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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.