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Monday, March 04, 2013

Sunny, Smooth, Clean

Are we buying into the myth that technology can smooth out all the glitches of humanity? This is the challenge that Evgeny Morozov, author of “To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism”, presents to us. Morozov throws "sunny, smooth, clean" at our face: "with Silicon Valley at the helm," he says, we imagine that "our life will become one long California highway." I frequently find that reliance on technology just renders life messier, perhaps darker. but Morozov's point is well taken -- there is a contemporary sentiment that all can be solved by an appropriate app. Admittedly, I envision the COGNITIVE-CITATION APP™. But may I hold that Greenbag is where you write parody?

Morozov warns: "All these efforts to ease the torments of existence might sound like paradise to Silicon Valley. But for the rest of us, they will be hell." He describes our reliance on and anticipation of a tech solution as a "dangerous ideology..."solutionism": an intellectual pathology that recognizes problems as problems based on just one criterion: whether they are “solvable” with a nice and clean technological solution at our disposal." As law professors, we are trained all too well to move into the solutionism mindset. No solution left behind. End every article with proposals for reform. Morozov quotes Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset “I wish it would dawn upon engineers that, in order to be an engineer, it is not enough to be an engineer”. I wish the same for lawyers.

 

Posted by Orly Lobel on March 4, 2013 at 01:36 PM | Permalink

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