To control and not to control, the future of high-tech
In the future, SF-writer Karl Shroeder imagines, the highest technology of all is knowing when you need to control something and when you can leave it alone. He mentions democracy as a similar insight, the state doesn’t have to exert total control on everything in society for civilization not to crumble.
He sees this coming already and gave the example of the Greenbelt surrounding Toronto that serves humans, other animals and plants by providing fresh air and clean water.This solves a pollution problem cheaper than building a whole bunch of high-tech filtration plants, perhaps the traditional engineering solution to the same problem.
Here’s a video of a talk he gave on “rewilding” at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention this year: