Issue 4 – Apocalypse

Forside issue 4The apocalypse is here. Or is it?

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Profile picture of Erlend SimensenAccording to the Mayan calendar the world will end on 21st of December 2012. How this will happen is not known. Some perceptions of the apocalypse invoke volcanos, flooding and earthquakes, others are referring to meteor strikes. We do not believe in this.

However, having the apocalypse as a topic for this issue of Teknovatøren allows us to highlight some of the more long-term apocalyptic challenges the world is facing. Regardless of what an ancient calendar has predicted or New Agers claim, the world is facing significant challenges this coming century.

The list of concerns is in fact long: climate change, religious and cultural differences, economic collapse, ecological crises, genetic modifications, food shortage, loss of biological diversity, etc. A recurring theme is that technology is involved in all of these concerns, either as the cause of the problem or as a solution to the problem. Sometimes even both. This emphasizes the fascinating duality of technologies; they can be regarded both as solutions to societal challenges, or as problems in themselves.

People in the academic communities studying technol- ogy or people in the environmental organisations are often divided into technology optimists and technology pessimists. I would rather encourage people to be analytical about technologies and to study the mentioned duality that lies within them. We need to be critical about it, but still regard technology as a great tool that has to be handled with caution. Whether we like it or not, technological progression will probably not halt any time soon. The best we can hope for is to try to control its development and use it for the better of the society.

Erlend Osland Simensen
ESST MA Student


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Executive Editor: Erlend Osland Simensen
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