Technology change is a Faustian Bargain

by Thiyagarajan Maruthavanan (Rajan)

       Came across this transcript of an old talk by a scholar named Neil Postman. It is an excellent talk. A quote in it that I liked very much & would like to extract and keep for reference is the following.

    “Anyone who has studied the history of technology knows that technological change is always a Faustian bargain: Technology giveth and technology taketh away, and not always in equal measure. A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided” 

         Economists put it in a different way, unintended causes will always spring up in any technology, But I liked the above way of putting it.

     I googled the phrase  “Faustian bargain” & this is what I found it meant.

“(FOW-stee-uhn) Faust, in the legend, traded his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. To “strike a Faustian bargain? is to be willing to sacrifice anything to satisfy a limitless desire for knowledge or power.”