Devices

I just snipped the following from my essay, as it is not quite to the point, but like the material so putting it here. Also with the intention of looking again at NetFuture.

Steve Talbott in The Deceiving Virtues Of Technology Netfuture an essay full of refereces to greek mythology does not mention Hermes but has some apt reflections on technology that are clearly Hermetic. The following passage captures the mercurial slipperiness and deviousness. While Hermes does not have the precision and unambiguity needed to build and program computers he is attributed as already mentioned with the invention of the lyre and also with the device for making fire using a twirling stick.

A “device”, for example, can be an objective, invented thing, but it can also be some sort of scheming or contriving of the mind, as when a defendant uses every device he can think of to escape the charges against him. The word “contrivance” shows the same two-sidedness, embracing both mechanical appliances and the carefully devised plans and schemes we concoct in thought. As for “mechanisms” and “machines”, we produce them as visible objects out there in the world even as we conceal our own machinations within ourselves. Likewise, an “artifice” is a manufactured device, or else it is trickery, ingenuity, or inventiveness. “Craft” can refer to manual dexterity in making things or to a ship or aircraft, but a “crafty” person is adept at deceiving others.

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