I want to continue to explore the thinking of W. Norris Clarke S.J.
First I want to look at some of the interesting comments in the 1969 paper.
That ref again. https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_new_technology_and_human_values.html?id=oRNmAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y
Furthermore, as technological development proceeds along its course among a people still endowed with a basic biological, social and moral vitality – as I believe our people still is – certain laws of equilibrium and self-correction seem to be constantly and unobtrusively at work. Thus, losses in one area are compensated for in another, or exaggeration in one direction generates its own counter-reaction in the other direction. Thus the very mobility which at present seems, at least temporarily, to be weakening our roots in the family and local community is at the same time strengthening our bonds with the rest of the world. The very increase in the perfection of communication at a distance, as in television, may eventually make it neither necessary nor desirable to move about so feverishly on a small scale as we do now. We may end up by visiting our friends and clients relaxedly on a two-way television circuit rather than by transporting ourselves physically to them along over-crowded highways or airways ….Comment
Clarke is a philosopher not an economist but it is not too big a step to agree with him on the basis of incentives and costs. As costs rise there are incentives to generate technologies in a different direction. So globalisation has increased the movement of people around the world has been the fertile soil for Facebook and Skype - which Clarke is suggesting might be the countervailing system.
What we know now is that technology does not just conform to economics but technology sculpts the macro economics of countries.
What of the threatened enslavement of man to machine. The danger is real. But I am convinced the that is is limited by the very inner logic of technology and laws of equilibrium of technology itself to certain transitory types of techniques and local or temporary abuses during periods of transition. The whole innate drive of technology is to substitute machines for man in all areas where monotonous, repetitive actions are the rule, and to leave man free for more intelligent, creative or supervisory work. The supposed threat of constantly increasing slavery to the machine, as some kind of inexorable drift inherent in the process of technology itself seems to me to be largely a myth., without solid historical, psychological or sociological foundation. The true dangers lie in the moral dispositions of those who use technology. The far greater peril is that men may become slaves to their fellow men rather than to the machines.Comment
With all the talk of looming technological unemplotyment what is missing from the debate is enslave of humans to other humans.