Among the many complaints the older generation’s Adam Hanft levels against the younger generation, including “Ben Frankliny investment conservatism”, is this gem:
…is its canny use of technology and whizzy algorithms, the deities of the Millennial…
It is a symptom of the pitiable view that the world is made up of fundamental deities. Some people have great difficulty getting past the idea, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that the universe is governed by an animistic will.
The idea that all events and all values are dictated by a will is quite contrary to technology, so it is something we should guard against in WhyWeTech.com and in all technological pursuits. You don’t often find programmers who pray to god that their programs work, although I have heard it happen. You probably would not trust a doctor who held a prayer meeting before your operation or to cure your loved-ones cancer, although it certainly happens. What would you say if an airline pilot told you that his hand was guided by a voice from god when he handled the controls of the plane? Would you be reassured that you would successfully arrive at your specified destination?
Since the Greek philosopher Thales, Western Civilization has struggled to replace an animistic, teleological view of the world, where natural events were controlled by the personified wills of deities, with a view of a natural world of primary existence which needs to be studied in order to be understood.
Adam Hanft’s attempt to turn the very things which have helped us understand the world more deeply, technology and algorithms that help us discover the order and regularity within existents rather than imprint mind onto all things, should be discarded as a relic of the past as quickly as possible.