“(…) scientific and technical work routinely implicates politics. (…) Technological ideas and technological things are not politically neutral: routinely, they have strong, built-in tendencies.”
Isn’t it fascinating that even when we think we’ve escaped things like “politics”, “power struggles”, we haven’t really? The reason I liked science for so long, the reason I wanted to bury my face and head in it, was so I didn’t have to deal with the very imperfect human world that is shaped and pushed back and forth by human vice: pride, greed, envy to pure destructive desires. Imagine my surprise when I discovered, heck, these bad things are everywhere. Even in the idealist and vice-fighter myself!
Not only are these found in all humans, they can also permeate everything we do, be it science, technology or philosophy. That was a sad realization for me, really.
From my earliest days I had a passion for science. But science, the exercise of the supreme power of the human intellect, was always linked in my mind with benefit to people. I saw science as being in harmony with humanity. I did not imagine that the second half of my life would be spent on efforts to avert a mortal danger to humanity created by science. (Rotblat, Nobel Peace Prize speech)
As I conclude with this argument, I want to get back to the first quote of “strong, built-in tendencies”. It is theses tendencies we have, that we transmit to our inventions, our ideologies, our thoughts, our actions. Even our science and technology. It convinces me more and more. We have a great affect on the things we do as broken people.
It convinces me in a way, though this might be somewhat of a leap, of the nature of science and technological advances: a nature that is not objective, but highly subjective and with dubious intentions behind it.
Anyways, the main reason I started even talking about this is because of a paper I had to read. Funny story about my encounter with this paper: I saved it in my to-read list during IAP/winter holiday (it was sent out to my school’s CS lab mailing list). As life got busy I did not manage to read it. Then as I take two classes this semester, they both require me to read this paper. Of course, it was a win-win moment for me 😀
The paper I’m quoting is this fascinating one from Phillip Rogaway: The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work. You can find the link for it here.
More about the paper: It has some great advice on how as a cryptographer one should view his work. Less of being only interested in the technical work and more awareness in the ethics and effects your work has. Which is a great lessor for all of us.
The video on empathy and sympathy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw
This is my first time taking a stab at writing a poetry in Spanish, so here it goes (it’s an assignment for a class):
Vienes en mi pecho, como un traicionero
Sé que no eres bueno para mí
Pero quizás es mi maldito destino ser junto a ti
País, país, país, país ridículo
No, ridículo es el amor que siento por ti
Ridículo es que no puedo olvidar
Ridículo es que no puedes alcanzar
Mentiras, ya te he olvidado tantas veces
Mentiras, son lo que me enseñaron de ti
No, no todo fue mentira, no
pero aun así
Ya no sé qué hacer por ti
Ya no sé cómo debería amar-a-ti
Ya no sé si debería preocuparme de ti
Pero, qué hay de mí?
Si no hay amor
Si no hay amor siquiera por ti?
Y si entregase mi cuerpo para ser quemado,
Que hay de mi si no hay amor por ti?
Y que hay de ti, si matas el amor de tus colibrís
Que hay de ti, si niegas el amor del unico salvador,
Que hay de ti?
“Dichosos son los que lloran
Porque serán consolados”
I’m dealing really well with being lonely right now, to be honest. I kind of like it 🙂
Being alone, having my own space to think and do whatever I feel like doing. I like this! I like my room too, mainly because it facilitates this new interest of mine on solitude.
Yeah. And an incredible post I found yesterday: