Friday, April 20, 2012

Myths of empire part 2: the neutrality assumption

Another potent myth of civilization is that the individual components of its technological apparatus are neither good or bad in themselves. Although technology can be used in good or bad ways or directed at good or bad goals, the technology itself is entirely neutral.

[Still waiting for someone to tell me how a nuclear weapon can be neutral. Or sarin gas. Or surveillance technology, or…]

Consider this recent news item, a story that would be humorous if not for the fact that a human being was killed by an addiction that was intentionally crafted by corporate chemists and marketers.

A young woman in New Zealand died as a direct result of a 2 gallon per day Coca Cola habit. The article cites a corporate statement that strongly evokes the neutrality meme: "We believe that all foods and beverages can have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle" and that “grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic…”

Corporate addiction technology is just neutral chemistry.  Manipulative corporate propaganda is just psychology.

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