QUESTIONS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
The rise of technology, which in the 21st century is speeding up faster than ever before (artificial intelligence, robotics, virtuality) has led us to reformulate everything: civilisation itself, its ways of life, which are being altered by cybernetic monitoring, the overlapping strategies of an invisible war, our relationship with work, means of production, globalisation, the pressing environmental emergency, the reorganisation of cities, the updating of the concept of population, post-humanist thought, art, the meaning of freedom.
Is it fair to say we are at a founding moment? Are we witnesses to the dawning of a new era, one that is no longer on the horizon but actually right here, right in front of us: that of everyday-ness? Or is this an exaggeration? We have spoken of the end of humanism, which is the same as saying we can forget the values of the Enlightenment and those inherited from the Renaissance. However, Questions About Technology poses the problem of a monotechnical culture (which, like it or not, means a new colonisation, this time by technology), as well as the danger of ushering in a single – and therefore dominant – idea at the end of the journey, in theory concluded, that can be summed up as pre-modernity – modernity post-modernity.
However, universalist ideas, global ideas, have always had obscure origins and drifted in obscure directions. The manipulation of the future as a political project, as the standard for imposing and automating domination over peoples, brings with it an erosion of ethics that is hard to repair. Hence the idea of computational engineer and philosopher Yuk Hui, developed in what he calls a “cosmovision”, which consists of fragmenting the idea of the future ad placing what he considers a trans-humanist fantasy centre stage.
Every country, every culture, needs to construct its own future, its own evolution, its time, because “no universal technological pattern exists”. This does not mean opposing artificial intelligence or scientific progress; on the contrary, it is a matter of rationalising them and not leaving them in the hands of power and oligarchies. To debate this reality, eminent philosophers and sociologists have been called on, belonging to different generations but united by rigorous study of the relationship between technology and culture.