Antisocial personality disorder applied to technology

Looking at some of the actions of major tech corporations and the people that run them, I was instantly reminded of anti-social personality disorder. This led me to think: how does the behaviour of technology in general fit in with the symptoms of anti-social personality disorder. According to Healthline, this disorder has the following symptoms.

  1. Being angry often: It’s hard to ascribe emotions to technology, so I’ll skip this one for now but it deserves some thinking.
  2. Being arrogant: If one thinks of the general emotions of the technological organism as the prevailing feelings about technology, we could definitely call technology arrogant as it constantly “believes” or promises that it can do anything.
  3. Manipulating others: technology definitely manipulates others. It convinces people to use it, it promises a better future in return for using it but on average makes the environment worse, etc.
  4. Acting witty and charming to get what they want: this is such a perfect description of technology! Technology makes itself look all shiny and attractive in order to get us to use it.
  5. Lying frequently: technology says that it will make the world better but it leaves environmental destruction in its wake.
  6. Stealing: technology takes away livelihoods, it takes away nature, it takes away communities and steals our autonomy
  7. Acting aggressively and fighting often: the technological-industrial war machine certainly is very aggressive, especially if you consider how quickly it will react if resources for technological development are threatened.
  8. Breaking the law: if laws were sane, technology would break them. Of course, one must interpret this carefully because technologists change the law to suit them, but if they could not do that, they would break the law. It certainly does break the “natural law”
  9. Not caring about personal safety or the safety of others: technology certainly does not care about any person except as how the function as cells in the technological organism
  10. Not showing guilt or remorse for actions: like I said, directly ascribing emotions to technology is difficult. But this is certainly true of the technologists at the forefront of technological development.

Edit: someone pointed out that many corporations are also anti-social, not just the technology corporations. But I still see that tech-corporations have a few of these traits that others do not. For example, other corporations don’t tend to act as witty and charming, at least in the sense that they don’t tend to promise to people that they will change lives and the world for the better.

In other words, it seems that other corporations aren’t so inherently dishonest about the harm they do to the world. Coca-Cola is an exceptionally harmful corporation, but it appeals directly to basal instincts for sugar, and it doesn’t ever pretend that it will improve the world. Technology companies actually try and convince you that they are God’s gift to humankind, and they are especially negligent when it comes to the safety of others.


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