Jens Oliver Meiert

Loving Technology

Post from May 8, 2015 (↻ December 4, 2017), filed under .

[Science] has served well enough in its own fashion, enabling you to travel to the moon, for example, and to advance in a technology that for a time you set your hearts upon. In the framework of objective science as it now exists, however, even the technology will come up against a stone wall. Even as a means, objective science is only helpful for a while, because it will constantly run up against deeper inner realities that are necessarily shunted aside and ignored simply because of its method and attitude. No objective science or splendid technology alone will keep even one man or woman alive, for example, if that individual has decided to leave the flesh, or finds no joy in daily life.

A loving technology [would] add to the qualitative and spiritual deepening of experience.

—Jane Roberts: The “Unknown” Reality.

I love the idea of caring, of loving technology. I believe we need technology that is loving. I think we have ample possibilities to envision and build technology that is loving.

Here I’ll be brief and merely bring up the concept. It’s not new (and I wouldn’t be surprised, rather thrilled, if Kevin Kelly covered the idea in his writings about the Technium, and also Ray Kurzweil in his work about the Singularity, for I’m still only in the middle of reading these seminal pieces), however it doesn’t appear to be overly common.

Spontaneously, then, I see the following in technology to be loving:

We notice how loving technology would not—doesn’t have to—match the equivalent of a loving human. On the one hand, we’d find some things like fault tolerance that we already strive for in user-centered design. On the other hand, we’d include issues that are hard even for humans to master, like ethics. But the point is, for now given all the brevity, we need and we want technology that is loving. For that is the best service technology can give to us. Let’s please remember.

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, photo of December 23, 2018.

Jens Oliver Meiert is a tech lead and author (sum.cumo, W3C, O’Reilly). He experiments with philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

There’s more Jens in the archives and at Goodreads. If you have any thoughts or questions (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

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Digital rights and the protection of animals and nature are important. I support the EFF, Mercy for Animals, and Greenpeace.