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Innovate or Obfuscate? Exploring the Enigma of Anti-Technological Practices with Sahaj Sharda

Innovate or Obfuscate? Exploring the Enigma of Anti-Technological Practices with Sahaj Sharda
Photo Credit To: Sahaj Sharda

The world around us is booming with technology. New gadgets, new systems, and new machines; the rapid pace at which our world is evolving is awe-inspiring. That said, what if someone were to tell you that despite all the advances, anti-technology still prevails?

Anti-technology is not a popular word. So let’s explain it a bit. 

Technology, in the classical sense, means making something more efficient. And it covers laws and social systems as well. If a law or a social system solves a problem by making things efficient, then that too is a technological advancement. And anti-technology is the total opposite, making anything less efficient.

In a society that’s driven by technology, encountering institutions that deliberately resist progress might seem paradoxical. That is, these institutions portray themselves as technologically advanced while, in truth, they’re upholding anti-technological practices. 

In a thought-provoking article penned by Sahaj Sharda, a law student at Columbia Law School and social activist, the spotlight is cast on such anti-technological institutions and their cunning strategies to cloak their inefficiency. 

Sharda digs deep into how these institutions manipulate public perception. Presenting themselves as technological champions, they skilfully hide their inherent anti-technological nature.

Kicking off his discourse, Sharda introduces us to the historical precedent set by Big Tobacco. The company deliberately downplayed the health hazards of smoking through calculated advertising campaigns. 

Imagine, cigarettes were being advertised as ‘healthy’, even though the company knew the risks of smoking. 

Drawing parallels to contemporary practices, Sharda asserts that industries facing fundamental inefficiencies adopt a deceptive facade of technological advancement to sustain their positions and secure public support.

Big Tobacco’s case is a bit older. Perhaps that kind of advertisement to hide health hazards won’t work today. But, that doesn’t mean institutions have stopped deceiving. They’ve just changed their game and got better at it. 

As an example of modern anti-technology, Sharda discusses the education landscape. He explains that rising tuition costs without any significant improvement in education quality typify the anti-technological essence of the higher education system. Sharda contends that colleges employ a clever diversion.

They emphasize the potential salaries or earnings associated with a college degree to sidestep discussions about efficiency and costs. This strategic maneuver allows these institutions to perpetuate their status quo. He discusses it in more detail in his eye-opening book, aptly titled “The College Cartel.”

Continuing his exploration, Sharda directs attention to the oil industry. With climate change concerns looming large, these companies have attempted to don the cloak of environmental responsibility through the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) movement. He exposes this maneuver as a calculated effort to present themselves as technological innovators, even as their anti-technological tendencies remain unaddressed.

This dual nature, he argues, conveniently obscures the true inefficiencies at play. Ever heard of the “Green Natural Gas” case in Ohio? If not, then check it out. That’s exactly what Sharda is spotlighting.

Furthermore, Sharda unravels the dynamics of obfuscation and misdirection practiced by these anti-technological entities. He sheds light on their tactics, including framing fossil fuels with misleading labels like “clean coal” and covertly suppressing nuclear energy development through regulatory hurdles. These maneuvers, as Sharda asserts, further their narratives of technological progress while keeping more efficient alternatives at bay.

Through this discussion, Sharda emphasizes a bigger problem that permeates various American sectors – from healthcare to housing and energy. 

These sectors, he contends, are underpinned by anti-technological practices such as patent protections and regulatory capture, leading to inefficiency and stagnation. His message is clear: these sectors require a comprehensive reevaluation and a push for change.

In conclusion, Sharda advocates for a robust movement to counter the influence of anti-technological institutions. He calls for dismantling the protective structures shielding these giants and exposing their deceptive practices that hinder true technological progress. Sahaj Sharda‘s article resonates with a call to action, urging a collective effort to usher in an era of efficiency and progress.

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