I hate driverless cars. That is the fact that needs to be explained. Not justified, but explained.
Driverless cars pose no threat to my job, my income, or my wealth. That's not it.
The insurance companies, or safety-nazis, might force us to use driverless cars. That would be a threat to my enjoyment of driving. But even if that threat were eliminated, so each of us always had the option to drive ourselves, I would still hate driverless cars. That's not it either.
What I hate is the very option to use a driverless car. Because being able to exercise that option, even if I did not have to exercise that option, would make "driving" something very different from what it is without that option. In much the same way that "hunting" means something very different today in an agricultural economy with supermarkets than it did for our ancestors. "Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier and safer to just buy some meat at the supermarket, or do you think it's fun to kill animals for sport?" "Why not just press the auto button, so you can sit back and relax and enjoy the scenery or read a book?"
I don't want to live in an idiocracy, whether it is dysgenics or technology that creates that idiocracy. Satiation is not the bliss point; satiation is hell.
The Jalopniks don't like driverless cars. It is true that "Google's Co-Founder Sergey Brin Doesn't Understand Us And Never Will", but I am not sure that Jalopniks fully understand ourselves either.
"Our reality is radically different from Brin's. We enjoy the drive, we thrive on the involvement, we revel in the experience of focusing on one thing well. It's part of who we are and what we do. Which makes Brin's ignorance that much more astounding.
Nothing illustrates that fissure between us and Brin better than one of his final comments to Khosla.
"It's also really nice to not have a steering wheel," says Brin. "To not have pedals.""
We want the steering wheel, and we want the pedals; and three pedals are better than two, even if a two-pedal car can change gear quicker than we can.
Yes, it is true that we find driving enjoyable, and many others don't. But we find it enjoyable in part because it is a real challenge, that our world imposes on us, and not an artificial challenge that we made up for ourselves. With any artificial challenge, that nagging question always remains "why am I doing this?"
You could say it's "pride", in trying to do something well that needs doing. And driverless cars will destroy that pride, because we won't really need to do it any more. Driverless cars will destroy our "jobs", even if it isn't a "job" in the normal sense of the word, because we are self-employed, and we are our own customers.
That pride is part of who we are; driverless cars are an existential threat to us.
Consequentialist/utilitarians will never get this.
Yes, I fully understand that many people don't like driving. Even more importantly, some people simply cannot drive, and cannot learn to drive. Maybe my eyesight will deteriorate, and I too will be unable to drive.
But I do feel an urge to smash the machines.