Last week, I posed the question, “Is technology ill-gotten gain?” While I did not come out strong in my post one way or the other, I think I finally settled on an answer I can accept. Yes. Just as so much of our technology came from Nazi experiments and our long history of fine cotton garments came from the tireless and unappreciated work of slaves, information technology has come to us at the expense of others. Ill-gotten gain.
The next question is “Can IT be redeemed?” My friend Daniel Shackelford, who attends an Eastern Orthodox church, talked to me at least once about how Christ’s participation in Creation (ie: He drank, ate, slept, wore clothes, went to the bathroom, worked, paid taxes, etc.) was a part of redemption. The redemption of Creation. So, now we have this creation by man that has gone awry. Can it be redeemed through righteous participation?
Now, before it sounds like I am going all “churchy,” I mean righteous in the broader sense: right-ness, or simply doing the right thing. By using technology in the right way, purchasing it from ethical manufacturers, and holding the irresponsible accountable, can we all redeem technology together? Take its past and present, turn it on its head, and create something that does not require, as my friend David Goodrich said it so elegantly, compromise? I think so. But, until our technology and our use of it is righteous, we are compromising. And, unfortunately, the excuse of ignorance does not give an ill-treated stranger his or her dignity back.
So, now I pose the question to anyone who will listen. How do we redeem technology?
(P.S.: Peace in Libya, please… please.)