Disruptive Technologies

This article about wireless access points that run linux is pretty interesting. Lots of semi-utopian (capitalist-utopian) ideas about what to do with the things. But the point is that they are what Cringely, the author, calls a "disruptive technology." Cell phones, personal computers, and the internet itself are other examples of disruptive technologies. Yes.

The thing he fails to mention is that disruptions caused by disruptive technologies are not always a good thing. Nuclear fission is another disruptive techology. The powered looms that spawned the Luddites was another. The list could go on. It's like the assumption that all change is good that so many new economy business gurus preached. uh uh....

It brings to mind one of my favorite Marcuse quotes:

"The traditional notion of the 'neutrality' of technology can no longer be maintained."
-Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man

(thanx matisse)