In a detailed interview, the writer Ben Tarnoff weighs the ethics of technology
Greg M. Epstein is the humanist chaplain at Harvard and MIT and the author of the New York Times bestselling book Good Without God. Greg has been described by the New York Times Magazine as the "Godfather of the (Humanist) Movement" in recognition of his efforts to build inclusive, inspiring, and ethical communities for non-religious and allies, and has been described as "one of the leading leaders of faith and morality" in the United States ”By Faithful Internet, a project by the United Church of Christ and the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.
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- Justin Kan Opens (Part 1)
Ben Tarnoff is a columnist at The Guardian, co-founder of the tech ethics magazine Logic and arguably one of the world's leading experts on the interface between tech and socialism.
However, I think that to get started with the following interview, you really need to know that reading Tarnoff and his wife Moira Weigel can come closest to young Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in real time.
In September, Tarnoff published a Guardian play entitled "To decarbonize, we have to decomputerize" in which he advocated modern Luddism. I've casually referred to myself as Luddite online for many years:
* Sigh * how did I tweet this thing less than 1300 times after 4 years? #firstworldproblemsforluddites
– Greg Epstein (@gregmepstein), May 17, 2013
But I wouldn't have thought about writing a lot about it online beforehand, because who in this orbit could possibly identify? It turns out that Tarnoff, a leading technology lawyer for Bernie Sanders, is doing this. What surprised me: could Luddism ever be the next trend in Silicon Valley culture?
Of course I then checked exactly who the Luddites really were and thought: "Aha." Perhaps I have finally found the topic and the interview that will really release me from my role as a theinformationsuperhighway ethicist. Talking to a contemporary tech socialist about the people who destroyed machines because they didn't think it was ethical, human, or for their well-being doesn't necessarily cry out for "theinformationsuperhighway", does it?
So I started my interview by not only praising his play on Luddism, but also some other related plays that he wrote, and asking (with only a half-hearted tongue) to confirm that it was at least a peaceful one Luddism is what he is calling for.
Tarnoff: Thank you for reading the pieces. I really appreciate that.