, but what can we do. Not a single candidate for governor nor state legistlature will stand up to them, as they would never have gotten elelected if not in bed with the utilities companies like Alabama power or TomBigbee electric co-op. I do not believe in nor was I referring to the illuminati or the bilderberg group, just look over my past posts on this site and you will clearly see I hate conspiracy theory nuts.

So no, I do not believe in huge world shaping conspiracies. But I do believe that the system to a large degree is shaped by those that have money and power to achieve thier goals, I can't afford to pay a lobbyist to lobby on my behalf- can you? I was referring to special interests when I talked about the upper one percent that manipulate and controll us indirectly, surely you do not deny that our government caters to special interests and not the people.

@ Duck

Man that is some really interesting stuff, thanks for sharing. You should write a book, if people like Carlos Castaneda can get away with writing the utter bs he did and it was sucessfull you have nothing to worry about. As long as you don't misrepresent the truth or out right lie, let them think what they will.I think it is facinating and you do a great job of telling the story.

I am considering writing about my addiction and my long road to recovery. I played blues and rock with small time bands one of which actually toured the southeastern US playing clubs and smaller venues at one time. It was an interesting life style. I also managed to come back to sobriety through a program that myself and a local phsycologist structured. We both HATED the twelve step bs that is so vehemently jammed down most addicts throats by society and the law at the same time. It is nothing more than religiouse indoctrination and trades the drug for a different addiction, an addiction to religiouse epiphany and dependancy. It does not impower people in anyway, it takes your power in fact and conviences you that you have a desease that can not be controlled by you. In reality drug use is a choice not a desease and it can be controlled, not easily but it is possible. I have never felt better than I do now that i have taken control and responsibility for my own life. Good luck, I'll be looking for that book- you should really consider it I think you would be plesantly surprised.

mackenga
mackenga
13 years ago

@Arstotle: I don't agree that technology isolates people from each other. It just allows us to form closer relationships with more distant people. My 'isolation' (seems like too strong a term) from people who are physically nearby has more to do with the fact that in a city there is a sense of competition which fosters a lack of trust between strangers. This sense of competition comes from actual competition; there really is a constant struggle to secure sufficient resources here, and a significant proportion of my interactions with nearby people involve them trying to secure my resources (e.g. trying to beg from me or sell me things).

People have been competing for resources in this sort of way for a very long time. Technology (to paint with very broad brush strokes) generally makes resources more plentiful, but scarcity remains a problem mainly because of money: surplus food can decompose in warehouses or be dumped on foreign markets at a knock-down price while local people starve, because those local people don't have the money to buy it.

If technology was allowed to serve its purpose and give us all more free time and more resources and artificial scarcity imposed by money could somehow be eliminated, I might be able to get to know my neighbours a little better.

I still think technology is the good guy in this picture. Although maybe I've been listening to Jacque Fresco too much. :)

steve
steve
13 years ago

@insomniac

I wasnt talking about that,I was saying that technology is the main ingredient that separates the classes.Its how we show each other how superior we are.

Cant even comment without some wank stain insulting me

Bea
Bea
13 years ago

Is this guy working for the pope? What a pile of codswallop.

princeton
princeton
13 years ago

my take on the whole mess (and by all means this guy is just making a huge mess of words and ideas)

"guns don't kill people, Stupid people kill people!"

technology is just a set of tools
to be more exact, the application of the natural sciences or our understanding of the physical world

any rant against "technology" is just a rant against science and its application.

what a Loon!

duck
duck
13 years ago

@ ez2b12

Thank you for the compliment and the praise. I do feel somewhat embarrassed by your kindness though. Compliments are something that is not heard very often anymore in today's society.

As far as writing is concerned, that is a suggestion that my wife has also made. I am afraid that if I were to take up authoring a book that when I have to get into the minutia, no one would believe me. I have run across many strange things. Of the things that are not so unique, they would just be branded as exaggerations or outright lies because they wouldn't fit into the politically correct view that many have today.

As far as the Indians and FYI, I lived the greater part of my youth between three tribes. Each of these tribes had a distinct cultural identity and history. At risk of sounding bigoted and/or stereotyping any group of people and while each individual person has their own personalities, there was a group think that each tribe displayed and used to their advantage or disadvantage depending on who was doing the viewing.

One of the tribes had a history of being a fierce warrior tribe. They did not work the ground to grow crops, they hunted for their food or raided other tribes for what they needed.They also took slaves and stole other tribe's horses and women. Physically, the men were generally tall, muscular, and good looking . Many of the women were very attractive, so much that they could be models for any magazine that you could name. They are very intelligent and quick minded although most individuals of this warrior tribe will not work for any body except another Indian from the same tribe. Most of them set up their own businesses because of this tribal trait. Imagine an outlaw biker who is friendly and calm until you cross him in some way and you will have a mental picture of one of the warrior tribesman.

The second tribe were no slouches either, but they grew their food by farming. They hunted for their meat and skins. They very seldom attacked other tribes, but if attacked, very few other tribes got the best of them. They would put up a such strong defense that usually no one would try to attack them. Physically, they were all over the map, big, small, tall, short, muscular, lean.... Just as in the 'white' man's tribe, their intellect was all over the map. Many of them farm or ranch or work for one of the warrior tribe businessmen. Some would work for a 'white' man and they are usually looked down upon and given grief by the warrior Indians.

The third tribe were what the other tribes called blanket Indians. When they were not farming, they made trinkets and wove blankets just as they did for eons in the past. They made their way in the world by trading with the other tribes and now, they wait for some 'white' tourist to come by and buy something from them. Physically, the blanket Indians are mostly round faced and round bodied. They were that way in the long past and most are that way now. It sort of puts the obesity clam that fat is not in the genes to rest. They are not lazy, it is just that they generally won't get out of their tribal identity into things more industrious.

Many of the warrior and the farmer Indians got together and built a small town of around 25,000. It is run by the Indians and no whites are allowed any say. A few whites live there and are tolerated because they have married into one of the Indian families. The mayor, city council, all the police and city workers are Indians. They collect the taxes and maintain the city just as in any other city. They operate their own schools and as an aside, the students come out better educated than many of the white school students. From talking to some of the Indian parents and the kids, Indian schools, at least there, don't mess around. The kids are there to learn and nothing else. [I know their football team kicked our tails several times, they were good..] They hold elections, create and enforce their own laws and have their own courts. The only time the white police are allowed in is when a crime has been committed outside the city limits and the suspect ran into the city even then, the Indian police take over and the white police have to prove that the person is a viable suspect before they are released to the white police. When an Indian commits a crime and runs out of the city, the white police is called and when caught, the Indians have to prove that the person is a viable suspect before the police turn them over to the Indians. It works better than the USA and Canada or Mexico. The suspect is double checked before being brought up on charges...

Anyway, I forwarded this info just salve your curiosity. I don't think they would appreciate a book being written in their posting area.

Thanks again...........

insomniac
insomniac
13 years ago

@ez2b12: Actually that idea of a small group of indecently rich old men in a smoke filled room pulling the strings has no place outside of cheap conspiracy movies. Ultimately what pulls those strings in each sector of industry is not a person but a conglomerate of shareholders who each look-out for themselves first, which is very understandable since the majority of them are not actually "rich". The hundreds of billionaires are slaves to the thousands of millionaires who want nothing more then to take their place. Taking them out would replace the problem, not solve it. The system is just that: a system, cold and mindless, and no one actually controls it, we've built it so it controls us instead, which is why implementing vital changes is so difficult. "Money rules the world" is not just a lame soundbite, it's an undeniable fact: we are ruled by numbers, not people.

ez2b12
ez2b12
13 years ago

@ insomniac

I agree with you totally, but I also understand why Steve feels as he does. What has happened is that lately most have become aware, in fact it is common knowledge now, that in America things are controled by a few elites that we never see. The upper 1 % as they say, though i don't know how accurate that is. I think it would be smaller, but thats not the point.We know now that it has been going on for some time its just that it was hidden better. Any way it makes us feel much more dissconnected from the ultra rich prix. This gives us the illusion that the gap is getting wider, but in reality when you remove these families the situation is much more balanced than ever before.

Thanks to technology no doubt that gap will continue to close, in my opinion. I know the tech we have on this little farm sure has made things a lot easier and more productive. All we have is a tractor and a few plows, hand tools,Sorghum mill, and a grist mill. But its better than what we had when i was younger. My dad plowed with a mule, not that tractors were not invented- I am only 38, but dad just liked doing it and didn't want to buy a tractor. It was trip to watch, I never got very good at it really. We had to haul all the cane and corn off to other mills to make, much better now.

@ duck

Man, thats a very interesting story. I am not being sarcastic either, you should write about that experience. It would be interesting to hear about your interaction with the indians and the environmentalist as well. Even has some comedy and poetice justice in it, about them getting sick (LOL). You seem to write well also. Just a suggestion, I bet it would sell. I would buy it, for sure.

insomniac
insomniac
13 years ago

@steve: "(...)the gap between the haves and have nots is getting wider(...)"

Common misconception. It may appear as such simply because the population is larger, but statistically speaking the percentage of "have nots" has been declining, especially if you consider that "have not" today may mean "cant afford healthcare" rather then "must sell some children for food or die" a few hundred years ago.

If anything consumerism today tends to slow down the advancement of technology because it is much more profitable to sell many small updates on a product that brakes easily then to make something that does it all and is durable.

steve
steve
13 years ago

@ez2b12

I was just messin around,I agree with ya on most of what you said.I wont try to start an argument.Technology....certainly made life allot easier,however the gap between the haves and have nots is getting wider.Example,kid goes to school with the new craze,ipod or phone or whatever.Him and maybe two or three others get it.A few years later He buys a merc,you see what im getting at.It seems that is what our society is based on,getting the new tech to show how successful you are.

Technology isn't the problem,as usual we are.

Arstotle
Arstotle
13 years ago

@ez2b12

There is nothing inherently wrong with technology and that is not his complaint. It is what he sees as its legacy within the population. It is our disassociation from nature and each other, isolation and anonymity, the loss of community and therefore loss of personal responsibility. The same thread shows up in much of what he writes. Its the battle between the image (considered by him as idols) and the word, the manipulative force of the image, the dissolution of the force of words and the loss of dialogue.

He does however gloss over the negatives of ancient history. He is much like one who loves and misses antique automobiles. Gone is the shade tree mechanic. Although the Anabaptists embraced his outlook he would not make a good Amish farmer.

By your description of your life style you embody what he yearns to see more within society in general, a slower pace, greater contact with nature and better utilization of natural resources. You can better see and experience the waste of your own resources. You are not far removed from it. The effect on your farm and your family is immediate.

Then again he lived through WWII in France and saw what image propaganda is capable of doing with a disassociated and manipulated population. The radical view of his philosophy has been embraced by radical environmentalists as well as the advocates of human caused global warming (pardon me human caused radical environment change).

He would however abhor the half truths in the mass media onslaught used to manipulate (reeducate) the population into political movements. His theology is mainly theist much like Thos Jefferson. My only concern with him is his love of Marx. He did espouse Socialism but has the sense to ask: “but what kind?”