Technology (quotes)

.

Technology is machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge

  • Technology: Machinery and devices developed from scientific knowledge. Oxford Dictionary
  • Technology: The study and knowledge of the practical, especially industrial, use of scientific discoveries. Cambridge Dictionary
  • Technology: The branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.  Dictionary.com
  • Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born. Alan Kay
  • ScienceProgressInnovationInventiveness
.

The advance of technology

.

Technology has become a defining feature of human civilisation

  • Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them. Alfred North Whitehead
  • We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. Carl Sagan
  • The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men. Havelock Ellis
  • Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity. Jacques Ellul
  • Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it’s civilization. Ambrose Bierce
.

Technology is advancing at an exponential rate …

  • The telephone wire, as we know it, has become too slow and too small to handle Internet traffic. It took 75 years for telephones to be used by 50 million customers, but it took only four years for the Internet to reach that many users. Lori Valigra
  • There will always be humans, lots of them, who provide the data that makes the networked realization of any technology better and cheaper. Jaron Lanier
  • You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller
  • Technology has advanced more in the last thirty years than in the previous two thousand. The exponential increase in advancement will only continue. Anthropological Commentary The opposite of a trivial truth is false; the opposite of a great truth is also true. Neils Bohr
  • I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.  3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.   Douglas Adams
  • I tell people in universities that, ‘You are going to have a job that doesn’t exist today, using technology that hasn’t been invented yet, to solve a problem that we don’t know what it is yet. Mark Weinberger
.

… for technological breakthroughs feed on each other

  • We are prone, especially in this fast-moving country, to what I call the displacive fallacy–to believe that every new technology displaces the old technology; that television will replace radio, that electronic news will displace print journalism, that the automobile will displace the human foot, and that television will displace the book. But each of these new technologies has simply given a new role to the earlier technologies. The development of technology is not displacive–it is cumulative. DanielL J. Boorstin
  • Technology feeds on itself. Technology makes more technology possible. Alvin Toffler
.

Modern technology has an increasingly short shelf life

  • Technology has the shelf life of a banana. Scott McNealy
  • Technology improves things so fast that by the time we can afford the best, there’s something better. Evan Esar
  • I shop at a computer store called ‘Your Crap’s Already Obsolete.’ Jeff Cesario
  • Obsolete: Any computer you own.
.

Advances in technology are opening up new areas and applications we cannot even conceive of

  • You know what your trouble is?… You’re the kind who always reads the handbook. Anything people build, any kind of technology, it’s going to have some specific purpose. It’s for doing something that somebody already understands. But if it’s new technology, it’ll open areas nobody’s ever thought of before. You read the manual, man, and you won’t play around with it, not the same way. And you get all funny when somebody else uses it to do something you never thought of. William Gibson
.

Technology is a double-edged sword

.

Technology can be a force for both good and bad

  • I know that science and technology are not just cornucopias pouring good deeds out into the world. Scientists not only conceived nuclear weapons; they also took political leaders by the lapels, arguing that their nation — whichever it happened to be — had to have one first…. There’s a reason people are nervous about science and technology … the image of the mad scientist haunts our world–from Dr. Faust to Dr. Frankenstein to Dr. Strangelove to the white-coated loonies of Saturday morning children’s television. (All this doesn’t inspire budding scientists.) But there’s no way back. We can’t just conclude that science puts too much power into the hands of morally feeble technologists or corrupt, power-crazed politicians and decide to get rid of it. Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history. Advances in transportation, communication, and entertainment have transformed the world. The sword of science is double-edged. Rather, its awesome power forces on all of us, including politicians, a new responsibility — more attention to the long-term consequences of technology, a global and transgenerational perspective, an incentive to avoid easy appeals to nationalism and chauvinism. Mistakes are becoming too expensive. Carl Sagan
  • Technology happens. It’s not good, it’s not bad. Is steel good or bad? Andrew Grove
  • Technology is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. C.P. Snow
  • Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery. Bertrand Russell
.

The pitfalls of technology

.

Many talk about the negative effects of technology

  • As industrial technology advances and enlarges, and in the process assumes greater social, economic, and political force, it carries people away from where they belong by history, culture, deeds, association and affection. Wendell Berry
  • As technology advances in complexity and scope, fear becomes more primitive. Don Delillo
  • For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press 3. Alice Kahn
  • Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons. Buckminster Fuller
.

Technology, they argue, dehumanises us …

  • Once upon a time we were just plain people. But that was before we began having relationships with mechanical systems. Get involved with a machine and sooner or later you are reduced to a factor. Ellen Goodman
  • As cities grow and technology takes over the world belief and imagination fade away and so do we. Julie Kagawa
  • Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines. Erich Fromm
  • Our advanced technological society is rapidly making objects of us and subtly programming us into conformity to the logic of its system to the degree that this happens, we are also becoming submerged in a new “Culture of Silence.” Paulo Freire
  • We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human race. John Naisbitt
  • The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. Sydney Harris
  • Technology is not an image of the world but a way of operating on reality. The nihilism of technology lies not only in the fact that it is the most perfect expression of the will to power… but also in the fact that it lacks meaning. Octavio Paz
  • In health of mind and body, men should see with their own eyes, hear and speak without trumpets, walk on their feet, not on wheels, and work and war with their arms, not with engine-beams, nor rifles warranted to kill twenty men at a shot before you can see them. John Ruskin
.

… for it is artificial …

  • That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…” Jess C. Scott, The Other Side of Life
  • V-Day…if you need this one day in a year to show everyone else you truly care for “your loved one” I think it’s quite stupid. I hate this commercialism. It’s all artificial, and has nothing to do with real love. Jess C. Scott
.

… and detracts from the human spirit and heart …

  • When a machine begins to run without human aid, it is time to scrap it – whether it be a factory or a government. Alexander Chase
  • What’s wrong with technology is that it’s not connected in any real way with matters of the spirit and of the heart. And so it does blind, ugly things quite by accident and gets hated for that. Robert M. Pirsig
  • The human spirit must prevail over technology. Albert Einstein
  • We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag. Jeremy Glass
  • All of our technology is completely unnecessary to a happy life. Tom Hodgkinson
.

… detracts from human modes of thinking and feeling …

  • The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. Sydney Harris
  • The real evil isn’t the objects of technology but the tendency of technology to isolate people into lonely attitudes of objectivity. It’s the objectivity, the dualistic way of looking at things underlying technology, that produces the evil. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do. F. Skinner
  • I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind!
.

… detracts from real life experiences …

  • Technology: “the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” Max Frisch
  • With innovation and technology, seems we have forgotten to cherish the true beauty the world has to offer. C. Van Cherub
  • High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks – chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring. Edward Abbey
.

… detracts from our togetherness, making us isolated and lonely

  • I hate technology. It provides so many different channels of loneliness. Every time you check your email and don’t see a new message, you know that, even though people have the ability to contact you at any time of the day from anywhere on the planet, no one is interested in doing so. Phones are constant reminders that 160 people you know fairly well have nothing to say to you most of the time. ADI Alsaid
  • It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome. S. Eliot, about radio
  • The more technologically advanced the human species got, the more isolated they seemed to become…. It was alarming, how humans could spend entire lifetimes engaged in all kinds of activities, without getting any closer to knowing who they really were inside. Jess C. Scott
  • We are always talking about being together, and yet whatever we invent destroys the family, and makes us wild, touchless beasts feeding on technicolor prairies and rivers. Edward Dahlberg
  • Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone. Dan Brown
  • As connected as we are with technology, it’s also removed us from having to have human connection, made it more convenient to not be intimate. Sandra Bullock
  • Nin knew how much humans loved money, riches, and material things—though he never really could understand why. The more technologically advanced the human species got, the more isolated they seemed to become, at the same time. It was alarming, how humans could spend entire lifetimes engaged in all kinds of activities, without getting any closer to knowing who they really were, inside. Jess C. Scott
.

Technology is advancing far faster than our social advances…

  • If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery, in impoverishment. Michael Harrington
  • The drive toward complex technical achievement offers a clue to why the U.S. is good at space gadgetry and bad at slum problems. John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Inaugural Address
  • It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. Albert Einstein
  • Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils.Nelson Mandela
  • Progress
.

… and at a rate that our wisdom, ethics and humanity cannot keep pace with

  • Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Omar Bradley
  • The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. Isaac Asimov
  • The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction. Eckhart Tolle
  • Ethics change with technology. Larry Niven
  • Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all. Arthur C. Clarke
  • Alas, our technology has marched ahead of our spiritual and social evolution, making us, frankly, a dangerous people. Steven M. Greer
  • The great paradox of the 21st century is that, in this age of powerful technology, the biggest problems we face internationally are problems of the human soul. Ralph Peters
  • The worst thing we could do would be to imagine that machines can do all our thinking for us; they can’t. We are moral creatures, and we can’t avoid that responsibility. Mark Woods
  • Wisdom
.

The more technology advances, the more reliant we become on it and the greater the risks of malfunctions

  • It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are. Clive James
  • Most people who sneer at technology would starve to death if the engineering infrastructure were removed. Robert A. Heinlein
  • Technology made large populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable. Joseph Wood Krutch  
  • As we deploy more and give more responsibilities to artificial agents, risks of malfunction that have negative consequences are increasing. Philippe Pasquier
.

Technology is drowning us in information at the expense of wisdom

  • Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant. Mitchell Kapor
  • In the age of technology there is constant access to vast amounts of information. The basket overflows; people get overwhelmed; the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest, and react to what goes on. Criss Jami
  • Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of Information can drive our Knowledge.  Daniel J. Boorstin
  • Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all. Arthur C. Clarke
  • Wisdom
.

Technology creates incessant noise in the mind …

  • We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phone, log off Facebook, and just sit in silence, because in those moments we might actually have to face up to who we really are. Jefferson Bethke
  • Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation…tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation. Jean Arp
  • Burn your computer. Blow up your TV. Bludgeon your cell phone. Breathe deeply. This, my friends, is the secret to inner-peace.  Brian Vaszily
  • Incessant thinking
.

… offering constant distraction and escapism …

  • My head’ll explode if I continue with this escapism. Jess C. Scott
  • Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. Henry David Thoreau
  • We have new technologies which are extremely good at distracting us, which our human habits have not yet caught up to. The challenge is that we have not realized the true cost of distractions: they use up what turns out to be a limited supply of attention each day. Distractions also make us far less effective if we need to do deeper thinking work. For example, a University of London study found that being always connected impacts your IQ equivalent to losing a night’s sleep or taking up marijuana. David Rock
  • One of the great things about technology is that it makes the wasting of time so much easier. Frederick S. Lane
  • Computer: An electronic time-saving device that is commonly used for time-wasting activities. Warwick Annear
.

… increasing the speed of life …

  • All this modern technology just makes people try to do everything at once. Bill Watterson
  • I have no opposition at all to technology. I think technology is a wonderful thing that has to be used thoughtfully, and we can’t just assume that every bit of new technology improves the quality of life; it’s really in how the technology is used. What I am very disturbed about is this trend of everything happening faster and faster and faster and there being more and more general noise in the world, and less and less time for quiet reflection on who we are, and where we’re going. Alan Lightman
  • HasteSlow down
.

… often standing in the way of reflection, contemplation and what is truly important in life

  • Technology is very seductive, and it is certainly changing the way things are designed and made and taught. The problem is when technology has seduced you away from thinking about things as deeply as you should. Arthur Ganson
  • Technology is changing our lives. It cannot and will not change what is fundamental to the human condition. It will never change the way we are, or how we feel. The more technology we create, the more we seem confused, side-tracked with what we are conned into believing will improve our lives in the future. Always the future. Anything to get us off thinking about who we are right now, and how we might make our relationships more rewarding and loving. Too many times, all of that is put on hold. Robert White
  • ReflectionContemplation
.

Technology has the capacity to bring much destruction to the planet …

  • If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Omar Bradley
  • It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. Albert Einstein
  • Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal. Albert Einstein
  • Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Omar Bradley
  • The power to hurt … has evolved in a direct relationship to technological advancement. Roger Zelazny
  • The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday. Dennis Gabor
  • The human mind is highly intelligent. Yet its very intelligence is tainted by madness. Science and technology have magnified the destructive impact that the dysfunction of the human mind has upon the planet, other life-forms, and upon humans themselves. That is why the history of the twentieth century is where that dysfunction, that collective insanity, can be most clearly recognized. Eckhart Tolle
.

… making war ever more destructive …

  • Battles, in these ages, are transacted by mechanism; with the slightest possible development of human individuality or spontaneity; men now even die, and kill one another, in an artificial manner. Thomas Carlyle
  • That’s something that tends to happen with new technologies generally: The most interesting applications turn up on a battlefield, or in a gallery. William Gibson
  • I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. J. Robert Oppenheimer, On the invention of the atom bomb
  • When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. Robert Oppenheimer
.

… even bringing the threat of extinction of life on earth

  • I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours. John F. Kennedy
  • This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand.  It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature.  Don DeLillo
  • The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Inaugural Address
.

Technology is removed from nature, often damaging it

  • The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them. Saint-Exupéry
  • The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology. F. Schumacher,
  • This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand.  It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature.  Don DeLillo
  • Modern technology owes ecology an apology.
  • Nature
.

Some argue that technology has enslaved us, becoming our masters …

  • First you use machines, then you wear machines, and then …? Then you serve machines. John Brunner
  • Humans are the reproductive organs of technology. Kevin Kelly
  • Lo! Men have become the tools of their tools. Henry David Thoreau
  • Technology enables man to gain control over everything except technology. Evan Esar
  • We are becoming the servants in thought, as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us. John Kenneth Galbraith
  • All this technology has somehow made you a stranger in your own land. Its very shape and appearance and mysteriousness say, “Get out.” You know there’s an explanation for all this somewhere and what it’s doing undoubtedly serves mankind in some indirect way but that isn’t what you see. What you see is the NO TRESPASSING, KEEP OUT signs and not anything serving people but little people, like ants, serving these strange incomprehensible shapes. And you think, even if I were a part of this, even if I were not a stranger, I would be just another ant serving the shapes. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
.

… that we’ve made machines into our Gods

  • What is technology?… It’s another god. Nora Roberts
  • Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy. Joseph Campbell
  • We’ve been slaves to our tools since the first caveman made the first knife to help him get his supper. After that there was no going back, and we built till our machines were ten million times more powerful than ourselves. We gave ourselves cars when we might have learned to run; we made airplanes when we might have grown wings; and then the inevitable. We made a machine our God. John Brunner
.

Technology makes us physically inactive

  • I’m struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity. The transfer is not paying off. Sure, muscles are unreliable, but they represent several million years of accumulated finesse. Brian Eno
  • If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Exercise
.

Technology is taking away from human labour and employment

  • The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment. Warren G. Bennis
  • The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people. Karl Marx
  • What the country needs are a few labor-making inventions. Arnold Glasow
  • My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can. In both our work and our leisure, I think, we should be so employed. And in our time, this means that we must save ourselves from the products that we are asked to buy in order, ultimately, to replace ourselves. Wendell Berry
  • It’s clear that A.I. is getting increasingly sophisticated at doing what humans do–but more efficiently and cheaply. What’s less clear is whether those gains trump the huge implications it would have for the future of work. Kevin J. Ryan
.

Technology improves efficiency – but can have the opposite effect too

  • The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. Bill Gates
  • Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity. Jacques Ellul
  • Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. Aldous Leonard Huxley
  • Computers make it easier to do a lot of things but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done. Andy Rooney
  • Efficiency
.

Technology makes us increasingly impatient

  • One of the expressions of Western over-reliance on technology can be seen in the lack of patience in industrial society. When you deal with technology, everything happens at the touch of a button. This conditions you to become so impatient that when you have an emotional or personal crisis, you don’t allow time for the solution to take effect. This leads to all sorts of rash responses, like quarrels, fights and so on. The Dalai Lama
  • Impatience
.

Technology, especially at the cutting edge, often doesn’t work as it is intended to, causing frustration

  • Technology is a word that describes something that doesn’t work yet. Douglas Adams
  • We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works. Douglas Adams
  • Technology frightens me to death. It’s designed by engineers to impress other engineers. And they always come with instruction booklets that are written by engineers for other engineers — which is why almost no technology ever works. John Cleese
  • Most of the time spent wrestling with technologies that don’t quite work yet is just not worth it for end users, however much fun it is for nerds. DOUGLAS ADAMS
.

Technology drives consumerism

  • Let me toss out the idea that, according to the logic of techno-consumerism, in which markets discover and respond to what consumers most want, our technology has become extremely adept at creating products that correspond to our fantasy ideal of an erotic relationship, in which the beloved object asks for nothing and gives everything, and makes us feel all-powerful, and doesn’t throw terrible scenes when it’s replaced by an even sexier object and is consigned to a drawer. Jonathan Franzen
  • Economics and a reliance on science and technology to solve our problems has led to an unsustainable situation where continued growth in consumption is required for governments and business to be considered successful. This is a form of insanity. Economics is at the heart of our destructive ways and our faith in it has blinded us.  Dr David Suzuki
  • ConsumerismMaterialism
.

The gifts of technology

.

Others greatly extol the virtues of technology

  • Persons grouped around a fire or candle for warmth or light are less able to pursue independent thoughts, or even tasks, than people supplied with electric light. In the same way, the social and educational patterns latent in automation are those of self-employment and artistic autonomy. Marshall McLuhan
  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke
  • Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God’s gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences.  Freeman Dyson
.

Technology, they argue, enables and empowers people

  • Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them. Steve Jobs
  • Technology is an inherent democratizer. Because of the evolution of hardware and software, you’re able to scale up almost anything. It means that in our lifetime everyone may have tools of equal power. Sergey Brin
  • This is why I loved technology: if you used it right, it could give you power and privacy. Cory Doctorow
.

Technology has become an extension of ourselves and our capabilities

  • Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be. George Orwell
  • Since our technology is really just an extension of ourselves, we don’t have to have contempt for its manipulability in the way we might with actual people. It’s all one big endless loop. We like the mirror and the mirror likes us. To friend a person is merely to include the person in our private hall of flattering mirrors. Jonathan Franzen
  • The ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes–a world of hurricanes and hardships and breakable hearts; a world of resistance–with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self. Jonathan Franzen
  • We’re merging with these nonbiological technologies. We’re already on that path. I mean, this little Android phone I’m carrying on my belt is not yet inside my physical body, but that’s an arbitrary distinction. It is part of who I am. Ray Kurzweil
.

Technology affirms our humanness

  • Technology is teaching us to be human again. Simon Mainwaring
  • Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories. Laurie Anderson
.

Technology changes us and changes society

  • The most important thing about a technology is how it changes people. Jaron Lanier
  • Through radio I look forward to a united states of the world. Radio is standardizing the peoples of the earth, English will become the universal language because it is predominantly the language of the ether. The most important aspect of radio is its sociological influence. Arthur Edwin Kennelly
  • Change
.

Technology brings people together

  • People nowadays like to be together not in the old-fashioned way of, say, mingling on the piazza of an Italian Renaissance city, but, instead, huddled together in traffic jams, bus queues, on escalators and so on. It’s a new kind of togetherness which may seem totally alien, but it’s the togetherness of modern technology. G. Ballard
  • Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories. Laurie Anderson
  • Prior to the internet, the last technology that had any real effect on the way people sat down and talked together was the table. Clay Shirky
.

Technology is bringing progress to humanity …

  • Every generation’s breakthroughs are proven false by the next generation’s technology. Dan Brown
  • For every technological problem–indeed for every human problem–there is an appropriate technological solution. Eric Katz
  • History demonstrates that the advancement of technology is not a steady upward curve. There are flat periods, upwards spurts, and even reversals. Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson 
  • New technology is the true friend of full employment; the indispensable ally of progress; and the surest guarantee of prosperity. Margaret Thatcher
  • Technology is how we add things to the world. Anne Chapman
  • Technology is the procedure by which scientific man masters nature for the purpose of moulding his existence, delivering himself from want, and giving his environment the form that appeals to him. Karl Jaspers
  • The science of today is the technology of tomorrow. Edward Teller
  • To many of us now, computers, silicon chips, data processing, cybernetics, and all the other innovations of the dawning high technology age are as mystifying as the workings of the combustion engine must have been when that first Model T rattled down Main Street, U.S.A. But as surely as America’s pioneer spirit made us the industrial giant of the 20th century, the same pioneer spirit today is opening up on another vast front of opportunity, the frontier of high technology. Ronald Reagan
  • Technological innovation is indeed important to economic growth and the enhancement of human possibilities. Leon Kass
  • Progress
.

… including rises in human prosperity and well-being …

  • The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Inaugural Address
  • We now stand in the vestibule of a vast new technological age–one that, despite its capacity for human destruction, has an equal capacity to make poverty and human misery obsolete. If our efforts are wisely directed–and if our unremitting efforts for dependable peace begin to attain some success–we can surely become participants in creating an age characterized by justice and rising levels of human well-being. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Technology is the instrumental ordering of human experience within a logic of efficient means, and the direction of nature to use its powers for material gain. Richard Rhodes
  • Prosperity
.

… and great advances in health care

  • You could put your faith in technology. It got you here, it can get you out…. It’s what we invented to conceal the terrible secret of our decaying bodies. But it’s also life, isn’t it? It prolongs life, it provides new organs for those that wear out. New devices, new techniques every day. Lasers, masers, ultrasound. Give yourself up to it…. Believe in it. They’ll insert you in a gleaming tube, irradiate your body with the basic stuff of the universe. Light, energy, dreams. God’s own goodness. Don Delillo, White Noise
  • Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution. Walker Percy
  • The purpose of medicine is to prevent significant disease, to decrease pain and to postpone death… Technology has to support these goals-if not, it may even be counterproductive. Joel J. Nobel
.

Technology enhances productivity and creativity

  • The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so, in a sense, it is all about potential. Steve Ballmer
  • ProductivityHealth
.

Technology opens up almost infinite possibilities

  • Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time. Bill Gates
  • The chief social function of technology is to create new possibilities for human activity. William Leiss
  • This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man – if man is not enslaved by it. Jonas Salk
  • However far modern science and techniques have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: Nothing is impossible. Lewis Mumford
  • Possibility
.

Technology can bring freedom

  • The higher the technology, the higher the freedom. Technology enforces certain solutions: satellite dishes, computers, videos, international telephone lines force pluralism and freedom onto a society. Lech Walesa
  • In the struggle for freedom of information, technology not politics will be the ultimate decider. Arthur C. Clarke
  • Freedom
.

Technology has made life easier …

  • All of the biggest technological inventions created by man – the airplane, the automobile, the computer – says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness. Mark Kennedy
  • By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed. Lewis Mumford
  • Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them. Alfred North Whitehead
  • Technology is powered through the need to do a lot less with a lot more, using new tools to make our lives easier.
.

… although some disagree

  • It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day’s toil of any human being. John Stuart Mill
  • It’s supposed to be automatic, but actually you have to push this button. John Brunner
  • Technology should have freed mankind from the burdens of life. Instead, it created new ones. Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
.

Technology aids communication – some of the time

  • Communications tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. Clay Shirky
  • Technology can do little for people who have nothing to say. Eric Auchard
  • The great myth of our times is that technology is communication. Libby Larsen
  • My generation was secretive, brooding, ambitious, showoffy, and this generation is congenial. Totally. I imagine them walking around with GPS chips that notify them when a friend is in the vicinity, and their GPSes guide them to each other in clipped electronic lady voices and they sit down side by side in a coffee shop and text-message each other while checking their e-mail and hopping and skipping around Facebook to see who has posted pictures of their weekend. Garrison Keillor
  • Communication
.

Technology saves time – or does it?

  • I think I should not go far wrong if I asserted that the amount of genuine leisure available in a society is generally in inverse proportion to the amount of labor-saving machinery it employs. F. Schumacher
  • One of the great things about technology is that it makes the wasting of time so much easier. Frederick S. Lane
  • Computer: An electronic time-saving device that is commonly used for time-wasting activities. Warwick Annear
  • Time management
.

Embracing technology

.

We should embrace, not resist technology

  • Flight from and hatred of technology is self-defeating. The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha–which is to demean oneself. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Can you avoid knowledge? You cannot! Can you avoid technology? You cannot! Things are going to go ahead in spite of ethics, in spite of your personal beliefs, in spite of everything. Jose M. R. Delgado
  • I discovered, to my amazement, that all through history there had been resistance … and bitter, exaggerated, last-stitch resistance … to every significant technological change that had taken place on earth. Usually the resistance came from those groups who stood to lose influence, status, money…as a result of the change. Although they never advanced this as their reason for resisting it. It was always the good of humanity that rested upon their hearts. Isaac Asimov
.

We must stay abreast of technological advances or we fall behind

  • Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road. Stewart Brand
  • Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools. Marshall McLuhan
.

Using technology responsibly

.

We need to understand the implications of new technologies …

  • We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. Carl Sagan
  • We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. Carl Sagan
  • Our society lacks a feedback loop for controlling technology: a way to gauge intended effects from actual effects later on. Kevin Kelly
.

… especially the possible negative consequences

  • All technologies should be assumed guilty until proven innocent. Jerry Mander
  • Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences. Lewis Mumford
  • Consequences
.

We need to become masters of technology; not its slaves

  • The ultimate promise of technology is to make us master of a world that we command by the push of a button. Volker Grassmuck
  • It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times. Pearl S. Buck
  • Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master. Christian Lous Lange
  • The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men. Havelock Ellis
  • This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man – if man is not enslaved by it. Jonas Salk   
.

Technology must be used in co-operation with nature, not against it

  • If we’re ever going to get the world back on a natural footing, back in tune with natural rhythyms, if we’re going to nurture the Earth and protect it and have fun with it and learn from it — which is what mothers do with their children — then we’ve got to put technology (an aggressive masculine system) in its proper place, which is that of a tool to be used sparingly, joyfully, gently and only in the fullest cooperation with nature. Nature must govern technology, not the other way around. Tom Robbins
  • The way to solve the conflict between human values and technology needs is not to run away from technology. That’s impossible. The way to resolve the conflict is to break down the barriers of dualistic thought that prevent a real understanding of what technology is–not an exploitation of nature, but a fusion of nature and the human spirit into a new kind of creation that transcends both. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. Richard Feynman
  • Nature
.

Artificial intelligence

.

Computers still cannot compete with human thinking and initiative …

  • Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. Pablo Picasso
  • Man is a slow, sloppy and brilliant thinker; the machine is fast, accurate and stupid. William M. Kelly
  • Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all. John F. Kennedy
  • Man is the lowest-cost, 150-pound, nonlinear, all-purpose computer system which can be mass-produced by unskilled labor. NASA in 1965
  • One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man. Elbert Hubbard
  • Technology is no match for human error. Torley
  • You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steam-roller will not plant flowers. Walter Lippmann
  • Technology is the engine; the humanities are the steering wheel and the brakes. The humanities don’t create nearly as much force for getting things done as technology does, but technology is just plain lousy at directing its energy or managing itself. James Alan Gardner
  • In activities other than purely logical thought, our minds function much faster than any computer yet devised. Daniel Crevier
.

… but with Artificial Intelligence, computers are becoming ever smarter …

  • Machines will follow a path that mirrors the evolution of humans. Ultimately, however, self-aware, self-improving machines will evolve beyond humans’ ability to control or even understand them. Ray Kurzweil
  • Artificial intelligence is about replacing human decision making with more sophisticated technologies. Falguni Desai
  • A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God. Alan Perlis
  • The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim. Edsger Dijkstra
  • Our intelligence is what makes us human, and AI is an extension of that quality. Yann Lecun
  • There’s no denying that the field of artificial intelligence is booming. Our machines grow faster and smarter every year. Who can say what AIs will be capable of in five years, or ten? How close are we to creating a true race of machines, capable of everything we are, and much, much more? No one knows for sure. Maybe it’s all just fantasy. Or … maybe–just maybe–we’re busy building our future conquerors. Matthew John Doeden
.

… becoming capable of processing information and learning faster than we can imagine

  • The intelligence of AI is often interpreted as mirroring human capabilities, but the scale of data potentially … places analysis well beyond human capabilities. John Clark
  • Companies like calling their technologies AI. It sounds better, it’s more futuristic, but it’s not AI: it’s actually data analytics. Alan Smeaton
  • Artificial intelligence is complex, but creating it is relatively simple. Plop it in a virtual environment, give it a goal, and let it fail and fail and fail until it figures out how to complete the task at hand. Dan Seitz
  • Learning
.

AI is an area that brings great promise …

  • Today’s AI is about new ways of connecting people to computers, people to knowledge, people to the physical world, and people to people. Patrick Winston
  • A lot of what AI is being used for today only scratches the surface of what can be done. It will become so ubiquitous that we won’t even call it AI anymore. Babak Hodjat
.

… but many warn of negative side effects …

  • Artificial intelligence may well help solve the most complex problems humankind faces, like curing cancer and climate change — but in the near term, it is also likely to empower surveillance, erode privacy and turbocharge telemarketers. Jeff Goodell
  • It’s clear that A.I. is getting increasingly sophisticated at doing what humans do–but more efficiently and cheaply. What’s less clear is whether those gains trump the huge implications it would have for the future of work. Kevin J. Ryan
.

… including the danger of machines taking us over

  • I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I’m rooting for the machines. Claude Shannon
  • Any A.I. smart enough to pass a Turing test is smart enough to know to fail it. Ian McDonald
  • Thou shalt not make a machine to counterfeit a human mind. Frank Herbert, Dune
  • The intelligent machine is an evil genie, escaped from its bottle. Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson
  • With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. Elon Musk
  • A real artificial intelligence would be intelligent enough not to reveal that it was genuinely intelligent. George Dyson
  • Making AI safe for humanity may turn out to be the same as making our society safe for humanity. Joscha Bach
  • Artificial intelligence has already provoked a public debate in recent months about a different kind of risk. This has centred on how it might wipe out human work, as clever computers and the robots they make possibly take over most types of human employment. But the bigger issue may be whether AI wipes out mankind itself. Richard Waters
  • Computers will overtake humans with AI at some [point] within the next 100 years. When that happens, we need to make sure the computers have goals aligned with ours. Stephen Hawking
  • Machines will be singing the song, ‘Anything you can do, I can do better; I can do anything better than you’. Nils Nilsson
  • Unlike any other human invention, AI has the potential to reshape humanity, but it could also destroy us. George Dvorsky
  • Worrying about AI evil superintelligence today is like worrying about overpopulation on the planet Mars. We haven’t even landed on the planet yet! Andrew NG
.

Final thoughts

.

Technology and books

  • Books may look like nothing more than words on a page, but they are actually an infinitely complex imaginotransference technology that translates odd, inky squiggles into pictures inside your head. Jasper Fforde
  • As a technology, the book is like a hammer. That is to say, it is perfect: a tool ideally suited to its task. Hammers can be tweaked and varied but will never go obsolete. Even when builders pound nails by the thousand with pneumatic nail guns, every household needs a hammer. James Gleick
  • Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book. Patti Smith
  • The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book. Northrop Frye
  • I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex. Kurt Vonnegut
  • BooksReading
.

Technology and simplicity

  • Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. F.  Schumacher
  • I have no doubt that it is possible to give a new direction to technological development, a direction that shall lead it back to the real needs of man, and that also means: to the actual size of man. Man is small, and, therefore, small is beautiful. To go for giantism is to go for self-destruction. F.  Schumacher
  • High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks – chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring. Edward Abbey
  • Simplicity
.

Technology and art

  • That’s something that tends to happen with new technologies generally: The most interesting applications turn up on a battlefield, or in a gallery. William Gibson
  • The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art. John Lasseter
  • When technology makes it perfect, art loses. Brian Eno
  • As the unity of the modern world becomes increasingly a technological rather than a social affair, the techniques of the arts provide the most valuable means of insight into the real direction of our own collective purposes. Marshall McLuhan
  • Art
.

On a lighter note (technology)

.

On a lighter note (technology)

  • As far as I’m concerned, progress peaked with frozen pizza. From the movie Die Hard 2, spoken by the character John McClane
  • There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians. Georges Pompidou
  • A technician is a man who understands everything about his job except its ultimate purpose and its place in the order of the universe. Richard Livingstone
  • Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  • Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. Rich Cook
  • The thing with high-tech is that you always end up using scissors. David Hockney
  • The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat. Albert Einstein
  • Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight? Al Boliska
  • TV and the Internet are good because they keep stupid people from spending too much time out in public. Douglas Coupland
  • As far as I’m concerned, progress peaked with frozen pizza. From the movie Die Hard 2, spoken by the character John McClane
  • Burn your computer. Blow up your TV. Bludgeon your cell phone. Breathe deeply. This, my friends, is the secret to inner-peace. Brian Vaszily
  • Fishing: A venerable contest in which modern man pits his intelligence and technology against the native wit of primitive aquatic vertebrates, and generally finishes second.
  • For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life please press 3. Alice Kahn
  • Modern technology owes ecology an apology.
  • The thing with high-tech is that you always end up using scissors. David Hockney
  • Writing- the profession in which you stare at a computer screen, stare out the window, type a few words, then curse repeatedly. Drew Goodman
.

On a lighter note (computers)

  • A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
  • A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.
  • A clean house is the sign of a broken computer.
  • A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequila. Mitch Ratcliffe
  • Anything that can go wrong will go wrong faster with computers.
  • Are you a computer whiz? It seems you know how to turn my software to hardware.
  • At some point the computer industry decided if you have an e-mail address you must have some kind of penis problem. Greg Fitzsimmons
  • Beware of computer programmers that carry screwdrivers. Leonard Brandwein
  • Computer games don’t affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.
  • Computer Programmer: A person who turns software into coffee.
  • Computers are like bikinis. They save people a lot of guesswork. Sam Ewing
  • Dear God, please send clothes to all those poor ladies on grandpa’s computer. Amen
  • Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight? Al Boliska
  • Don’t explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin. Robert A. Heinlein
  • Eddie: Mother are you still on the computer? Gran: Yes dear. Sometimes you get into a porn loop and just can’t get out. June Whitfield
  • Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked. Jeff Pesis
  • Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog. Doug Larson
  • I changed my password to “incorrect”. So whenever I forget what it is the computer will say “Your password is incorrect”.
  • I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up. Erma Bombeck
  • I named my hard drive “dat ass” so once a month my computer asks if I want to ‘back dat ass up’.
  • I shop at a computer store called ‘Your Crap’s Already Obsolete.’ Jeff Cesario
  • I think my neighbor is stalking me as she’s been googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.
  • If Bill Gates had a penny for every time I had to reboot my computer …oh wait, he does.
  • If I freeze, it’s not a computer virus. I was just stunned by your beauty.
  • Internet – they have that on computers now?   Homer Simpson
  • It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology although one should be careful with such statements as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years. John von Neumann
  • It’s ok computer, I go to sleep after 20 minutes of inactivity too.
  • Keyboard: The standard way to generate computer errors.
  • Mouse: An advanced input device to make computer errors easier to generate.
  • My computer beat me at checkers but I sure beat it at kickboxing. Emo Phillips
  • My computer dating bureau came up with a perfect gentleman; still I’ve got another three goes. Sally Poplin
  • Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.
  • Obsolete: Any computer you own.
  • One thing a computer can do that most humans can’t is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse. Jack Handey
  • Program complexity grows until it exceeds the capability of the programmer who must maintain it. Computer Programmer’s Lament
  • Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. Rich Cook
  • Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as frustrating as reading sex manuals without the software. Arthur C. Clarke
  • The faster a computer is the faster it will reach a crashed state.
  • The only thing God didn’t do to Job was give him a computer. I.F. Stone
  • The perfect computer has been developed. You just feed in your problems and they never come out again. AL Goodman
  • The word “user” is the word used by the computer professional when they mean idiot. Dave Barry
  • To better understand why you need a personal computer let’s take a look at the pathetic mess you call your life. Dave Barry
  • To err is human and to blame it on a computer is even more so. Robert Orben
  • To err is human but to really foul up requires a computer. Dan Rather
  • To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer. Paul Ehrlich
  • To my children: Never make fun of having to help me with computer stuff. I taught you how to use a spoon
  • User: The word computer professionals use when they mean “idiot. ” Dave Barry
  • Users: Computer users are divided into three types: Novice users: people who are afraid that simply pressing a key might break their computer. Intermediate users: people who don’t know how to fix their computer after they’ve just pressed a key that broke it. Expert users: people who break other people’s computers.
  • What do people mean when they say the computer went down on me? Marilyn Pittman
  • What does a baby computer call its father? Data.
  • Why is it drug addicts and computer afficionados are both called users? Clifford Stoll
.
.