The Wonders of Technology

Sunday, November 8, 2009 – The Wonders of Technology

There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology – the tendency to do what is reasonable even when it isn’t any good. ~ Robert Pirsig

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

Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and believes it civilization. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless. ~ Thomas A. Edison

A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. ~ Segal’s Law

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. ~ Richard P. Feynman

If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

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

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. ~ Aldous Huxley

Technology… the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it. ~ Max Frisch

Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight? ~ Al Boliska

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

God never made his work for man to mend. ~ John Dryden

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain. ~ J. K. Rowling

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, Wired, January 1999

The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them. ~ Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939

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

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~ Arthur C. Clarke

You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steam-roller will not plant flowers. ~ Walter Lippmann

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. ~ Carl Sagan

Where there is the necessary technical skill to move mountains, there is no need for the faith that moves mountains. ~ Eric Hoffer

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them. ~ Alfred North Whitehead

Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines. ~ Erich Fromm

For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three. ~ Alice Kahn

Bill Gates is a very rich man today… and do you want to know why? The answer is one word: versions. ~ Dave Barry

Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully. ~ Graham Greene

Technology is making gestures precise and brutal, and with them men. ~ Theodor Adorno

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life. ~ Andrew Brown

The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting. ~ Dave Barry

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. ~ John Perry Barlow

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

There is a powerful tension in our relationship to technology. We are excited by egalitarianism and anonymity, but we constantly fight for our identity. ~ David Owens

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. ~ William Gibson

You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself. ~ Sam Levenson

Capitalist production, therefore, develops technology, and the combining together of various processes into a social whole, only by sapping the original sources of all wealth – the soil and the labourer. ~ Karl Marx

Once a new technology rolls over you, if you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road. ~ Stewart Brand

As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of “do it yourself.” ~ Marshall McLuhan

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 perfect computer has been developed. You just feed in your problems and they never come out again. ~ Al Goodman

A fundamental rule in technology says that whatever can be done will be done. ~ Andrew Grove

Duct tape is like “the Force.” It has a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together. ~ Carl Zwanzig