Control is a central theme of The Ascent of Humanity. Whether we speak of the technologist dream of perfecting our control over nature, or the spiritualist dream of perfecting human nature, the basic strategy is to encourage the good and control the bad. Just as the technological answer to a problem is to fix it or improve it, so also do we attempt to fix, change, and improve ourselves. Who would deny that self-improvement is a good thing?
So underneath technology and self-improvement is an assumption that nature and human nature is bad. I’m going to write today on the human nature part, but first let me add that I am not talking about technology per se, but about a mentality that results in a certain approach to, mode of, and application of technology. In the book I write about a different mode of technology not based on control. Most technology today, though, is firmly ensconced in the control paradigm of fixing and improving.