Nadav, I hear you. But it’s also important not to romanticize the past. Yes, there are lots of negative externalities to fix in our current society. But more people are living longer lives, have enough to eat, and have a roof over their head than ever before. This is non-trivial. We could all be living in a Hobbesian world in which life was “nasty, brutal, and short,” but we’re not.

The fact that the gains from our partnership with machines are so unequally distributed concerns me. But let’s not pretend that we’d like to live a few hundred years back. Even relatively poor people today can live better than kings once did.

Lots to fix, yes. But the bad choices we have made are not intrinsic to technology. They are far more deeply tied to our politics and our financial system than to invention.

And climate is probably one of the greatest existential risks we face, which could make almost every other issue pale by comparison. However we got here, technology has a really important role in getting us out of the hole we dug for ourselves.

Written by

Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Watching the alpha geeks, sharing their stories, helping the future unfold.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store