The Three Types of Technology Articles

In modern man’s view of the world, technology has replaced theology as the queen of the sciences. As technology is the marriage of man’s creativity and hard work, the object of such modern adoration is simply man himself. However, notice that the downsides of technology are never mentioned or examined except rarely — third-world sob stories, leftist rants about the have-nots, or in Christian magazines. How technology maintains its position at the top of man’s ever-diminishing attention list is interesting. The technology press is part and parcel of a new priesthood, and it contributes by turning out three types of articles. The actual content of the articles are immaterial, for they are often banal copy/paste jobs, but the emotional reaction they generate keeps the worshipers bowing low and kissing the ring of man.

The Breathless Prediction

These articles are often found everywhere, from general science to pop culture to rumors sites and tech sites. They wax hyperly about the future, which is always just around the next corner. It will be great; it will be awesome; we will all have flying cars and neural implants. These stories have no past, a tenuous grip on the present, and see only roses in the future. In the future, there are never hungry people, or poor people, or unhappy people. The future fixes everything! Utopia is here! The goal is to motivate people to keep believing in technology. Keep worshiping man. Don’t give up despite how tech has let you down or not delivered before. It will deliver next time! In other words, even though we can’t see what’s ahead, Forward!

The Artifact

These articles are exclusive to technology sites. They feature someone trying to use yesterday’s tech today, which inevitably leaves them pining for the glorious goodness of current tech. Someone will try to drive a car from the 1970’s; someone will try to use a 10-year old computer; someone will try to make ice-cream manually. The writer’s viewpoint is always shallow and whiny; the past is always bad, and now is always better. The upshot: you should be thankful to technology for making your life good. The past sucked and here I am to remind you of that! Keep up or you will be left behind with all the dopes that use last month’s model.

The Hagiography

These types of articles can also appear anywhere, and serve to remind the faithful of the many gods in the technology pantheon. Worshipers are not expected to have actual shrines to these heroes, but they are expected to idolize them all the same. This work is soft-pedalled as a human-interest piece in more mainstream publications and is presented as “amazing tech guy” in other places. These works show up when the inventor/researcher/entrepreneur dies, when he has overcome a major challenge, or released a breakthrough product.

All of this is not to make the claim that technology is maleficent. It is not. However, it should not be worshiped, either. Technology is useful as are the rest of the arts and sciences, but uncritical attention paid to anything made by man is idolatry.

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