140. Wise and Technical

With the first cook­ing fire to burn down a grass hut, tech­nol­ogy exceeded the human abil­ity to man­age it. The bal­ance of tech­nol­ogy and wis­dom has been pre­car­i­ous ever since. Now tech­nol­ogy avail­able to rich states and cor­po­ra­tions so far exceeds the under­stand­ing of their man­agers that our sur­vival from day to day can only be con­sid­ered an acci­dent.

The poet, Rud­yard Kipling grasped the terms of this con­tract over a cen­tury ago :

But remem­ber please the Law by which we live,
We are not built to com­pre­hend a lie,
We can nei­ther love nor pity nor for­give.
If you make a slip in han­dling us you die !
[The Secret of Machi­nes]


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