The toolbox is a means to reveal what is under the surface and to connect seemingly separate components.
The multitude of societal challenges and phenomena are always negotiated and addressed separately. This conceals deep-seated social mechanisms that unfold independently of the topic and thus determine our coexistence to the greatest possible extent. The toolbox for dismantling technology and society provides tools for uncovering what is hidden and connecting what appears separate. Complex issues are thus simplified and made more comprehensible. Anyone can use these tools to dismantle his or her working environment and private life as well as their interactions with technology and society. Have the courage to use your own mind and these tools!
Moreover, inequalities among people as a result of nature are not nearly as great as they become through education.
Johann Gottfried Herder
Human rights declarations stipulate the same fundamental message with slight variations: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." (UN Human Rights Charter). Despite this, there is great inequality between people. These inequalities arise from gender, class, ethnicity, income, wealth, age, religion, parental home, level of education, sexuality, reputation, health as well as many other factors and they come along with either strong advantages or disadvantages. We are all born equal (though the circumstances of birth can be very different), but because of socialization people are made unequal: To what extent do we want to support this inequality as a society?
Technology doesn't have to be evil to drive a vicious cycle.
The problems of present-day technology are solved with new technology, which in turn result in newer problems, which will eventually require even newer technology to solve the problems of the latest technology. However, this is only possible if the latest problems are tackled and solved, which will eventually require a much more advanced technology...
Buy, buy, buy - for a brief moment you feel alive! Yes, you definitely feel better! Now you are someone! Wait! Not so fast! The next moment you are no one again.
The act of buying feels so good because it is a social interaction in which people exchange two things that are seemingly equal. I give you something, so that you can give me something back that I desire of the same value. However, mere seconds later, I feel like I got the worse end of the deal and we seem to be unequal. I can hardly look forward to my house, my car and my boat because I like your house, your car and your boat much better.
It certainly does not hurt to go after a wildfire with one single fire extinguisher, but it won’t do much good either.
If you play with fire, you may end up getting burned. With a little luck and a small fire extinguisher, you can get a little fire (that you might be responsible for) under control. However, as soon as the flames start jumping from one to another, we end up with a societal inferno that heats the entire planet. Once the time has come, only the common, societal effort to extinguish the fire will make a difference.
Technology, individuals, nature, society and democracy (TINS-D) repeatedly form powerful reciprocal relations that create something new and allow old ideals to fade away. These constellations must be both analyzed and democratized.
The constellation of technology, individuals, nature, society and democracy (TINS-D) consists of five interconnected coordinates. Democracy is placed in the middle in order to determine the democratic content of any decision as well as the decision-making processes with regard to TINS. At the same time, this allows for the clarification of a normative standpoint which aims to democratize the reciprocal relations of TINS. The TINS-D constellation allows for the analysis of both individual coordinates and their interrelationships.
All humans are seen as equal before the law, but their respective needs and requirements carry varying weights in terms of shaping technology and society.
Generally, only a few requirements are explicitly considered when developing a product, and these usually originate from people who use, engineer, or profit from the resulting product. However, it is important when designing any technology to consider all people who may be affected by its use, production, etc., regardless of whether they have different or conflicting requirements, such as the conservation of nature or humane working conditions.
If persons expose themselves to a danger, they assume a risk, meaning that there is a certain probability that they will suffer damage as a result of the danger.
First and foremost is the question of what dangers, i.e. what intended and unintended damage, we as individuals and society want to expose ourselves to. Only secondly should we consider what risks we are prepared to take on, that is, how likely we are to be exposed to a particular danger. This decision should at least involve all persons who are (or could be) exposed to the danger.
Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution, have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea what to expect?
We constantly extract material from the Earth which has been around for millions of years. We then process it so that we can enjoy it for 5 minutes, 5 days or 5 years. Next we throw it on a big pile, and in a hundred million years, the then dominant intelligent occupants of planet Earth wonder how all the plastic dinosaurs came to Earth and why they died out so suddenly.
Like a rabbit from a cylinder, electricity comes from the wall, water from the tap, schnitzel from the supermarket and and and ... with a snap it is gone again and disposed of in the best way.
We live in a land of milk and honey where not only fried chicken flies into our open mouths, but literally everything is always available, close to hand as well as available on order and command - provided you can pay for it.. Where all this comes from and where it disappears after use is well concealed, because the social and ecological catastrophes that accompany this complex (value) creation system show that our land of milk and honey is not a paradise on Earth, rather we have made Earth a living hell.
All things are poison, and nothing is without poison; only the dose ensures that a thing is not poisonous.
One thing is for sure: anything can be harmful. Yet it remains uncertain what exactly the damage is, how much or how little it takes to cause it and whether there exists a causal connection or just a coincidental correlation. Therefore a threshold limit value is not a fixed value, but rather a slimy guck that politically brings together what falls asunder: scientific knowledge, economic interests, social welfare, individual health, the integrity of nature, etc.
The language we use develops habits that affect the way we see, hear and think, subsequently shaping ourselves and our society. Once in a while, we have to break these habits to be able to see, hear and think in a new way.
Yes, it takes effort to change linguistic habits. But why maintain a way of speaking that repeats and strengthens prejudices? In principle, everyone is allowed to say what they want; after all, we have freedom of speech. Freedom, however, ends where it restricts the freedom of others. Therefore, the question of whether we should or should not say everything that crosses our minds arises. Not because someone forbids us from doing so, but because we want to create a society in which all are treated equally regardless of sex, skin colour, origin or religion. - Anna Schiff
By the beard of prophets, the patriarchy also has a beard.
If old (white) men have the most say and essentially determine what happens, then customs, values, and societal norms are based on the ideas and preferences of these old (white) men. Nowadays, you would think that patriarchy gets shaved but no, it still lingers around just like the tasteless and corny old boys' club jokes.
With the ladder of the Higher-Faster-Stronger, you can't go to heaven nor anywhere else, because it's only goal is to go higher, faster, and further.
An endless ladder extends infinitely into the abyss, which means that at some point the two ends meet and form a huge hamster wheel. Those constantly striving to go higher, faster and further will never reach their goal.
The constraints of the Master become practical constraints and the external constraints turn into self-constraints. Technology not only conceals domination but also establishes and legitimizes domination.
The "decisive machine of the modern industrial age" is the clock (Lewis Mumford). It makes everything measurable and man begins to measure everything with it. Once man gets used to having a fixed time, he hardly will be able to resist it, and thus it is easy to connect him to a steam engine which gradually but constantly accelerates. Consequently, the factual constraint of technology is increasingly internalized until people restrain themselves willingly and surrender to it. At this point, nobody wonders whether the self-restraint is due to technology or who is the Master of the unspoken societal restraints. Perhaps it is all too simple: Time Is Money.
If you hit the table with your fist, don't be surprised about a broken table, a broken hand, and broken relationships.
When something new is forcefully implemented, there is usually no stone left standing on the other, and even things that do not fit together are forced to fit. Overall, this results in massive irreversible changes to the existing societal and ecological infrastructure. This "disruptive" but usually blunt and aggressive approach is more than just tolerated; it is considered prestigious.
The whole history takes part in the production so that the complete list of contributors is at least as long as the credits of 100 Hollywood movies.
Hey you, you think you're the sole creator of a cat video, your own college degree, the left rear indicator on the new Porsche or the money you've earned? Not so fast! The foundations of creation and work extend into the past - as far back as the birth of one's mother and much further - and continue to manifest consequences for the future.
A little bling-bling to make my own suffering more bearable has always ended up hurting everyone.
Almost all the "modern" technologies we are having today are cost-relocation robbery techniques. They are the means by which we appropriate private benefits such as profit, income, convenience, pleasure, fun, etc., resulting in non-quantifiable costs such as pollutant emissions, noise, land erosion, climate impacts, etc., to the detriment of others. The relocation of costs often affects people and living beings located in countries geographically removed from our own, and has large scale temporal effects reaching far into the future thus affecting future generations. The scene and time of the crime compared to the scene and time of the suffering as a negative ramification of the crime thus diverge from one another. - Otto Ullrich
When your only tool is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail.
Problems are often turned into technological problems, to the point that all problems are technological for which a technological solution will be found soon enough.
The neutrality of science haunts heads, laboratories, societies and history. Over and over and time and time again.
Whoever conducts research usually wants to present sound, structured and reliable knowledge that can be understood intersubjectively and on a long-term basis, so it is desirable to leave out as many social factors as possible. However, they always seem to come in through the back door. Science thus justifies one's own values in terms of being human, race, religion, gender, socialisation, economy, etc., and above all one's own habits such as mobility, consumption of the natural world, order, etc.
Any attempt to break the compulsion of nature by breaking nature only succumbs more deeply to that compulsion. That has been the trajectory of European civilization.
Nature has all sorts of forces and dangers in store for mankind. This begins with the human body, which always requires sufficient fluids and food, whilst it needs protection against cold, disease and (natural) disasters. This is how our societal relationships with nature develop, which are increasingly seeking to control and manipulate nature so that it can be dominated by man. And so it happens that the more we try to free ourselves from nature through technology, the more dependent we become on it.
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
Sydney J. Harris
As human beings we find ourselves repeatedly in situations in which we know better, but act against this better knowledge. In other words, everyone knows what is going on, but continues to participate. This cognitive dissonance is not easily resolved, however it is a good start when individuals not only participate, but also seek out alternative paths.
Allein machen sie dich ein. [Alone, they will put you in.]
Ton Steine Scherben
Opportunities for individuals to take action are often very limited, but it is always possible for people to combine forces in order to tackle bigger issues. It is then no longer a motivation of individual interest, but instead, collective and common good can emerge. In twos, threes, hundreds or thousands it is not only more fun, but also demonstrates mutual support and motivation in order to overcome obstacles.
The yardstick of democracy measures the capacity of whether all people can participate equally and freely in taking decisions.
The very individuality of each person means that not all people can be equal and free at the same level. Nevertheless, democracy sets itself this goal and thus ensures on a material and social level that all people can participate equally in decision-making processes. With this yardstick democracy is able to measure and must let itself be measured again and again.
Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.
It is no longer just a single man - King Midas - whose greed turns everything he touches into gold. Instead, our societal relationship with nature, and with it the relationship of almost all individuals to nature, has long since been constructed in such a way that even the furthest reaches of nature bear a price tag if they are not completely destroyed.