Sunday, March 20, 2011


I have been posting on facebook, rather than here. But now I have something to say that will take more than 420 letters...

I am intimidated by change and New Things. (Why do I write science fiction? I love science fiction. I have always read it. I always wanted to write it.) In any case, I have an ancient cell phone, which I almost never carry. I am refusing to learn about twitter, even though it's very popular, and the way we are hearing about the revolutions in the Middle East. I am also refusing to learn about livejournal, linkedin, you name it. I do have a nook, which I got as a present, and I am using it, partly because it's the kind of technology that I write out.

However, I am not intimidated by new ideas or by social change, though some social change makes me angry: the tea party Republicans, attacks on funding for the poor, attacks on choice for women, re-emerging open racism, Isamophobia. This is not change for the better.

Many right wing Americans have no trouble with new gadgets. Horrible Republican congresspeople cheerfully tweet. They are perfectly happy with the goodies produced by modern technology.

But they hate the science underlying the technology, and they hate the social changes produced by technology. (I subscribe the ideas put forth in The German Ideology: social change is produced by changes in the ways people organize themselves to make a living, and changes in production are based on technological change.)

To me, it's crazy to think that technology exists in a void, independent of science and society. I figure, if you like the goodies produced by the information revolution, then you need to come to terms with the information being transmitted and the ways that information is changing people's lives.

If you like modern medicine, then you need to come to terms with the choices it makes possible and the decisions it requires.

I have little trouble with the Amish, who have decided that modern technology threatens their community and are very careful about using any modern technology. I also like the fact that the Amish do not try to change the larger society.

Anyway, I find it interesting that I do not jump to use high tech goodies, but I love new science, and I like progressive (as opposed to regressive) change. Forward into the future!


Blogger Soren said...

The current term I've heard in social-science circles is 'reactionary modernism' - defined as the desire for economic benefit without the accompanying social change. Which, of course, is how we got them the last time...

7:20 AM  

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