Re: virus: Technology (was manifest science)

Joe E. Dees (
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 17:21:18 -0500

Date sent:      	Wed, 2 Jun 1999 00:24:21 -0700 (PDT)
From:           	Dylan Durst <>
Subject:        	Re: virus: Technology (was manifest science)
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> > Backtracking somewhat I might agree (that eyes are tools and thus
> > represent the same, or similar, "technology" which produces other
> > tools... wrenches, hammers, etc.). Except, the nature of technology
> > changes AFTER the point at which technology produces such institutions
> > (schools, homes, churches... eyes, immune systems, etc.).
> Much like a biological systems environment changes as soon as a new
> 'technology'/'specialization' is introduced? The 'course of evolution'
> (hate to use the term, but unless something new is introduced, things
> just get 'better', a course, of course, but no one can talk to a horse)
> is always changing direction AFTER a new tool is introduced (toxins? i
> have a solution, anti-toxins).
Tools are intentionallydesigned and constructed by self-conscious and purposeful tool-users; labelling a toxin (or any other naturally occuring organic molecule) is an illegitimate use of the term motivated by definitional confusion.
> > The nature of technology ultimately becomes defined as the process of
> > creating the IMPLEMENTS of a SOCIETY (by which such prior systems--
> > biological and otherwise-- are augmented). And so, to the extent that
> > technology might be defined BY these products, such technology is
> > further distinguished by its relationship TO these systems.
> Agreed. We're not going to have Snorgaborf antibodies until we are
> introduced to a Snorgaborf virus (or whatever). We are not going to
> develop anti-ray gun shields until we develop ray guns. I would say that
> technology grows in relationship to other techonolgies. I would also say
> that techonogy evolves in its system of 'the real world'. But I would also
> say the same of memes, birds, fairy tales, and software.
Evolution by means of natural selection produces many variants; those which can survive in the nich available to them survive to reproduce. When the character of the niche changes, the requirements for survival change, and different variants survive to reproduce. The presence or absence of intenntional intelligent design is the dividing line; people try what they think might work, and evolution does not "try" at all (only that which possesses a will may try).
> > Thus, "technology" as it is popularly used (to refer to the mechanical
> > argumentations of one's body and the way these might be viewed as things
> > which are separate from the people who produce them)-- that is,
> > *technology* which relates to the artifacts of a SOCIETY-- takes on a
> > different meaning AT A CERTAIN POINT... beyond which, looking backward,
> > we may be hardpressed to define the process as being one and the same.
> Maybe a different word is in order. So there is no miscommunication. I'm
> not sure if there is one already floating around, or if it is quite an
> obvious choice. Anyone?
Why should such a word be sought? There are essential differences between the two; to coin a single word for both and thus collapse and conflate (and thus illicitly erase) these distinctions would be a step backwards into confusion.
> - dylan