LA FOLIE DES GRANDS LEURRES ft. Alain Damasio et Vinciane Despret

LA FOLIE DES GRANDS LEURRES ft. Alain Damasio et Vinciane Despret

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'I must not hurt humans." A robot must not harm a human. This is the very first law of robotics formulated by biochemistry professor and leading science writer Isaac Asimov.

The fear of killer robots is about as old as old as the idea of robots itself. Already in the 1930s, most of the stories in this genre followed the same pattern a robot was created and then destroyed its creator. This is what was later called the Frankenstein complex. Today, this nightmare of the intelligent machine that suddenly turns against us is still very much alive revived by new imaginary apocalyptic or cyber punk worlds, by new Hollywood like gaming stories. But if we have not yet seen humanoid robots sweep through the major cities with the plan to destroy us, would it really have to come to that to conclude that technology can harm us? Technology is basically nothing more than the study of techniques and tools in the broadest sense. Our ancestors developed these long before Homo sapiens, the oldest traces of tools found on bones in Kenya date back 3.3 million years.

They mark the beginning of the Palaeolithic period. Artefacts and their study therefore accompany the human adventure for a very long time. The domestication of fire by Homo erectus.

Using a particular stone to strike another and produce a shard that will cut meat or wood. These are already forms of technology. With the sedentarisation and the development of agriculture, Technical advances have literally exploded and grown exponentially since the industrial since the industrial revolution.

Nowadays, when we talk about technology, we are talking about the evolution of a technically complex model that is increasingly more and more present in our lives. The imagination to which it refers us is that of complicated machines, advanced computer systems systems, big data, robotics, artificial intelligence, surveillance techniques and military equipment. If today these things fascinate us as much as they worry us, it is not by chance either. Well, there are also technologies that save lives. You don't have to be afraid of everything modern.

Let us return to this first law of robotics proposed by Isaac Asimov. A robot may not harm a human being a human being or, by remaining passive, leave that human being exposed to danger. By robots we mean here a technique or a machine. We can start by asking ourselves when a form of technology is deemed to be harmful to us. is harmful to us. For if we also hold the technocratic society responsible for the current ecological disasters, then one could say that this law has already been broken. Modern technologies have considerable ecological and and social impacts and some of the tools that are supposed to make life easier life can also alienate us.

Take GPS, for example. In November 2019, in Northern Quebec, a 29-year-old nurse died of hypothermia after being misled by his GPS and desperately searched for network coverage for 17 kilometres in the boreal forest. Some saw this as an urgent need to develop the cellular network in natural areas. Others, such as an anthropologist, Serge Bouchard, have seen it as a textbook case of a modern dependence on technology which is insidious and in this extreme case even deadly.

I don't feel like I'm dependent on my console. And in terms of skills, you've never complained until now. Well yes, but you don't know how to fix your console! Of course I can fix it. In any case, this is not the point. It's never the point. In 2007, we discovered the horror working conditions in the factories of Foxconn, a subcontractor of Apple.

A wave of suicides in the factory had alerted a part of world opinion. Not to mention the children who sometimes die in the mines so that we can play Candy Crush. Or take selfies with the dog filter. At the other end of the chain, Some modern means of communication also have an effect on the people who use them, for example in our intimate sphere, the omnipresence of of social networks in our daily lives has even had devastating effects on our morale or self-esteem. A US study on more than 1,000 young adults aged 18 to 30 found that those who spent more than 5 hours a day on social medias were 2.8 times more likely to develop depressive symptoms within six months, compared to those who spent less than 2 hours a day.

Our countries are getting richer and richer, more and more developed. But we are increasingly more and more depressed. Hey boss! Are you aware that for the last three minutes that we haven't heard you.

How so? Well, I cut. What do you mean you cut? Yes, to save the children from the mines. Well, I don't understand. Well, yes, you don't understand, you don't understand. Don't you understand that every day there are technicians who do the dirty work so that you don't have you don't have to feel guilty about doing it.

So at some point, if you want energy, you need infrastructure to conserve it. I didn't invent it, it's the second law of thermodynamics. But you don't understand that without technology there would be none of this. There would be no radio, there would be no radio show. Besides, there's a lot of stuff that wouldn't have. Like hospitals. If you want to make a CT scan, you need radioactive materials and it takes people to go and get it from the mine.

You don't understand that technology they have also made the lives of millions of of workers easier, less dangerous and less painful, but for you who has never really worked your life, that you don't understand! So it's easy to come criticize the technologies but the technologies, have also given meaning to the lives of so many people and to mine too. But at no point have I criticised the technology itself. I started by saying that we had always used them that we would always use them. It's not right or wrong.

It's just that it could develop in a less authoritarian, more democratic, less destructive way. It is not inevitable that technology will destroy us anyway. You don't thinkt that, do you ? Yeah maybe, but you could still be a little more careful how you say things.

Look, I'm sorry, I didn't think you'd take it this way. you know, me without you I'm just a guy who talks to himself,a big crazy loonie. You know like space exploration, space exploration is fine, but there's a difference between exploring and colonising.

Send a probe to Mars and go there like a fat pig like Elon Musk and want to make cities with 10,000 people. It's still not exactly the same thing. Yeah, right. Will you turn on the radio? Well, Asimov's second law says that a robot must obey the orders given by human beings. So if we believe that technologies obey humans, then who? Should we fear that they will get out of control? Or should we already be alarmed of the worldview of the handful of people who control the tech industries? By 2021, nine of the ten most valuable companies most valuable companies in the world are tech giants Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook. It is a new industrial revolution.

Their bosses are often seen as as genius innovators. But on closer inspection, they mostly look like megalomaniacs. Quite old school. Far from being a revolutionary, a guy like Elon Musk is just continuing the most academic way to continue this frantic race for technical progress and and the growth of his model.

I hate Elon Musk! Between appropriating the space with its project Starlink, which aims to deploy 42,000 satellites in low earth orbit and flood us with high-speed Internet without asking us. or allow himself to impose his technical climate delusions on everyone. While the vast majority of climate scientists are wary of geoengineering ; the artificial modification of the climate by excessive technical processes which may create other huge problems. And that's not to mention his vision of man in general, who should merge more and more into the machine and why not end up merging with his work tool. Elon Musk is simply the update of the of the big basic capitalist. I would still like to go to Mars.

On his side, Mark Zuckerberg has had, since the beginning of Facebook an ambition, indeed a mission, to make the world more open and connected. Perhaps he didn't anticipate that he would be setting up the greatest vortex of available brain time in our contemporary world and that its platform would condition the relationships between people, their debates, their ideas, their vision of the world. That they would then try to backtrack by saying that Facebook is not political and that they don't want to see political content on its platform alors qu'elle était devenue la plus grande agora du monde.

when it had become the largest agora in the world. Digital spaces to alert, inform, advocate. It confiscated a significant part of their freedom of expression. of their freedom of expression. Should we fear in the long term that powerful technologies, global systems in the wrong hands? In any case, they are already in the hands of people who have a power that is incomparable to what we have known before, as it is new in its form. Come on, kid! Come on, boy! Come on, kid! Come on! Ouch, ouch! Ooooh eh ! Asimov's third law.

A robot must protect its existence insofar as this protection does not conflict with with the first or second law. If the first two laws are considered to be are already violated, the third law can already be questioned. Is the tool still a means or does it now function according to its own logic? The thinkers Jacques Ellul and Bernard Charbonneau observed, for example, the tendency of our societies to concentration. Concentration of labour with factories, concentration of the state with its administration, concentration of population and capital which is illustrated in our capitals and in the development of cities in general. They will explain this tendency concentration by the technique, which is no longer so much an industrial process but a global logic.

The technique is sacred. It is presented, consciously or unconsciously as the inescapable destiny of our modern societies, to the point where it that it becomes the solution to everything. For in the minds of many rulers, everything is managed, administered and rationalised. There are assaults in the street, let's put cameras everywhere. The ski slopes are running out of snow due to global warming, let's deliver 50 tons by helicopter. A part of humanity becomes a geological factor capable of modifying the climate, let's invent geo-engineering to cool the climate.

Elon Musk tweets that he will give $100 million to the person who finds him the best technology to capture CO2. But did anyone ever tell him about about trees to this guy? Finally, can we therefore envisage a decreasing technology? technology? A non-capitalist technology that is not based on dominations and structural violence. Can we dream of a technical development development that is democratic and based on real collective needs? Can we dream of a world without selfie sticks, or space tourism? May the children who look up to the sky may marvel at the stars and not at the giant advertising projections. advertisements. Can we say to ourselves that the value of our humanity is not measured by the performance of our machines? Perhaps we can reorient our priorities towards a human-scale technoscience. A study that perhaps looks more into humanity itself, its ecology, its relationship to the world and to other life forms. and to other forms of life. We have so many worlds to discover, to invent, so many sensibilities that have been confiscated from us So what can we dream of? You see, it's incredible what you see on these walls.

It amazes me that we have made captains of industry, they have been made into religious icons, but in an absolutely aberrant technological catechism about people who claim to produce technologies for the masses eventually became a kind of absolute absolute gurus, embodiments of the most vertical power imaginable, even above even higher than the government. What has always amazed me is to say, these people have made us completely addicted, completely dependent to their technologies. How, by giving us power, giving us a power that was tiny, that was the power essentially of smartphones at the time and this is still the case today. And I always say to myself: OK, you increase our powers, but what do you do of our powers? And I have the impression that these powers have diminished, that they have been devitalized. It is up to the powers that be to do things directly by ourselves the ability to persevere like this in our being. Spinosa's famous conatus, or going to the end of what we can, as Nietzsche said I love this expression, are we active beings who go to the limit of what we can do or are we beings who, as soon as they start to initiate an action or act of commission, decides quickly to pass it on? And again outsource it to the applications.

So if you take the very stupid example which is GPS, I love it, people immediately, they arrive in a new city, they press the GPS, they let themselves be guided by the voice and they say "Fantastic I have the power to know any city or at least to orientate myself in any city without realizing that that knowing a city means memorising key points, memorising axes, memorising where the sea is for example. The city will rise in you, the city will be inhabited by you and that you will keep this capacity of specialisation, of orientation, which is completely lost when you delegate it to GPS. In fact, what you describe, is rather the fact that technologies have become hard drugs, that is to say that is, what we call hard drugs. But there is more than one it is an attachment, but it becomes fiercely exclusive. This means that there is no more arrangement possible. Simply, one is in one type of relationship and the others are excluded because you have become a friend.

But this is the way in which they have become is the way in which, indeed we let it become. We are hyperconnected but through technologies, we keep on We are indeed capturing and taking measurements and things like that, that is, to be in a then, obviously, in a relationship of what? A relationship of safeguarding, protection and vigilance, of enormous concern or a relationship of constant surveillance with any protected Ibex has now an earring, has a chip etc. And this is where I am very hesitant because I think both can be possible and there is no way to say a priori there is no way to generalise and say a priori that it will be bad. That's an exaggeration.

And I don't know, I don't know about that. I have the impression, but maybe it's my Nietzschean flaw I have the impression that it is a symptom of the inability to be present to this world directly. It's always the same. It is certain that if you experience things, if you contract the sensation directly when you are in front of an ibex, when you're facing a tree, when you look at a river, if you experience it immediately and it builds something in your organic memory, you don't feel the need to film it from the archive and say Oulala, I want to save it for later.

You know, It was the first time I went to the United States. I was 22 years old. You see, and I went out on my bike like that and I was doing the famous American panoramic views you know in the nature parks. and you saw people get out of the air-conditioned car take a picture and leave. And it was very clear to me, that they didn't experience at all what they were seeing, or even the heat of the sun because it is very hot and that as a result, as he felt he did not, he needed to capture. C'est comme ça que je voyais les choses.

I do not believe that human beings is fundamentally a being of power but I think he's a control freak. The mechanisms of anguish, anxiety, fear and above all the relationship with uncertainty. I think this is a key point. make that you're going to have a much greater demand for control and therefore for technology that is supposed to give you that much greater control.

The more this anxiety, his fears are maximised. And for me, there is really a phenomenon. It's like the feeling of insecurity. We know, for example, that in the streets today, compared to the 19th century, there are far fewer homicides, assaults, injuries, etc. and yet the feeling of insecurity has never been so high. You see, I heard something very nice and it is to move from the imaginary to the imagination that I'm doing this, to make this transition.

I heard something very nice from a veterinarian a few years ago, here in Lyon who said that people who had dogs had a much better sense of security than people who did not have dogs. That's the interesting thing, It's not because the dog protects you, it goes for Chihuahuas anything goes, any dog will do. So what's going on? Et c'est ça qui est joli comme explication. When people have a dog, they are forced to leave their homes and that is to say they are confronted with the city as it is and not as as they imagine it to be.

And then you have a double movement because that's what's great too. It's performative, that kind of thing. In the first movement where people are confronted with the city the city as it is and realise that it is not that dangerous, they are not afraid. In short, if they are afraid, it is really they have the wrong neighbourhood for them. And the second is that the fact that people go out, we know very well that the more people there are in the evening on the streets, the more security is guaranteed. Because eventually, the less things can happen and I think, well, this, why do people imagine? What kind of imagination is this then? Because we are also both.

There are two of us, we like imagination and we try to work on it, to make it grow. We try to feed it, by saying that a fed imagination it is an imagination which becomes more ample, which becomes more... There is a more interesting texture more interesting, more patterns, etc. And then I say to myself, what are we doing with this what are we doing with this imagination, what? It is imagination that impoverishes, that narrows existence. And so it means that there is an imagination that increases existence.

I'll take the more Spinozist side you were proposing. And then there are imaginations that shrink existence. But it is precisely the imagination that does not bear uncertainty. I can only imagine what would happen if I don't have my GPS. The number of times I will run over four people, get lost in the street, it impoverishes my life and that's how it is. What is being proposed to us with the technologies and even what is being proposed? C'est plutôt une position d'imagination passive.

Which is? At the very least, we amplify a little. C'est peut être ça aussi qui fera la différence between good cinema that really asks you a bigjob and not necessarily intellectual, but a work of imagination versus a thing where you are given all the codes. So I'm not going to say any names here, but there are two or three films that have come out recently. It feels like we're you don't have to do anything else.

You don't have a job to do you come out of it feeling like of being full and not having done anything. This is really what I call the NERF imaginary, a research in the sense that I use this joke or pun is to say it goes through the nervous system. That is to say that it's extremely simple solicitations, it's a kind of impulse, we'll say, which will generate a very, very swift answer.

Very immediately a like, a dislike, an adhesion, a counter-adhesion. It's a kind of virality, but it works. The nervous system, is a bit like the video game. The problem with video games at times, some video games at least, only work on stimuli. Nervous reactions.

You see, you feel it when you play, you have no flesh left, you no longer have a body, you are your nervous system. And I think it's very good to speak, in any case of imagination or imagination, passive imagination or an imaginary activated like this from the outside, because this is really the problem that we're facing and especially with the American blockbusters, etc. there is the imagination, it's fantasy films, science fiction films, but you don't have room to imagine anything other than what they have pre-scripted for you, they've pre-scripted a certain kind of possible imagination and they're going to activate it. So these are the issues, but we have deviated from the technology. So there, we had done it right. That's good!

And here we are. It's getting in spiral. It's not getting in spiral In fact, this is a spin on that. Yes, it's going into a spin. But yes, it is certain that now it's going to go wrong or not. Or not.

2022-05-24 08:37

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