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Humanity On Rails

Humanity On Rails

Presentation by Daniel Azuma at RailsConf 2013. An introduction to the philosophy of technology, and a discussion of why it's relevant to the Rails community. For more information, see http://daniel-azuma.com/railsconf2013

Daniel Azuma

April 27, 2013

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  1. Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) “Technique itself… selects among the means to

    be employed. The human being is no longer in any sense the agent of choice.” —The Technological Society
  2. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) “…man in the technological age is, in

    a particularly striking way, challenged forth into revealing.” —The Question Concerning Technology
  3. Albert Borgmann (1937- ) “…technology is seldom offered as a

    choice, i.e. as a way of life that we are asked to prefer over others, but is promoted as a basis for choices.” —Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life
  4. Andrew Feenberg (1943- ) “Real change will come…when we… begin

    to intervene in the design process in the defense of the conditions of a meaningful life and a livable environment.” —Questioning Technology
  5. Samuel Florman (1925- ) “…without imagination, heightened awareness, moral sense,

    and some reference to the general culture, the engineering experience becomes less meaningful, less fulfilling than it should be.” —The Civilized Engineer
  6. Technology is not value-neutral It values: • Convenience • Efficiency

    • Power • Control It devalues: • Engagement • Aesthetic • Meaning • Community
  7. If there is a bias inherent in what we do

    as engineers then… We tend to take it for granted.
  8. If there is a bias inherent in what we do

    as engineers then… We need to question it.
  9. The Technologist’s Calling • To seek to understand technology •

    To learn to live well with technology • To teach the world about technology