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Technology and Moral Panic 262

pbahra writes "Why do some technologies cause moral panic and others don't? Why was the introduction of electricity seen as a terrible thing, while nobody cared much about the fountain pen? According to Genevieve Bell, the director of Intel Corporation's Interaction and Experience Research, we have had moral panic over new technology for pretty well as long as we have had technology. It is one of the constants in our culture. '... moral panic is remarkably stable and it is always played out in the bodies of children and women,' she said. There was, she says, an initial pushback about electrifying homes in the U.S.: 'If you electrify homes you will make women and children vulnerable. Predators will be able to tell if they are home because the light will be on, and you will be able to see them. So electricity is going to make women vulnerable. Oh and children will be visible too and it will be predators, who seem to be lurking everywhere, who will attack.' 'There was some wonderful stuff about [railway trains] too in the U.S., that women's bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour. Our uteruses would fly out of our bodies as they were accelerated to that speed,' she says."

A rock store eventually closed down; they were taking too much for granite.