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4 July 2001Printer-friendly versionEmail a friend

Mobius Dick versus the Luddites

by Dave Hallsworth

At last - a pop group willing to take a stand against the greens and the softies.

Mobius Dick - who describe themselves as a 'techno band that takes technology seriously' - argue that 'technology is the most important force in the world today'. And they're not afraid to make enemies - having spoken out against Bill Joy, co-founder and chief scientist at Sun Microsystems, whose warnings against the developments in nano-technology, robotics and genetic engineering shook the scientific community in the USA.

Joy is concerned that unrestrained technological developments could threaten the future of the human race - and is calling for limits, voluntary or imposed, on what scientists can do (1). But AG Android, frontman for Mobius Dick, thinks Joy is rather paranoid:

'Machines are already your servants, in time they will be your friends, perhaps even your lovers. Some kind of change is inevitable and people need to think about what kind. But inducing fear in others won't cut it. There are a lot of options out there and we need to see what they are and decide what we want.'

Mobius Dick claim to have been 'originally founded by our great-grandfathers, whose efforts to make steam-powered synthesisers failed amid a cloud of coal smoke'. Perhaps more believably, they argue that generation by generation we get more used to technological advances that seem frightening at first.

'Of course the future seems scary now', sings AG Android in the song Embrace the Machine. 'But these cheesy science-fiction sound effects were scary to your parents and grandparents when science and the atom seemed scary and new. Now those old movies seem homey and reassuring. That's how it will be for your children and grandchildren.'

'Cloning seems frightening now', says Android. 'One day it will just seem…quaint.'

Mobius Dick's new album Got Dick? is available now. To hear tracks from it, or to find out more abound the band, visit the Mobius Dick page on the MP3 website

(1) See Robots rule OK?, BBC Online, 20 August 2000

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