Technology and Human Responsibility

Issue #155                                                  March 16, 2004
                 A Publication of The Nature Institute
           Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (

                  On the Web:
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Can we take responsibility for technology, or must we sleepwalk
in submission to its inevitabilities?  NetFuture is a voice for
responsibility.  It depends on the generosity of those who support
its goals.  To make a contribution, click here.


Editor's Note

Do Physical Laws Make Things Happen? (Stephen L. Talbott)
   Habits of the Technological Mind #4


   Beyond ADHD Generalizations (Jon Johanning)
   I Am an Adult Taking Ritalin (Hanan Cohen)

About this newsletter


                              EDITOR'S NOTE

Check out The New Atlantis for my article, not previously published in
NetFuture, entitled "A More Child-like Science?"  It deals with the kind
of science that proposes to give us "better children" (for example,
through genetic engineering), and how this science might learn from the
children it would improve.  I focus on the difference between the psyche-
and value-laden world of the child and the fact-world of science, arguing
that the latter is a kind of borderline fiction.  You'll find the entire
issue of The New Atlantis at

Also, be sure to read the two letters to the editor below, taking issue
with my article on drugs and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
(I would that all letters to the editor were written so effectively.)
Stimulated by these letters, I hope to offer some rather more personal
reflections on the topic in the next issue of NetFuture.


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                   Habits of the Technological Mind #4

                            Stephen L. Talbott

Previous articles in this series:
Part 1, "Intelligence and Its Artifacts", in NF #148.
Part 2, "The Vanishing World-Machine", in NF #151.
Part 3, "The Limits of Predictability", in NF #153.

In "The Limits of Predictability" I tried to show the great distance
between understanding a certain lawfulness inherent in events and
predicting or explaining the events themselves.  Contrary to all current
thinking within science, the more u