Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Technology

"To accept as a fact of life that a certain technology will be used for the simple reason that we know how to use it, or that we shall continue to live under a certain social system after it has become too complicated for human understanding, is tantamount to an abdication of intellectual and social responsibility." -

"Only science can hope to keep technology in some sort of moral order." - Edgar Z. Friedenberg

"There is a very general belief that, where gadgets are concerned, we can get something for nothing - can enjoy all the advantages of an elaborate, top-heavy and constantly advancing technology without having to pay for them by any compensating disadvantages." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"It is characteristic of our age to endeavour to replace virtues by technology. That is to say, wherever possible we strive to use methods of physical or social engineering to achieve goals which our ancestors thought attainable only by the training of character. Thus we try so far as possible to make contraception take the place of chastity, and anesthetics to take the place of fortitude; we replace resignation by insurance policies and munificence by the Welfare state. It would be idle romanticism to deny that such techniques and institutions are often less painful and more efficient methods of achieving the goods and preventing the evils which unaided virtue once sought to achieve and avoid. But it would be an equal and opposite folly to hope that the take-over of virtue by technology may one day be complete." - Anthony Kenny, fully Sir Anthony John Patrick Kenny

"Every person alive today derives much benefit from comforts and pleasures that in the past were not available. All of the latest inventions and findings of technology serve us to a remarkable degree. For all this we should be full of appreciation and gratitude." - Yosef Zev Leipowitz

"The machine that frees a man’s back of drudgery does not thereby make his spirit free. Technology has mad us more productive, but it does not necessarily enrich our lives. Engineers can build us great dams, but only great people make a valley great. There is no technology of goodness. Men must make themselves spiritually free." -

"Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner." -

"Despite the dazzling successes of modern technology and the unprecedented power of modern military systems, they suffer from a common and catastrophic fault. While providing us with a bountiful supply of food, with great industrial plants, with high-speed transportation, and with military weapons of unprecedented power, they threaten our very survival." - Barry Commoner

"Science and technology, like all original creations of the human spirit, are unpredictable. If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to know which road leads to damnation. Whoever concerns himself with big technology, either to push it forward or to stop it, is gambling with human lives." - Freeman John Dyson

"America’s technology has turned in upon itself; its corporate form makes it the servant of profits, not the servant of human needs." - Alice Embree

"Government... is neither business, nor technology, nor applied science. It is the art of making men live together in peace and with reasonable happiness." - Felix Frankfurter

"The central event of the twentieth century is the overthrow of matter. In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth in the form of physical resources is steadily declining in value and significance. The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things." - George F Gilder

"We are the standard-bearers in the only really authentic revolution, the democratic revolution against tyrannies. Our strength is not to be measured by our military capacity alone, by our industry, or by our technology. We will be remembered, not for the power of our weapons, but for the power of our compassion, our dedication to human welfare." - Hubert Humphrey, fully Hubert Horatio Humphrey

"In dealing with the environment we must learn now how to master nature but how to master ourselves, our institutions, and our technology." - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"Modern technology has lost its magic. No longer do people stand in awe, thrilled by the onward rush of science, the promise of a new day. Instead, the new is suspect. It arouses our hostility as much as it used to excite our fancy. With each breakthrough there are recurrent fears and suspicion. How will the advance further pollute our lives; modern technology is not merely what it first appears to be. Behind the whitecoats, the disarming jargon, the elaborate instrumentation, and a the core of what has often seemed an automatic process, one finds what Dorothy found in Oz: modern technology is human after all." - David Franklin Noble

"The art of our era is not art, but technology. Today Rembrandt is painting automobiles; Shakespeare is writing research reports." - Howard Sparks

"Technology by itself is never a primary cause of either greatness or decline." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"Uncontrolled technology can certainly bring down disaster, perhaps irreparable, as our race. The only protection against it is a growth in man’s spiritual and moral maturity proportionate to his growth in technical skill and power." - W. Norris Clarke

"The hope that technology will save us or will miraculously effect our moral improvement is a kind of modern idolatry." - Rudolf Diesel, fully Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel

"Technology has wiped out the frontiers that formerly separated men, countries and peoples. Man has become a citizen of the world. Thus, modern man finds himself in an environment without spiritual unity or religious homogeneity." - Albert Dondeyne

"Cultures can mix with one another. Explicit design is introduced to promote, improve, advance, and accelerate the evolutionary process of culture. A change brought about by a science and technology of behavior would correspond to a `biological mutation’ towards the better… Yet the final determining cause, whether genetic or cultural, is never an ethical or moral one, but always leads back to the environment. The world is a large-scale laboratory. Both the controller and the controlled are subject to conditioning. All life is conditioning." - L. Francis Edmunds

"I believe that, for the rest of the world, contemporary America is an almost symbolic concentration of all the best and the worst of our civilization. On the one hand, there are its profound commitment to enhancing civil liberty and to maintaining the strength of its democratic institutions, and the fantastic developments in science and technology which have contributed so much to our well-being; on the other, there is the blind worship of perpetual economic growth and consumption, regardless of their destructive impact on the environment, or how subject they are to the dictates of materialism and consumerism, or how they, through the omnipresence of television and advertising, promote uniformity, and banality instead of a respect for human uniqueness." - Václav Havel

"Any industrial technology that dramatically extends our capabilities also makes us uneasy by challenging our concept of humanity itself." - Janet H. Murray

"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand." - Putt's Law NULL

"The arms race is based on an optimistic view of technology and a pessimistic view of man. It assumes there is no limit to the ingenuity of science and no limit to the deviltry of human beings." - Isidor Feinstein Stone

"It is appallingly obvious that our technology exceeds our humanity." - Albert Einstein

"Many of our culture's most important achievements in the arts, science, and technology were made by people who had breakthrough insights in dreams, visions, intuitive flashbacks, and altered states of consciousness. And yet our society generally discounts such experiences, sometimes even treating them as grounds for a diagnosis of mental illness." - Richard Heinberg

"The most exciting breakthrough of the twenty-first century will occur not because of technology, but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human." - John Naisbitt

"Modern technology has led to the concentration of economic and political power, and to the development of a society controlled (ruthlessly in the totalitarian states, politely and inconspicuously in the democracies) by Big Business and Big Government." -

"Modern technology has led to the concentration of economic and political power, and to the development of a society controlled (ruthlessly in the totalitarian states, politely and inconspicuously in the democracies) by Big Business and Big Government." -

"Modern technology has led to the concentration of economic and political power, and to the development of a society controlled (ruthlessly in the totalitarian states, politely and inconspicuously in the democracies) by Big Business and Big Government." -

"Art changes all the time, but it never “improves.” It may go down, or up, but it never improves as technology, and medicine improves." - Alfred Kazin

"Art changes all the time, but it never "improves." It may go down, or up, but it never improves as technology and medicine improve." - Alfred Kazin

"Technology feeds on itself. Technology makes more technology possible." - Alvin Toffler

"Western Civilization stands not for technology, but the sacredness of the individual human personality." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke, formally Sir Arthur Charles Clark

"Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. Expelled from individual consciousness by the rush of change, history finds its revenge by stamping the collective unconscious with habits, values, expectations, dreams. The dialectic between past and future will continue to form our lives." - Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger

"One wonders whether a generation that demands satisfaction of all its needs and instant solutions of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men." - Eric Hoffer

"The instinct for justice, when equipped with all the resources of technology, is capable of laying waste to the earth itself." - Georges Bernanos

"The money, technology, and human energy now devoted to the military could perform miracles in cleaning up the earth we live on. But the cost of the arms race is not only the enormous waste of resources. There is a psychic cost - the creation of an atmosphere of fear all over the world." - Howard Zinn

"Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives… From an Industrial Society to an Information Society... From Forced Technology to High Tech/High Tech/High Touch... From a National Economy to a World Economy… From Short Term to Long Term… From Centralization to Decentralization… From Institutional Help to Self-Help… From Representative Democracy to Participatory Democracy… From Hierarchies to Networking… From North to South… From Either/Or to Multiple Option." -

"Technology made larger populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable." - Joseph Wood Krutch

"Watching television, you’d think we lived at bay, in total jeopardy, surrounded on all sides by human-seeking germs, shielded against infection and death only by a chemical technology that enables us to keep killing them off." - Lewis Thomas

"We need science, more and better science, not for its technology, not for leisure, not even for health and longevity, but for the hope of wisdom which our kind of culture must acquire for its survival." - Lewis Thomas

"The medium, or process, of our time - electric technology - is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and re-evaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted. Everything is changing - you, your family, your neighborhood, your education, your job, your government, your relation to “the others.” And they’re changing dramatically." -

"The human race has today the means for annihilating itself - either in a fit of complete lunacy, in a big war, by a brief fit of destruction, or by careless handling of atomic technology, through a slow process of poisoning and of deterioration in its genetic structure." - Max Born

"Time does not change us. It just unfolds us." - Max Frisch

"Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it." - Max Frisch

"A world technology means either a world government or world suicide." - Max Lerner, fully Maxwell "Max" Alan Lerner, aka Mikhail Lerner

"Every product of technology takes up space in the mind, and requires some investment of attention that could have been used for some other purpose." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, native form is Csíkszentmihályi Mihály