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Source: Magnascan

In Turkey, we banned printing presses (for Muslims) in the Ottoman Empire, a ban that continued well into the 18th century. People of other religions were allowed to open and set up printing houses for themselves to distribute various books in their own languages and alphabet, but for Muslims, it was banned. As a justification, it was said that it was against religion and all that, but the main material reason behind it was that there were lots and lots of people, mainly of clerical origin, who made a living by copying texts by hand. As the ulema (clerical) class had a sizable influence on the state, they remain banned for more than two centuries. The first Muslim owned printing press was opened by Ibrahim Muteferrika in 1727.

A contextual and almost anectodal example and nowhere near universal, the gist is that if people who can potentially ‘ban’ a tech are also the ones who are most negatively affected by it, they will try to ban it.

cucumberia

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I couldn’t speak to whether tech ever has been banned or whether it should be banned. However, I can say form a policy standpoint, a number of thinkers on this topic have been suggesting that rather than preventing technological change, it should be taxed. In theory, automation should lead to gains in relative levels of productivity (otherwise, why automate?). Thus, one could theoretically tax the higher levels of productivity that would result in use the revenue to finance a universal basic income.

Is in nearly all things political, there are opponents to this plan. Nonetheless, on its face, this seems to be a much more feasible response than just ruling by fiat automation not be undertaken.

matthew_record

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A high level official in India’s ruling party said the govt will “not allow any technology that takes away jobs”, speaking about driverless cars

The Communist Party of India(Marxist), during their uninterrupted 35 year rule in West Bengal, banned computers in banks majorly for the purpose of preserving employment.

Cannot find any direct sources for the above, but here are a few links which refer the above tangentially.

“I remember participating in an agitation opposing computers. I don’t repent that time. But we realised that it was unnecessary. Mumbai and Bangalore took advantage of the opportunity and reaped benefits. We missed the bus”

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Bengal-CM-calls-anti-computer-protest-foolish/articleshow/640340.cms

While above is an example of banning a tech for the stated purpose of preserving employment, heavily regulated domains like law, finance, insurance, healthcare(and automobiles) may impose bans on tech for other stated purposes with their actual purpose known only to the lobbyists and maybe legislators. In fact occupational licensing aims to ostensibly provide a certain quality of service with its actual purpose mostly being to secure employment for some number of members.

So whether a certain regulation is quality-ensuring or employment-preserving can get unclear.

shahofblah

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The Sociological Mail

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