Reverence for the Miracle of Technology

Over the holidays I was reading a back issue of the New Yorker—including a turgid if fascinating feature on the artificial-intelligence philosophy of Nick Bostrom—when I came across a delightful cartoon. A man in a bar, holding a bottle of beer, tells a woman, holding a cocktail: “I’m starting a startup that helps other startups start up.” What will amuse 99% of the New Yorker’s audience won’t even provoke a smile in Silicon Valley, where such “meta” talk is routine. I love to tease the tech community for its lack of self-awareness. That said, and maybe it was the Christmas spirit or a sense of gratitude and anticipation of a new year, the cartoon got me thinking how easy it is to ignore the miracles of technology. Sure, there are…


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