Matthias Oesterle/ Getty Images

创新及其引发的不满情绪

坎布里奇——人们往往大肆赞美技术创新克服重大发展挑战、拉动经济增长以及推动社会前进的能力。但创新往往面临着很高的实施壁垒,政府甚至有时直接禁用新技术——就连那些可以带来深远利益的新技术也不例外。

以印刷机为例。除其他因素外,这项新技术是世界宗教的福音,宗教界突然间拥有了复制和传播经文的有效利器。但奥斯曼帝国禁止印刷古兰经长达近400年。1515年,苏丹塞利姆一世据说颁布法律,“专门从事印刷学可以判处死刑。”

为什么要反对这样一种有益的技术?我曾在著作创新及其敌人:人们为什么抵制新技术中提出,答案并不仅仅是人们在面临未知时的恐惧。相反,抵制技术进步往往植根于担心破坏现状可能带来就业、收入、权力和身份的丧失。而政府往往最终认为与其费力适应新技术还不如干脆禁止。

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