According to Kaplan, F. during the Meiji Period of 1868 – 1912, in order to defend itself from international threats to Japanese culture, the political and social attitudes developed a defensive emphasis on the acquisition of complete knowledge on foreign technologies that would ultimately threaten Japanese interests. This is what we can define as taming technology, as illustrated below by Kaplan:
Kaplan, R. illustrates an example of acceptance through Pokemon, an international pop-culture founded in Japan, applying the ‘taming’ of a foreign technology. Thus technology is associated with the harmonisation of the Japanese community. Moreover societies across the history have tamed wild ‘technologies,’ being that of animals, to perform labor for human interests. Thus the concept of foreign technologies is not entirely new to western society. Bearing in mind the protestant work ethic discussed in previous blogs (that a successful life is correlated with prudence and work effort (Westby, D. 1997)), and how that may impact the integration of robots into society – is there a difference between the application of animal ‘technology’ and newer robotic technology to help human achievement.
However dissonance between western religion and technology has basis, with the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:4-9 illustrating the desire for humanity to go beyond capabilities and constructing a tower to reach the heavens through a unified language. Thus God strikes down and scatters humanity through the creation of diversified languages, inhibiting construction. Resulting as a warning for overreaching technologies (Love, D. 2015). Contrast to Japanese unification of technology, western Abrahamic religions apply a level of negativity of humanity developing a singularity through technology, instead we have God ‘taming’ us.
“Company History”. ポケットモンスターオフィシャルサイト. The Pokémon Company. Viewed 02.05.16 <http://www.pokemon.co.jp/corporate/en/history/>
Kaplan, F. (Unknown Year) Who is afraid of the humanoid? Investigating cultural differences in the acceptation of robots. Sony Computer Science Laboratory. Paris, France. Viewed 02.05.16 <http://www.itu.dk/people/britt/DDKS/EKSAMEN/jap_roboculture.pdf>
Love, D. (2015) Artificial intelligence will make religion obsolete within our lifetime, Daily Dot, viewed 02.05.16 <http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/superintelligence-meets-religion/>
Wesby, D. (1997) Protestant Ethic, viewed 02.05.16<http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/protesta.htm>