Does TK, himself, prove his manifesto's thesis?
(Spokane, WA, USA)
What did our technology-driven industrialized culture do with the young TK? Exactly what such a culture does with any powerful tool it comes across: fast-track it into production, of course. Even his parents were on board--because it’s cultural. Ignore the fact that this tool is a human being, going through puberty and adolescence, and obviously having a particularly difficult time of it. Instead of taking the requisite time to fashion him into sound personhood, kick him up a grade-level a time or two or three, render him out to Harvard a couple of years earlier than “normal” tools, and then on to graduate work--as if he would be fit for anything else, at that point.
TK is, himself, a piece of technology. To UC-Berkeley, and many other of our culture’s foundational institutions, no doubt, he is a highly prized asset, like the latest and most powerful Cray computer. Can’t you hear it: “This will be your office, TK. You’ll have to instruct some relative baboons in a little geometry and calculus now and then, so they can go engineer some stuff to advance our techno-industrial culture this way and that, because, otherwise, we won’t earn any money to pay you to do what we really want you to do, which is to make us proud and admired by advancing our techno-industrial culture in much greater ways than those mere baboons could even dream of. Thanks, TK, and welcome aboard—Go Bears!”
What was it TK argued would result from our technological advancement, something about the tools becoming so substantial, sophisticated, and complex that we wouldn’t be able to turn them off, that they would make their own “decisions”, that we would cease to have any practical control of them? Sound like anything (anyone) we know? Would there have been a UNABOMer had TK been treated less like one of our techno-industrial culture's tools to be installed into the works, and more like a boy/adolescent/person--especially so, in light of his uniqueness?
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