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Technology-driven World Already Reaping Consequences on Modern Life

When the automobile became commonplace, cities were redesigned allowing for all of the conveniences the automobile afforded. Today, we are paying the price for those decisions. It's impossible to go w

Technology-driven World Already Reaping Consequences on Modern Life

Originally aired on August 23, 2007.

Tom Fudge: When the possibility of atomic war was on the minds of Americans, we often wondered whether nuclear war was something we could stop. In a way, many people felt that nuclear technology had taken control of our lives. That's a curious thing to believe, since technology is our invention and is supposed to serve us.


But there are many examples of technologies that are potentially destructive but which we can't seem to reign in. One example is the automobile, with its threat of global warming. Some would say genetic engineering is another example. Technology seems to be driven by the marketplace. But should our political system decide what technology should be given the green light? And do we have a practical philosophy about technological development?


  • Andrew Feenberg, Canada research chair in Philosophy of Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He's also the editor of The Essential Marcuse , a book of selected writings by the philosopher and social critic Herbert Marcuse.