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DismantlingsWords against Machines in the American Long Seventies$
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Matt Tierney

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501746413

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501746413.001.0001

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American Carnage and Technologies of Tomorrow

(p.160) Conclusion

Matt Tierney

Cornell University Press

This chapter concludes that unbridled technology is catastrophic to man's future. But it is equally obvious that what man has learned about the uses of technology should not, cannot ever be lost. Yet acknowledging the need to be wary is not the same as using caution to found a politics of dismantling in the present. In the twenty-first century, a time and place far from the Maine conversations of the Boggses and Paines, there must be a willingness to lose the machines. To decide in advance not to lose them is only the least objectionable version of the ambivalent formula that technology should not be unbridled, and that people want something other than a technological revolution, but the value of certain machines cannot ever be lost. It was a powerful ambivalence in its moment, because it called out unbridled exploitation but held firm to technological possibility. But at this late date, when tech firms and state agents hold all the codes, something still more urgent is required: to sweep past noncommittal logics, to risk relinquishing any use of any machine, and to move in groups toward more concrete practices of technological responsibility through dismantling.

Keywords:   unbridled technology, dismantling, machine, technological revolution, technological responsibility

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