Technology, like many things, is a double edged sword, and can be used for both good or evil depending on how it is applied. MIT professor Chris Csikszentmihalyi has recognized that when technological progress is constantly being directed by the same people, those people actually have the power to control the path of entire civilizations.
According to Csikszentmihalyi, an immense amount of political power is achieved through the control of technological progress. Evidence of this can be seen in the war and surveillance technology that is being implemented in cities and towns all over the world.
From drones, to police spy cameras and NSA database systems, it does seem that more often than not, people are developing technology to the detriment of their neighbors and the environment.
However, if more attention was paid to disruptive technology, meaning technology that upsets the status-quo, the average people can wield this double edged sword for a change, and use technology to free humanity.
Since 2001, Csikszentmihalyi has spent his time at MIT focused on disruptive technology, and finding ways to bring the political power that technology offers into the hands of the average people. At one point, his lab was even responsible for a robotic kayak which was designed to protest at Guantanamo. His team also developed an app called TXTmob, that allows protesters to communicate safely and effectively during demonstrations.
In the presentation below, Csikszentmihalyi talks about some of the projects that his team worked on at MIT, and he is even critical of how some research at MIT is closely connected to the military industrial complex.
Image Credit: Wikimedia