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o think about technology is to think about the future.It is, unavoidably, to speculate and to predict, to imagine how our lives might be affected by new tools, new methods, and new powers.
Novel prospects for manipulating nascent human life, enhancing physical or mental powers, reshaping the life cycle, or otherwise exercising unprecedented control over our biological selves have increasingly been fodder for public argument.
It is closely akin to the modes of thought that underlie the modern ideal of progress, and it also coincides nicely with the worldview of modern science and its devotion to trial-and-error experimentation, to an unimpeded freedom to inquire and explore, and to a forward-looking faith in progress.
It is therefore no surprise that those most adamant about this way of imagining the future are also especially adamant about defending science and technology from regulation or restraint in the political system.
This understanding of the future implies that the most constructive and sensible policy regarding the new is to place as few constraints as possible in the way of innovation and as few limits as possible on the individual’s power to choose.
The combination of innovation and choice, each feeding back into the other in a self-correcting process, will work in a complex, unpredictable, but highly effective way to secure for us a future that works, even if we could not have imagined it.