Preamble

  • Skepticism is not a philosophy of disbelief. Rather it is a philosophy that suggests that there is merit in examing beliefs. A skeptical view of the world allows for faith, in fact recognises that 'faith' at some level often underlies so-called scientific theory. Skepticism does not lead us to the 'entire truth' of the universe, but it is discipline that allows us to better understand small parts of it. And for those parts that we want to grow or progress, skepticism is a tool to open the hood, check the hoses, replace the worn out parts, and lubricate the engine.
  • So why was the focus of this Blog on Skepticism and Technology, and Computer Technology particularly? Because Computer Technology (like every new science struggling for respectability) has surrounded itself with beliefs, an aura which resembles an old style religion where the priests have all the knowledge and know what's best for the humble, confused and worshipfull users of the technology. While the Computer people might enjoy the adulation and their 'special status' and while the computer users (and their managers) retreat comfortably into their 'I don't know what I'm doing and can't be held responsible for anything' attitude, the field of computing technology will largely stagnate. In such an environment we can only extend computer technology by replacing more and more manual processes. That is to say that we can use technology to replace jobs, but we have largely failed to empower the users of the technology to use technology to find creative ways of enhancing their existing jobs.

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Comments

Tban

Well it was true (as best I could tell!) to say in 2005 that there were no other blogs referencing skeptology, but there are indeed a few now, and most quite creditable. Skeptology of course is a nonsense, ironic hyperbole perhaps. One can scarcely claim that it is possible to make a science out of a process of dis-belief or suspension of belief in respect of any 'accepted wisdom' (depending on your particular skeptical flavour) or dogma. If you 'get' the circularity of this situation you are pretty much in tune with the problems of skepticism expounded by Sextus Empiricus around 100AD - no point taking a dogmatic position about the fallibility of dogmas. And sKeptology, with a K though I'm from an English oriented culture that seems to prefer 'C' (generally), well it looks nicer when set up as a heading. Because in some situations an absurd reason is as good as any other.

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