Appropriate Technology Movement
The Appropriate Technology Movement is a multi-polity ideological movement seeking to find a balance between technological progressivism and societal stability.
The societies of most sophont species eventually discover that advanced technologies bring about a mix of cultural effects, both advantageous and disadvantageous. Technology affects culture and when culture is greatly changed by technology, a paradigmatic change may occur, often causing anarchy, revolution, and great unrest. An interstellar movement called the Appropriate Technology Movement is deeply concerned with finding a balance between society and technology, a pace of technological research and progress that doesn't constantly destabilize the interstellar system.
Major Race Change Adaptation
Some sophont species deal with change much more easily than others.
- The Hivers, for instance, have formed a society practically based on perpetual change. Hiver society is seemingly endlessly patient and adaptable. Few technologies have any chance of disrupting Hiver cultural mores and societal order. Hivers coopt and adopt change so quickly that it disrupts them not at all.
- The Vargr, in another case, have practically made a fetish of paradigmatic change within the Vargr Extents. Their culture, society, and civilization are a whirlpool of anarchy, constant change, revolution, unrestrained chaos, a veritable recursive state of flux. The only truly stable element in Vargr society is change itself. The strength of the mindset is that Vargr society is an ever developing laboratory of experiment and progress. As opposed to the unflappable Hivers, technology constantly disrupts Vargr society, but they wouldn't have it any other way. Like any other social mechanism, it too has pros and cons.
It usually takes most societies and civilizations hundreds or thousands of years to recognize the cycle of development inherent to a sophont species. Technology and adoption of it is a factor that mature cultures learn how to moderate. A society not ready for a particular technology may experience great societal stress or anarchy when trying to adapt to technologies that change societal mores and traditions. Immature, young societies tend to rush forward adopting technologies willy nilly, sometimes plunging their worlds into war or worse. The S'mrii are just one example of a culture that experienced rapid technological progress before their greater culture was ready for it.
Robotics & Societal Disruption
As early as TL-6, perhaps earlier, the first automation and simple robotic automatons appeared. And what was the first thing they did? According to many labor theorists, they displaced native workers and industries. According to the greater public, they made life easier. Whatever the truth of the matter is, automation and robotics have come to stay in Charted Space.
However, what has also come about as a result of this history was a simplifying, sober look at the relationship between sophontdom and technology. Thus was the Appropriate Technology Movement born. The Movement, in a nutshell, advocates for slowly, carefully, and in a planned manner, integrating new technologies into society. This makes great sense to the "haves," and much less sense to the "have nots."
Some, like the Hivers, already make use of similar ideas with their many Uplift projects. Others, like the Aslan, have embraced some technologies but rejected others as causing weakness and societal failings. Whatever the case may be, most sophont societies look at technology with a critical eye these days. After all, it may cost some unlucky sophont his or her job...
Robot Revolution & Post-scarcity
Labor, or work, is still very much a part of life within Charted Space. While many kinds of life-easing personal automation exist, goods of all kinds, but not all kinds are still scarce, or in limited supply on even the highest technology [[worlds of the Hive Federation or Third Imperium.
Robotics, from its inception, has shown the potential to reduce labor and increase the availability of consumer goods. Some see an era where nanobots, computer brains, and servile bots of all kinds bring about an era of post-scarcity. That day has not yet arrived. Some futurists have forecast that the automated sciences may allow a much greater state of post-scarcity to exist as early as TL-19, but no one really knows for sure.
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