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A nice quote from the article:

> Evolution doesn’t have meetings about the market, the environment, the customer base. Evolution doesn’t patent things or do focus groups. Evolution doesn’t spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress to ensure that its plans go unfettered.

Those making bold claims about a "natural evolution" of technology remind me of people who like to expound Adam Smith's "invisible hand" whilst ignoring Smith's warnings on the collusive nature of business and need for government oversight.

As we acquire more control over our bodies and environment, so we must have more considered discussion on the direction we want to take as a species.




The article's line of reasoning is silly. Sure, technology does not personally hold meetings or lobby Congress, just like evolution doesn't personally have sex or eat other creatures; they just effectively kill everything that doesn't, so what's the difference?

I find it insane that people really think they can directly control the direction of our species. Congratulations on, for example, having a great discussion about how surveillance and automated weaponry is bad and wrong and Americans, for example, should stop making it. Applause all around. Do you think China is having the same discussion? Do you think this discussion will somehow prevent China from using its surveillance and AI weaponry to usurp American dominance, spread and develop its technology unfettered, and render your neat little discussion completely worthless?

Just like evolution, technology relies on the basic fact that there's always someone to pick up its mantle. There's actually no practical way to forever stop everyone from making market-efficient or gene-efficient choices, because those efficient choices inherently grant the power to surpass people like you who seek to stop it.

I think the sooner people realize this, the more influence they gain over their destiny. Technology isn't completely untameable, but don't delude yourself into thinking you can directly control it or stop it. Feel free to focus your efforts on ethical and "good" technology, but remember that the only thing that actually matters in this cold universe is power and the technology that creates it. Ethical technology is worthless if it creates no power or efficiency. Decentralized tech is a perfect example of this. A lot of moral talk and hype - like discussion about what direction we want to take as a species - but most decentralized tech made so far is simply worse and tries to appeal to people's morality to adopt it. Is it any surprise that it has mostly failed?

A "more considered discussion" is not the answer. Instead, make something that's more or equally efficient while also being better for society. Don't bring rhetorical or regulatory weapons to a tech fight. You won't win.




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