What If The Media And Politicians Tried To Hold A Techlash… And No One Joined Them

from the oh,-look-at-that dept

There’s been plenty of talk lately about the “Techlash” which has become a popular term among the media and politicians. However, what if the general public feels quite differently? Vox, which is not exactly known for carrying water for the tech industry, has released a new poll that shows that the public is overwhelmingly optimistic about technology, and thinks that technology has been a force for good in the world. This applies across the board for Democrats, Republicans, and independents.

Seventy-one percent of likely voters agreed with the tech-optimist statement: ?Technology is generally a force for good. Large tech companies have provided innovations like vaccines, electric vehicles, bringing down the cost of batteries that store green energy, vegetarian meat options, and other ways that have improved our quality of life.? Only 19 percent agreed with the tech-pessimist statement: ?Technology is generally a force for bad. Large tech companies are bad for workers, inequality, and democracy. The technological innovations they produce are not worth the cost.?

When put into chart form, the results are really, really striking:

Obviously, “technology” covers a lot more than the big internet companies — and the messaging that Vox tested highlights mostly non-internet innovations. But, still. The fact that the “control” group — ones who didn’t even receive the specific messaging — felt even stronger about the good technology does in the world than those who were first primed with statements about other kinds of technology is really something.

There are plenty of examples, certainly, of tech gone awry, but it really seems that the general public recognizes all of the good that innovation and technology have done for the world, and feel optimistic about it. Of course, none of that will stop “the narrative” of the techlash, because it’s just too useful for many pushing it.

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Comments on “What If The Media And Politicians Tried To Hold A Techlash… And No One Joined Them”

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18 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I’m going to be gutsy and assert that technology is more or less a direct outpouring of humanities application of (and belief in) rational/critical thinking to the world around them.

I’m also going to suggest that to believe one is a negative force implicates the other. That is, asserting technology in general (not it’s specific applications) is bad, is also to suggest that rational thinking is not good either (although since that argument is the product of critical thinking, I guess if you don’t believe in it in the first place, then the whole argument holds no weight).

I will note that technology is frequently abused (but so are guns, and human genitals, and brains. However that doesn’t make any of those things bad).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Just to be clear on this...

In the sense that I don’t think guns are equivalent to technology, no I don’t.

But, yes, guns are a poor example since they are a subset of technology. However I was writing a list of things that I believe it would be hard to frame arguments for them not actually being abused.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:

If I make a bomb, is it good or evil?

It’s neither, it’s the one who uses it who is good or evil depending how he or she uses it. It’s like asking, is a rock good or evil.

My comment to the Mag in email. Ya, go ahead mix chemicals, and watch that settling tank Gas up and kill you in the night. Dont mix Chlorine with anything.

Stupidity isn’t good or evil. Using chemicals without taking precautions and reading the warning label is like eating snow while disregarding its yellowy color and "funny" taste.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Personally I call stupidity evil as it unconditionally leads to bad options.

You do realize there are times when stupidity actually have good outcomes, and many times it’s a learning experience. For example, the modern pacemaker came about because Greatbatch made a stupid mistake.

Stupidity in itself isn’t good or evil, and the outcomes are never evil, just ranging from very bad to very good. Evil requires intent, and here I place willful stupidity which means there’s a person involved making a conscious decision.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

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DannyB (profile) says:

Dear Senator

Dear Senator:

I was shocked and appalled to discover that sites such at Twitter and Facebook can block certain speech. They may even ban an account for merely exercising free speech. Such as medical misinformation. I therefore urge you to immediately introduce new legislation to prevent sites such as Twitter and Facebook from blocking any speech of any kind whatsoever. In the interest of free speech! Anything that can be stated in UTF-8 should be fair game to be posted for all to enjoy. In the interest of free speech!

I was also shocked and appalled to discover that sites such as Parler, Frank and Conservapedia are not being allowed to block certain speech. They should be allowed to ban an account for merely exercising free speach. Such as making inconvenient statements of fact, liberal ideas, or taking Our Lord’s name in vein. I therefore urge you to immediately introduce new legislation to allow sites such as Parler and Frank to block speech and cancel accounts of people who desecrate they’re sacred pages or take our Lord’s name in vane. In the goodest interest of free speech!

I don’t usually ask you to introduce two new laws in the same letter. So thank you for your patients and consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,

Your constituent

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dear Senator

Or, change the laws so that platforms can decide what they are willing to host and what they are not willing to host.

If you want to say something so bad that nobody will host it, you can always build your own platform. That’s the beauty of the internet. All you need is a connection to get started.

Oh, don’t want to build your own platform? But you want other people to build it for you, and let you do anything you want on their property?

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Dear Senator

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HE KNOWS WHAT TO DO IF OU CANT BE HEARD.(cant do . more then 2 times)
HE UNDERSTANDS.!!!

CAN YOU NOT SEE THE WISDOM?? CEATE YOU OWN SITE, DONT BLOCK ANYTHING.

SEE HOW THEY RUN, RUN SPOT SUN, SEE HOW THE RIAA/MPAA RUN AFTER YOU. RUN SPOT RUN. YOU DONT MONITOR ANYTHING, RUN SPOT RUN. THEY ARE CHASING YOU, RUN SPOT,GOTO CANADA, RUN SPOT.

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