Misnaming Technology as Science

Futurism denies the present, but only the present contains the tools we need to behave properly.  The future provides cult dispensation for current bad behaviour – the effect of my cause will be wiped away by the messiah of soon to be manifest technology.  Futurism denies the simple truth, that present action creates the future.

Science is not to blame for the cult, but the cult holds science as its standard.  Even though scepticism is accepted as a founding principle of scientific inquiry, many, who call themselves scientists (perhaps for a wage packet), are cult members.

There is a uniquely post modern confusion between science and technology.  If we look at much post modern science, we find that it is actually technology.  There is a critical distinction between the two.

The scepticism of scientific inquiry is a learnt process, in which we attempt to remove historical and moral preconceptions, so that we may uncover new perception (data) and then offer perhaps new, though always fallible, conceptions (hypotheses).

Applied technologies, however, must always have a moral, because they create effects and all actions have consequence.

Applying a scientific hypothesis in a technological experiment moves that hypothesis from its sceptical home to the very human, moral muddle of trial, error and consequence.

Renaming “technology”, “science” is a useful process for the unscrupulous, because by that sleight of hand we can remove morals from actions.  Many technologies appropriate science in that way – pharmaceuticals, plant breeding and so on.   Of course, many of those same technologies can be properly devised and applied by others who don’t confuse technology with science.

Misnaming technology as science and also exalting future technological messiahs are two extra-ordinarily dangerous, but wide-spread cult perversities of today.  They both remove ethics from actions.

Both those perversities have been central to both New Labour and Tory government policies.

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