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Technology and Moral Panic

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the women-and-children-first dept.

Intel 262

pbahra writes "Why do some technologies cause moral panic and others don't? Why was the introduction of electricity seen as a terrible thing, while nobody cared much about the fountain pen? According to Genevieve Bell, the director of Intel Corporation's Interaction and Experience Research, we have had moral panic over new technology for pretty well as long as we have had technology. It is one of the constants in our culture. '... moral panic is remarkably stable and it is always played out in the bodies of children and women,' she said. There was, she says, an initial pushback about electrifying homes in the U.S.: 'If you electrify homes you will make women and children vulnerable. Predators will be able to tell if they are home because the light will be on, and you will be able to see them. So electricity is going to make women vulnerable. Oh and children will be visible too and it will be predators, who seem to be lurking everywhere, who will attack.' 'There was some wonderful stuff about [railway trains] too in the U.S., that women's bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour. Our uteruses would fly out of our bodies as they were accelerated to that speed,' she says."

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Written by an industry insider? (1, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720112)


It's an interesting article but honestly I don't buy the "If you don't like new stuff, you're a Luddite" mentality. History is replete with technological disasters:

- Asbestos Causes cancer and other issues.
- Thalidomide Caused terrible birth defects in children ("flippers" for limbs, etc.)
- Chevrolet Corvair. "Unsafe at Any Speed" according to Ralph Nader.
- Baycol. A cholesterol lowering drug which caused rhabdomyolisis, a muscle wasting side effect.
- Fen Phen A diet drug which caused heart valve damage.
- Redux Another diet drug which caused hypertension (high blood pressure)

The list goes on and on, with lots of examples of DRUGS that the FDA approved then reversed.

Eat well, get plenty of sleep & exercise, avoid the Big Pharma MD system, consider a vegan diet and get chiropractic adjustments to help with nervous system overload as needed.

Take care,
Bob

Re:Written by an industry insider? (5, Insightful)

PIBM (588930) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720220)

Hey, long time no see..

BTW, you forgot to add the chiropracy to the list of things we found out are bad for people!

Re:Written by an industry insider? (-1, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720346)


Nonsense. Chiropractors and Chiropractic haven't had a single verified injury since DD Palmer invented it back in 1895.

Suggesting otherwise is slanderous.

why modded down. (-1, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720246)

it raises an important point. not every technology is good. notice how it was found out that gsm signals are confusing and leading to eradication of honeybees.

http://inhabitat.com/its-official-cell-phones-are-killing-bees/ [inhabitat.com]

Re:why modded down. (4, Insightful)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720344)

Led by researcher Daniel Favre, the alarming study found that bees reacted significantly to cell phones that were placed near or in hives in call-making mode.

I think its also been shown that when cell phones are placed in moving cars in call-making mode that it leads to a significant increase in human deaths.

Re:why modded down. (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720462)

That study was bullshit pseudoscience that wasn't even done with proper controls. If you look at the original Daily Mail article that your link links to, you'll see that an expert on bees notes that you can do the same damage simply opening a hive and stuffing things in it, cell phone or otherwise. You can't get a meaningful conclusion from that.

Re:why modded down. (-1, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720540)

that study was verified by other studies concluded in different parts of the world.

http://www.google.com/search?q=cell+phones+kill+bees&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a [google.com]

cell phone signals repulse, confuse and disorient bees. this leads to the colonies to disappear.

Re:why modded down. (3, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720714)

Did you pay attention to your own search results? Half of them discredit the study, and I don't even see additional studies in them. I did however find a very nice debunking article in a chain of links off your weak Google-fu: http://skepchick.org/2011/05/bees-ccd-and-cellphones-still-no-link/ [skepchick.org]

Re:Written by an industry insider? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720328)

I realize that you are the resident quack-doctor-troll; but here goes:

Asbestos: Wonderful stuff for serious fireproofing/insulation applications. Just don't bloody breath it. (And, incidentally, don't let those sociopathic fuckers we call 'lobbyists' anywhere near public policy. The curious little quirk of physical geography that puts some of the major asbestos deposits in Quebec, whose always-restive local government the national government is always trying to placate, made for decades of obfuscation, stalling, and straight-out lies about the stuff's safety...)

Thalidomide: Crazy teratogenic(which is why the evil, evil, FDA didn't approve it in the US). On the other hand, as long as you aren't pregnant, it shows a great deal of promise in the treatment of Leprosy and certain cancers. Use as Directed, kids.

Obviously, not all new technologies are good, and there is always the risk that we either won't know that, or that the people who do know that will have an interest in ignoring the fact(Thanks for all the lead, Ethyl Corporation...). That doesn't mean that many of them aren't progress, though.

Re:Written by an industry insider? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720636)

Don't forget the invention of nuclear weapons, which will ultimately lead to a nasty nuclear world war in 2037.

Oh, wait, did I say that out loud?

Re:Written by an industry insider? (1)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720756)

It's 2038, and it will only happen if they don't upgrade from the archaic 32 bit version of Unix that runs on them now. 32 bit operating systems destroy women, children and space/time. For the humor impaired, this is not a serious comment.

In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720152)

I don't really believe this theory about changing relationship to time, space and other people. Personally I find it more to be about understanding. I am always cautious of things I don't understand. From computer software to mechanical things to ... well, anything at all. Those five hour energy drinks? Not for me. Probably safe. But I don't understand it so I'm not doing it. Do they change my relationship to time, space and other people? Not at all.

And I think that's where moral panic comes from. Why even call it "moral panic" when it's really just a matter of a large amount of change coming from something that's hard to understand sparking extreme caution and sometimes panic. World of Warcraft is really scary to older people who don't play it. Electricity is really scary to people who don't understand it. Hell, it'd look like magic to me if I had never encountered it before. And your knee-jerk reaction is caution.

I think simply informing people alleviates this and -- in some cases like cellular phones -- when you can't effectively communicate to the masses you will suffer from this panic.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720382)

In America, we have a name for people like you. That name is "teabagger". Change is not something to be afraid of, it's something to be embraced. By embracing change, we move further away from our racist past (which we will never leave behind, we will always be anchored to it, but it's good to move forward...you know...progress...as in Progressive) and into the shining multicultural future.

It's not caution, it's just plain rejection of The Other...of something different...of people whose skin doesn't look like ours. Why don't you crawl back into the primitive cave you came from, and the rest of civilization will continue going forward without you. Obviously, don't vote any more, either. Set us back 100 years and you'd be one of those people who thought that trains would make womens' uteruses fly out. Is there some sort of desert or arctic area we can deport you people to?

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720470)

wow a 'progressive" reply ...."teabagger" ? You are a blind lemming... Change for change sake is shit and as a slash dotter you should know this... As We pay

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720752)

The Retardicans and Ree Tardiers get their panties in a wad every few decades.

Remember, these are the same kinds of fucking stupid lunatics that brought us Prohibition, with all the fucked-up crime that it caused, and even today make it so that alcohol is the ONE product where the Federal government actually abdicated its exclusive right to control interstate commerce so as not to piss off the Fundamentalist Fucking Retard Southern Baptists by "allowing" northern booze to be shipped to their states.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720844)

and even today make it so that alcohol is the ONE product where the Federal government actually abdicated its exclusive right to control interstate commerce so as not to piss off the Fundamentalist Fucking Retard Southern Baptists by "allowing" northern booze to be shipped to their states.

Citation?

I've lived in a bout 20 of the 50 States at one time or another. None of them had laws prohibiting the importation of alcohol, though many restricted the SALE of alcohol, and all of them taxed alcohol.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (2)

tenaciousj (769989) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720488)

Wait, explain how does being cautious of electricity somehow equates to him being a racist again.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720544)

That was magnificent.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (4, Insightful)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720548)

Whoa dude, troll much? You went from reading "I'm cautious about technology I don't understand yet" to racism?

Calling people teabaggers isn't going to help further the dialog in this country. You obviously have a problem with certain types of people too; namely those that don't agree with your world view. Your intolerance is as bad as these so called "teabaggers" you have shoved into a nice little box that you can deride and scorn without trying to understand where they come from.

And, me? I won't touch a five hour energy drink either but I did vote for Obama. Where do I fit into your world view?

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720550)

OK, you quaff down a bunch of those 'energy drinks' and see if your relationship to space, time (and the bathroom) don't change.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720566)

Wow... Just wow... For a "progressive", you sure do have some interesting prejudices.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720656)

"Is there some sort of desert or arctic area we can deport you people to?" This kind of comment makes YOU sound like a racist, or at least a Bigot.
Teabagger - If you're referring to a member of the Tea Party, you've fallen right into the name trap which relies on Bigotry to separate people. Since when has demanding follow the principals of established laws been considered radical.?

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (2)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720710)

The GP didn't say he was afraid of change, just that it needs to be informed change. When people are informed and educated then change is more readily accepted and embraced.

I didn't see anything in the post that justified the intensity of your response.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720502)

I don't really believe this theory about changing relationship to time, space and other people. Personally I find it more to be about understanding. I am always cautious of things I don't understand. From computer software to mechanical things to ... well, anything at all. Those five hour energy drinks? Not for me. Probably safe. But I don't understand it so I'm not doing it. Do they change my relationship to time, space and other people? Not at all.

And I think that's where moral panic comes from. Why even call it "moral panic" when it's really just a matter of a large amount of change coming from something that's hard to understand sparking extreme caution and sometimes panic. World of Warcraft is really scary to older people who don't play it. Electricity is really scary to people who don't understand it. Hell, it'd look like magic to me if I had never encountered it before. And your knee-jerk reaction is caution.

I think simply informing people alleviates this and -- in some cases like cellular phones -- when you can't effectively communicate to the masses you will suffer from this panic.

You're right. Everyone else is wrong to have concerns about how new technologies might affect us...
http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/07/11/1340258/25-of-Car-Accidents-Linked-to-Gadget-Use

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720778)

I think simply informing people alleviates this.

The problem is that, for some people, "information" is seen as the enemy. You see this mainly in fundamentalist countries (eg. Iran) and dictatorships or generally repressive regimes (eg. North Korea), but it also shows up in many reactionary political groups. They actively reject "data" and "logic", and take pride in that. For a particularly tragic example, look at the American Tea Party - when presented with evidence that contradicts their views, they don't claim the evidence is wrong, but that evidence, logic and science are wrong.

That's why American politics will ultimately be the death of America. Modern American politics is based on taking an issue and making it an emotional rallying point. When an issue is purely a technical or logical one, it gets solved rapidly (by government standards) and easily (by government standards). But once an issue has been made into a political one, all hope of it being actually resolved is lost. Look at, for instance, abortion. Simple logical issue - do we consider a fetus a full human, or merely an extension of the mother's body? You can argue both sides, more so than you can in most issues, but with educated and rational people, you could reach some common consensus. But now that it's a political point, logic and rationale are thrown out the window - you get people vaguely gesturing at religious texts (but unable to actually point to somewhere where it specifically says anything relevant), you get people highlighting extreme cases, and ultimately something that should be a minor issue is one of the big points on every cadnidate's platform. It's gotten so bad that the laws are actually contradictory - for purposes of medical procedures, it goes one way, but for purposes of homicide it goes another. it's gotten so bad that we have people bombing each other over, essentially, a philosophical debate. All because American politicians need some banner to wave if they want to get elected.

Honestly, in the current environment here, you can't engage the public in a logical manner, can't rely on informing the public of the facts and letting them decide. If you want to get anything done, you have to proactively and preemptively make it a political emotional point. Which, ultimately, only continues the problem, but hopefully within a few generations all the emotional die-hards will have died (hard, if necessary), and things will get back to normal.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720782)

It's not that simple, it's not one thing.

There is lack of understanding, and there is also fear of a big change, fear of losing the status quo. And the bigger the change, the bigger the fear.

Now, I'm just speculating (like the author of the article is doing), but I'd say that fear of the actions of other people has the biggest impact. New technology makes everyone powerful. It makes you powerful, but it also makes everyone else powerful. If there is a railway, your daughter might take the railway and go to some dangerous place, or your wife might take it and never come back.

I'm certain that technologies like the fountain pen caused fear in many circles, just like the FM radio and file sharing, it's simply not the regular people. Why? Maybe because when these technologies appeared, there were other people who could already do these things, the only thing that has changed is that now you can. And maybe because it wasn't a big change, just a new technology that allows something existing to be used by more people -- the FM radio was just an extension over the radio technology, and file sharing was just an extension over the Internet.

Change in space and time? I don't know what that means. It sounds like something that might be connected to the panic, but it is to vague. But I still think it is the unknown and the change in power.

Re:In My Opinion, More So a Lack of Understanding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720878)

misoneism. as old as humanity. get over it.

go look it up. oh, right, this is slashdot, so here you go, you lazy f*ck:

misoneism, noun:
a hatred, fear, or intolerance of innovation or change
Origin of MISONEISM
Italian misoneismo, from Greek misein + neos new + Italian -ismo -ism — more at new
First Known Use: 1886

Don't ya just hate it? (5, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720160)

'There was some wonderful stuff about [railway trains] too in the U.S., that women's bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour. Our uteruses would fly out of our bodies as they were accelerated to that speed,' she says"

Yeah, nothing worse than riding on the bus or a train when, all of a sudden, whoa flying uterus!

Re:Don't ya just hate it? (3, Interesting)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720256)

I think I read that people once thought that the air would rush out of a train moving over 21 MPH, suffocating all the passengers.

Re:Don't ya just hate it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720422)

Obviously the drivers of merchandise trains did not suffer from the problem.

Re:Don't ya just hate it? (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720574)

Of course. He is always in the engine which is always in the front and hence plenty of air for him. But what about the poor passengers in the back??

Re:Don't ya just hate it? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720588)

Crichton wrote a bit about that in "The Great Train Robbery" where the burglar is planning to walk on top of a train that's going freeway speeds. Believing that he'll deal with suction down onto the top and wholly misunderstanding the consequences of falling of the train. Not to mention failure to bring a change of clothes for the ones that got all sooty.

Re:Don't ya just hate it? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720452)

I've always found it (darkly) humorous that the precious, precious, Women and Children! are terribly delicate flowers whenever a technology that makes society squeamish comes up; but are magically judged fit for whatever duty is required when it is in our interest:

50MPH train ride? Clear and present danger of uterine escape! Unremitting and dubiously voluntary childbirth, with a side of pre-appliance housework, from age 15? As nature intended!

Electric lighting? Probably a paedophile lurking behind every bush, stoking their vile lusts with children's silhouettes in the newly lit windows. Coal needs mining? A child on all fours should be able to pull a loaded cart through a tunnel only a couple of feet high, think of the savings on digging costs!

Vatican is still againt condoms !!!!!! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720170)

Vatican is still againt condoms !!!!!!

Freaks and Wackos (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720174)

There will always be somebody that gets freaked out by something they don't understand. Humans can be herded very easily with fear. Just look at the US political system.

Re:Freaks and Wackos (4, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720442)

There will always be somebody that gets freaked out by something they don't understand.

See also Evolution: Whoa ... so you're saying we're descended from Apes? The Hell You Say!"

Re:Freaks and Wackos (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720606)

To be fair, most of those people aren't particularly evolved.

Me am go too far! (5, Funny)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720176)

I'd like to point out the sort of thought (1)

VAElynx (2001046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720794)

parodied here is pretty much only present in western science fiction. Eastern block (both COMECON countries and Jugoslavijan) science fiction rarely has technologically brought on disasters, unless it's by abuse of such technology , quite often intentionally. Shows quite a difference in mindset, eh?

Did you check under the seat or in the seat pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720200)

So that's where I left my uterus. Thanks!

tHe following statements are TOTALLLY AWESOME! (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720202)

* yo

* wassup!?

* wassup?!

* D

* I cannot recall.

* slashdort!!!!!!!!!!

BS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720208)

The reasons listed in this study are a lie. Electrifying homes had other reasons for scaring people than whats said here. Go read about Tesla and Edison, why are modern studies filled with such dribble? Especially American ones?

Re:BS (2)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720288)

Go read about Tesla and Edison

Please provide more specific references and summarise what they say.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720334)

One reference I can think of at moment: Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney.

Also homes were already lit by gas long before electricity came along.

Re:BS (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720558)

It's not as if gas were a safe and trouble-free technology, yet since it was status quo, its risks were ignored and/or accepted.

Re:BS (0)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720354)

There was a war between earlier electricity providers between AC and DC as the basis for the grid. DC was a terrible choice but Edison was backing it, and he started a misinformation campaign claiming AC was lethally dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Even though AC won the war, the disinformation memes persisted for a few generations.

This was all summarized from memory. You should really try learning things yourself instead of waiting for somebody else to do shit for you. That behavior makes you a dependent sheep.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720652)

What does this have to do with what I said other than confirm it? I cited this reference, sometime Slashdot takes forever to post replies. Why do people on here go so damn nasty?

Re:BS (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720818)

If I think somebody has said something wrong or inaccurate, I check it myself. If somebody refers to something I don't know or understand, I research it myself. This is part of being self actualized, and people who rely on others for these things are lazy and contemptible. If society were overburdened with such people, no advancement would be possible, because everybody would be waiting for somebody else to learn things and do things for them.

War of the Currents (5, Informative)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720374)

War of Currents [wikipedia.org]

Edison carried out a campaign to discourage the use[13] of alternating current, including spreading disinformation on fatal AC accidents, publicly killing animals, and lobbying against the use of AC in state legislatures. Edison directed his technicians, primarily Arthur Kennelly and Harold P. Brown,[14] to preside over several AC-driven killings of animals, primarily stray cats and dogs but also unwanted cattle and horses. Acting on these directives, they were to demonstrate to the press that alternating current was more dangerous than Edison's system of direct current.[15] He also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being "Westinghoused". Years after DC had lost the "war of the currents," in 1902, his film crew made a movie of the electrocution with high voltage AC, supervised by Edison employees, of Topsy, a Coney Island circus elephant which had recently killed three men.[16]

Edison opposed capital punishment, but his desire to disparage the system of alternating current led to the invention of the electric chair. Harold P. Brown, who was being secretly paid by Edison, built the first electric chair for the state of New York to promote the idea that alternating current was deadlier than DC.[17]

When the chair was first used, on August 6, 1890, the technicians on hand misjudged the voltage needed to kill the condemned prisoner, William Kemmler. The first jolt of electricity was not enough to kill Kemmler, and only left him badly injured. The procedure had to be repeated and a reporter on hand described it as "an awful spectacle, far worse than hanging." George Westinghouse commented: "They would have done better using an axe."[18]

Re:BS (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720414)

I think I can sum it up: "Touching electrical wires kills you"

Nothing to do with predators, thanks. Westinghouse and Edison [wikipedia.org] had a well publicized battle over which killed you worse - AC or DC.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720338)

I'm going to start my own study: "At what speed do women's uteruses actually fly out of their bodies."

It won't be pretty. But it's all in the name of 'science!'

Re:BS (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720364)

While I don't really count this article as a scientific study, your question reminds me of the recent Slashdot entry: Why We Have So Much "Duh" Science [slashdot.org]

An article on "moral panic" is newsworthy? (0)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720212)

If the title would have more accurately stated "people are resistant to change" this would have not been news at all, as it is widely recognized.

Re:An article on "moral panic" is newsworthy? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720742)

Agreed. The problem is fear derived from ignorance. All morality has to do with it is that it's utilized as a cheap way to justify that fear, instead of exploring the truth.

SOMEONE PULLED THIS OUT OF HIS ASS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720226)

What a bunch of bullshit !!

Wrong about the pens being uncontroversial (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720228)

Long ago, an author published a long screed against the evils of pens, that they made writing too easy. You didn't have to lug around heavy clay tablets, papyrus was wasted when words couldn't be edited like tablets could before they were baked. Heck, you didn't even need an oven.

After publication, his editor received several spiteful singing telegrams from greyhairs complaining that his drivel was published, as evidence was clear that writing itself was making people stupid and forgetful.

Re:Wrong about the pens being uncontroversial (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720302)

I hate singing telegram spam. Especially those 419 singing Nigerian princesses.

Driven by fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720284)

People fear what the don't understand or can't profit from.

--edfardos

oh my... (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720286)

Our uteruses would fly out of our bodies as they were accelerated to that speed

Won't someone please think of the uteruses!!

Re:oh my... (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720450)

Our uteruses would fly out of our bodies as they were accelerated to that speed

Won't someone please think of the uteruses!!

I'm trying not to.

You know, it's like I've always said (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720300)

If you want to know about sociology or psychology... talk to a lady that works for Intel.

Seriously, reading that article made me think she gets her info from Slashdot comments - "oh noes, thinks of the CHILDREN". And I bet she doesn't read the articles either.

Re:You know, it's like I've always said (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720570)

I know nothing about the particular credentials of the person quoted; but Intel actually has its very own cultural anthropology research unit [intel.com] . Apparently, we are talking 100+ anthropologists and social scientists. [technologyreview.com]

I have no idea if these are really high-powered types, or if they are basically the washouts of academia who don't want to admit that they have essentially moved into Intel's 'Theoretical Marketing' department; but Intel has way more of them than you'd expect from a chip company.

People fear what they don't understand (4, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720342)

Have you ever noticed that many movies are made about new technologies? In the 1950s it was all about nuclear and/or space travel. Later we had stuff about bio-technology like Andromeda Strain , and Jurasic Park. In the original movie, Frankenstein was brought to life by electricity, in the origianal book it was chemistry. As computers, and internet progress, we get movies like "War Games" and "Colossues."

Re:People fear what they don't understand (4, Informative)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720418)

Shame on you. Frankenstein's Monster. Frankenstein is the Doctor's name. He was brought to life in the traditional manner.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720516)

"Brought to life in the traditional manner." What manner is that?

I'm pretty sure he wasn't birthed.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720624)

He is, in that instance, talking about Dr. Frankenstein, who was birthed, to draw attention to your failure to distinguish between creator and creation.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720718)

Well, technically you are correct. Dr. Frankenstein, as a fictional character, was written, not born. However, in story, it is safe to assume that he had a mother and father and a normal, human birth.
Dr. Frankenstein's monster, on the other hand, definitely did not have anything like a normal birth.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720772)

Frankenstein is the Doctor's name. He was brought to life in the traditional manner.

What manner is that?

I'm pretty sure he wasn't birthed.

I believe grandparent was referring to the assumption that in the universe of Frankenstein, Vic was conceived through sex.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720616)

Shame on you. Frankenstein's Monster. Frankenstein is the Doctor's name. He was brought to life in the traditional manner.

I'll admit, it's been a couple of decades since I read Frankenstein but do we know that Dr. Frankenstein was brought to life in the traditional manner? Did Shelley specify that, or is it just an assumption because of not mentioning he was brought to life in any other manner?

Re:People fear what they don't understand (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720820)

That's pronounced Dr. FrankenstEEn.

Adam Frankenstein (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720748)

The mad scientist is named Victor Frankenstein, and I don't remember him having his doctorate when he created the monster. The monster gives himself the name Adam, but he is Victor's "son" (in a way), so I guess the name Adam Frankenstein isn't too far off the mark.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720796)

Frankenstein is the Doctor's name. He was brought to life in the traditional manner.

Yeah in the original. In Frankenstein Squared: Dark Side of the Moon and Predjudice, Dr Frankenstein was created in a lab by Go-Bots Vampires to fight the Autobot zombie hordes and entertain Mr. Darcy with droll stories of creating life from corpses.

Re:People fear what they don't understand (1)

Tyler Durden (136036) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720696)

It's been a while since I read Frankenstein, but I think electricity had some hand in giving the monster life. After all, Mary Shelley was inspired to write the book from the electrical experiments of Galvani [ieeeghn.org] .

Re:People fear what they don't understand (4, Informative)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720874)

Actually, Dr. Frankenstein never explains how he animated Adam, for fear that his work could be duplicated. But he says that he came to his discovery while studying galvanism (the effect of electricity on muscles).

women and children and vulnerable (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720356)

> "women and children and vulnerable"

Yes, the spell checker was a technological necessity, but the grammar checker, now that was morally abhorrent. Won't someone please think of the women and children and vulnerable.

Because people are morons... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720384)

... it's simple really.

I'm always amused when someone expresses shock that the general population behaves in ways that seem illogical or dumb. It's really very simple. Around 40% of students in the UK fail to achieve 5 GCSEs (for you Americans, the most basic qualification level in the UK) grades C (the most basic pass) or higher. 15->20% of students gain no qualifications at all. These people grow up. And then they read (at least those who've progressed that far) the Sun and the Daily Mail (entities which only exist to tell them what to be panicking about), and they vote. 40% of the voting population are functionally no smarter than vegetables. No wonder they make stupid decisions.

As a species, human beings aren't very smart at all.

Re:Because people are morons... (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720622)

This has been measured, and it's not quite as high as 40% -- the one large study, gave 27%. Unless perhaps, some fraction of the population is so stupid that they vote randomly, thus skewing the measurements. See http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2005/10/lunch-discussions-145-crazification.html [blogspot.com]

Re:Because people are morons... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720706)

You can read this another way: 13% of people vote democrat, *despite* being no smarter than vegetables!

Re:Because people are morons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720736)

Actually, a 'G' grade is the most basic pass. A GCSE between A* and C classes as a "level 2" qualification, whereas a D-G is a "level 1" qualification, according to the National Qualifcations Framework ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Qualifications_Framework ), which is why an A*-C is more desirable. A 'G' is still a pass though.

Re:Because people are morons... (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720806)

To place your judgement above those that don't meet your standards and motivations shows that you are very much in need of further education yourself. The educated segment of society has never shown better judgement or impulse control than any other segment.

It is a charming side effect of standardized testing to shepherd the vacuous and immature back into an incubator; giving decent society a few more years without them.

Women... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720402)

...are unable to adapt to slashdot too. This is the way of things.

Re:Women... (2)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720584)

[Citation Needed]

-Rachel

Semantics (3, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720404)

Its a panic because it represents a change. And people don't do well with change. Its moral because we can't come up with a reasoned argument not to do it, or at least to take it slowly. Making things a moral issue creates a taboo that we are not supposed to question. Or we might be on the slippery slope to having sex with animals or some such nonsense.

When I hear 'panic', I step back and weigh the pros and cons. When I hear 'moral', I start looking for a group seeking to control society to suit their own agendas.

Re:Semantics (1)

bkaul01 (619795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720702)

Its moral because we can't come up with a reasoned argument not to do it, or at least to take it slowly. Making things a moral issue creates a taboo that we are not supposed to question. Or we might be on the slippery slope to having sex with animals or some such nonsense.

... When I hear 'moral', I start looking for a group seeking to control society to suit their own agendas.

Or, perhaps, molesting children isn't immoral because someone is looking to control society or being irrational, but because it's just inherently (and rationally) wrong! I'm not saying that raising a panic over innocuous technologies is good, but rationally thinking about whether a given development is actually a moral good or evil is beneficial. The assumption here that morality is a sham is flawed, I think ...

Women the moral ones?? or just the ones that .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720428)

like to cause problems (oh yes I said it)

The one main thing women have brought to the workplace is rules and regulations because that seems to be the strength of women, to 'organise' and 'order' things. HR departments are all about creating a 'safe' environment where everyone's 'feelings' are cared for and looked after. The 'THINK OF THE CHILDREN' is simply a line women use to get other women in to a frenzy. You see Fathers do have an instinct to protect their young but they are not greatly concerned with other males offspring , however a women using the 'THINK OF THE CHILDREN' line will be able to get most girls from the age of 18+ in to some sort of emotional frenzy which instantly kills and ability to logically address the situation. However there is more power in the masses so a mass of emotional females screaming at the top of their lungs, over casts any reasonable attempt to have a logical discussion. People were waking up to this tactic a few years ago, however the tactics have changed, if you do not join the angry mob, you are now labelled a terrorist and against your country. Since when did blindly following become an act of terrorism.

This is just a dislike women rant, dont get me wrong, I like girls on their own, but put a girl in a group of girls, might as well just walk off and its getting worse, thanks to our whole culture of worshipping youth, we put all the power in young attractive females, all the guys chase, all the girls want to be them, and at the end we have a culture that only respects physical attributes.

anything that is a network (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720434)

can be viewed as an invasion of privacy

an invasion of privacy invokes the ancient primate evolutionary panic of some other male inseminating the female you are paired with, which means you are stuck devoting all of your time and resources raising some other man's child

so yes, the battlefield is the woman's body when it comes to fear of the unknown, and especially something that is sticking tendrils into your house or creeping out over the ether and grabbing and inseminating YOUR WOMAN

AAAAAAAHHHHH

this is why physics should be a required class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720456)

"women's bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour. Our uteruses would fly out of our bodies as they were accelerated to that speed,' she says."

This is nothing more than a complete lack of even the most basic understanding of physics. This is why physics (and for other reasons, chemistry and biology) should be REQUIRED for every single person going through the school system.

Without a basic grasp of physics, you cannot understand the world around you. I don't mean we should be teaching them quantum electrodynamics, I mean we should be teaching them basic Newtonian mechanics, so they do not think stupid things like women's bodies will fly apart at 50 mph in a train, or that horoscopes influence their lives, or that dousing works or that homeopathy is anything but bullshit.

Re:this is why physics should be a required class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720722)

I'm sorry but it isn't? Where I lived I had to take a good deal of Physics courses back in high school.

Bitcoin (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720526)

Bitcoin... *ducks*

Pretty much... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720528)

Human beings fear what they do not understand.
So instead of looking like a wimp, they come up with reasons to rationalize their fear.

Republicans? (0)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720530)

Republicans were the same way back in the 1800's? It's a good thing today we have our Electronic Health Records and Death Panels to weed out all the old and vulnerable women and children that may be injured at speeds in excess of 50 MPH before they become a financial burden to care for. And they said the health care reform bill was only bad.

Transference (3, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720596)

it is always played out in the bodies of children and women,

This sounds like "I'm not worried for myself, but I am concerned of the effect <whatever> could have on other people". So men would transfer their fears, ignorance and paranoia onto concern for womem. Women would transfer it onto children (and presumably children would transfer it onto the family dog). I'd guess that a significant proportion of people are simply resitant to change. Not because they necessarily like living in the dark, suffering from deficiency diseases or being socially isolatedd. It's just that they've learned to cope with those conditions (and more importantly: they recognise that everyone else is no better off than they are). When change happens, it's possible that other people will get to grips with it, or exploit it's value before they do - or they are shown up to be stupid by their lack of understanding - sooner than they do, leaving them at a disadvantage.

Since they can't admit their own fears, they express them as concern for others. Presumably people whom they consider inferior (physically, or in some other way) and can therefore show their compassion and concern, while still pursuing their intention of preventing other people from gaining an advantage over themselves.

Can it kill you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720614)

That's the central question of moral panics over technology (transhumanism causes another type of panic entirely, so I'll leave that discussion for the birds).

People will panic over your new invention if they see it can kill people--best example is the electric chair back when public executions were much more common.

_Legitimate_ fear of disruption (3, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720704)

Disruption afford opportunities for opportunists, and some of them are dishonest. Balances worked out over many decades that represent some kind of rough fairness between competing interests are brushed aside in a twinkling, and the new technology creates a chance for early colonizers to make a successful power grab. The ordinary citizens understands intuitively that new technology is used against him first, then checks and balances are worked out later.

Why? (1)

br00tus (528477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720768)

Thalidomide. Asbestos. Lead paint. "More Doctors smoke Camels".

Corporate America doesn't give a damn what garbage it can unload on the public, or how safe it is, as long as it can make a profit. People are smart to be wary. Once bitten, twice shy.

Of course the Wall Street Journal doesn't give a damn either. And of course it will throw mud at the public who show the least bit hesitancy to the garbage Corporate America wants to shovel out, wondering what psychological problems they might have to want a strong, well-funded FDA and the like.

Fucking Magnets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36720822)

How do they work?!

Easy answer. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720848)

Change is being seen or spin doctored if somebody looses power. Like:

-Trains pose a economic threat to anybody who want to transport people by horse-carriages.

-electricity poses a threat to people who distribute energy in another way

-the internet poses a threat to people who possess already other media

-green energy poses a threat to everybody who invested in traditional power plants

 

Don't forget religion (2)

odin84gk (1162545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36720868)

I grew up in a heavily conservative environment. Each new piece of technology was seen as a new way for the devil to attack, signaling the arrival of the anti-christ. This included...
Credit cards: Banks want you to use credit cards because it assigns you a number, and numbering the people was something that the anti-christ did.
ATM Machines: Something about not carrying cash was evil. Not sure what that was about.
RFID: They want to implant them into your body. The resulting scar was the mark of the beast.

If they couldn't find a rational reason to explain their fear of a new technology, they blamed it on the anti-christ.

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