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GPS, Driverless Cars: Freedom or Dependence?



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I recently picked up the latest issue of The New Atlantis, a journal about the relationship of technology and society edited out of my think tank, and ran across a fascinating article, “GPS and the End of the Road,” by Ari N. Schulman.

Imagine being taken to work by a driverless car, while you read, text, or listen to music inside. As your mechanical chauffeur slows down at an intersection, you look up from whatever is connecting you to the web and peek out the window. Now, as you glance at the buildings lining the street, tiny information balloons pop up on your contact lenses grading the restaurants, pointing out places to shop, and identifying important landmarks. Is this a vision of freedom, an ultimate realization of childish dependency, or a bit of both? I’m not sure, but Schulman considers the matter at length.



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