Bob Seidensticker

A Quote by Bob Seidensticker on good, bad, and chinese story

An ancient Chinese story tells of a farmer who owns a famous racehorse. One day, the horse ran away. His friends commiserated with him, but the farmer replied, “This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.” Soon, his horse returned and brought another fine-looking horse. His friends congratulated him, but the farmer observed, “This isn’t necessarily a good thing.” Later, the farmer’s son is thrown while trying to tame the new horse. He broke his leg, which left him lame. The farmer’s friends offered condolences, but he responded, “This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.” Sure enough, war broke out and the son’s lameness prevented him from being conscripted. Though many neighbors’ sons were killed in the fighting, the farmer’s son was spared. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s good and what’s bad.

Bob Seidensticker

Source: Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change, Pages: 10

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

A Quote by Bob Seidensticker on kranzberg, laws, technology, and science

Kranzberg’s First Law helps to clarify this situation: Technology is neither good nor bad—nor is it neutral. At the risk of spoiling its Zenlike nature, let me propose an interpretation: a technology isn’t inherently good or bad, but it will have an impact, which is why it’s not neutral. Almost every applied technology has a good side and a bad side. When you think of transportation technologies, do you think of how they enable a delightful vacation or get the family back together during the holidays—or do you think of traffic jams and pollution? Are books a source of wisdom and spirituality or a way to distribute pornography and hate? Do you applaud medical technology for curing plagues or deplore transportation technology for spreading them? Does encrypted e-mail keep honest people safe from criminals or criminals safe from the police? Are plastics durable conveniences or everlasting pollutants? Counterfeiting comes with money, obscene phone calls come with the telephone, spam comes with e-mail, and pornography comes with the Internet. Every law creates an outlaw.

Bob Seidensticker

Source: Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change, Pages: 10

Contributed by: ~C4Chaos

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