14 Pages

The Impact of Technology

Technology, and behind it science as the motive power, are the triumph of reason over instinct just as much as planning is the ascendency of conscious control over the instinctive forces of an uncontrolled laisser-faire. Planning and technology belong together. They spring from the same roots and both lead to the same conviction : what matters is how we can master the situation so that the situation shall not master us. Hitherto we have developed and relied upon our sense of reality almost exclusively ; but we need not only to see things as they are but as they might be. It is this sense of new possibilities which will break down inertia. It is most strongly inherent in science and technique. It stands in the forefront of the forces which

are transforming our admiration of sheer quantity into a truer understanding of quality, thus paving the way for making human values our standard of planning. Science and technology have to explore the differences as well as the similarities in things and functions : and this is of special importance in our present situation and in relation to our present subject. The scientific spirit was the dynamite responsible for the disintegration of our civilisation. It will also be the main constructive force in reshaping the future. The last century saw a desperate struggle for a synthesis between the many forces which science brought to life. Men were overwhelmed by this impact, and it was only natural for them to look for past precedents as they always do when they are unable through lack of vision to cope with problems in a sovereign manner. Let us hope that the future will give us power and energy to appreciate and analyse the many forces at work in our community and to blend the results of this accurate analysis into an inspiring and significant whole where each function has an appropriate place. Technology and planning are the practical components of science and rationality, and as such they form a coherent whole.