Judging Technology

Ran Prieur started an interesting initiative: TechJudge, in which a rating system is applied to different technologies.

“In this age, ‘judging technology’ means one of two things: reviewing a particular tool for how well it satisfies the consumer, or doing deep thinking about Technology as a whole. I don’t think there’s any such thing as ‘technology’. Every tool, every system of tools, every use of every system of tools, is a different animal. And instead of judging a clothes dryer for how well it dries your clothes compared to another clothes dryer, we should also judge it for how it affects the meaningfulness of your life, the society it is part of, and the rest of life on this planet. The goal of this page is to inspire deep thinking about particular technologies.”

For now, only the transportation section has been (partly) filled in. The “passenger dragon” (which scores the maximum of 100 points) left me a bit confused, but here are the preliminary results for the more common transport means:

  • sailboat 85 – 74,
  • horse 79 – 70
  • bicycle 77 – 63
  • private jet 58
  • airliner 45
  • passenger train 44 – 30
  • automobile 25

Note that energy use and ecological damage are not the only criteria.