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FrankensteinAnnotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds$
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Mary Shelley, David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262533287

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262533287.001.0001

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I’ve Created a Monster! (And So Can You)

I’ve Created a Monster! (And So Can You)

Chapter:
(p.209) I’ve Created a Monster! (And So Can You)
Source:
Frankenstein
Author(s):

Cory Doctorow

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262533287.003.0007

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein resonated in 19th century England, and still speaks to us today, because it captures people’s anxieties about the effects of runaway technological change. But technological change is not a force of nature. The way technology changes – and the way it changes us – is the result of choices that we make as makers and users of tools, individually and collectively. Today digital technologies are making mass surveillance a part of everyday life, demonstrating how technologies can be marshalled by people in power to control others. The theory of the “adjacent possible,” which helps explain why certain imaginative technological visions emerge into reality at specific moments, in specific contexts, helps us understand how to understand technological change, prepare for its transformative effects, and decide to build and use technologies in ways that enrich human life, rather than exploit it.

Keywords:   Ethics, Maker Culture, DIY, Technology Adjacent Possible, Facebook, Surveillance

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