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ziq wrote (edited )

Technology can be neutral. How it's (mis)used by people is usually the issue Postcivs have. But obviously some technologies have no use except to exploit, oppress and destroy. Mustard gas, for instance couldn't be described as a neutral technology and you could even say the same about petroleum.

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Dumai wrote

i don't know about you but i can't think of a single politically neutral technology

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

well, what does nuetral mean exactly?

In one sense i think technological forms are not nuetral, like the autonomobile, the TV etc. All these reflect a certain social organization, certain cultural values. Likewise i think we can reject the idea science is 'objective' and devoid of these cultural value assumptions.

But i think by the neutrality of technology, we can mean simply that the underlying scientific principles or technics can be re-appropriated to new ends, applied in a way that reflect our own values. This means the creation of new forms of technology, not simply the discarding of technology as such.

The primitivist rejection of technology in general is just ridiculous, they will tell you point blank that no technology can ever be used for liberatory purposes whatsoever while they set up websites, make documentaries, podcasts etc. to spread their apocalyptic message.

While they might make good points sometimes they don't have a coherent critique of technology, they don't even recognize that hunter gatherers require for their very survival highly complex set of technics for the manufacture of weapons, clothes and shelter, harvesting of forest produce and the hunting of prey. I guess they assume humans were able to take down fucking Mastodons purely by virtue of their instincts.

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supernice wrote

The primitivist rejection of technology in general is just ridiculous, they will tell you point blank that no technology can ever be used for liberatory purposes whatsoever while they set up websites, make documentaries, podcasts etc. to spread their apocalyptic message.

While they might make good points sometimes they don't have a coherent critique of technology, they don't even recognize that hunter gatherers require for their very survival highly complex set of technics for the manufacture of weapons, clothes and shelter, harvesting of forest produce and the hunting of prey. I guess they assume humans were able to take down fucking Mastodons purely by virtue of their instincts.

This is what surprises me the most. I am not against anprims, they have a right to believe what they want, but I do not see their ideas to be fully thought out. I identify as green and postciv personally, and I admit that it was anprim thought that brought me to where I am now. Anprim was attractive, but even before I came to green and postciv, I could tell that it wasn't fully thought out. I never identified as anprim, because I just could never get past it's shortcomings. Postciv is far more realistic, and to be frank, positive.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Yeah i personally prefer to use the term green anarchist without other adjectives. There's a diverse tradition of ecologically minded anarchists and while there is a lot of great stuff i also don't want lock myself into some obscure sect with its historical baggage or muddled thinking.

I went through a primitivist phase myself, not that i ever identified as that, was just attracted to alot of the ideas--the critique of technology, of humanism, the idea of "biocentrism" and the idea that human beings are animals-- but clearly there are some severe limits to that kind of thinking, There's also alot of reactionary stuff in that scene, like the concern over 'overpopulation', anti-vaxxer shit, transphobia, the racist fetishism of indigenous peoples' etc. etc.

But i also see alot of problems with, for example, Bookchin's ideas, like the idea of managing nature rationality. Not to mention the extremes of Transhumanism, or the techno-utopian thinking still advocated by most ancoms.

I think as green anarchists we should critique anthropocentrism and the human domination of other animals and the biosphere, while also adopting a scientific epistemology, taking into account the lessons of evolutionary biology, anthropology and other disciplines. In terms of technology i think we should adopt a kind of minimalist program -- how to we produce more with less ? how can we live more free and fulfilling lives while consuming less energy and natural resources? how do we produce enough food for everyone to eat while also respecting wilderness ?

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supernice wrote (edited )

Indeed, green anarchist is simply what I say if ever asked. I find that postciv thinking is very helpful to me, in a sort of preparatory way, as unfortunately I do believe humanity has pushed the planet to the limits of what it can take and some sort of collapse is inevitable. I certainly hope I'm wrong, but my gut feeling is that I am not.

As for transhumanism, I find it to be not well thought out in similar ways to primitivism. It doesn't seem to be very realistic to me. I don't like to come off as invalidating anyones beliefs, to each their own, but for me personally I cannot see technology as any kind of saviour. It is a set of tools in the end, and used in a destructive fashion far more than not. I don't see that changing.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Transhumanism is just as apocalyptic and utopian as Primitivism. The idea of the singularity and quest for immortality are basically mystical and misguided, even dangerous in some case. Many transhumanists are some kind of anarcho-capitalist or authoritarian socialist, i have had transhumanists tell me that issues like pollution and climate change don't matter because eventually they will just invent some technology that will undo all these problems. Of course, they don't think that non-humans, or ecosystems have any value outside of human exploitation.

I would make an exception for those who may be fascinated by trans-humanism as a means of liberation from purely biological constraints. For example, many trans folks, likewise i know many people with disabilities, say people with acute autism, are able to communicate or develop other skills only thanks to computers and related technologies. But fascination is not dogmatic adherence. We can recognize that technology can be liberatory without worshiping technology as a messianic force.

Regardless of how you view tehnology in general, Medical Technology (perhaps liberated from a certain institutional or ) is something humans literally can't live without. The medical profession and the institutional context of medicine ( the history of racism, sexism, violence against the mentally ill etc.) should be critiqued or or some ways abolished, but medical science is something we must hold on to as a species and make available to everyone.

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supernice wrote

Of course, they don't think that non-humans, or ecosystems have any value outside of human exploitation.

This point is what makes it extremely dangerous. The complete disregard for anything but our own species is….I don’t even know how to phrase it…a kind of extremism? We matter and nothing else. I can’t fathom how this is acceptable. It shows a complete disdain for life. Your point about those for whom it would actually make life better is a far cry from those who want to fly around like Ironman just because they can. I agree with that entirely, as well as your take on medical tech.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

On the collapse thing, i just don't think that Ecological Crises will lead necessarily to the collapse of Capitalism and the State, let alone Civilization itself. Even if Billions of people die, and large areas of of inhabited land go underwater, the rulers of countries across the world are well prepared for this to happen: they have built massive bunkers in the mounters and military plans drawn up for every possible scenario.

The problem is many people view collapse as this sudden, apocalyptic event, rather than a very protracted process of ecological destruction. Technology -- digital networks, computers and cellphones etc. would not be destroyed by this process, but remain as means of continued coordination among surviving humans,. I think certain areas would become ungovernable but the idea that civilization would collapse is wishful thinking.

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supernice wrote

I am with you on this. Collapse is very gradual and is happening as we speak. I don’t believe it will lead to the end of Capitalism or the State, but I think it will reduce the size and sphere of influence of both. Particularly when it starts happening on a larger scale. State forces will choose to focus on controlling smaller, more desirable stretches of land instead of all of it. There will be many areas outside of their control. Perhaps because they can no longer maintain dominance over larger areas, or perhaps because they simply view them as undesirable. It doesn’t matter really. Large parts of the planet will become nearly uninhabitable.

Example: southwest Asia (Middle East). It is already experiencing desertification at a very extreme pace, war is rampant, and the water is becoming less and less accessible. This is why the Israelis hold the Golan Heights. It has nothing to do with “the promised land”. It’s because it provides 30% of Israels water supply. It is also why during the Israeli occupation of Lebanon they retreated to the Litani river and wouldn’t leave until Hezbollah kicked them out by force. The Litani is a huge resource for the area and feeds much of the area. Besides water shortages, the majority of southwest Asia has been polluted in the extreme by the munitions exploding all over the place for the last century (depleted uranium, chemical and biological agents, etc.), not to mention intentional ecological destruction such as Saddam Hussein attempting to dry out the marshes of southern Iraq, and currently the Turks stopping the flow of water to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. What I’m trying to say is that if the more stable countries are complaining about mass migration now, wait until they see what’s coming in the next 20-30 years! This kind of thing is going to cause the State to shrink and become even more authoritarian and borders will be closed. Every country is going to become Israel, shooting children at its borders indiscriminately.

The State and Capitalism will still be there, they will just control less of the planet and revert back to trying to keep out the “barbarians”. Apologies for the wall of text, try as I might, I’m too long winded for my own good!

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

^^ Some good analysis there, no need to apologize

yeah i think we're totally in agreement, so i think the weakness of primitivism (and maybe some post-civ thought) is the idea civilization will just collapse on it's own. It's like how certain Marxists used to think Capitalism would just collapse under the weight of it's internal contradictions, so you don't need to actively work towards overthrowing capital and building what will replace it. It is basically like christian fundamentalists who don't care about social injustice because the rapture gonna come and fix everything anyway.

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

writing? it's maybe not 100% neutral if you go back to the invention of it when people used it to mostly keep track of debts, but now people from everywhere on the political spectrum use writing to share information.

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Dumai wrote

how is information exchange apolitical?

if you don't think mass public culture has had a huge impact on human political landscapes then i don't know what to say about that

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

You're make a leap here from the general ( information exchange ) to the particular (the mass media in modern society ).

Clearly information exchange can take many forms--it can take place through a variety of media--(speeches, letters, telegraph, radio, tweets etc.) Within a variety of social structures.

Historically the creation of new forms of media have let to social upheavals because oppressed groups could then coordinate their rebellion.

So i think we can say information exchange is nuetral in that it can be appropriated either for oppressive or liberatory aims. Though i would agree that we are confronted with a particular form of mass media that is oppressive, and so struggling against our rulers often takes the form of struggling against their means of control: the technology they have at their disposal.

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Dumai wrote

the reason i jumped to mass culture is because TheLegendaryBirdMonster was talking about writing — and i don’t think i’d be exaggerating if i said 99.9% of what you and i read comes from there. and i do consider mass public culture political, namely because the nation-state couldn’t exist without it

if you’re asking the question “is this technology politicised?”, don’t just think “does it aid me or my enemies?”. think “how does this shape, organise, or impact state and society?”

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote (edited )

I think it's important to make certain methodological distinctions.

When you talk about whether technology is neutral, and if it's politicized there's a difference between a specific historical form of technology -- the actually existing technology, and that technology as such; in the abstract, and all the potentiality that it represents.

Does the mass media grow necessarily out of writing as such, or the mass media an extension of a particular power structure: just one possible implementation of that technology? Yes, writing is utilized towards the ends of domination, but it's not the cause of domination. You have to look outside any given technology to determine who is using it for whatever end.

So like i said above, technology is in some ways neutral in other ways not. Writing has historically been a tool of rulership and management, of manipulation and social control. It has also been a mediium of expressing love and desire, pursuing freedom, and coordinating revolt.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

i'm not here arguing that writing is inherently oppressive or anything, i'm not zerzan lol

but here:

So like i said above, technology is in some ways neutral in other ways not. Writing has historically been a tool of rulership and management, of manipulation and social control. It has also been a mediium of expressing love and desire, pursuing freedom, and coordinating revolt.

none of what you just said sounds very neutral to me:

if you’re asking the question “is this technology politicised?”, don’t just think “does it aid me or my enemies?”. think “how does this shape, organise, or impact state and society?”

whatever purposes you use writing for, its omnipresence in highly literate societies has radically transformed modern social existence; i feel like this is the most obvious thing i could say about it. to call that "neutral" assumes this state is a default, which it isn't. just because writing can be used by different people with different motives doesn't mean it's neutral, and i don't consider that a bad thing

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

it seems then that we're just quibbling over a word, i've tried to be clear that nuetral can mean a number of different things, in that in some ways technology can be described as nuetral in some ways not.

whatever purposes you use writing for, its omnipresence in highly literate societies has radically transformed modern social existence.

Absolutely, and you could say the same about agriculture, or the internet or whatever. I'm not saying technology does not have material consequences, or that it's the default state of human existence. Only that it can be appropriated for various ends, including liberatory ones.

Since we're agreed upon all these things, the only debate is whether or not nuetral is an appropriate word. What word we use doesn't matter, the point is that technology is fundamentally ambivalent , and intrinsically neither oppressive or liberatory.

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Dumai wrote

Since we're agreed upon all these things

i never agreed to your statement about "technology"; not all technologies are created equal

What word we use doesn't matter, the point is that technology is fundamentally ambivalent , and intrinsically neither oppressive or liberatory

what is "technology" here? some technologies are convivial, flexible, may be more accurately described as tools rather than technology. others constitute divisions of labour, hierarchical power relations, or otherwise coordinate human action. making a blanket statement about "technology" in the abstract and describing it as essentially adaptable is not a good approach. i really don't see anything "ambivalent" about any technology

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

what is "technology" here? some technologies are convivial, flexible, may be more accurately described as tools rather than technology. others constitute divisions of labour, hierarchical power relations, or otherwise coordinate human action.

Sure, i think i have said this much in my previous comments. I don't know where i argued that "all technologies are created equal" i don't even know what that could possibly mean, clearly there are different forms of technology, which differ radically in both social and physical characteristics.

When we're talking about a technology, we're not just talking about machines, separate physical objects, but also the social relationships in which they are used, produced in etc. So usually ( and this is probably a bad habit i've kept from the primmies ) when i talk about Technology in the singular, i often mean that matrix of social relations as well as the industrial system. But in that context i mean technology in the abstract : the ability of humans to construct such socio-mechanical systems to serve whatever purpose. That is the sense i mean that technology is ambivalent , that potentially Technology as such -- the ability to manipulate natural forces and coodinate social action, in the abstract -- is neither good nor bad, it is neither oppressive nor liberatory, it is potentially both or neither.

I think this is a pretty basic point, i don't know how much more clear i can make it, you have yet to make any argument to disprove this, you have just repeatedly said that you don't agree with it.

Your distinction between 'tool' and 'technology' is useful, but any technology is made up of simple machines and can be reduced to knowledge of natural 'laws'(sic) , that's really just a a distinction between micro and macro. Even simple tools don't exist outside of this social systems, like a hammer or spear only have meaning within relations of production / socially coordinated action.

making a blanket statement about "technology" in the abstract and describing it as essentially adaptable is not a good approach.

I agree, I'm not giving any general law that applies to all technologies everywhere, nor am i saying all actually existing technologies are essentially adaptable. This is why i have repeatedly have stressed the difference between the particular historical form of a technology and it's abstract potential . For example, the knowledge of physics, mechanics, electrical circuits etc. that make up an automobile can be applied in a number of different ways, that don't necessarily lead to autonomous vehicles, or even the use of fossil fuels.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

I agree, I'm not giving any general law that applies to all technologies everywhere, nor am i saying all actually existing technologies are essentially adaptable.

in that case “technology is fundamentally ambivalent” is an incredibly contentious and misleading way of phrasing something very trivial

imagine if i said “religion is fundamentally politically neutral and ambivalent” and justified this by pointing to how religion has been, and continues to be, a plurality of traditions within traditions and has been “put to use” in many different ways. don’t think anyone here would agree with that lol

although on the point that technology’s potentiality to organise social action is neither good nor bad — disagreed. i actually think that’s a big part of what makes a critique of civilization necessary. i also i think i made that pretty clear in the passage you quoted (and then agreed to?)

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Again, you're not actually putting forth a counter argument,

So if technology is not ambivalent it is either absolutely good or absolutely bad (i played a little trick by replacing good with liberatory, bad with oppressive, but whatever is good or bad to you) I know you don't think technology is essentailly good, so i must conclude you think technology -- in every sense, whether potential or actual, is totally bad and unsalvageable.

Instead of nit picking every word i use, i'd like to see you write a coherent argument in defense of that position, bonus points if you don't paraphrase Zerzen.

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Dumai wrote (edited )

So if technology is not ambivalent it is either absolutely good or absolutely bad (i played a little trick by replacing good with liberatory, bad with oppressive, but whatever is good or bad to you) I know you don't think technology is essentailly good, so i must conclude you think technology -- in every sense, whether potential or actual, is totally bad and unsalvageable.

none of this is true -- aside from anything else you have more options than "good", "bad", or "neutral". following your logic i'd be forced to say most things in the world are politically neutral, which is obviously not true

the language you use does kind of matter and i think calling technology "ambivalent" would suggest that is essentially adaptable and has only a very plain or socially passive utility. if you don't think that's true then you shouldn't really use that kind of descriptor. if you want to do that anyway, make peace with the fact that a lot of people on the left are going to respond the same way i did

you're not actually putting forth a counter argument

like what am i supposed to argue against here? that technology "in the abstract" can't be used for different purposes? and that some of these things might be desirable?

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Maybe instead of arguing with people, just for the sake of arguing, without actually contributing anything positive at all, you should engage with conversations that a benifitial for both parties involved, just a suggestion there.

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Dumai wrote

well the reason i'm arguing now is because i think your logic could be used to describe almost any social institution, framework, or system as "politically neutral" or "ambivalent", and i think it's valuable to maintain a more robust political discourse

if you want to spend your whole life explaining to people how you're using terminology like this (against their popular connotations), fine, but i guess now you can't say nobody didn't warn you how tedious it is to be this vague

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote (edited )

i don't need your advice on how to live my life, thank you.

You and everyone else here knows what I mean, you'd even indicated that the point is trivial or would be rediculous to argue against. If you think different language should be used, sure, and i have said, the exact langauge doesn't matter ( pro tip: LANGUAGE IS INCAPABLE OF ACCURATELY DESCRIBING REALITY )

What you could do is perhaps 1 explain why such langauge like nuetral or ambivalent is inadaquate 2 proppose an alternative vocabulary or way of conceptualizing what i mean or 3 note that the language is imprecise but move on with the conversation.

Redacted -- but if you want to go through life making pretentious ass quibbles and then trying to guilt trip and gaslight people who get annoyed with you be my guest.

Edit: They weren't gaslighting me, things got a little heated, my bad

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

you know there's so many straight up logical fallacies and sophism's you've employed here that i've ignored just to be polite but ---

you're really going to tell me that using the words nuetral or ambivalent to mean "neither good or bad" or "both good and bad" are against their popular connotations ?!?!?

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Dumai wrote (edited )

if you don't think technology is completely apolitical, with no effect or socio-political impact for the most part, then "neutral" is absolutely the wrong word to use in a discussion about social politics

if you don't think it only contributes to interests that are totally universal then "impartial" is also the wrong word to use

if somebody were to say that the state is an impartial/neutral institution because it could conceivably be used to enforce, say, social welfare polices that materially contribute to the economic security of the poor, would you agree with that? would you moderate your critique of the bourgeois interests at play in the modern state? including those in welfare? i feel like for an anarchist that would be impossible

just because you can, in the abstract, say that something has both good and bad effects doesn’t make it a politically neutral actor. namely because that doesn’t make it impartial. at best it gives it a kind of political plurality. i think most people understand that

aside from anything else, you said something had to be neutral if it is neither completely good nor completely bad, which is so blatantly fucking wrong i forgot to mention it because it just seems so obvious

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote (edited )

I really shouldn't respond to you, but here you go.


f you don't think technology is completely equitable and apolitical with no effect or social impact for the most part, then "neutral" is absolutely the wrong word to use in a discussion about social politics

i actually believe in making qualified statements that take into account the complexity of language, giving credit for where others are correct, and clarifying in which ways a certain statement may be both true and not true. You seem to be very annoyed people are not using your preferred, narrow definition of these terms.

Words have different meanings in different contexts and i already took into account the ways in which technology is definitely not nuetral -- like i don't believe that cellphones, automobiles and TV are "politically nuetral" at all -- but here you are arguing what i've said in the beginning as if i don't' know this. I get the impression you want me to adopt your simplistic, absolutist approach to using langauge, which i absolutely won't do.

if somebody were to say that the state is a impartial institution because it could conceivably be used to enforce, say, social welfare polices that materially contribute to the economic security of the poor, would you agree with that? would you moderate your critique of the bourgeois interests at play in the modern state? including those in welfare? i feel like for an anarchist that would be impossible

On the point you're making about the state or religion: this doesn't contradict what i've been saying. For one: When we talk about technology as such, in the abstract, that is something ontologically prior to either Religion or the State. We can even talk about states and religions in terms of the various technologies, apparatti, technics, etc. that compose them.

You are putting Technology ( as i've repeatedly defined, let's say the ability of human beings to harness natural forces or coordinate action towards particular social ends ) on par with particular institutions that emerge out of certain points in history ( I'm assuming by religion we mean institutional religion not just any set of spiritual beliefs or practices ) These are not equivalent categories. Perhaps the equivalent to Technology as defined (remember?) would be social organization in general, in this sense, then yes, you could say that social organization is neutral, or ambivalent, or not inherently evil, or not essentially undesirable or whatever terminology you prefer... in other words, call it whatever the fuck you want, it doesn't matter.

And... (here we are again) there's a difference between The State as a historical institution, and social organization in general: or the ability of humans to make collective decisions, establish norms and rules etc. So the parallel you're using doesn't hold.

( .. here i am going to make making a bit of a reach since obviously the analysis of something like like information exchange is very different from the modern bourgeous state, but apparently i have to answer the charge that my description of the ability of human beings to make shit necessarily leads to the liberal defense of the state, somehow... )

The State, like any actually existing technology, is a historical form designed with a particular purpose, in the interests of a particular class, etc. It, of course changes hands between ruling cliques and evolves over time, There are the particular characteristics of all States (as opposed to other institutions) or Regimes ( as opposed to other states) But The State is consistently a means of domination. In a liberal democratic state, things like welfare programs and labor regulations are actually strategies of maintaining domination by other means. While, one would be correct to point out the ambivalence (1) of the state in that it may intervene against particular capitaists in defense of certain workers, even this follows a similar line to the technology argument, While guns, automobiles etc. can be appropriated to achieve short term ends, they are still reflections of the social and historical context in which they were made. To achieve anarchy, technology as it exists, just like the dominant social systems -- Capital and The State -- would have to be liquidated and transformed from the bottom up.

1 ambivalence does not mean impartiality at all -- they denote fundamentally different attitudes -- something can be both ambivalent while also being heavily biased towards one side, this is part of the reason i chose that term. Neutral also does not mean 'impartial' , nuetral is often used in popular culture to denote an amoral character.

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Dumai wrote

i don’t see how any of this affects the basic argument that something isn’t necessarily neutral if it is neither wholly good nor wholly bad. even if you think technology in the abstract has some special transhistorical character, that doesn’t force it into any one of those boxes.

to the degree that ambivalence implies a lack of decidability when technology has very concrete, direct socio-political effects, i still don’t agree that “ambivalent” is a good word to use here. i appreciate that you’re abstracting away most of what tech is and does but anyway, given that you’ve already accused me of gaslighting i don’t want to stick around to find out what other rhetorical moves you have up your sleeve.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

Okay, so got it got a little heated there there, but i guess we're good. For the record Dumai did not gaslight me, sorry, so anyway...


Let me just state where i'm coming from.

I'll concede to you that maybe these terms: neutrality, ambivalence, whatever, are not the right words to use, but I'm only setting them up, within an analytical framework to prove a point. I got a bit frustrated because you seem to be focusing on these words in a vaccuum rather than addressing the argument that i've laid out. Alot of these words we're using, like "technology" or "religion" have a number of very different definitions that only have concrete meaning in particular context. But i'll try to restate my argument without using the terms "nuetral" or "ambivalence."

It might be the argument i'm making is totally wrong and we can express what i'm getting at in a more clear and succinct way. There are many ways to express the same thing. But this is what i got.


I agree with you that technology as exists, within any given society, within the historical structures in which they are emerge, is not neutral and we can talk about all the various technological forms and their function within systems of oppression, exploitation, and ecocide.. That is where concrete analysis of specific technologies comes in. For the purposes of the argument i'm making, i'm not concerned with that.

My intent is to prove that technology has the potential to be used for liberatory ends. It's clear to me that the only way to resist--the state, capitalism, etc.-- is to utilize or re-appropriate certain technologies, technics, sciences, in order to aid in resistance struggles, and to construct new sciences and technics to help build and anarchic world. Some existing technologies and technics can be re-appropriated for the short term ends of organizing resistance--transportation, communication, eduaction etc. Other technologies--means of surveilance, punishment, coercion and general mass manipulation--cannot be utilized in any way and must be destroyed. In the long term, the technological system and science in general must be liquidated and reconstructed along non-heirarchal, ecological lines.

This re-appropriation and reconstruction is only possible because technology in the abstract has no intrinsic value, it is a pure means. The value or function of any given technology has no meaning outside of the social context in which it is used.

By technology in the abstract, i mean simply the ability of humans (and other species to a lesser extent) to gain a working understanding of natural phenomena, and manipulate these forces to suit their ends. It might be that modern science and the existing forms of technology are inseparable from the logic domination. But it is possible, i believe, to construct a new science and new technologies that reflect anarchic ends.

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

The question of whether the term nuetral is appropriate or some other word to be used is an incredibly boring argument imo, and this isn't terminology i've invented. The nuetrality of technology is something that's basically dogma amongst technologists and philosophers of science, I have consistantly argued that this is only true in one sense.

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Dumai wrote

sorry, i don’t know where the word “impartial” came from. it’s 2am, i’m running on less than 4 hours of sleep and i’ve just been accused of gaslighting by somebody who then turned around and said gaslighting “doesn’t have to be abusive” so it’s safe to say i’m not in the soundest of minds right now lol

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

okay, maybe you didn't gaslight me, maybe you were sealioning, idfk, if i caused you some dismay over that i apologize.... in any case, i felt quite annoyed about having to repeatedly re-explain a non-point when we could talk about something more interesting and important.

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Dumai wrote

well seeing as you were the one who started this entire thread of conservation about what the word neutral “means exactly” in regards to tech i don’t see how i’m sealioning either

if you didn’t want to get involved in a semantic dispute you shouldn’t have started one

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Dumai wrote

What you could do is perhaps 1 explain why such langauge like nuetral or ambivalent is inadaquate

i feel like i've been doing this the entire time?

2 proppose an alternative vocabulary or way of conceptualizing what i mean

all you really have to do is say that it's not an essential evil. that's not all that hard is it?

guilt trip and gaslight people who get annoyed with you be my guest?

gaslight???? do you know what gaslighting is or are you really accusing me of emotional abuse for disagreeing with your terminology??????

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

ah, again you're going to play the definitions games -- one sense that many people use the word gaslight is when you do something, and then claim that you didn't do that, in fact it is all in that person's head. It doesn't necessarily have to be abusive it can just be obnoxious, disingenuous behavior.

and yeah you're really arguing in bad faith, i don't even know what the fuck you're point is and i don't care at this point. fuck you

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Dumai wrote

one sense that many people use the word gaslight is when you do something, and then claim that you didn't do that, in fact it is all in that person's head.

well... i haven't done that?

and yes i would say "gaslighting" as a form of psychological manipulation is inherently abusive. i don't see that kind of thing as a minor semantic quibble

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

like what am i supposed to argue against here? that technology "in the abstract" can't be used for different purposes? and that some of these things might be desirable?

Right exactly, then what the fuck is your point?

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Dumai wrote

my point is the language you're using is not productive, obfuscates the point that there's nothing more political than technology, and unless you want to have conversations like this for the rest of your time in the left you probably should knock it off

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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

oh, are you a leftist? you know, 'the left' isn't really a useful or coherent concept. . . also the term 'productive' obfuscates the goals of 'conversation' and implies a bourgeois conception of reality . . .

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

not apolitical, neutral, as it helps both sides

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Dumai wrote

what are these two sides? why are there only two? why is something neutral if it can be put to use by more than one "side"? what about political currents that don't think modern mass culture is desirable (i mean we're in a conversation about primitivism here)?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

both sides of every opinion ever can be written down and spread

well primitivist can spread their propaganda via written words? If they don't want to use a tech does it mean the tech is not neutral?

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ziq wrote (edited )

The bamboo grape trellis I just made.

Without the trellis, the vine would sprawl until it eventually found a tree to climb - years later. Now it can just focus on making grapes.

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Dumai wrote

and are agricultural tools apolitical?

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ziq wrote (edited )

No because they destroy nomadic lifestyles and force people to see land as something that is settled and owned.

But we've degraded the land so much now that we can no longer survive by foraging alone.

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jorgesumle wrote

There are no humans in Chernobyl, so maybe the land can recover there... after many years.

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ziq wrote (edited )

Not from desertification / being swallowed by the ocean - which is what climate change is doing to the global South. Desert and ocean is all that'll be left when we're done with this place.