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La technique : promesse, mirage et fatalité

Abstract : At the start of the 21st century, the public and newsworthy domain is filled with speeches and prophecies about technical innovation with the promise of a better world if not “the best of all possible worlds”, in a distant echo of this ideology of progress which reigned triumphant in the thirty-year post-war boom (“Trente Glorieuses”) which were presumed to have been buried under the avalanche of criticism in the final quarter of the 20th century. The list gets longer every day with the numerous improvements in micro-computing, now closely associated with Internet and multi-support communication, from artificial intelligence to robots, and their evolution to geo-engineering, green chemistry, new areas in the neuro-sciences, satellite technologies, gene therapy or the biology of synthesis. Despite their diversity in form and scope, these promises – if only due to the amplification of their repetition by the buzz in the media and the performances of the “demos” – are a daily reminder of the advent of technical futures, presented as both inevitable and desirable. This cascade of promises is evidence of a new acceleration in technical development which has an effect on all social life, in a new phase in its history, in which different scientific fields are combined, ending the boundaries between disciplines. They also reveal the strength of a cultural conditioning which leads us to believe, often in the total abandonment of any critical judgement, in the constant renaissance of the technological miracle. So much so, that in this techno-futurist effervescence, we end up by taking this for the “real thing” even when the development of the innovations is merely embryonic or hypothetical.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 4:05:46 PM
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Daniel Compagnon, Arnaud Saint-Martin. La technique : promesse, mirage et fatalité. Socio - La nouvelle revue des sciences sociales, Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l’homme, 2019, pp.7-25. ⟨10.4000/socio.4401⟩. ⟨halshs-02129911⟩



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