Technological Externalities

William Gibson on technological externalities:

We’re increasingly aware that our society is driven by these unpredictable uses we find for the products of our imagination.

This quote is from a wonderful interview you can find on the Paris Review. The interview is full of great quotable thoughts. This one in particular stuck out to me though. It seems that you could say the same thing about art, writing, rhetoric, etc. The creator’s intent ceases to be defining characteristic of a product once it is let loose in the world.