A few minutes before I watched last night’s Four Corners story on Facebook, I was reading Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Bluff from 1990, which contains these four propositions:
- First, all technical progress has its price.
- Second, at each stage it raises more and greater problems than it solves.
- Third, its harmful effects are inseparable from its beneficial effects.
- Fourth, it has a great number of unforeseen effects.
They form a useful summary of the kinds of issues raised, for example, about Facebook in the Four Corners story. Also, it’s a good step on from Foucault’s maxim that ‘it’s not that everything is bad, it’s that everything is dangerous’.