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Talk:Inappropriate technology

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I'm not convinced by a few of these. Perhaps the biggest problem is the lack of a definition for inappropriate technology.

If we're going to take it as the opposite of Wikipedia's AT definition:

technology designed with special consideration to the environmental, ethical, cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of the community for which it is intended

then I think I have a problem with:

  • Saturday Night Specials

So affordable shelters good, but affordable guns bad? I'd accept the more broad category of 'hand guns', but the narrowness seems flawed.

  • Nuclear Powered Interplanetary Space Probes

There are very few alternatives with sufficient energy density for space probes.

  • Genetic Engineering

You cut a very broad swathe with this. Are we to deny people with genetic disorders a healthy life, and allow them to pass the same curse on to their children?

The list more broadly betrays a imposition of your own ethical and cultural beliefs upon any community that might use a number of the items listed.

I doubt, on a fundamental level, that there are many non-violent technologies that are intrinsically inappropriate in all circumstances. Just as 'Appropriate Technology' must consider the target audience, so must any consideration of 'Inappropriate Technology'.


Hi DragonDave, Bart and others,
I agree with DragonDave and am very uncomfortable with this page. I would like this page to be much more collaborative or maybe under the author's user page, i.e. User:Bart2/Inappropriate technology. With all respect to Bart, who is a brilliant and committed appropriate technology builder, I find this page inappropriate for Appropedia. Appropedia and its members must makes clearer guidelines for the content on Appropedia. I personally strongly favor descriptions over prescriptions. I even more strongly favor an understanding that technologies are not appropriate or inappropriate... not yes or no. The appropriateness, instead, is an analog weighing of transparent criteria for specific contexts that is, in turn, analyzed based upon feedback.
Thank you, --Lonny 15:07, 21 March 2011 (PDT)
I agree - & I like the wording of "descriptions over prescriptions" & "analog weighing of transparent criteria for specific contexts that is, in turn, analyzed based upon feedback."
For the mainspace, if we wanted to have a somewhat provocative article on the subject, I can see value in that, but it would need something about context, pros and cons & different views on particular technologies... We could use Bart's work as a starting point. My first attempt at editing was here but Bart reverted all my changes without comment.
I wrote a comment for Bart's talk page, but I lost it (technical glitch). My suggestion was that if Bart wants a page that he has final control over (as opposed to the negotiated, co-authored pages in our main article space) then he could make a page in "userspace" as suggested by Lonny - User:Bart2/Inappropriate technology.
I appreciate the forthright and provocative writing that Bart has contributed - it's just a matter of finding the right place for it. Thanks. --Chriswaterguy 16:53, 21 March 2011 (PDT)

I placed the contents of this page, Inappropriate technology, on the user page you recommended. User:Bart2/Inappropriate technology - Bart 17:55, 21 March 2011 (PDT)

Hi Bart,
Thank you so much for your contributions and sharing. I like the idea of your User:Bart2/Inappropriate technology page being from your perspective and maybe the current Inappropriate technology page to be a collaborative examinations of pros and cons as Chris suggests.
I look forward to reading more on your personal page about inappropriate technologies... and, as always, really value your opinions and ideas.
Thanks again,
--Lonny 19:58, 21 March 2011 (PDT)
Thanks Bart, Lonny and DragonDave. I've made a few changes to the collaborative page here, and will leave it to others to continue the work. --Chriswaterguy 20:22, 21 March 2011 (PDT)

New page[edit source]

I have decided to remake a new web page - Inappropriate Technology? On this new page I attempt to apply the suggestions you have made while giving it the symmetry, look and feel of formats that I create. I have provided general info wiki links and a procedure for posting both Pro or Con links. It is left to the person reviewing the page to come to their own conclusions concerning the controversial technology in question. I would prefer that this new page be kept in the main space - as is - and that the old page which we have been discussing - be deleted from the main space. I believe this to be a JUST and diplomatic compromise which promotes thoughtful consideration on the part of an open minded person viewing the new web page for the first time. Bart 21:34 21 March 2011 PDT

Hi Bart - is that something that you'd like to have stewardship or ownership of in some way? If so, perhaps we could make the title reflect that it's a project page rather than a topic page (since topic pages are completely open edit, no ownership, whereas project pages can reflect someone's point of view to a degree.) How does that sound?
The kind of name I'm thinking of is Bart's Inappropriate Technology Project or Class XYZ Inappropriate Technology (insert name of class). But it's flexible. --Chriswaterguy 19:18, 2 April 2011 (PDT)