About

Subtle Engine is a blog about the evolving relationship between people and technology. Posts will report news, analysis (and a little comment) on some of the big technological trends affecting the human/machine relationship, for example:

  • Technology that extends people’s abilities – enhancement
  • Technology which appears human-like itself – intelligence
  • Technology which affects people’s working lives – automation
  • Technology that influences people’s attitudes or behaviour – influence

The blog also takes a particular perspective – a Christian theistic one. Some of its analysis will be with respect to theological or biblical principles. That’s not to say every post will quote the bible, and hopefully it will be interesting to those who aren’t Christians too.

Subtle Engine takes what might be called a technorealist approach to technology; it tries to navigate a path between technophilia and technophobia and aims to provide a more nuanced perspective on technology than the neo-luddism sometimes associated with religion.

Subtle Engine’s editor is an independent engineer who has worked in product development and as a think-tank researcher. You can get in touch via twitter (@SubtleEngine) or by sending an email to hello@subtleengine.org.

‘Subtle Engine’ is a phrase that one of CS Lewis’s characters uses in his 1945 fairy tale That Hideous Strength (a fairly dystopian perspective on transhumanism) about a research agency who use technology to advance humanity:

But if men by enginry and natural philosophy learn to fly into the Heavens, and come, in the flesh, among the heavenly powers and trouble them, [‘Maleldil’, a symbol of Christ] has not forbidden the Powers to react. For all this is within the natural order. A wicked man did learn so to do. He came flying, by a subtle engine, to where Mars dwells in Heaven and to where Venus dwells, and took me with him as a captive.

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