This is a common enough misapprehension but we're surprised to see it in the pages of The Times. Hmm, given our varied interactions with those who write that newspaper, perhaps not.
On the subject of new technology, the suggestion is that we should consider both the benefits of it and also the downsides.
There is another response, though. Radical as it may sound, we — consumers and governments — could choose to have less of this connected technology in our lives. Not stubbornly preserving ourselves in the aspic of 2018, but being more discriminating about which innovations we wish to welcome into our lives; which are necessary; which are worth the risk they may bring.
What is it that anyone thinks we do when we consider a technology? Or a purchase, or even a choice in life? Us humans being at least somewhat rational beings a portion of the time?
That's right, we consider how much we'd like that thing and what we'll have to give up to gain it. Opportunity costs in the jargon but it is the way that everyone does think. We know that extra gallon of beer comes at the cost of a headache, having a smartphone or email account means that people can spam us.
As it all works out those things we don't think are worth it - New Coke, Ford Edsels, MySpace and socialism - end up not happening, those we think are worth the costs do. Look out the window at those mighty works to see which we do consider of such value.
The suggestion is thus that we should consider new technology in just the same manner we do anything else in life. Well, yes, and?