Anyone have any thoughts on this article? Ted Kaczynski has been saying basically the same thing for more than 20 years and yet no one listened. In Kaczynski's latest books "Technological Slavery" and "Anti-Tech Revolution," he explains why palliative solutions offered by Harari are totally useless.
It certainly seems to me that all of the articles published in the mainstream press that are supposedly "critical" of technology follow the same formula: They outline the horrific effects of technology on our society, then propose utterly naive and totally vague ways to "manage" or "control" the situation--and that's if they don't just say that we all need to "think" about how to "manage" or "control" the situation. Most of all, they always put forth the notion, either explicitly--but more often tacitly--that technological progress is "inevitable." Never is the concept of "inevitability" questioned. The effect of articles like this are to produce apathy and hopelessness in the reader.
I read that article (and I am constantly finding similar ones in the 'mainstream'), and I agree with your assessments that Dr. Kaczynski addresses the problems (often in theory, before they became visible problems) and he dismantled the predictable but inadequate solutions that would be offered by those attached to Tech.
Such writers often conclude, "We need to have an honest conversation" about what Tech is doing vs. what we want, or (like you mention) "We must think about how we manage/control technology", which are vaguely meaningless suggestions.
However, when you write that such pieces "produce apathy and hopelessness in the reader" I have to ask if this is your reaction? I suspect not, and it certainly isn't mine. I'm not expecting The Atlantic, et al, to publish a deeper critique that envelopes techno-industrial Civilization itself, but I find these pieces useful nonetheless.
Think of a boulder you couldnt budge, and then suppose it begins tumbling, perhaps not going precisely where you wanted to send it, but now with inertia you couldn't impose: Might you direct that inertia it has gained?
To this point, the article "Machine Politics" (Harper's Magazine, Jan 2019) was only okay for a few good points and quotable lines. The two readers' letters subsequently published ddressed the points that the author might mistake a feature for a bug, and that there is no solace in *contouring public opinion* against the far-Right or for the Left rather than leaving people un-manipulated on a mass scale.
None of this explicitly speaks to a base critique of Civilization or Tech, but in my eyes all of it points to this implicitly - and that's precisely where we come in, ain't it? The cracks are showing, and our efforts must deliver into them ever-wider wedges.