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Innovationen und Unzufriedenheit

CAMBRIDGE – Technische Innovationen werden oft für ihre Fähigkeit gelobt, schwierige Entwicklungsprobleme zu überwinden, das Wirtschaftswachstum zu fördern und die Gesellschaft voran zu bringen. Aber ihre Einführung steht oft vor großen Hürden. Neue Technologien werden oft von den Regierungen einfach verboten – darunter sogar solche, die von großem Nutzen sein könnten.

Nehmen wir die Druckerpresse. Unter anderem war diese neue Technologie ein Segen für die Weltreligionen, die plötzlich über ein effizientes Mittel zur Reproduktion und Verbreitung heiliger Texte verfügten. Aber das Osmanische Reich verbot den Druck des Korans fast vierhundert Jahre lang. 1515 erließ Sultan Selim I angeblich eine Verfügung, die die Beschäftigung mit der Wissenschaft des Druckens mit dem Tode bestrafte.

Warum sollte man sich nützlichen Technologien in den Weg stellen? Wie ich in meinem Buch Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies argumentiere, liegt die Antwort nicht einfach nur in der Angst der Menschen vor dem Unbekannten. Statt dessen ist der Widerstand gegen technologischen Fortschritt normalerweise mit der Sorge verbunden, die kreative Zerstörung des Status Quo könnte zu Arbeitsplatz-, Einkommens-, Macht- oder Identitätsverlusten führen. Regierungen sind letztlich oft der Meinung, es sei leichter, neue Technologien zu verbieten, als sich an sie anzupassen.

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