Dated Sep 26, 2021; last modified on Tue, 28 Sep 2021

Techno-utopianism claimed that the old ways of doing things are broken, and technology is the panacea: ending poverty, fixing racism, equalizing opportunity, strengthening democracy; toppling authoritarian regimes.

Disruptive, wealthy and apolitical innovators were/are the heroes, and not the tech activists, e.g. the late Aaron Swartz.

However, the conversation has shifted to techno-dystopianism: humans losing jobs, loss of privacy, radicalization, etc.

But both techno-utopianism and techno-dystopianism are too facile and simplistic outlooks. Tech creates civic and social by-products, e.g. FB’s ad targeting being used by operatives to undermine democracy.

We (individuals/citizens) should not uncritically celebrate technology, nor unthinkingly criticize it. Instead, we should exercise our agency, reinvigorate our democracy and steer the digital revolution to serve our interests.