"Wars will diminish in proportion as the arts progress." (prediction by The American Institute, a society for the promotion of commerce, awarding Colt a medal in 1837)


"Men are only as good as their technical development allows them to be."

George Orwell

Inside the Whale and other essays


"A gentleman armed with my invention can keep a dozen ruffians at bay."

Samuel Colt



"it’s a Wonderful thing. Wireless is coming to mankind in its full meaning like a hurricane, some of these days…."

Nikola Tesla


"The Church welcomes technological progress and receives it with love, for it is an indubitable fact that technological progress comes from God and, therefore, can and must lead to Him."

Pope Pius XII (Christmas message 1953)


"If you'll accept my notion that technology may be the most advanced , extreme, and brilliant creation of the Devil-for technology, of course, does incredible things-then you get a real sense of why some people would be more leagued with the Devil than devoted to God. Half the human universe must by now be on the side of technology."

-Norman Mailer New York Magazine, Oct 18,2007


" a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other."

-C.P. Snow, New York Times 1971


"I have no doubt that it is possible to give a new direction to technological development, a direction that shall lead it back to the real needs of man, and that also means: to the actual size of man. Man is small, and, therefore, small is beautiful. To go for gigantism is to go for self-destruction."

E.F. Schumacher

Small is Beautiful


"The point is that if you measure the progress of technology by Mips and bytes but by how it affects people’s lives and their ability to get useful work done, you realize that the last thirty years have been a time not of unexpected achievement but of persistent disappointment."

Paul Krugman

The accidental Theorist


"One must point out, however, that many who now deplore the oppression, injustice, and intrinsic ugliness of life in a technically advanced and congested society will decide that things were better when they were worse; and they will discover that to do without the functions proper to the great systems-without telephone, electric light, car, letters, telegrams-is all very well for a week or so, but that it is not amusing as a way of life."

Roberto Vacca

The Coming Dark Age


"The human mind, in taking us down the path of technocracy, has become the adversary of life itself and collaterally the adversary of the human soul."

Konrad Lorenz

The Waning of Humanness


"For those of you who’ve been living in a cave or are understandably overwhelmed by info over-load, nanotechnology is the inexpensive and complete control over the structure of matter. It’s the manipulation of matter, molecule by molecule. The advent of nanotechnology will result in the human ability to create limitless amounts of any substance consistent with the laws of the Universe."

Timothy Leary

Design for Dying


"In the Utrecht Psalter, illuminated near Rheims around 830 , there is an illustration of Psalm 63 which gives technological advantage to those on the side of God. The army of the righteous confront a much larger army of the ungodly. "In each camp a sword is being sharpened conspicuously. The Evildoers are content to use an old fashioned whetstone. The Godly, however, are employing the first grindstone known anywhere. Obviously the artist is telling us that technological advance is God’s will."

David F. Noble

The Religion of Technology *


"It is one of the most amazing facts of Western Cultural history, that the striking acceleration and intensification of technological development in Post-Carolingian Europe emanated from contemplative monasticism."

Ernst Benz


"…..A thousand years in the making, the religion of technology has become the common enchantment, not only of the designers of technology but also of those caught up in, and undone by, their godly designs. The expectation of ultimate salvation through technology, whatever the immediate human and social costs, has become the unspoken orthodoxy, reinforced by a market-induced enthusiasm for novelty and sanctioned by a millenarian yearning for new beginnings. This popular faith, subliminally indulged and intensified by corporate, government, and media pitchmen, inspired an awed deference to the practitioners and their promises of deliverance while diverting attention from more urgent concerns. Thus, unrestrained technological development is allowed to proceed apace, without serious scrutiny or oversight-without reason. Pleas for some rationality, for reflection about pace and purpose, for sober assessments of costs and benefits-for evidence even of economic value, much less larger social gains-are dismissed as irrational. From within the faith, any and all criticism appears irrelevant, and irreverent."

David Noble

The Religion of Technology *


"RFID will have a pervasive impact on every aspect of civilization, much the same way the printing press, the industrial revolution and the Internet and personal computers have transformed society.....RFID is a big deal. Its impact will be pervasive, personal and profound. It will be the biggest deal since Edison gave us the light bulb."

-Rick Duris

Frontline Solutions Magazine, Dec 2003


   "To its credit, the RFID industry is very twenty-first century, and therefore a little cagier than the pesticide biz in the 1950s. Realizing that they had a world-shattering technical breakthrough at hand, they hired a top-notch public relations firm first to go fish in the waters of public acceptance. Acceptance of what, exactly? Basically, acceptance of what this book describes in detail: an amazingly ambitious scheme to infest the entire physical infrastructure of the planet with spray-on global blanket of Internet interactivity. This is truly a fabulous, earth-shaking scheme. It is awesome."

Katherine Albrecht & Liz McIntyre




"We have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned."

Marshall McLuhan

Understanding Media (1968)


"There is in our future a TV or internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People."

Umberto Eco


"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously….There was no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment."

George Orwell



"In their elite obeisance and service to established power, the Twentieth-century proponents of the religion of technology have out-done their predecessors."

David F. Noble

The Religion of Technology



"For something has happened in America that is strange and dangerous, and there is only a dull and even stupid awareness of what it is-in part because it has no name. I call it Technopoly."

Neil Postman



"….In fact, most people believe that technology is a staunch friend. There are two reasons for this. First, technology is a friend. It makes life easier, cleaner, and longer. Can anyone ask more of a friend? Second, because of its lengthy, intimate, and inevitable relationship with culture, technology does not invite a close examination of its consequences. It is the kind of friend that asks for trust and obedience which most people are inclined to give because its gifts are truly bountiful. But, of course, there is a dark side to this friend. Its gifts are not without a heavy cost. Stated in the most dramatic terms, the accusation can be made that the uncontrolled growth of technology destroys the vital sources of our humanity. It creates a culture without a moral foundation. It undermines certain mental processes and social relations that make human life worth living. Technology, in sum, is both friend and enemy."

Neil Postman



"Chaos is upon us….every single stable power relationship is going to be called into question by cyberspace."

John Perry Barlow


"A thinking machine? Was the Chess-Player such a creation?....A thinking machine! Was such a thing really conceivable?"

-Joseph Friedrich Freiherr zu Racknitz, 1789


"Could a machine think? -could it be in pain?-Well, is the human body to be called such a machine? It surely comes as close as possible to being such a machine.

   But a machine surely cannot think!-Is that an empirical statement? No. We only say of human being and what is like one that it thinks. We also say it of dolls and no doubt of spirits too."

-Ludwig Wittgenstein

Philosophical Investigations, 1953



"It would seem that the logic of success in this matter is the ultimate requirement of the work force from the scene of toil… does not follow that we are prepared to accept the consequences."

Marshall McCluhan (commenting on the computer chip)


"There is no industrial precedent for what is happening today, no prior experience upon which to draw, no comforting historical rules of operation to fall back on. In this century, nothing can measure up to the impact of the microchip: Not television, not the automobile, and so far not even gene-splicing. Microtectronics, a manufacturing process as technically exacting as brain surgery, as intellectually demanding as atomic physics, yields products that contain the power of logic, products that reason."

Dirk Hanson

The New Alchemists


"Our system today paradoxically generates stupendous wealth alongside even more stupendous want, poverty and waste. The Technological revolution, in its current context, only quickens the pace of planet Earth’s rush to disaster, or rather to the fork in the road on the world history line where we must and will make a decision of life and death consequences for civilization as we know it. Time is running out for a world order based on ever-concentrating corporate ownership of wealth and driven primarily by the needs of profit. Technology can be used effectively to take us into an age of barbarism that will make fascism look like an exercise in Charity and human progress.

But that same revolution equips us with a means to tackle this problem rationally, that is socially; to move beyond the blind corporate drive for profit into a world of awareness, information, knowledge, empowerment, imagination, cooperation, commitment, and freedom."

Phil Courneyeur


"The superlatives to describe the changes underway are never-ending-tectonic shifts, revolutionary changes, a new paradigm, a Tsunami of transformation (all adding up to a Tsunami of superlatives). Such extreme characterizations don’t arise because the world has acquired a new taste for hyperbole, rather the language flows from the attempts of baffled business leaders, boggled academics, and amazed journalists to somehow characterize the world we are entering and how the changes underway are unlike anything before."

Don Tapscott

The Digital Economy


"Early in the next millennium your right and left cufflinks or earrings may communicate with each other by low-orbiting satellites and have more computer power than your present PC. Your telephone won’t ring indiscriminately; it will receive, sort, and perhaps respond to your incoming calls like a well trained English butler. Schools will change to become more like museums and playground for children to assemble ideas and socialize with children all over the world. The digital planet will look and feel like the head of a pin."

Nicholas Negoponte


"By means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time….The round globe is a vast….brainy instinct with intelligence."

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)

(analysts have estimated the financial impact of software bugs is 60 billion a year, and maybe much more...Research Triangle Institute of Research Triangle Park, N.C.)


"The upheavals of the early ‘90s-process reengineering, downsizing, and PC proliferation-were a tea party compared with what’s coming next. Capitalism is about to be completely reinvented. As the ice age of the old economy comes to an end, cracks widen in the fault lines of crumbling business models. Intuition and creativity will blossom in organizations rooted in the fertile soil of the new media."

David Ticoll (President of the Alliance for Converging Technologies)



"However far modern science and techniques have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: Nothing is impossible."

Lewis Mumford

Technics and Civilization


"By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed."

Lewis Mumford

The conduct of Life


"In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be first"

-Frederick Winslow Taylor 1911


"Technology insulates and isolates. While technology seems to bring us together, it does so only by making new ways of separating us from one another, the "One World" of Americans in the future will be a world of millions of private compartments. The progression from the intimately jostling horse-drawn carriage to the railroad car to the encapsulated lone automobile rider and then to the seat-belted airplane passenger who cannot converse with his seatmate because they are both wearing earphones for the recorded music. The progression from the parent reading aloud to the children to the living theatre with living audiences to the darkened motion-picture house to the home of private televisions sets, each twinkling in a different room for a different member of the family-these are the natural progressions of technology, the cellular car phone isolates us from the traffic, the walkman carries our private world as we jog. The multiplying cable stations make even television an increasingly personalized experience. All of us are in danger of being suffocated by our own tastes. Moreover, these devices that enlarge our sight and vision in space seem somehow to imprison us in the present. The electronic technology that reaches out instantaneously over the continents does very little to help us cross the centuries."

Daniel J. Boorstin

Hidden History


See article" The Brightest Star….from Space the Web appears as a swirling sphere of light. By george Gilder

Forbes ASAP Oct 4, 1999


"As nuclear and other technological achievements continue to mount, the normal life span will continue to climb. The hourly productivity of the worker will increase. How is the increase in leisure time and the extension of life expectancy to be spent? Will it be for the achievement of man’s better aspirations or his degradation to the level of a well-fed, well-kept slave of an all-powerful state? Indeed, merely to state that question sharply reminds us that in these days and in the years ahead the need for philosophers and theologians parallels the need for scientists and engineers."

Dwight David Eisenhower


"The economic and technological triumphs of the past few years have not solved as many problems as we thought they would, and, in fact, have brought us new problems we did not foresee."

Henry Ford II


Book: "Engineering the Revolution" by Ken Alder

Book: "Science, Technology, and Society: An Encyclopedia" ed by Sal Restivo

Book: "Human-built World: How to think about Technology" by Thomas P. Hughes

Book: "Pushing the Limits: New Adventures in Engineering" by Henry Petroski

Book: "The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention" by David F. Noble

Book: "Visions of Technology" by Richard Rhodes

Book: "Mirror Mirror" by Mark Pendergrast

Book: "Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World" by Adrienne Mayor

Book: "The Whale and the Reactor: a search for limits in an age of High Technology" by Langdon Winner

Book: "Technological Utopianism in American Culture" by Howard P. Segal

Book: "Smart Mobs" by Howard Rheingold

Book: "The Measure of All Things" by Ken Alder

Book: "Science & Civilization in China" by Joseph Needham

Book: "Studies in Ancient Technology" by R.J. Forbes

Book: "Ancient Inventions" by Peter James & Nick Thorpe

Book: Technology in World Civilization: A Thousand Year History" by Arnold Pace

Book: "Studies in Ancient Technology" by Forbes

Book: "Islamic Technology by Al-Hasan and Hill

Book: "The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention by Robert Temple

Book: "Technology of the Gods: The Incredible Sciences Of The Ancients" by David Hatcher Childress

Book: "China Dawn: The Story of a Technology and Business Revolution" by David Sheff

Book: "Indian Givers" by Jack Weatherford

Book: "The Cogwheel Brain: Charles Babbage and the Quest to Build the First Computer" by Doron Swade

Book: "The Precision Revolution" by Michael Russell Rip & James M. Hasik

Book: "Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Technology" by James R. Chiles

Book: "Technology in World History" 7-vol ed by W. Bernard Carlson

Book: "Schrodinger's Machines: The Quantum Technology Reshaping Everyday Life" by Gerard J. Milburn

Book: "Forged Consensus: Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in the United States, 1921-1953, by David M. Hart

Book: "The International Encyclopedia of Science and Technology." Revised Edition" Ed. by Steve Luck

Book: "Ingenium: Five Machines That Changed the World" by Mark Denny

Book: "The Cutting Edge: An Encyclopedia of Advanced Technologies." Ed. by Valerie Tomaselli

Book: "ROBO SAPIENS: Evolution of a New Species" by P. Menzel & F.D'Alusio

Book: "The Genome War" by James Shreeve

Book: "War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage" by Lawrence H. Keeley

Book: "Lethal Arrogance: Human Fallibility and Dangerous Technologies" by Lloyd J. Duma

Book: "The Shock Of  The Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900" by David Edgerton

Book:" The History of Science and Technology: A Browser's Guide to the Great Discoveries, Inventions, and the People Who Made Them, from the Dawn of Time to Today" by Bryan Bunch

Book: "From Narnia to a Space Odyssey: The War of Ideas Between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis" Ed. by Ryder W. Miller

Book: "Brunel: The Man Who Built the World" by Steven Brindle

© 2001



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