So many preachers of permanent, radical technological change are unable to imagine substantive social change, because they know no history. Thus they are unable to see technology itself other than as a further entrenchment, elaboration and naturalization of existing arrangements.
Often it seems as if their only way of discussing society's past at all -- beyond the struggles of their own presumed forefathers in the pantheon of Science and Progress against the benighted -- is in terms of putatively natural hierarchies or through naive organic metaphors.
In this way the pitchmen of ultra-modern Science and Progress inadvertently echo the language and sentiments of early modern apologists for then-evolving political and social forms: the state as an organic body; social groups organized as if by nature into free and unfree labour.
(I say "inadvertently" not because their own sentiments, properly understood, are in fact any more advanced than those of sixteenth- or seventeenth-century authors; only because, as people programmatically unconcerned with the past, they are unaware of their own unoriginality.)
You can follow @mccormick_ted.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: