Topic: The Value of Technology
So I've been contemplating the value of technology, and how, specifically, to assess it for myself.
I came up with these criteria to define truly "positive" technology. Positive to me, in regard to these criteria, means three things: it adds energy to your world, or gives as much as it takes; it provides a service you can't provide yourself, or can't come by through other means; it doesn't create dependency.
Here are the criteria:
*the past, present, and future cost of operating it is equal to, or lower, than the cost of acquiring it
*it does something better than a cheaper technology does, or better than you can do yourself
*it provides you with a positive experience that isn't exclusive to using it
...Right away, by my own criteria, I begin to see that most technology is negative. Even though my DVD player at home was a gift I got over four years ago, I've easily paid more than the cost of the unit to the electric company in order to operate it.
These definitions aren't free from subjectivity. And they are, primarily, selfish criteria--no matter how deep, they come from the point of view of one. To be truly positive, maybe there needs to be a fourth criterion, that assesses its cost to the environment and others (?)
How about this:
*it was created, and is operated, in such a way that it did not and does not (and will not) extort energy from others
...It also occurs to me that it's okay for a technology to be "negative" in some sense. Even though the cost of my DVD player is ongoing, I derive pleasure from it that is "worth the cost." Sometimes a cost is worth it.
Any input here? How could these criteria be more objective? Should they be totally objective?
Furthermore, to be truly positive, a technology doesn't need to meet all three of these criteria necessarily--the criteria represent an ideal.
but you can avoid its teeth.