10.0798 humane technology

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 20 Mar 1997 08:05:22 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 798.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: "Gary W. Shawver" <gshawver@chass.utoronto.ca> (19)
Subject: Re: 10.0789 humane technology

>Politically and theologically speaking, I find it hard to believe,
>even if science and humanity *can* work hand in hand, that they actually will
>on a consistent basis.

So this science thing is an alien plot? How can we seperate science
from humanity (or the humanities)? We're the only creatures on the
planet doing it. If we don't like what we do to each other through it,
we have only ourselves to blame. The Christian doctrine of original sin
teaches that the tendency to evil is a gene we inherited from our
parents (to use a scientific shading). The tendency of science to serve
an elite is hardly confined to modern capitalists countries. In a
Marxist analysis, the problem lies in the distribution of power, not the
existence of science. Alas, science in those countries ruled by various
forms of "scientific socialism" seems to have followed much the same
course as that in "capitalist" countries (are there any such animals?).

Earlier, Willard made an implicit distinction between humane technology
and some other type of what must be HUMAN technology. What a difference
a single, silent letter makes! The words sometimes stand at opposite
poles (think of human v humane behaviour). What is it that
distinguished the two types of technology (for technology we will have
as long as we are human)? How does this relate to the humanities?