Sunday Book-Thought 93

Man has not been very successful in mastering the technologies which his intelligence has developed. Like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, he finds it easier to release forces than to control them. The true measure of man will not be in his technical skills in creating new technology but will be found in his social and political skills in harnessing the forces he releases for the service of mankind. We  have reached a critical time in the development of computers when society must start to decide how it wants to use these manipulators of information. 30 years ago, it was too early to perceive the controls needed; in 30 years’ time it will be too late. The post computer society will have already been shaped. We will have to live with either a social structure we have rationally planned or a computer based control system which has grown by our default.
– Tom Crowe and John Hywel Jones, The Computer and Society: Servant or Master? (Fabian Tract 457) (London: The Fabian Society, July 1978), p. 16.

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