Description'Scientific progress goes "boink": Regulation, technological determinism and the BORG complex' Abstract: The regulation of new technologies is a contested field, not only with regard to how regulation should approach technological development but at what point, if ever, it should be introduced. Too early, so the argument goes, and innovation is stifled, too late, and immutable infrastructures, customs and attitudes may have embedded themselves in a scientific field, an industry or society as a whole. The Borg approach to technology – “Resistance is futile” – competes with more recent calls that ethical considerations must be incorporated into developments from the outset rather than as an afterthought. But what does this mean in terms of development practice when bright young people create shiny new things without considering potential future uses for less desirable purposes? And what of those who either cannot or do not want to participate in this new innovative society? To what extent is it possible to resist the expectation of technical skill and prowess that is illustrated and promoted by initiatives like the UK government’s “digital by default” approach? If freedom is always the freedom of those who think differently, to what extent can those who do not want to assimilate into the brave new world of technological determinism resist the pressure to do so? To what extent should they be forced to participate for the greater good? This paper will examine these questions from a regulatory and human rights perspective with a twinkly eye on that poster boy for blue skies innovation: Bill Watterson’s Calvin.
|Location||University of Bournemouth, United Kingdom|