“Trickle Down Techonomics”: Why Equal Technology Distribution Matters

April 7th, 2015

While radical advances in technology are commonplace in the news, their accessibility to everyone obviously is not. But what are the potential political, social and cultural consequences of life- and game-changing tools that are only available to some? Can lack of technological equipment or participation cause people to become invisible and immaterial?

In our previous post, we looked at the ethics of biohacking. One issue raised by some is the impact of human augmentation technology not being available to everyone, potentially widening the gap between social classes in an era of already unprecedented divide.

Following is a 6-minute TED Talk by Jon Gosier, who is a “civic tech” technologist and entrepreneur named by Time Magazine as one of the “12 New Faces of Black Leadership”. In it, he discusses what he calls “trickle down techonomics”: the blind championing of technological progress in the belief that the free market will ultimately make important discoveries accessible and affordable to everyone. How does the availability of things like wearables, internet-based currencies affect the lives of those who are unequipped? Gosier invites inventors and entrepreneurs bent on producing more efficient technologies to also consider their ultimate efficacy in the world.