By: Tom Chatfield | <div>Technology is killing the myth of human centrality – let's embrace our demotion</div> | Neuroscience | The Guardian
The stories we tell around technology shape our understanding and the future of technology itself but as we grow up as a species we must rethink our position
One of my favorite technological myths is, like all the best stories, both ancient and urgent. It’s about usurpation and seduction. In Greek mythology, the sculptor Pygmalion falls in love with his own supremely beautiful creation, Galatea. In Ovid’s telling, there’s a happy ending. The goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, takes pity on him and breathes life into the marble. The statue’s lips grow warm under his kiss; they fall in love, marry.
The tale has an unhappier classical cousin: that of Talos, the artificial man. Created by the divine smith, Hephaestus, Talos is often depicted as a bronze giant striding through the seas around Crete. Immensely strong, almost invulnerable, Talos renders all human might redundant.
Machinery doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to destroy jobs. People and corporations do
Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Freud: each revolution is a downward revision of our place in the order of things