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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973

The Religion of Technology

The Religion of Technology

Other assumptions in the religion of technology run through Future Shock, functioning to create despair in the reader. One is the feeling that most of us 'ordinary mortals' are in no position to influence the behaviour or decisions either of white-coated experts who work in the anonymity of government or coporation laboratories, or of unidentifiable managers who announce their intentions secretly in the public notices of newspapers. The rest of the world are treated as a passive statistical mass, 'the public', or fragmented into passive statistical little masses, 'the informed Newsweek reader' or 'the youth vote'. With respect to experts we are as ignorant peasants to their knowledgeable nobility.

Toffler displays the typical technological veneration of such experts, who, because they have the patience, interest, and very peculiar ability required to pass multiple-choice tests in the more stratospheric regions of managerial theory, computerese or micro-biology, are presumed to have the wisdom to determine the pace and direction of social change. It is inevitable that admission to Toffler's proposed Future Control Institutes should be reserved for Ph.D's One wonders who else would be silly enough to 'measure' social and cultural goals and 'invent' the equipment required to produce annual reports' on the quality of life. With a determined page 15 flourish Toffler assures us that they will all have taken courses in social science and will therefore all be social visionaries. To hand over the taming of technology to such people can only be like handing over the revival of the Catholic Church to the Cardinals.