Until recently, questioning technology was a sure-fire way to draw ridicule. Anyone doing it risked comparison to the Luddites, those British textile workers who fought in vain the mechanization of their industry, correctly fearing that the machines would displace them.

The argument against the Luddites was not really that machines would not displace them, it was that the greater good (plentiful and cheap apparel) was overwhelming and that the displaced could be retrained in a virtuous cycle of progress and prosperity.

Both arguments rang true and things have worked out pretty well. Billions have been lifted out of poverty, illiteracy has almost been vanquished and lifespans have more than doubled. We have access to once-unimaginable benefits, like having most human knowledge accessible on a device in our pocket. From shopping to research to conferencing, we can do things from home that once required travel and time. The achievements are spellbinding.

The technological advances of recent years have mostly continued and validated that trend. For example, most people wanted the convenience of emails more than they missed the demise of the letter or feared the trivialization of the word.

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