Who would have thought that the otherwise respectable MIT Technology Review would have an infestation of Luddites. Yet the evidence to plain to see. In a feature called The 10 worst technologies of the 21st century they offer up the following list:
Segway – okay massively over-hyped, but worst?
Google Glass – premature.
Electronic voting – not only is this the future but it will overtake the current “cutting edge 18th century technology” that we currently employ (so-called “representative” democracy).
One Laptop per Child – well yes. A failed political program, but not a bad technology per se. Yes politicians and some educators try to get technology to substitute for pedagogy but that is a not a technology problem.
CRISPR babies – fascinating ethical problems.
Data trafficking – embryonic market being formed here. I’ll be having more to say on this topic over the next few months.
Cryptocurrency – unfair. This is a use case of a far more interesting technology.
e-cigarettes – this depends on your point of view. If you are a nanny-stater health-nazi then yes. If you are a smoker wanting to consume nicotine with a safer delivery mechanism then no.
Plastic coffee pods – for shame editors of the MIT Technology Review.
Selfie sticks – as a connoisseur of the selfie (as my Facebook friends know) and the proud owner of selfie sticks I have to completely disagree with their view here.
To be fair to the editors of the MIT Technology Review their argument is that it is quite difficult to come up with a list of “bad” technology – how do you decide? Fair enough (yet they managed to overlook nuclear weapons).