Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 37

Science

Technology
and Society
Midterm
Module
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pngitem.com%2Fmiddle%2FwhJiw_collection-of-technology-art-science-technology-and-society%2F&psig=AOvVaw3uYG_LugiJvMI9QBgJQJmV&ust=1597295366829000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CA0QjhxqFwoTCPiHy-71lOsCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAJ

Name of Student________________________________________________________________________
Program/Course________________________________________________________________________
Address________________________________________________________________________________
Cellphone Number______________________________________________________________________
Facebook Account_______________________________________________________________________
Email Address __________________________________________________________________________
Marianne G. Arias FBAccount: Marianne Giron Arias Gmail Account: mariannegironarias@gmail.com
Cellphone Number:09952567566
Module 2 Science Technology and Society and Human Condition
This module introduces students to a number of relevant and timely philosophical foundations that will aid in
examining the functions, roles, and impacts of science and technology on society. The module is divided into
five sections. These sections aim to provide students with cogent and comprehensive knowledge on the
concept of human flourishing in the face of rapid scientific progress and technological development.

Lesson 1. Technology as a Way of Revealing


This section tackles the essence of technology based on Martin Heidegger's work,The Question Concerning
shall engage The i the Question Concerning Technology. The lesson shall engage in the process of
questioning concerning technology. It discusses the key concepts related to Heidegger‘s work and how these
concepts relate to an understanding of the essence of technology.

Intended Learning Outcomes


At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
1. differentiate the essences of technology and modern technology; 2.
discuss and illustrate the dangers of modern technology; and
3. explain why art is the saving power of modern technology.

Diagnostics
Instructions: Rate the extent of your agreement to the following statements using the Osgood scale. You are
also given space to write any comment to further clarify your response.

Statements Agree Disagree Comments if (any)


7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Technology is a means to an end √
Technology is a human activity √
Poetry is technology √
Nature is a standing reserve √
Man is an instrument of the exploitation √
of nature
Man is in danger of being swallowed by √
technology.
There is a saving power or a ―way out‖ √
of the danger of technology.
Art maybe the saving power √

At A Glance: Who Is Martin Heidegger?

" The essence of technology is by no means anything technological." Martin Heidegger (1977)
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) is widely acknowledged as one of the most important
philosophers of the 20th century.He was a German philosopher who was part of the
Continental tradition of philosophy.
His stern opposition to positivism and technological world domination received
unequivocal support from leading postmodernists and post-structuralists of the time,
including Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jean-Francois Lyotard.
In 1933, he joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) and remained to be a member until it
was dismantled toward the end of World War II. This resulted in his dismissal from
the University of Freiburg in 1949. He was only able to resume teaching in 1951.
Heidegger's membership to the Nazi Party made him controversial-his philosophical
work was often eclipsed by his political affiliation, with critics saying that his philosophy would always be
rooted in his political consciousness.

Heidegger's work on philosophy focused on ontology or the study of 'being or dasein in German. His
philosophical works are often described as complicated, partly due to his use of complex compound German
words, such as Seinsvergesesnheit (Forgetfulness of Being), Bodenstandigkeit (Rootedness in Soil), and
Wesensverfassung (Essential Constitution).

To know more about the life and philosophy of Heidegger, watch a five-minute You Tube video entitled,
The Philosophy of Martin Heidegger which can be accessed on this link: https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=Br1sGtA7XTU. Remember, it is important to understand basic concepts related to
Heidegger's philosophy to better make sense of his work.

Other Reference Video


PHILOSOPHY - Heidegger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br1sGrA7XTU

The Essence of Technology


It cannot be denied that science and technology are responsible for the ways society is continuously being
modernized. Science and technology continuously seep into the way people go about their daily lives.
However, the omnipresence of science and technology must not eclipse the basic tenets of ethics and
morality. Instead, it should allow the human person to flourish alongside scientific progress and
technological development. In order to spark the discussion on the role of ethics and social morality in
science and technology, it is necessary to go back to the very
essence of technology, i.e., its definition.

The essence of technology can be captured in its definition. In


his treatise, The Question Concerning Technology, Martin
Heidegger (1977) explains the two widely embraced definitions
of technology: (1)instrumental and (2) anthropological.

1. Instrumental definition: Technology is a means to an


end.
Technology is not an end in itself, it is a means to an
end. In this context, technology is viewed as a tool
available to individuals, groups, and communities that
desire to make an impact on society. How technology is
used varies from individual to individual, groups to
groups, and communities to communities according to
their individual and collective functions, goals, and
aspirations. While technology is omnipresent, knowing
its functions requires paying attention to how humans
use it as a means to an end. In this sense, technology is
an instrument aimed at getting things done.

2. Anthropological definition: Technology is a human


activity. Alternatively, technology can also be defined as
a human activity because to achieve an end and to
produce and use a means to an end is, by itself, a human
activity. The production or invention of technological equipment, tools and
machines, the products and inventions, and the purpose and functions they serve are
what define technology.
Both definitions, i.e., instrumental and anthropological, arecorrect. However, neither
touches on the true essence of technology.

Technology as a Way of Revealing


Heidegger stressed that the true can only be pursued through the correct. Simply, what is a correct lead to
what is true. In this sense, Heidegger envisioned technology as a way of revealing-a mode of 'bringing forth.'
Bringing forth can be understood through the Ancient Greek philosophical concept, poiesis, which refers to
the act of bringing something out of concealment. By bringing something out of concealment, the truth of
that something is revealed. The truth is understood through another Ancient Greek concept of aletheia, which
is translated as unclosedness, unconcealedness, disclosure, or truth.

Thus, for Heidegger, technology is a form of poeisis-a way of revealing that unconceals aletheia or the truth.
This is seen in the way the term techne, the Greek root word of technology, is understood in different
contexts. In philosophy, techne resembles the term episteme that refers to the human ability to make and
perform. Techne also encompasses knowledge and understanding. In art, it refers to tangible and intangible
aspects of life. The Greeks understood techne in the way that it encompasses not only craft, but other acts of
the mind, and poetry.

Technology as Poiesis: Does Modern Technology Bring Forth or Challenge Forth?


Heidegger, in The Question Concerning Technology, posited that both primitive crafts and modern
technology are revealing. However, he explained that modern technology is revealing not in the sense of
bringing forth or poeisis. Heidegger made a clear distinction between technology and modern technology in
that the latter 'challenges' nature. Modern technology challenges nature by extracting something from it and
transforming, storing, and distributing it.
On the surface, Heidegger's criticism of modem technology might appear counterintuitive to the purpose of
nature to human existence. However, by digging deeper into Heidegger's question, it becomes clear that the
essence of modern technology is not to bring forth in the sense of poiesis. Instead, Heidegger considers
modern technology's way of revealing as a way of challenging forth. Modern technology challenges forth,
because it makes people think how to do things faster, more effectively, and with less effort. It prompts
people into dominating and enframing the earth's natural resources. Challenging forth reduces objects as
standing-reserve or something to be disposed of by those who enframe them--humans. This is evident in the
way people exploit natural resources with very little concern for the ecological consequences that come with
it. Challenging forth as a result of modern technology is also evident in the information age, such that greater
control of information to profit from its value gives rise to concerns about privacy and the protection of
human rights.
The challenging forth of modern technology is seen everywhere: in the rise and depletion of petroleum as a
strategic resource; the introduction and use of synthetic dyes, artificial flavorings, and toxic materials into the
consumer stream that bring about adverse effects on human health; and the use of ripening agents in
agriculture that poses threats to food safety and health security.

Enframing as Modern Technology's Way of Revealing


If the essence of technology can be understood as a way of bringing forth the truth in the sense of poiesis,
Heidegger distinguished the way of revealing of modern technology by considering it as a process of
enframing. Humankind's desire to control everything, including nature, is captured in this process. By
putting things, in this case nature, in a frame, it becomes much easier for humans to control it according to
their desires.

Enframing, according to Heidegger, is akin to two ways of looking the world: calculative thinking and
meditative thinking. In calculative thinking, humans desire to put an order to nature to better understand and
control it. In meditative thinking, humans allow nature to reveal itself to them without the use of force or
violence. One thinking is not necessarily better than the other. In fact, humans are capable ofusing both and
will benefit from being able to harmonize these ways of looking at the world. Yet, calculative thinking
tends to be more commonly utilized, primarily because humans' desire to control due to their fear of
irregularity.

Enframing, then, is a way of ordering (or framing) nature to better manipulate it. Enframing happens because
of how humans desire for security, even if it puts all of nature as a standing reserve ready for exploitation.
Modern technology challenges humans to enframe nature. Thus, humans become part of the standing reserve
and an instrument of technology, to be exploited in the ordering of nature. The role humans take as
instruments of technology through enframing is called destining. In destining, humans are challenged forth
by enframing to reveal what is real. However, this destining of humans to reveal nature carries with it the
danger of misconstruction or misinterpretation.

The Dangers of Technology


The dangers of technology lie in how humans let themselves be
consumed by it. Although humans are looped into the cycle of
bringing forth or challenging forth, it is their responsibility to
recognize how they become instruments of technology. The
Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho, once remarked that it is boastful
for humans to think that nature needs to be saved, whereas Mother
Nature would remain even if humans cease to exist. Hence, in
facing the dangers of technology, the fear of disappearing from the
face of the Earth should concern people more potently than the fear
of the Earth disappearing. As mere tenants on Earth, people must
not allow themselves to be consumed by technology lest they lose
the essence of who they are as human beings. In this sense, humans are in danger of becoming merely part of
the standing reserve or, alternatively, may find
themselves in nature.

Recognizing its dangers of technology requires critical and reflective thinking on its use. For example,
social media has indeed connected people in the most efficient and convenient way imaginable, but it also
inadvertently gave rise to issues such as invasion of privacy, online disinhibition, and proliferation of
fake news. The line has to be drawn between what constitutes a beneficial use of social media and
dangerous one. As exemplified, social media comes with both benefits and drawbacks.

However, the real threat of technology


comes from its essence not its activities or
products. The correct response to the danger
of technology is not simply dismissing
technology altogether. Heidegger (1977)
explained that people are delivered over to
technology in the worst possible way when
they regard it as something neutral. This
conception of technology, according to
Heidegger, to which today humans
particularly like to pay homage, makes
them utterly blind the essence of
technology. Ultimately, the essence of technology is by no means anything technological (Heidegger, 1977).

Art as the Saving Power


Necessary reflection upon and confrontation with technology are required in order to proactively address the
dangers of technology. Friedrich Holderlin, a German poet quoted by Heidegger, said: ―But where danger
is, grows the saving power also" (1977, p. 14). Following this, the saving power can be traced exactly where
the danger is in the essence of technology. As mentioned, this essence is not neutral and by no means
anything technological. Along this line, Heidegger proposed art
as the saving power and the way out of enframing: "And art was
simply called techne. It was a single, manifold revealing" (1977,
p. 18). Heidegger saw art as an act of the mind, i.e., a techne,
that protected and had great power over the truth. By focusing
on art, people are able to see more clearly how art is embedded
in nature. Art encourages humans to think less from a
calculative standpoint where nature is viewed as an ordered
system. Instead, it inspires meditative thinking where nature is
seen as an art and that, in all of art, nature is most poetic.
Heidegger encapsulated this as follows:

Because the essence of technology is nothing technological, essential reflection upon technology and
decisive confrontation with it must happen in a realm that is, on the one hand, akin to the essence of
technology and, on the other, fundamentally different from it. Such a realm is art. But certainly only if
reflection on its part, does not shut its art, for eyes to the constellation of truth after which we are
questioning (1977, p. 19).

Questioning as the Piety of Thought


Heidegger concluded his treatise on technology by saying:
The closer we come to the danger, the more brightly do the ways into the saving power begin to shine and
the more questioning we become. For questioning is the piety of thought (1977, p. 19).

Heidegger underscored the importance of questioning in the midst of technology. For him, there is
unparalleled wisdom gained only when humans are able to pause, think, and question what is around them.
Humans are consumed by technology when they are caught up in enframing and fail to pay attention to the
intricacies of technology, the brilliance of the purpose of humankind, and the genius of humans to bring forth
the truth.
Questioning is the piety of thought. It is only through questioning that humans are able to reassess their
position not only in the midst of technology around them, but also, and most importantly, in the grand
scheme of things. Heidegger posited that it is through questioning that humans bear witness to the crises that
a complete preoccupation with technology brings, preventing them from experiencing the essence of
technology. Thus, humans need to take a step back and reassess who they were, who they are, and who they
are becoming in the midst of technology in this day and age.

Other Reference Videos:


Martin Heidegger: the Question Concerning Technology https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaVmEN-
vGWk

Exercise 1. Bring Forth or Challenge Forth


Instructions: Do the photos (a) bring forth or (b) challenge forth?
Encircle the letter of your answer below each photo and explain your choice.
a. bring forth b. challenge forth a. bring forth b. challenge forth
_______________________________________ _____________________________________________
_______________________________________ _____________________________________________
_______________________________________ __________________________________________
_______________________________________ ____________________________________________

a. bring forth b. challenge forth a. bring forth b. challenge forth


_______________________________________ _____________________________________________
_______________________________________ _____________________________________________
_______________________________________ __________________________________________
_______________________________________ ____________________________________________

a
. bring forth b. challenge forth a. bring forth b. challenge forth
_______________________________________ _____________________________________________
_______________________________________ _____________________________________________
_______________________________________ __________________________________________
_______________________________________ ____________________________________________

Exercise 2. Reflection
Instructions: After studying the full text of Martin Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology,
available on https://www2.hawaii.edu/~freeman/courses/phil394/The%20Question%20Concerning
%20Technology.pdf Answer the following:
1. What three concepts remain unclear or difficult for you to understand?
a.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
b. _____________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
c.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
2. What three significant insights did you gain in studying this text?
a.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
b.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
c.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3. What three questions do you want to ask about the text?
a.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
b.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
c.______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Exercise 3. Art as Saving Power


Instructions: Heidegger explained that art holds power that could save humans from the danger of being
consumed by technology.
In his words,"[art] is pious... yielding to the holding-sway and the safekeeping of truth" (1977, p. 18). In this
activity, focus on art as the saving power of technology. Look for an artwork that 'reveals' the human person
in the midst of technology. Explain the artwork in relation to general concepts discussed in Martin
Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology. Use another sheet of paper for the picture and
explanation.

Assignment1. The Dangers of Technology.


Instructions: Read the article below after reading, answer the questions that follow.

Facebook says 87 million may be affected by data privacy scandal


By Agnes France-Presse
WASHINGTON DC, USA.- Facebook said Wednesday, April 4, the personal data up to 87 million users
was improperly hared with British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, as Mark Zuckerberg defended
his leadership at the huge social network.
Facebook‘s estimate was far higher than news reports suggesting 50 million users my have been affected in
the privacy scandal which has roiled the company and sparked questions for the entire internet sector on data
protection.
Zuckerberg told reporters on a conference call he accepted responsibility for the failure to protect user data
but maintained that he was still the best person to leadthe network of two billion users.
―Ï think life is about learning from mistakes and figuring out how to move forward,‖he said to a response to
aquestion on his ability to lead the company.
―When you‘re building something like Facebook which is unprecedented in the world, there are things you
are going to mess up….What I think people should hold us accountable for is if we are learning from our
mistakes.‖
Zuckerberg said 97 millionwas a high estimateof those affected by breach, based on the maximum number
of connections to users who downloaded academic researcher‘s quiz that scooped up personal files.
―I‘m quite confident it will not be more than 87 million, it could well be less,‖he said.
To remedy the problem, Zuckerberg said Facebook must "rethink our relationship with people across
everything we do‖ and that it will take a number of years to regain user trust.
The new estimate came as Facebook unveiled clearer terms of service to enable users to better understand
data sharing, and as a congressional panel said Zuckerberg would appear next week to address privacy issues.

Facebook has been scrambling for weeks in the face of the disclosures on hijacking of private data by the
consulting group working for Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
The British firm responded to the Facebook announcement by repeating its claim that it did not use data
from the social network in the 2016 election.

"Cambridge Analytica did not use GSR (Global Science Research) Facebook data or any derivatives of this
data in the US presidential election," the company said in a tweet. "Cambridge Analytica licensed data from
GSR for 30 million individuals, not 87 million."

Zuckerberg on the Hill


Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer meanwhile said new privacy tools for users of the
huge social network would be in place by next Monday, April 9.
"People will also be able to remove apps that they no longer want. As part of this process we will also tell
people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica," he said in a
statement.
Schroepfer's post was the first to cite the figure of 87 million while noting that most of those affected were in
the United States.
Facebook also said its new terms of service would provide clearer information on how data is collected and
shared without giving the social network additional rights.
Earlier Wednesday, the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee announced what
appeared to be the first congressional appearance by Zuckerberg since the scandal broke.
The April 11 hearing will "be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues
and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online," said the
committee's Republican chairman Greg Walden and ranking Democrat Frank Pallone in a statement. The
Facebook co-founder is also invited to other hearings amid a broad probe on both sides of the Atlantic.

Deleting Russian 'trolls'


Zuckerberg told the conference call he was committed to ensuring that Facebook and its partners do a better
job of protecting user data, and that it must take a more serious approach after years of being ―idealistic"
about how the platform is used.
"We didn't take a broad enough view on what our responsibility is, and that was a huge mistake. It was my
mistake."
He said that while "there are billions of people who love the service,‖ there is also a potential for abuse and
manipulation.

"It's not enough just to give people a voice," he said. "We have to make sure people don't use that voice to
hurt people or spread disinformation."
Late Tuesday, April 3, Facebook said it deleted dozens of accounts linked to a Russian-sponsored internet
unit which has been accused of spreading propaganda and other divisive content in the United States and
elsewhere.
The social networking giant said it revoked the accounts of 70 Facebook and 65 Instagram accounts, and
removed 138 Facebook pages controlled by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA). The agency
has been called a "troll farm" due to its deceptive post aimed at sowing discord and propagating
misinformation.
The unit "has repeatedly used complex networks of inauthentic accounts to deceive and manipulate
people who use Facebook, including before, during and after the 2016 US presidential elections," said
a statement Facebook chief security officer Alex Stamos. Rappler.com

Source: Agence France-Presse. (2018, April 5). Facebook says 87 million may be affected by data privacy
scandal. Rappler. Retrieved on April 24, 2018 from https:// www.rappler.com/technology/news/199588
facebook-data-affected-cambridge- analytica-scandal.

Questions:
1. What is this data privacy scandal all about?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
2. How does this Facebook privacy scandal relate to Heidegger's notion of revealing of modern
technology as challenging forth?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________ 3.
How are Facebook users 'enframed' in this particular data privacy scandal?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
4. How do you think Facebook can be used in a way that is more consistent with Heidegger's idea of
poiesis or a bringing forth of technology?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
5. How can the Heideggerian notion of 'questioning' guide Facebook users toward a beneficial use of
social media?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________
Lesson 2. Human Flourishing in Progress and De-development

This section presents Jason Hickel's development framework focused on de-


development. As departure from traditional frameworks of growth and
development, Hickel's concept of de-development is discussed as an
alternative to narrowing the gap between rich and poor countries. Thus, taking
off from this alternative framework, the lesson critiques human flourishing
vis-i-vis progress in science and technology.

Intended Learning Outcomes


At the end of this unit, the students should be able to:
1. discuss human flourishing in the context of progress in science and
technology;
2. explain de-development as framework; and a progress and
development
3. differentiate between traditional frameworks of progress and
development and Hickel's concept of de-development.

Diagnostics
Instructions: Examine the picture and follow the prompt that follows.

Recent researches found that 70% of people in middle- and high-income countries believe that
overconsumption is putting the planet and society at risk. Discuss your thoughts about the following:
1. How do you think overconsumption puts the planet and society at risk?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________ 2.
What are the manifestations of society's tendency to over produce and over consume?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
3. Should middle- and high-income countries regulate their growth and consumption? Why or why not?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________

Thoughts to Ponder
Despite efforts to close out the gap between the
rich and poor countries, a BBC report in 2015
stated that the gap in growth and development
just keeps on widening. Although there is no
standard measure of inequality, the report claimed
that most indicators suggest that the widening of
the growth gap slowed during the financial crisis
of 2007 but is now growing again. The increasing
inequality appears paradoxical having in mind the
efforts that had been poured onto the
development programs designed to assist poor
countries to rise from absent to slow progress.
With this backdrop and in the context of
unprecedented scientific and technological
advancement and economic development, individually humans must ask themselves whether they are
flourishing individually or collectively. If development efforts to close out the gap between the rich and poor
countries have failed, is it possible to confront the challenges of development through nonconformist
framework?

In the succeeding article, Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, criticizes the
failure of growth and development efforts to eradicating poverty seven decades ago. More importantly, he
offers a nonconformist perspective toward growth and development.

Forget developing' poor countries, it's time to 'de-develop' rich countries by Jason Hickel
This week, heads of state are gathering in New York to UN's new sustainable development sign the UN‘s
new sustainable development goals (SDGs). The main objective is to eradicate poverty by 2030. by 2030.
Beyoncé, One Direction and Malala are on board. It's set to be a monumental international celebration.
Given all the fanfare, one might think the SDGs are about to offer a fresh plan for how to save the world,
but beneath all the hype, it's business as usual. The main strategy for eradicating poverty is the same:
growth.
Growth has been the main object of development for the past 70 years, despite the fact that it's not working.
Since 1980, the global economy has grown by 380%, but the number of people living in poverty on less than
$5 (£3.20) a day has increased by more than 1.1 billion. That's 17 times the population of Britain so much
for the trickle-down effect.
Orthodox economists insist that all we need is yet more
growth. More progressive types tell us that we need to
shift some of the yields of growth from the richer
segments of the population to the poorer ones, evening
things out a bit. Neither approach is adequate. Why?
Because even at current levels of average global
consumption, we're overshooting our planet's biocapacity
by more than 50% each year.

In other words, growth isn't an option any more we've


already grown too much. Scientists are now telling us
that we're blowing past planetary boundaries at
breakneck speed. And the hard truth is that this global
crisis is due almost entirely to overconsumption in rich countries.
Right now, our planet only has enough resources for each of us
to consume 1.8 "global hectares" annually - a standardized unit
that measures resource use and waste. This figure is roughly
what the average person in Ghana or Guatemala consumes. By
contrast, people in the US and Canada consume about 8 hectares
per person, while Europeans consume 4.7 hectares - many
times their fair share.
What does this mean for our theory of development? Economist
Peter Edward argues that instead of pushing poorer countries to
"catch up" with rich ones, we should be thinking of ways to get rich countries to catch down' to more
appropriate levels of development. We should look at societies where people live long and happy lives at
relatively low levels of income and consumption not as basket cases that need to be developed towards
western models, but as exemplars of efficient living.
How much do we really need to live long and happy lives? In the US, life expectancy is 79 years and GDP
per capita is $53,000. But many countries have achieved similar life expectancy with a mere fraction of this
income. Cuba has a comparable life expectancy to US and one of the highest literacy rates in the world with
GDP per capita of only $6,000 and consumption of only 1.9 hectares - right at the threshold of ecological
sustainability. Similar claims can be made of Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Tunisia.
Yes, some of the excess income and consumption we see in the rich world yield improvements in quality of
life that are not captured by life expectancy, or even literacy rates. But even if we look at measures of overall
happiness and wellbeing in addition to life expectancy, number of low- and middle-income countries rank
highly. Costa Rica manages to sustain one of the highest happiness indicators and life expectancies in the
world with a per capita income one-fourth that of the US.
In light of this, perhaps we should regard such countries not as underdeveloped, but rather as appropriately
developed. And maybe we need to start calling on rich countries to justify their excesses.
The idea of de-developing" rich countries might prove to be a strong rallying cry in the global south, but it
will be tricky to sell to westerners, Tricky, but not impossible. According to recent consumer research, 70%
of people in middle and high-income countries believe overconsumption is putting our planet and society at
risk. A similar majority also believe we should strive to buy and own less, and that doing so would not
compromise our happiness. People sense there is something wrong with the dominant model of economic
progress and they are hungry for an alternative narrative.
The problem is that the pundits promoting this kind of transition are using the wrong language. They use
terms such as zero growth or worst of all- de-development, which are technically accurate but off putting for
anyone who's not already on board. Such terms are repulsive because they run against the deepest frames we
use to think about human progress, and, indeed, the purpose of life itself. It's like asking people to stop
moving positively through life, to stop learning, improving, growing.
Negative formulations won‘t get us anywhere. The idea of "steady-state" economics is a step in the right
direction and is growing in popularity, but it still doesn't get the framing right. We need to reorient ourselves
toward a positive future, a truer form of progress.
One that is geared toward quality instead of
quantity. One that is more sophisticated than just
accumulating ever increasing amounts of stuff,
which doesn't make anyone happier anyway.
What is certain is that GDP as a measure is not
going to get us there and we need to get rid of it.

Perhaps we might take a cue from Latin


Americans, who are organizing alternative visions
around the indigenous concept of buen vivir, or
good living. The west has its own tradition of
reflection on the good life and it's time we revive it. Robert and
Edward Skidclsky take us down this road in his book,
How Much is Enough?, where they lay out the possibility of interventions such as banning advertising, a
shorter working week and a basic income, all of which would improve our lives while reducing consumption.
Either we slow down voluntarily or climate change will do it for us. We can't go on ignoring the laws of
nature. But rethinking our theory of progress is not only an ecological imperative, it is also a development
one. If we do not act soon, all our hard-won gains against poverty will evaporate, as food systems collapse
and mass famine re-emerges to an extent not seen since the 19th century.
This is not about giving anything up. And it's certainly not about living a life of voluntary misery or
imposing harsh limits on human potential. On the contrary, it's about reaching a higher level of understanding
and consciousness about what we're doing here and why.
Source: Hickel, (2015, Sep 23). Forget 'developing' poor countries, it's time to de- develop' rich countries.
The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/global-
developmentprofessionalsnetwork/2015/sep/23/developing-poor-countries-de-developrich-countries-sdgs.

Other Reference Videos:


Jason Hickel: ‗Our addiction to economic growth is killing us‘ – Viewsnight Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HckWP75yk9g
Puzzle of Growth: Rich Countries and Poor Countries Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=u5P8AZRBLac

Exercise 1. Reading Comprehension Task


Instructions: After reading Hickel's article on the concept of de-development, answer the following
questions in two to three sentences.
1. What is the framework of de-development of rich countries all about?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
2. How is the di-development framework different from traditional frameworks of development?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
3. According to Hickel, how can rich countries de-develop?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
4. Why does Hickel frown upon pundits using terms such as de-growth, zero growth, or de-development
in describing an alternative framework?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
5. Some people might think that de-development is about giving things up. How does Hickel explain
that this is not the case?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Exercise 2. Personal Consumption Audit


Instructions: People believe that the more they are able to purchase things and avail of services, the more
'developed' and 'progressive' are the lives they lead. Yet, Hickel made it clear in his article that huge
consumption does not necessarily equate to long and happy lives. In this sense, is it possible for people to
also de-develop their consumption, but still remain happy and contented? Accomplish the personal
consumption audit table below and see what things you can reduce or minimize without sacrificing, or even
improving, the quality of your daily life. For your guidance, the first row has been provided as an example.

My Personal Consumption Audit


Product/Foo Average daily, No.of Impact of this de-developing on my
d weekly or monthly hours/day I everyday living
amount consumed reduce/do
away with
Examp Eight (8) Seven (7)hours/day By minimizing the number of hours I spend
le: Med hours/day on social media I can pursue authentic
Social ia personal interactions. I can also spend
Usage more time doing schoolwork or helping in
household chores.
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Exercise 3. Reaction Paper


Discuss the similarities and differences between Jason Hickel's framework of de-development and Martin
Heidegger's The Question Concerning Technology. Then, write a 200- to 300-word reaction paper on Hickel's
article. Use Heideggerian concepts learned in the previous section in explaining your thoughts and ideas
about Hickel's. Develop your on title. (Write in a separate paper)

Assignment 2. Documentary Film Analysis


Instructions: Watch and take notes on the documentary film, The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis and the
Case Against Scientism, available You Tube https://www.youtube.com/?~FPeyJvXU68k]/ Then answer the
following questions:
1. Why was C. S. Lewis very much a skeptic and critic of scientism? Was he against science?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
2. How did C. S. Lewis explain the following:
2. 1.science as religion
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
2.2. science as credulity
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
2.3. science as power
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
3. Why did C. S. Lewis think that modern science is far more dangerous than magic?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
4. Why did C. S. Lewis become increasingly concerned about thebrise of scientocracy? How does
scientocracy relate to scientism?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
5. Based on what you learned in the documentary film, how does scientism pose threat to the human
person flourishing in science and technology? Why should science be guided by an ethical basis that
is not dictated by science itself?
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________

Lesson 3. The Good Life


This section introduces concepts from Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and
examines issues in contemporary science and technology using the same
philosophical lens. It tackles the important Aristotelian concepts of
eudaimonia and arete, and how these can be used to assess one's relationship
and dealings with science and technology. As such, the section also aims to
answer question, "Are we living the good life?"

Intended Learning Outcomes


At the end of this section, the students should be able to:
1. define the idea of the good life;
2. discuss Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia and aréte; and
3. examine contemporary issues and come up with innovative and
creative solutions to contemporary issues guided by ethical standards
leading to a good life. Diagnostics
Instructions: Before the number write whether you AGREE or DISAGREE with each statement
1. The purpose of life is happiness.
2. Happiness comes from pleasure, wealth, and recognition.
3. Happiness means merely feeling good or joyful.
4. Reason is an important element of human happiness.
5. To achieve happiness, humans must pursue only extremely positive things.
6. A life of happiness is a result of a balance between two extremes.
7. A happy life is a virtuous life.
8. Intellectual and moral virtues are the ingredients of happiness.
9. It is not the role of science and technology to guide humans toward a virtuous life.
10. Ethical standards must be imposed upon science and technology to avoid excesses and
deficiencies.
Are we living the good life? This question is inarguably one universal human concern. Everyone aims to
lead a good life. Yet, what constitutes a happy and contented life varies from person to person. Unique
backgrounds, experiences, social contexts, and even preferences make it difficult to subscribe to a unified
standard on which to tease out the meaning of 'the good life.' Thus, the prospect of a
standard of the good life-one that resonates across unique human experiences-is inviting.

Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and the Good Life


To answer the question, "Are we living the good life?," necessary reflection must be
made on two things: first, what standard could be used to define 'the good life?"' Second,
how can the standard serve as guide toward living the good life in the midst of scientific
progress and technological advancement?
In the documentary film, The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against
Scientism, C. S. Lewis posited that "science must be guided by some ethical basis that is
not dictated by science itself." One such ethical basis is Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics.
Aristotle, who lived from 384 to 322 BC, is probably the most important ancient Greek
philosopher and scientist. He was a student of Plato, who was then a student of Socrates.
Together, they were considered
the 'Big Three of Greek Philosophy.'
Aristotle's Nichomachean
Ethics, the fundamental basis of
Aristotelian ethics, consists of ten books.
Originally, they were lecture notes written
on scrolls when he taught at the Lyceum.
It is widely believed that the lecture notes
were compiled by or were dedicated to one
of Aristotle's sons, Nichomacus.
Alternatively, it is believed that the work
was dedicated to Aristotle's father who
was of the same name.
The Nichomachean Ethics,
abbreviated as NE or sometimes EN based on the Latin version of the name, is a treatise on the nature of
moral life and human happiness based on the unique essence human nature. The NE is particularly useful in
defining what the good life is.
Everyone has a definition of what good--is getting a collegedegree, traveling across the world, succeeding in
a business venture, pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle, or being a responsible parent. However, although
everyone aims to achieve that which is good, Aristotle posited two types of good. In NE Book 2 Chapter 2,
(NE 2:2), Aristotle explained that every action aims at some good. However, some actions aim at an
instrumental good is better than while some aim at an intrinsic good. He made it clear that the ultimate good
is better than the instrumental good for the latter is good as a means to achieving something else or some
other end while the former is good in itself.

Eudaimonia: The Ultimate Good


What then is the ultimate good? Based on the
contrast between two types of good, one could
reflect on some potential candidates for the ultimate
good.
One might think that pleasure is the
ultimate good. One aims for pleasure in the food
they eat or in the experiences they immerse themselves into. Yet,
while pleasure is an important human need, it cannot be the
ultimate good. First, it is transitory -it passes. One may have been
pleased with the food they had for lunch, but he or she will be
hungry again or will want something else after a while. Second, pleasure does not encompass all aspects of
life. One may be pleased with an opportunity to travel but that may not make him or her feel good about
leaving, say, his or her studies or the relationship he or she has been struggling with.

Others might think that wealth is a potential candidate for the ultimate
good, but a critique of wealth would prove otherwise. Indeed, many, if not
most, aim to be financially stable, to be rich, or to be able to afford a
luxurious life. However, it is very common to hear people say that they aim
to be wealthy insofar as it would help them achieve some other goals.
Elsewhere, it is also common to hear stories about people who have become
very wealthy but remain, by and large, unhappy with the lives they lead. In
this sense, wealth is just an intermediate good-that is, only instrumental. It is
not the ultimate good because it is not self-sufficient and does not stop one
from aiming for some other 'greater' good.

Another candidate for the ultimate good is fame and honor.


Many people today seem to be motivated by a desire to be
known-to be famous. Others strive for honor and recognition.
This is reflected by those people who use social media to
acquire large virtual following on the internet and wish to gain
a foothold on the benefits that fame brings. Many people act
according to how they think they will be admired and
appreciated by other people. However, these cannot constitute
the ultimate good, simply because they are based on the
perception of others. Fame and honor can never be good in themselves. If one's definition of the good life is
being popular or respected, then the good life becomes elusive since it is based on the subjective views of
others.
Unlike pleasure, wealth, fame, and honor, happiness is the ultimate good. In the Aristotelian sense,
happiness is "living well and doing well" (NE 1:4). Among the Greeks, this is known as eudaimonia from the
root words eu, meaning good, and daimon, meaning spirit.Combining the root words, eudaimonia means
happiness or welfare. More accurately, others translate it as human flourishing or prosperity.
Aristotle proposed two hallmarks of eudaimonia, namely virtue and excellence (NE 1:7). Thus, happiness in
the sense of eudaimonia has to be distinguished from merely living good. Eudaimonia transcends all aspects
of life for it is about living well and doing well in whatever one does.

Eudaimonia: Uniquely Human?


Eudaimonia or happiness is unique to humans for it is a uniquely human function. It is achieved only
through a rationally directed life. Aristotle's notion of a tripartite soul as summarized in Table 1 illustrates a
nested hierarchy of the functions and activities of the soul, The degrees and functions of the soul are nested,
such that the one which has a higher degree of soul has all of the lower degrees. Thus, on the nutritive degree,
all living things, i.e., plants, animals, and humans, require nourishment and have the ability to reproduce. On
the sensitive degree, only animals and humans have the ability to move and perceive. Finally, on the rational
degree, only humans are capable of theoretical and practical functions. Following this, humans possess the
nutritive, sensitive, and rational degrees of the soul. More importantly, only humans are capable of a life
guided by reason. Because this is so, happiness, too, is a uniquely human function for it can only be achieved
through a rationally directed life.
Table 1. Aristotle‘s Tripartite Soul
Aréte and Human Happiness
Eudaimonia is what defines the good life. To live a good life is to live a happy life. For Aristotle,
eudaimonia is only possible by living life of virtue. Aréte, a Greek term, is defined as "excellence of any
kind" and can also mean "moral virtue." A virtue is what makes one function well. Aristotle suggested two
types of virtue: intellectual virtue and moral virtue.

Intellectual virtue or virtue of thought is achieved through education, time, and experience. Key intellectual
virtues are wisdom, which guides ethical behavior, and understanding, which is gained from scientific
endeavors and contemplation. Wisdom and understanding are achieved through formal and nonformal means.
Intellectual virtues are acquired through self-taught knowledge and skills as much as those knowledge and
skills taught and learned in formal institutions.
Moral virtue or virtue of character is achieved through habitual practice. Some key moral virtues are
generosity, temperance, and courage. Aristotle explained that although the capacity for intellectual virtue is
innate, it is brought into completion only by practice. It is by repeatedly being unselfish that one develops the
virtue of generosity. It is by repeatedly resisting and foregoing every inviting opportunity that one develops
the virtue of temperance. It is by repeatedly exhibiting the proper action and emotional response in the face
of danger that one develops the virtue of courage. By and large, moral virtue is like a skill. A skill is acquired
only through repeated practice. Everyone is capable of learning how to play the guitar because everyone has
an innate capacity for intellectual virtue, but not everyone acquires it because only those who devote time and
practice develop the skill of playing the instrument.
If one learns that eating too much fatty foods is bad for the health, he or she has to make it a habit to stay
away from this type of food because health contributes to living well and doing well. If one believes that too
much use of social media is detrimental to human relationships and productivity, he or she must regulate his
or her use of social media and deliberately spend more time with friends, and family, and work than in virtual
platform. If one understands the enormous damage to the environment that plastic materials bring, he or she
must repeatedly forego the next plastic item he or she could do away with. Good relationship dynamics and a
healthy environment contribute to one's wellness, in how he or she lives and what he or she does.
Both intellectual virtue and moral virtue should be in accordance with reason to achieve eudaimonia.
Indifference with these virtues, for reasons that are only for one's convenience, pleasure, or satisfaction, leads
humans away from eudaimonia.
A virtue is ruined by any excess and deficiency in how one lives and acts. A balance between two extremes
is a requisite of virtue. This balance is a mean of excess not in the sense of geometric or arithmetic average.
Instead, it is a mean relative to the person, circumstances, and the right emotional response in every
experience (NE 2:2; 2:6).
Consider the virtue of courage. Courage was earlier defined as displaying the right action and emotional
response in the face of danger. The virtue of courage is ruined by an excess of the needed emotional and
proper action to address a particular situation. A person who does not properly assess the danger and is
totally without fear may develop the vice of foolhardiness or rashness. Also, courage is ruined by a
deficiency of the needed emotion and proper action. When one overthinks of a looming danger, that he or
she becomes too fearful and incapable of acting on the problem, he or she develops the vice of cowardice.

What then is the good life?


Putting everything in perspective, the good life in the sense of eudaimonia is the state way one of being
happy, healthy, and prosperous in the thinks, lives, and acts. The path to the good life consists of the virtues
of thought and character, which are relative mediators between the two extremes of excess and deficiency. In
this way, the good life is understood as happiness brought about by living a virtuous life.
One could draw parallels between moving toward the good life and moving toward further progress and
development in science and technology. In appraising the goodness of the next medical procedure, the new
social media trend, the latest mobile device, or the upcoming technology for food safety, one must be guided
by Aristotelian virtues. Science and technology can be ruined by under- or over-appreciation of the scope and
function it plays in the pursuit of the uniquely human experience of happiness. Refusing science and
technology altogether to improve human life is as problematic as allowing it to entirely dictate reason and
action without any regard for ethical and moral standards. By imposing on science and technology an ethical
standard that is not dictated by itself, as C. S. Lewis proposed, not only will scientific advancement and
technological development flourish, but also the human person.

Exercise 1. Reading Comprehension Task


Instructions: Compare and contrast each pair of terms related to Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics as
discussed in this lesson.
1. Instrumental Good - Ultimate Good
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
2. Pleasure – Happiness
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
_
___________________________________________________________________________________
_
____________________________________________________________________________________
3. Virtue – Vice
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
4. Intellectual Virtue - Moral Virtue
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
5. Science and Technology - The Good Life
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________

Exercise 2. Documentary Analysis


Instructions: Watch the documentary film, That Sugar Film (2014), directed by Damon Garnenu. After
watching the film, discuss your ideas on how the overproduction and overconsumption of sugar based
products potentially prevent humans from achieving eudaimonia. Is there indeed a need for industries to
regulate the production of sugar based products and for consumers to reduce their consumption if they are to
journey toward the good life together? Write your reflection on a letter size bond paper.

Exercise 3. Case Study


Instructions: Within your family (4 members) conduct a simple on the case of sugar consumption. You may
either hold brief interviews or use survey questionnaires to gather data for your case study. Your data
gathering may focus on but is not limited to the following:
1. Extent of overconsumption of sugar.
2. Awareness of hidden sugar content on food items
3. Food items that contain hidden sugars.
4. Agreement or disagreement on the need to regulate the production and consumption of sugar
5. Awareness on the impact of the overconsumption of sugar-based products on the pursuit of human
happiness
After gathering data, analyze and present your data following the guidelines below. Overall, your case study
report should not be more than 10 pages.

CASE STUDY REPORT FORMAT GUIDELINES


1. Cover Page - includes the title, names of student, and submission date
2. Introduction- discusses briefly the context and background of the case study (You might need to
present existing data on the consumption and production of sugar locally and internationally.)
3. Body - covers the following sub-items
3.1. Key Issues or Problem- explicitly presents the focus of the data gathering (e.g., low awareness
level, huge daily consumption rate, common sugary food items, the need to regulate production
and consumption of sugar, impact of overconsumption on the pursuit of happiness).
3.2.Assumptions- clarifies the respondents‘ assumption about the current situation in relation to the
problem analyzed
3.3.Data Analysis presents excerpts of interviews, graphs statistical summaries of data
3.4.Proposed Alternative- makes explicit the respondents‘ concrete recommendations about how to
face the dangers of the current state of sugar production and consumption
3.5.Impact of Proposal on the Pursuit of Happiness- explains the impact of the respondents‘
proposed alternative on the journey of humans toward living the good life (In what way/'s can you
proposal lead humans closer to eudaimonia?)
4. Conclusion - presents a concise summary of the case study and contains no more than five sentences
directly answering the problem explained in the body
5. References - lists all print and online materials that were used in writing the case study report
(Follow the
guidelines of APA 6thEdition Reference and Citation Manual found in https://owl
english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/24/) Font: Times New Roman, 12 pt.
Spacing: 1.5 spacing
Margins: 1 inch on all sides
Page Numbers: top right on every page

Assignment 3. Field Study


Instructions: inspect the packaging of a food item that you regularly consume. Cut the part of the packaging
that shows the nutritional label and paste it on the space below. What sugar, disguised in an unfamiliar term,
is found on the label? Research on the definition and effects of the hidden sugar you found on the label.

(Paste the label here)

___________________________________________________________________
Hidden Sugar Found on the Label Description:
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Lesson 4 When Technology and Humanity Cross


This section discusses quintessential documents that protect
human rights and ensure the well-being of the human person in
the face of scientific and technological developments. Indeed, if
humans are to journey toward living the good life, they have to
make informed choices in dealing with science and technology.
Thus, the lesson draws from S. Romi Mukherjee's proposals for
human rights-based approaches to science, technology, and
development. It reviews key principles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UNESCO
Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers, and UNESCO Declaration on the Use of Scientific
Knowledge and how these international documents position human rights in the intersection of technology
and humanity.

Intended Learning Outcomes


At the end of this lesson, the students should be able to:
1. explain a human rights-based approach to science, technology, and development;
2. identify key documents and their principles that ensure the well-being of humans in the midst of
scientific progress and technological development; and
3. discuss the importance of upholding human rights in science, technology, and development.

Diagnostics
Instructions: Rate the extent of your agreement to each statements by marking (1) the box that corresponds to
your response in each row

5-Extremly Agree 4-Somewhat Agree 3- To a Limited Extent 2-Somewhat Disagree 1- Extremely Disagree

Statements 5 4 3 2 1
1. Human nights are fundamental rights.
2. Responding to urgent global challenges allows setting aside some human
rights.
3. It is not the duty of scientists and innovators to protect the well-being and
dignity of humans
4. Human rights should be at the core of any scientific and technological
endeavor.
5. A good life is a life where human rights are upheld
6. Human rights should be integrated in the journey toward the ultimate good
7. It is not the primary function of science and technology to protect the weak,
poor, and vulnerable
8. There is no way for science and technology to fully function as a safeguard
of human rights
9. A human rights-based approach to science and technology development is
imperative
10. The protection of human rights and continued science technology and
advancement can work hand-in-hand

Human rights in the face of scientific and technological


advancement are critical factors in one's journey toward
eudaimonia of the good life. Exercising the right to
accept or reject, minimize or maximize, and evaluate
and decide on the scope and function of science and
technology indicates human flourishing in science and
technology. Protecting the well-being and upholding the
dignity of the human person must be at the core of continued scientific and technological progress and
development, Such is the focus of a human rights-based approach to science, technology, and development.
S. Romi Mukherjee, a senior lecturer in Political Theory and the History of Religions at the Paris Institute
of Political Studies, explained a human rights-based approach to science, technology, and development as
follows:
"[It:} seeks to place a concern for human rights at the heart of how the international community engages
with urgent global challenges. The UN Development Programme characterizes this approach as one
that 'leads to better and more sustainable outcomes by analyzing and addressing the inequalities,
discriminatory practices and unjust power relations which are often at the heart of development
problems. It puts the international human rights entitlements and claims of the people (the 'right-
holders') and the corresponding obligations of the state (the 'duty-bearer') in the center of the
national development debate, and it clarifies the purpose of capacitydevelopment.'"

Mukherjee (2012) furthered that this approach identifies science as "a socially organized human activity
which is value-laden and shaped by organizational structures and procedures." Moreover, it requires an
answer to whether governments and other stakeholders can craft and implement science and technology
policies that "ensure safety, health and livelihoods; include people's needs and priorities in development and
environmental strategies; and ensure they participate in decision- making that affects their lives and
resources‖.
Multiple international statutes, declarations, and decrees have been produced to ensure well-being and
human dignity. Mukherjee listed some of the most important documents that center on a human rightsbased
approach to science, development, and technology, and their key principles:
'.
Table 2 Useful documents for a human-rights based approach to science. technology, and development
Document Key Principles
Universal Declaration of Human This document affirms everyone's right to participate in and benefit
Rights (Article 27) from scientific advances, and be protected from scientific misuses The
right to the benefits of science comes under the domain of 'culture,' so it
usually examined from a cultural rights perspective.
UNESCO Recommendation on This document affirms that all advances in scientific and technological
the Status of Scientific knowledge should solely be geared towards the welfare of the global
Researchers – 1974 (Article 4) citizens, and calls upon member states to develop necessary protocol
and policies tomonitor and secure this objective Countries are asked to
show that science and technology are integrated into policies that aim to
ensure more humane and just society.
UNESCO Declaration on the This document states, "Today, more than ever, science and its
Use of Scientific Knowledge applications are indispensable for development. All levels of
1999 (Art1icle 33) government and private sector should provide enhanced support for
building up an adequate and evenly distributed scientific and
technological capacity through appropriate education and research
programmes as an indispensable foundation for economic, social,
cultural and environmentally sound development. This is particularly
urgent for developing countries. This Declaration encompasses issues
such as pollution-free production, efficient resource use, biodiversity
protection, and brain drains.

A human rights-based approach to science, technology, and development sets the parameters for the
appraisal of how science, technology, and development promote human well-being. Thus, the discussion of
human rights in the face of changing scientific and technological contexts must not serve as merely
decorative moral dimension of scientific and technological policies. As Mukherjee(2012) posited, this
approach "can form the very heart of sustainable futures.

Human rights should be integral to the journey toward the ultimate good. They should guide humans not
only to flourish as individual members of society, but also to assist each other in flourishing collectively as a
society. Human rights are rights to sustainability, as Mukherjee put it. They may function as the 'golden
mean,' particularly by protecting the weak, poor, and vulnerable from the deficiencies and excesses of science
and technology. By imposing upon technology the moral and ethical duty to protect science and uphold
human rishis, there can be a more effective and sustainable approach to bridging the gap between poor and
rich countries on both tangible (e.g; services and natural resources,) and intangible (e.g. well-being and
human dignity) aspects. Ultimately, all these will lead humans to flourish together through science and
technology.

Exercise 1. Reading Comprehension Task


Instructions: Answer the following questions in your own words based on your understanding of
Mukherjee's human rights-based approach to science, technology, and development. Limit your responses to
three or four sentences only.
1. What is a human rights-based approach to science, technology and development?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
2. How do the documents and their key principles presented in Table 2 position human rights in the
intersection of technology and humanity?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3. Why should human rights be at the core of scientific and technological advancement?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________

4. What is the danger of using human rights as merely decorative moral dimension of scientific and
technological policies?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
5. Do you agree with Mukherjee's assertion that a human rights-based approach to science, technology,
and development can form the very heart of sustainable futures? Explain.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________

Exercise 2. Document Analysis


Instructions: Aside from the three documents and their key principles presented in Table 2 in this lesson,
Mukherjee lists down six other instruments which are important for human rights-based approaches to
science, technology, and development:

1. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)


2. Declaration on Social Progress and Development (1969)
3. Declaration on the Use of Scientific and Technological Progress in the Interest of Peace for the
Benefit of Mankind (1975)
4. Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005)
5. The Declaration of Dakar (2007)
6. The Cairo Declaration (2006)

Choose one among the six approaches and make an analysis. Be guided by the following questions. (Use
letter size bond paper).
1. What is the instrument all about?
2. Who are the parties/signatories to the instrument?
3. What article/s or section/s of the instrument articulate the centrality of human rights vis-i-vis science,
technology, and development?
4. How does the instrument safeguard human rights in the face of science and technology?
5. What challenges stand in the way of the instrument and its key principles in safeguarding human
rights amidst the changing vscientific and technological contexts?
Assignment 4. Reading Enrichment Task
Instructions: Choose and read one of the two reading materials and answer the enrichment questions that
follow:
1. Evans, D. (2007, March 9). The ethical dilemmas of robotics. BBC News. Retrieved from
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ technology/6432307.stm

Robotic age poses ethical dilemma


An ethical code to prevent humans abusing robots, and vice versa, is
being drawn up by South Korea.
The Robot Ethics Charter will cover standards for users and
manufacturers and will be released later in 2007.
It is being put together by a five member team of experts that includes
futurists and a science fiction writer.
The South Korean government has identified robotics as a key economic
driver and is pumping millions of dollars into research. "The government
plans to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots
as robots are expected to develop strong intelligence in the near future,"
the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.

Ethical questions
South Korea is one of the world's most hi-tech societies.
Citizens enjoy some of the highest speed broadband connections in the
world and have access to advanced mobile technology long before it hits
western markets.
The government is also well known for its commitment to future technology.
A recent government report forecast that robots would routinely carry out surgery by 2018.
The Ministry of Information and Communication has also predicted that every South Korean household will
have a robot by between 2015 and 2020.
In part, this is a response to the country's aging society and also an acknowledgement that the pace of
development in robotics is accelerating.
The new charter is an attempt to set ground rules for this future.
"Imagine if some people treat androids as if the machines were their wives," Park Hye-Young of the
ministry's robot team told the AFP news agency.
"Others may get addicted to interacting with them just as many internet users get hooked to the cyberworld."

Alien encounters
The new guidelines could reflect the three laws of robotics put forward by author Isaac Asimov in his short
story Runaround in 1942, she said.
Key considerations would include ensuring human control over robots, protecting data acquired by robots
and preventing illegal use.
Other bodies are also thinking about the robotic future. Last year a UK government study predicted that in
the next 50 years robots could demand the same rights as human beings.
The European Robotics Research Network is also drawing up a set of guidelines on the use of robots.
This ethical roadmap has been assembled by researchers who believe that robotics will soon come under the
same scrutiny as disciplines such as nuclear physics and Bioengineering.
A draft of the proposals said: "In the 21st Century humanity will coexist with the first alien intelligence we
have ever come into contact with - robots.
"It will be an event rich in ethical, social and economic problems."
Their proposals are expected to be issued in Rome in April.

a. What are the ethical dilemmas posed by robotics?


_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________

b. Which among the instruments for a human rights-based approach to science, technology, and
development discussed in this section may be useful in contending with the ethical dilemmas of
robotics?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
c. How can the instrument inform lawyers and ethicists and engineers and scientists in answering the
moral and legal questions raised by the developments in robotics?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________

2. Carr, N. (2008) Is Google making us stupid? What the internet is doing to our brains. The Atlantic.
Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.con/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-
usstupid/306868/

"Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?‖ So the supercomputer HAL pleads with
the implacable astronaut Dave Bowman in a famous and weirdly poignant scene toward the end of
Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Bowman, having nearly been sent to a deep-space death by
the malfunctioning machine, is calmly, coldly disconnecting the memory circuits that control its artificial
― brain. ―Dave, my mind is going,‖ HAL says, forlornly. ―I can feel it. I can feel it.‖
I can feel it, too. Over the past few years I‘ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something,
has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind
isn‘t going—so far as I can tell—but it‘s changing. I‘m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it
most strongly when I‘m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My
mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I‘d spend hours strolling
through long stretches of prose. That‘s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to
drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel
as if I‘m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come
naturally has become a struggle.

I think I know what‘s going on. For more than a decade now, I‘ve been spending a lot of time online,
searching and surfing and sometimes adding to the great databases of the Internet. The Web has been a
godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries
can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I‘ve got the
telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. Even when I‘m not working, I‘m as likely as not to be foraging in
the Web‘s info-thickets—reading and writing e-mails, scanning headlines and blog posts, watching
videos and listening to podcasts, or just tripping from link to link to link. (Unlike footnotes, to which
they‘re sometimes likened, hyperlinks don‘t merely point to related works; they propel you toward them.)
For me, as for others, the Net is becoming a universal medium, the conduit for most of the information
that flows through my eyes and ears and into my mind. The advantages of having immediate access to
such an incredibly rich store of information are many, and they‘ve been widely described and duly
applauded. ―The perfect recall of silicon memory,‖ Wired‘s Clive Thompson has written, ―can be an
enormous boon to thinking.‖ But that boon comes at a price. As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan
pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of
thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away
my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way
the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of
words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

I‘m not the only one. When I mention my troubles with reading to friends and acquaintances— literary
types, most of them—many say they‘re having similar experiences. The more they use the Web, the more
they have to fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing. Some of the bloggers I follow have also
begun mentioning the phenomenon. Scott Karp, who writes a blog about online media, recently
confessed that he has stopped reading books altogether. ―I was a lit major in college, and used to be [a]
voracious book reader,‖ he wrote. ―What happened?‖ He speculates on the answer: ―What if I do all my
reading on the web not so much because the way I read has changed, i.e. I‘m just seeking convenience,
but because the way I THINK has changed?‖

Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how
the Internet has altered his mental habits. ―I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a
longish article on the web or in print,‖ he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the
faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a
telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a ―staccato‖ quality, reflecting the
way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. ―I can‘t read War and Peace
anymore,‖ he admitted. ―I‘ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four
paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.‖

Anecdotes alone don‘t prove much. And we still await the long-term neurological and psychological
experiments that will provide a definitive picture of how Internet use affects cognition. But a recently
published study of online research habits, conducted by scholars from University College London,
suggests that we may well be in the midst of a sea change in the way we read and think. As part of the
five-year research program, the scholars examined computer logs documenting the behavior of visitors to
two popular research sites, one operated by the British Library and one by a U.K. educational consortium,
that provide access to journal articles, e-books, and other sources of written information.
They found that people using the sites exhibited ―a form of skimming activity,‖ hopping from one
source to another and rarely returning to any source they‘d already visited. They typically read no more
than one or two pages of an article or book before they would ―bounce‖ out to another site. Sometimes
they‘d save a long article, but there‘s no evidence that they ever went back and actually read it. The
authors of the study report:

It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new
forms of ―reading‖ are emerging as users ―power browse‖ horizontally through titles, contents pages
and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional
sense.

Thanks to the ubiquity of text on the Internet, not to mention the popularity of text-messaging on cell
phones, we may well be reading more today than we did in the 1970s or 1980s, when television was our
medium of choice. But it‘s a different kind of reading, and behind it lies a different kind of thinking—
perhaps even a new sense of the self. ―We are not only what we read,‖ says Maryanne Wolf, a
developmental psychologist at Tufts University and the author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and
Science of the Reading Brain. ―We are how we read.‖ Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted
by the Net, a style that puts ―efficiency‖ and ―immediacy‖ above all else, may be weakening our
capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made
long and complex works of prose commonplace. When we read online, she says, we tend to become
―mere decoders of information.‖ Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that
form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged.

Reading, explains Wolf, is not an instinctive skill for human beings. It‘s not etched into our genes the
way speech is. We have to teach our minds how to translate the symbolic characters we see into the
language we understand. And the media or other technologies we use in learning and practicing the craft
of reading play an important part in shaping the neural circuits inside our brains. Experiments
demonstrate that readers of ideograms, such as the Chinese, develop a mental circuitry for reading that is
very different from the circuitry found in those of us whose written language employs an alphabet. The
variations extend across many regions of the brain, including those that govern such essential cognitive
functions as memory and the interpretation of visual and auditory stimuli. We can expect as well that the
circuits woven by our use of the Net will be different from those woven by our reading of books and
other printed works.

Sometime in 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche bought a typewriter—a Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, to be


precise. His vision was failing, and keeping his eyes focused on a page had become exhausting and
painful, often bringing on crushing headaches. He had been forced to curtail his writing, and he feared
that he would soon have to give it up. The typewriter rescued him, at least for a time. Once he had
mastered touch-typing, he was able to write with his eyes closed, using only the tips of his fingers. Words
could once again flow from his mind to the page.

But the machine had a subtler effect on his work. One of Nietzsche‘s friends, a composer, noticed a
change in the style of his writing. His already terse prose had become even tighter, more telegraphic.
―Perhaps you will through this instrument even take to a new idiom,‖ the friend wrote in a letter, noting
that, in his own work, his ―‗thoughts‘ in music and language often depend on the quality of pen and
paper.‖

―You are right,‖ Nietzsche replied, ―our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our
thoughts.‖ Under the sway of the machine, writes the German media scholar Friedrich A. Kittler ,
Nietzsche‘s prose
―changed from arguments to aphorisms, from thoughts to puns, from rhetoric to telegram style.‖

The human brain is almost infinitely malleable. People used to think that our mental meshwork, the
dense connections formed among the 100 billion or so neurons inside our skulls, was largely fixed by the
time we reached adulthood. But brain researchers have discovered that that‘s not the case. James Olds, a
professor of neuroscience who directs the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason
University, says that even the adult mind ―is very plastic.‖ Nerve cells routinely break old connections
and form new ones. ―The brain,‖ according to Olds, ―has the ability to reprogram itself on the fly,
altering the way it functions.‖

As we use what the sociologist Daniel Bell has called our ―intellectual technologies‖—the tools that
extend our mental rather than our physical capacities—we inevitably begin to take on the qualities of
those technologies. The mechanical clock, which came into common use in the 14th century, provides a
compelling example. In Technics and Civilization, the historian and cultural critic Lewis Mumford
described how the clock ―disassociated time from human events and helped create the belief in an
independent world of mathematically measurable sequences.‖ The ―abstract framework of divided time‖
became ―the point of reference for both action and thought.‖

The clock‘s methodical ticking helped bring into being the scientific mind and the scientific man. But it
also took something away. As the late MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum observed in his 1976
book, Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, the conception of the world
that emerged from the widespread use of timekeeping instruments ―remains an impoverished version of
the older one, for it rests on a rejection of those direct experiences that formed the basis for, and indeed
constituted, the old reality.‖ In deciding when to eat, to work, to sleep, to rise, we stopped listening to our
senses and started obeying the clock.

The process of adapting to new intellectual technologies is reflected in the changing metaphors we use to
explain ourselves to ourselves. When the mechanical clock arrived, people began thinking of their brains
as operating ―like clockwork.‖ Today, in the age of software, we have come to think of them as
operating ―like computers.‖ But the changes, neuroscience tells us, go much deeper than metaphor.
Thanks to our brain‘s plasticity, the adaptation occurs also at a biological level.

The Internet promises to have particularly far-reaching effects on cognition. In a paper published in
1936, the British mathematician Alan Turing proved that a digital computer, which at the time existed
only as a theoretical machine, could be programmed to perform the function of any other
informationprocessing device. And that‘s what we‘re seeing today. The Internet, an immeasurably
powerful computing system, is subsuming most of our other intellectual technologies. It‘s becoming our
map and our clock, our printing press and our typewriter, our calculator and our telephone, and our radio
and TV.

When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net‘s image. It injects the medium‘s
content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the
content of all the other media it has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its
arrival as we‘re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper‘s site. The result is to scatter our
attention and diffuse our concentration.

The Net‘s influence doesn‘t end at the edges of a computer screen, either. As people‘s minds become
attuned to the crazy quilt of Internet media, traditional media have to adapt to the audience‘s new
expectations. Television programs add text crawls and pop-up ads, and magazines and newspapers
shorten their articles, introduce capsule summaries, and crowd their pages with easy-to-browse
infosnippets. When, in March of this year, TheNew York Times decided to devote the second and third
pages of every edition to article abstracts , its design director, Tom Bodkin, explained that the
―shortcuts‖ would give harried readers a quick ―taste‖ of the day‘s news, sparing them the ―less
efficient‖ method of actually turning the pages and reading the articles. Old media have little choice but to
play by the newmedia rules.

Never has a communications system played so many roles in our lives—or exerted such broad influence
over our thoughts—as the Internet does today. Yet, for all that‘s been written about the Net, there‘s been
little consideration of how, exactly, it‘s reprogramming us. The Net‘s intellectual ethic remains obscure.

About the same time that Nietzsche started using his typewriter, an earnest young man named Frederick
Winslow Taylor carried a stopwatch into the Midvale Steel plant in Philadelphia and began a historic
series of experiments aimed at improving the efficiency of the plant‘s machinists. With the approval of
Midvale‘s owners, he recruited a group of factory hands, set them to work on various metalworking
machines, and recorded and timed their every movement as well as the operations of the machines. By
breaking down every job into a sequence of small, discrete steps and then testing different ways of
performing each one, Taylor created a set of precise instructions—an ―algorithm,‖ we might say today
—for how each worker should work. Midvale‘s employees grumbled about the strict new regime,
claiming that it turned them into little more than automatons, but the factory‘s productivity soared.

More than a hundred years after the invention of the steam engine, the Industrial Revolution had at last
found its philosophy and its philosopher. Taylor‘s tight industrial choreography—his ―system,‖ as he
liked to call it—was embraced by manufacturers throughout the country and, in time, around the world.
Seeking maximum speed, maximum efficiency, and maximum output, factory owners used time-
andmotion studies to organize their work and configure the jobs of their workers. The goal, as Taylor
defined it in his celebrated 1911 treatise, The Principles of Scientific Management, was to identify and
adopt, for every job, the ―one best method‖ of work and thereby to effect ―the gradual substitution of
science for rule of thumb throughout the mechanic arts.‖ Once his system was applied to all acts of
manual labor, Taylor assured his followers, it would bring about a restructuring not only of industry but
of society, creating a utopia of perfect efficiency. ―In the past the man has been first,‖ he declared; ―in
the future the system must be first.‖

Taylor‘s system is still very much with us; it remains the ethic of industrial manufacturing. And now,
thanks to the growing power that computer engineers and software coders wield over our intellectual
lives, Taylor‘s ethic is beginning to govern the realm of the mind as well. The Internet is a machine
designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information, and
its legions of programmers are intent on finding the ―one best method‖—the perfect algorithm—to carry
out every mental movement of what we‘ve come to describe as ―knowledge work.‖ Google‘s
headquarters, in Mountain View, California—the Googleplex—is the Internet‘s high church, and the
religion practiced inside its walls is Taylorism. Google, says its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, is
―a company that‘s founded around the science of measurement,‖ and it is striving to ―systematize
everything‖ it does. Drawing on the terabytes of behavioral data it collects through its search engine and
other sites, it carries out thousands of experiments a day, according to the Harvard Business Review, and
it uses the results to refine the algorithms that increasingly control how people find information and
extract meaning from it. What Taylor did for the work of the hand, Google is doing for the work of the
mind.

The company has declared that its mission is ―to organize the world‘s information and make it
universally accessible and useful.‖ It seeks to develop ―the perfect search engine,‖ which it defines as
something that ―understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.‖ In
Google‘s view, information is a kind of commodity, a utilitarian resource that can be mined and
processed with industrial efficiency. The more pieces of information we can ―access‖ and the faster we
can extract their gist, the more productive we become as thinkers.

Where does it end? Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the gifted young men who founded Google while
pursuing doctoral degrees in computer science at Stanford, speak frequently of their desire to turn their
search engine into an artificial intelligence, a HAL-like machine that might be connected directly to our
brains. ―The ultimate search engine is something as smart as people—or smarter,‖ Page said in a speech
a few years back. ―For us, working on search is a way to work on artificial intelligence.‖ In a 2004
interview with Newsweek, Brin said, ―Certainly if you had all the world‘s information directly attached
to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you‘d be better off.‖ Last year, Page
told a convention of scientists that Google is ―really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on
a large scale.‖

Such an ambition is a natural one, even an admirable one, for a pair of math whizzes with vast quantities
of cash at their disposal and a small army of computer scientists in their employ. A fundamentally
scientific enterprise, Google is motivated by a desire to use technology, in Eric Schmidt‘s words, ―to
solve problems that have never been solved before,‖ and artificial intelligence is the hardest problem out
there. Why wouldn‘t Brin and Page want to be the ones to crack it?
Still, their easy assumption that we‘d all ―be better off‖ if our brains were supplemented, or even
replaced, by an artificial intelligence is unsettling. It suggests a belief that intelligence is the output of a
mechanical process, a series of discrete steps that can be isolated, measured, and optimized. In Google‘s
world, the world we enter when we go online, there‘s little place for the fuzziness of contemplation.
Ambiguity is not an opening for insight but a bug to be fixed. The human brain is just an outdated
computer that needs a faster processor and a bigger hard drive.

The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the
workings of the Internet, it is the network‘s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the
Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies
gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the
commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit
from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage
leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It‘s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

Maybe I‘m just a worrywart. Just as there‘s a tendency to glorify technological progress, there‘s a
countertendency to expect the worst of every new tool or machine. In Plato‘s Phaedrus, Socrates
bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a
substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the
dialogue‘s characters, ―cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.‖ And because they would
be able to ―receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,‖ they would ―be thought very
knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.‖ They would be ―filled with the conceit
of wisdom instead of real wisdom.‖ Socrates wasn‘t wrong—the new technology did often have the
effects he feared—but he was shortsighted. He couldn‘t foresee the many ways that writing and reading
would serve to spread information, spur fresh ideas, and expand human knowledge (if not wisdom).

The arrival of Gutenberg‘s printing press, in the 15th century, set off another round of teeth gnashing.
The Italian humanist Hieronimo Squarciafico worried that the easy availability of books would lead to
intellectual laziness, making men ―less studious‖ and weakening their minds. Others argued that cheaply
printed books and broadsheets would undermine religious authority, demean the work of scholars and
scribes, and spread sedition and debauchery. As New York University professor Clay Shirky notes,
―Most of the arguments made against the printing press were correct, even prescient.‖ But, again, the
doomsayers were unable to imagine the myriad blessings that the printed word would deliver.

So, yes, you should be skeptical of my skepticism. Perhaps those who dismiss critics of the Internet as
Luddites or nostalgists will be proved correct, and from our hyperactive, data-stoked minds will spring a
golden age of intellectual discovery and universal wisdom. Then again, the Net isn‘t the alphabet, and
although it may replace the printing press, it produces something altogether different. The kind of deep
reading that a sequence of printed pages promotes is valuable not just for the knowledge we acquire from
the author‘s words but for the intellectual vibrations those words set off within our own minds. In the
quiet spaces opened up by the sustained, undistracted reading of a book, or by any other act of
contemplation, for that matter, we make our own associations, draw our own inferences and analogies,
foster our own ideas. Deep reading, as Maryanne Wolf argues, is indistinguishable from deep thinking.
If we lose those quiet spaces, or fill them up with ―content,‖ we will sacrifice something important not
only in our selves but in our culture. In a recent essay, the playwright Richard Foreman eloquently
described what‘s at stake:

I come from a tradition of Western culture, in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense and
―cathedral-like‖ structure of the highly educated and articulate personality—a man or woman who
carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West.
[But now] I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind
of self—evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the ―instantly
available.‖
As we are drained of our ―inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,‖ Foreman concluded, we risk
turning into ―‗pancake people‘—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of
information accessed by the mere touch of a button.‖

I‘m haunted by that scene in 2001. What makes it so poignant, and so weird, is the computer‘s emotional
response to the disassembly of its mind: its despair as one circuit after another goes dark, its childlike
pleading with the astronaut—―I can feel it. I can feel it. I‘m afraid‖—and its final reversion to what can
only be called a state of innocence. HAL‘s outpouring of feeling contrasts with the emotionlessness that
characterizes the human figures in the film, who go about their business with an almost robotic
efficiency. Their thoughts and actions feel scripted, as if they‘re following the steps of an algorithm. In
the world of 2001, people have become so machinelike that the most human character turns out to be a
machine. That‘s the essence of Kubrick‘s dark prophecy: as we come to rely on computers to mediate our
understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.

a. Do you agree that Google is making us stupid? Why or Why not?


_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
b.What are the moral and ethical duty must be imposed upon the ―duty-bearer‖ in this case Google,
in protecting the well-being and dignity of humans?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________
c. What responsibilities do the ―right holders‖ in this case Google users, carry in ensuring a human
rights-based approach to the use of the internet?
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________

Lesson 5. Why the Future Does Not Need Us


This Lesson tackles the danger posed by science and technology unchecked by moral and ethical standards.
It primarily draws insights from William Nelson Joy's (2000) article, Why the future doesn't need us?, in
evaluating contemporary human experience in the midst of rapid developments in science and technology.
Such experience will be discussed to see whether it strengthens and enlightens the human person functioning
in society or not.
Intended Learning Outcomes
At the end of this section, the students should be able to:
1. identify William Nelson Joy's arguments as to why the future does not need us;
2. evaluate contemporary human experiences with science and technology; and
3. write an essay that emphasizes the importance of humankind in visualizing the future.

Diagnostics
Instructions: Look at the picture. Do you think that there will come a time in the future that will no longer
need humans? Write your brief opinion on the space provided.
Can you imagine a future without the human race? Do you think that robots and machines can replace
humans? Do you believe that there will come a time when human existence will be at the mercy of robots and
machines? Is it also possible that medical breakthroughs in the future may go terribly wrong that a strain of
drug-resistant viruses could wipe out the entire human race?
For some, imagining a future without humans is nearly synonymous to the end of world. Many choose not to
speculate about a future where humans cease to exist while the world remains. However, a dystopian society
void of human presence is the subject of many works in literature and film. The possibility of such society is
also a constant topic of debates.
In April 2000, William Nelson Joy, an American computer scientist and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems,
wrote an article for Wired magazine entitled Why the future doesn't need us? In his article, Joy warned
against the rapid rise of new technologies. He explained that 21st-century technologies-genetics,
nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR)-are becoming very powerful that they can potentially bring about new
classes of accidents, threats, and abuses. He further warned that these dangers are even more pressing
because they do not require large facilities or even rare raw materials knowledge alone will make them
potentially harmful to humans.
Joy argued that robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology pose much greater threats than
technological developments that have come before. He particularly cited the ability of nanobots to self-
replicate, which could quickly get out of control. In the article, he cautioned humans against overdependence
on machines. He also stated that if machines are given the capacity to decide on their own, it will be
impossible to predict how they might behave in the future. In this case, the fate of the human race would be
at the mercy of machines.
Joy also voiced out his apprehension about the rapid increase of computer power. He was also concerned
that computers will eventually become more intelligent than humans, thus ushering societies into dystopian
visions, such as robot rebellions. To illuminate his concern, Joy drew from Theodore Kaczynski's book,
Unabomber Manifesto, where Kaczynski described that the unintended consequences of the design and use
of technology are clearly related to Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong." Kaczynski
argued further that overreliance on antibiotics led to the great paradox of emerging antibiotic-resistant strains
of dangerous bacteria. The introduction of Dichlorodiphenytrichloroethane (DDT) to combat malarial
mosquitoes, for instance, only gave rise to malarial parasites with multi-drug- resistant genes.
Since the publication of the article, Joy's arguments against 21st- century technologies have received both
criticisms and expression of shared concern. Critics dismissed Joy's article for deliberately presenting
information in an imprecise manner that obscures the larger picture or state of things. For one, John Seely
Brown and Paul Duguid (2001), in their article A Response to Bill Joy and the Doom-and- Gloom
Technofuturists, criticized Joy's failure to consider social factors and only deliberately focused on one part of
the larger picture. Others go as far as accusing Joy of being a neo-Luddite, someone who rejects new
technologies and shows technophobic leanings.
As a material, Joy's article tackles the unpleasant and uncomfortable possibilities that a senseless approach to
scientific and technological advancements may bring. Whether Joy's propositions are a real possibility or an
absolute moonshot, it is unavoidable to think of a future that will no longer need the human race. It makes
thinking about the roles and obligations of every stakeholder a necessary component of scientific and
technological advancement. In this case, it preeminently necessary that the scientific community,
governments, and businesses engage in a discussion to determine the safeguards of humans against the
potential dangers of science and technology.

Exercise 1 Metacognitive Reading Report


Instructions: Read William Nelson Joy's Why the future doesn't need us? htttp://www.wired.com/2000104/
7oy.amv/itrm then complete the metacognitive reading report.

1. Difficult Concepts
a. ______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
__
_______________________________________________________________________________
__ b.
______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
__
________________________________________________________________________________
c. _______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
2. Learning Insights
a. Before Reading the article I thought that
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
However, after reading the article, I now think/learned that
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
b. Before Reading the article I thought that
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
However, after reading the article, I now think/learned that
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
c. Before Reading the article I thought that
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
However, after reading the article, I now think/learned that
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________

3. Discussion Questions
a. ________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
b.________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
c. ________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

Exercise 2, Film Viewing


Instructions: watch Steven Spielberg's science fiction drama film, A.1: Artificial Intelligence (2001). After
watching the film, reflect on the story of David, a childlike android uniquely programmed with the ability to
love, and write a 200-300 word essay on the topic, "Why does the future need us?" Cite particular scenes and
insights from the movie to support your arguments. Make a title for your essay.