I’ve just dug up this old Wired article by Misha Glennie about some of the differences between Europe and the US when it comes to attitudes to science and technology — it certainly makes you think, although I’m a bigger fan of the EU way of doing things that Glennie seems to be. There are also some relevant points regarding the current (ridiculous) debate about which mobile phone standard should be used in post war Iraq.
“The impact of the industrial revolution on Shelley and her contemporaries was certainly comparable to the changes modern Europe is experiencing today. Shelley described her antihero, Victor Frankenstein, as a “modern Prometheus” who sought to acquire “new and almost unlimited powers” by sending an electrical charge through a patchwork of dead body parts. As an atheist, Shelley was concerned not about Frankenstein’s challenge to God’s order but to a Rousseau-esque natural order (in this she was an early environmentalist). She feared the application of science outside moral constraints. At the time, the question she posed regarding scientists’ manipulation of life was, of course, pure fantasy. Today, it looks to many Europeans to be remarkably prescient.”
Read on here.