Article5 September 2001

spiked-IT: four principles

by Sandy Starr and Helene Guldberg

  • Neither technophilia nor technophobia

Both technophiles (who endow IT with powers for good) and technophobes (who fear its effects upon our lives) treat IT as a force beyond our control. This is a diminished view of human achievement, and it sets technology up for a fall. IT should be seen and used as a tool with which to achieve real and ambitious human goals.

  • For autonomy online

The free spirit that the internet was once thought to embody is in danger of being suffocated by incursions upon our privacy and our right to free speech. Content is removed from the internet by unaccountable quangos, and state authorities have unprecedented powers to monitor electronic communications. Autonomy online -including free speech and privacy from the state - should always be defended.

  • To boldly go...

A culture of restraint is holding back the investment needed to develop IT. Policymakers and businesses make a virtue of spontaneous developments in IT, rather than working out long-term visions of what we want the new technologies to do for us. In order to realise its potential, IT needs a coherent vision and a willingness to risk the unforeseen.

  • Don't Blow IT

The 1990s hype about the IT revolution might have been misplaced - but today's gloom about the IT sector is just as unjustified. Caution and cynicism can only postpone IT's deployment, and weigh down discussions about the technology itself with political and cultural questions. Premature disaffection with IT will mean that we squander its genuine benefits. Let's not blow IT.

Read on:

Don't Blow IT, by Sandy Starr spiked-proposals: IT, by Sandy Starr and Rob Lyons

spiked-issue: Don't blow IT

Reprinted from :

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