I’ve had a tendency to distrust technology, which is probably one of the things contributing to my ‘past orientation’ post some time back. Amidst all the wonders, there is also a continual reminder of technology’s pitfalls. Violence, greed, and social and environmental degradation sometimes seem like hallmarks of our age.
I was thinking about my concept of power and responsibility, and I realized that technology is simply power. But it has no oath of office. There are no intrinsic responsibilities required for it’s use. In same cases (such as some chemicals and many weapons) laws will attempt restrict irresponsible use, but for the post, the power is free for the taking.
If I (ha!) had time, I thought I could write book. I would be set in fantasy world where magic and technology coexist. The plot would center around tracking down a rouge mage who had broken his oaths. Meanwhile, there would be repeated, casual, interactions with people using technology in worse ways then the mage’s abuses of magic.
A game could also be effective. Probably something in the genre of Final Fantasy, where advancing in magic requires the swearing of oaths that have real in game impacts, while technology is free to anyone who can pay money for it. An interesting idea I just had – use speech recognition to actually have the player swear the oath. If he comes close to breaking it, the reminder is to play back the recording, in his own voice.