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The Book

I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success. Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
— Nicola Tesla
The dignity of humans consists in choice
— Max Frisch

Why do we basically have the same approach towards technology invention and application as our early ancestors had? Our species’ age-old approach to technological progress is to apply the tools we are capable of inventing – if we can gain an advantage.

Does that make sense considering that our abilities to assess, select, manage, and culturally integrate our technologies are lagging further and further behind? They are lagging behind those abilities with which we create yet more capable and more complex technologies. The widening gap between these two sets of abilities creates increasingly problematic effects and dynamics.

The book <Voluntary Enslavement> argues that in our current times of highly sped up technological development, keeping with our old approach towards technology creation and use will inevitably reduce diversity, undermine choice and freedom, and displace values and beliefs from human life.

The book examines the fueling of technological progression through some of our primal, instinct-like motivations, such as curiosity or our human herd mentality. It is described how fairly recent historical developments have “supercharged” these natural human behaviors. The systematic over-empowerment of these innate, deep-seated inclinations is becoming increasingly detrimental to our specie’s long-term health and survival. 

Basic features of an improved technology culture – i.e., one that sustains a diverse and free human experience – are discussed as well, as are some of the ways we can contribute to such a transition.


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(German version available fall 2019)