Our second principle: Humane technology revives human intuitions, in particular those we might have forgotten about.
‘Conventional’ technology aims to overcome our hominid instincts, bodies, and physiological process, but humane tech augments them. Humane tech might help us to recall intuitions such as food-gathering, social bonding, even natural movement. For instance, air-conditioning uses huge amounts of energy to cool a room, but fans, clever ventilation and our sweat glands may keep us just as comfortable.
Our feet are useful products of millions of years of evolution, but we deaden them in thick-soled shoes. Recent research indicates that barefoot runners have a softer, smoother gait than those who run shod, and may suffer fewer injuries. New shoe designs recognize that ‘barefoot is best,’ while trying to protect the foot from more recent human inventions: broken glass and slippery floors. Humane technology will help to return us to a more natural, physically attuned way of living. According to Marshall McLuhan, it’s back to the tribe for us.