Historical Examples of Opposition to Technological Progress

post by chw · 2021-04-05T21:26:43.687Z · LW · GW · 3 comments

Contents

  SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
    
    
    
    movement
  FOOD & AGRICULTURE
    (16th and 17th century)
    
    mechanization / tractors
  MEDICINE
    
    
  ENERGY
    energy
None
3 comments

This is a brief overview of historical examples of public opposition to technological progress. 

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS

Luddites

Neo-Luddites

Anarcho-primitivism

Degrowth movement

FOOD & AGRICULTURE

Coffee (16th and 17th century)

GMOs

Farm mechanization / tractors

MEDICINE

Vaccines

Healthcare 

ENERGY

Nuclear energy

Public support for nuclear energy 

3 comments

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comment by ChristianKl · 2021-04-06T09:45:39.497Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The term Neo-Luddites seems to me more likely to mislead then help in the current state. As far as I know nobody self labels that way and Elon Musk seems to be seen enough of as a Luddite by some people to have been given the ITIF's 2015 Luddite Award.

comment by ChristianKl · 2021-04-06T09:25:20.561Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

And it’s the primary reason nuclear doesn’t account for a larger percentage of our energy supply. While other countries (e.g. South Korea) were able to stabilize or lower the cost of nuclear energy, changing and complex regulations drove costs up in the US and made it incredibly difficult to build new plants.)

It's worth noting here that South Korea primarily got lower costs by paying bribes to get around the costs of new complex regulations. Given that the previous corruption is now public knowledge it's a lot harder for them to build new nuclear as well. 

comment by Mathisco · 2021-04-11T13:18:50.297Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This feels related to Hanson's recent article: https://www.overcomingbias.com/2021/04/to-beat-aliens-we-must-become-aliens.html

Which mentions that the greatest threat to successor ages are preceding ages that don't like the prospect of 'alienation'.

Some of the arguments mentioned here against technology point in that same direction.