posted at 17:50
Author: Gregory Ferenstein
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 01:15:39 +0000
A short quiz to tell if youre pro- or anti-tech
If you had the choice between developing a product that saved the lives of 1 person today or 2 people in 50 years, which do you have a greater moral obligation to do? The anti-tech crowd fears disparity in power far more than in their relative purchasing power. "What's better for people is where there's less disparity and people have more control over how they make that money," said one local San Franciscan, who wants heavy regulation and taxing of the Internet companies. At the core of whether to support greater social gains or to protect jobs is a classic dilemma in the field of moral psychology: Do people have more of an obligation to protect those we know and love, or to help all of humanity equally? If we have the same moral obligation to all of humanity equally, then we have a greater obligation to start inventing things that will help future generations, since there's a lot more people that will exist in the future than currently exist today. When I interviewed Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel about the importance of technology, he said, "I always find it odd that people are as complacent as they are about things. One out of three people at age 85 has dementia, and this is not even cause for general alarm." Pro-tech folks see more urgency in innovation than anti-tech folks who are - quite reasonably - more concerned with the present than the future. The survey is informed by 65 semi-structured interviews, conducted in person and over the phone with Internet founders and people who show up to technology protests in San Francisco.

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