Nicholas Carr: I want not a new world, I want tech to explore THIS world

Uit het laatste boek van tech-criticus Nicholas Carr ‘Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations (2016): 

What we’ve always found hard to abide is that the world follows a script we didn’t write. We look to technology not only to manipulate nature but to possess it, to package it as a product that can be consumed by pressing a light switch or a gas pedal or a shutter button. We yearn to reprogram existence, and with the computer we have the best means yet. We would like to see this project as heroic, as a rebellion against the tyranny of an alien power. But it’s not that at all. It’s a project born of anxiety. Behind it lies a dread that the messy, atomic world will rebel against us. What Silicon Valley sells and we buy is not transcendence but withdrawal. The screen provides a refuge, a mediated world that is more predictable, more tractable, and above all safer than the recalcitrant world of things. We flock to the virtual because the real demands too much of us.

 

What I want from technology is not a new world. What I want from technology are tools for exploring and enjoying the world that is – the world that comes to us thick with ‘things counter, original, spare, strange’, as Gerard Manley Hopkins once described it.