Our second principle: Humane technology revives human intuitions, in particular those we might have forgotten about.

'Conventional' technology aims to overcome our hominid instincts, bodies, and physiological process, but humane tech augments them. Humane tech might help us to recall intuitions such as food-gathering, social bonding, even natural movement. For instance, air-conditioning uses huge amounts of energy to cool a room, but fans, clever ventilation and our sweat glands may keep us just as comfortable.

Our feet are useful products of millions of years of evolution, but we deaden them in thick-soled shoes. Recent research indicates that barefoot runners have a softer, smoother gait than those who run shod, and may suffer fewer injuries. New shoe designs recognize that 'barefoot is best,' while trying to protect the foot from more recent human inventions: broken glass and slippery floors.

Humane technology will help to return us to a more natural, physically attuned way of living. According to Marshall McLuhan, it's back to the tribe for us.

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  • I think you should reread the McLuhan’s Playboy Interview and pay closer attention to his use of "tribe", and its derivatives, in the light of the etymological meaning of word, which originally referred to the political divisions in ancient Rome. That said, not all tribes run barefoot. Inuits, for instance, are a tribe, but to deaden their feet with protective boots is an absolute requirement given the harsh environmental conditions. This illustrates the general confusion generated by the pervading discourse of commercial-sponsored educationism. While Nike can make anyone believe that barefoot is best, they fail to reveal that the highly engineered running tracks, sidewalks and roads are actually the new shoes. The shoes didn't disappeared overnight, but got unfolded to infinite length.

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