Why Do People Resist New Technologies?

Source: World Economic forum, Jul 2016

… argues that society tends to reject new technologies when they substitute for, rather than augment, our humanity. …

We eagerly embrace them when they support our desire for inclusion, purpose, challenge, meaning and alignment with nature. We do so even when they are unwieldy, expensive, time-consuming to use, and constantly break down.

… resistance to new technologies is heightened when the public perceives that the benefits of new technologies will only accrue to a small section of society, while the risks are likely to be widespread. This is why technologies promoted by large corporations often face stiff opposition from the public.

Similarly, new technologies face great opposition when the public perceives that the risks are likely to be felt in the short run and the benefits will only accrue in the long run. So telling a skeptical public that new technologies will benefit future generations does not protect us from the wrath of current ones.

Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Gales of Creative Destruction
2. Brewing Trouble: Coffee
3. Stop the Presses: Printing the Koran
4. Smear Campaigns: Margarine
5. Gaining Traction: Farm Mechanization
6. Charged Arguments: Electricity
7. Cool Reception: Mechanical Refrigerated
8. Facing the Music: Recorded Sound
9. Taking Root: Transgenic Crops
10. Swimming against the Current: AquAdvantage Salmon
11. Oiling the Wheels of Novelty
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