Mass technologies and ignorance in the society of knowledge

part of The knowledge society

An advanced expression of culture and of social evolution, contemporary technology, which increasingly incorporates endless quantities of scientific knowledge, has acquired a decisive power on human existence and on the natural system supporting it. It has the ability, now demonstrated, to attain a vast improvement in the quality of life ­ if one can benefit from proper amounts of it ­ and to prolong life for decades. On the other hand, its results may also go in a totally opposite direction, either against ourselves or our descendants, or other populations. A similar theory is true for life-supporting systems.