In reply to Sashay’s post on the fear suffered by many people when it comes to technology – and indeed any form of change, J.F. Lyotard addresses this very idea in his piece “The Post-Modern Condition” [ironically comissioned by the Quebec government!]
He speaks of the slow process of change – using science as his example – that no discovery is adopted the instant is occurs – discussing the concept of adoptive norms and language games, he states:
“Countless scientists have seen their ‘move’ ignored or repressed, sometimes for decades, because it too abruptly destabilized the accepted postions. The stronger the ‘move’ the more likely it is to be denied the minimum consensus, precisely because it changes the rules of the game upon which consensus was based. “ (p.337/338)
on a [very] less theoretical scale – i see what my professors fear of my research topic (avatars, identity…) the same as when the telephone was introduced into society and it was feared as work of the devil. In an earlier conversation, Sashay mentioned the social impacts it was feared to have created (cant remember the exact quote) – but look at the telephone now … how many years did it take from its introduction to now? I figure, in another 20-30 years [50 to be fair], the idea of the virtual as an extension of self will be common place, at least in the industrialized countries.
Even the term ‘industrialized’ should be redefined, its been quite some time that the term was relative to western society’s state of production. ‘Industrialized country’ was once synomous with the idea of advancement – with progress etc, and although it still does, there has been another rung added to the ladder. Industrialized countries are now emerging in parts of the world, where 100 years ago, were considered to be under third world conditions. We should move from industrialized to technocized. Maybe once we identify our current society as what it actually is, there will be more acceptance of where we are headed. And the fear of the technological will be shed [for a new fear no doubt].