Gideon’s Ax

If it doesn’t work, try burning it:

DIY obsolete iBook logic board repair

I am about two degrees of separation from contemporary software and hardware hackers like that. Well, that’s what I like to tell myself, anyway.

The important thing to remember about technology is that it is not autonomous: By definition, it all can, should, and must be hacked.

The belief that technology is autonomous–that it is not amenable to modification by individuals but rather acts independently and unilaterally upon individuals–is closely related to the dogmatism of scientific naturalism and thus to pantheism.

Naturalism

Per the doctrine of scientific naturalism, Nature is uniform and self-existent, revealing to humans truths transcending their direct experience yet never subject to any “creator” or other transcendental power. Its truths mirror the patterns of human rationality, but a tenet of the dogmatism specifies that this is due to the human mind arising from the patterns and uniformities preexistent in Nature. The patterns and causal relationships in Nature are not said to be rational in essence, since they do not arise from any intelligence nor do they seek any necessary end; rather, they define human rationality itself (coincidentally the only tool available to apprehend them), which consequently deems them to be rational.

Being thus rational and discoverable, yet transcending direct human experience in scope and function, the “Laws of Nature” imply the existence of a self-contained, self-existent, uniform, universal entity called “Nature.” Scientific naturalism claims that this entity can be known through the practice of a scientific method; philosophical naturalism claims that it can be known through philosophical inquiry; and pantheism asserts that the individual is obliged to submit his will to this entity, since it permeates all existence and is, in fact, a vast meta-consciousness that incorporates the individual’s will already.

“Philosophical naturalism” and “scientific naturalism” usually refer to systems followed by people who hold prior pantheistic beliefs and deduce truths from them, rather than engaging in naturalistic scientific or philosophical inquiry; thus naturalism has acquired an unfortunate heretical aspect among Christians.

However, only when it forms a political ideology does naturalism express dogmatic pantheism. A naturalistic attitude as such suggests only an acceptance of this created world as real, as well as an openness to the multifarious forms of created life and non-life, while leaving us free to discover and understand systematically God’s love for the world.

Autonomous Technology

If technology is seen as coexistent with science, and science is seen as a limited apprehension of universal natural laws, which are said to describe an autonomous, all-encompassing Nature, then it is easy to reach the conclusion that both science and technology are autonomous. Technology becomes an instantiation of autonomous Nature, something all-pervasive and self-justifying to which the average person must submit their will while the initiated access its secrets through special knowledge, that is, Science.

This is contrary to the experience of hackers, inventors, and amateur scientists throughout history. It is also contrary to the doctrine of creationism and traditional Christian monotheism generally.

Biological Hack

Here is an effusive account of unnatural selection working to alter cats to meet the preferences of humans:

Toyger breeding

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Instigate some pointless rambling

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