I created this thread in response to a curious bit of news coming out of Arizona.
The assailant slipped out of a park around noon one day in October, zeroing in on his target, which was idling at a nearby intersection — a self-driving van operated by Waymo, the driverless-car company spun out of Google.
He carried out his attack with an unidentified sharp object, swiftly slashing one of the tires. The suspect, identified as a white man in his 20s, then melted into the neighborhood on foot.
The slashing was one of nearly two dozen attacks on driverless vehicles over the past two years in Chandler, a city near Phoenix where Waymo started testing its vans in 2017. In ways large and small, the city has had an early look at public misgivings over the rise of artificial intelligence, with city officials hearing complaints about everything from safety to possible job losses.
Some people have pelted Waymo vans with rocks, according to police reports. Others have repeatedly tried to run the vehicles off the road. One woman screamed at one of the vans, telling it to get out of her suburban neighborhood. A man pulled up alongside a Waymo vehicle and threatened the employee riding inside with a piece of PVC pipe.
In one of the more harrowing episodes, a man waved a .22-caliber revolver at a Waymo vehicle and the emergency backup driver at the wheel. He told the police that he “despises” driverless cars, referring to the killing of a female pedestrian in March in nearby Tempe by a self-driving Uber car.
What I love the most about this story is that you can't actually really be against the people doing this. Some Luddites don't attack technology from a place of fear of progress; they attack for different reasons and get misconstrued. In this case, they never asked for this to be tested in their neighborhoods when we know the tech isn't quite up to snuff yet. It's still an overreaction— going at an AV with a knife or gun in hand when there are still people inside is only causing the danger you're looking to avoid. But I can understand where they're coming from.
Same deal with that news about China shutting down the genetic engineering of babies thing. At first, I was against that because I thought they were actually trying to stop progress in lieu of Western ideals of bio-egalitarianism (which I claimed they wouldn't have, so it made me look like a fool). Now I know that the researcher in question genuinely did break ethical laws— the babies who were edited were brought to him for one procedure (that's still related to genetic engineering; just not CRISPR), and he used them for another, much more dangerous and untested purpose. It's like going to the doctor for a check-up on your bronchitis and he decides to give you an experimental vial for AIDS that might give you scrotal cancer. Highly uncalled for, and should have been done with more care.
A true Luddite, however, is one that would attack autonomous vehicles out of fear and for reasons like:
- It takes away jobs
- It takes away freedom from driving
- You can't trust computers
- It makes people too lazy
Either way, this thread is for posting and discussing those who are opposed to technological progression for any reason, whether justified by concerns of safety and a lack of testing or out of fear of anything modern and everything in between.
This doesn't include climate change denial, evolution denial, efforts to stop mitigating climate change, etc. unless it involves someone opposed to a technological or modern solution.
It does include being opposed to the effects of technological progression, though. Things like opposition to transgender surgery, preference of certain activities (like playing video games) over others (like playing outside), and technosexuality.