Part 2 of our interview with the writer / ethicist Ben Tarnoff
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.
Other contributions from this contributor
- "Depending on the situation, capitalism creates a lot of wealth"
- Justin Kan Opens (Part 2)
In part 1 of my conversation with Ben Tarnoff, co-founder of the leading tech ethics publication Logic, we discussed the history and philosophy of the 19th century Luddites and how this relates to what he referred to as The Guardian in his column for The Guardian described today's super-computerized world.
I casually referred to myself as Luddite for expressing general frustration with social media or internet culture, but it turns out that you can't intelligently discuss what most people see as an anti-technology movement without the role understand the technology in capitalism, and vice versa.
At the end of Part 1, I bothered Tarnoff to speculate which technologies should be preserved in a luddite world and which should go the way of the mills that destroyed the original Luddites. Tarnoff argued for a more nuanced approach to the issue and offered the Disability Rights Movement as an example of the approach he hopes will be followed by an emerging class of tech socialists.
theinformationsuperhighway: The Disabled Americans Act was a very powerful piece of legislation that basically forced us to use our technological power to create physical infrastructures, including elevators, buses, vans, and the everyday machines of our lives that enable people whoever else would not be able to visit places, do things, see things, experience things, do so. And you say one of the things we could look at is more technology for things like that, right?
Because I think a lot about how each of us walks around in this society with the uncertainty that "there, but for the grace of my health, I'm going". At any moment I could get hurt, I could get sick, I could get a disability that will limit my participation in society.
Ben Tarnoff: One of the sentences of the Disability Rights Movement is: "Nothing about us without us", which perfectly embodies a more democratic approach to technology. What they say is that if you are an architect, if you are a city planner, if you are a shopkeeper, whatever it is, you are making design decisions that have the potential to seriously negatively impact a significant portion of the population. Significantly (you could) limit their democratic rights. Your access to space.