Weighing the pros and cons of modern technology, determine whether humans are ultimately better or worse off than we were 10,000 years ago (the dawn of agriculture)
Lifespan is far longer, and there is far more free leisure time. Technology has allowed spread of the species in numbers and locations impossible without it.
How are you defining "good" and "bad"?
Tis true about the longer lifespan, but nature based cultures worked an average of 4 hours a day. Those who lived where winters were harsh did little more than keep warm and make babies during the winter. Also, people lived in very far flung and inhospitable places before modern technology. Deserts and tundra couldn’t support large settlements without modern technology, but they could and did sustain small communities.
My idea of good: health, happy, sustainable and free.
We may be better off now than 10,000 years ago, but the planet sure ain't. Reminds me of Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael," which is a damn good book.
10,000 years ago the planet was just coming out of an ice age. How is the planet (not individual species that cannot compete) worse off?
I think the planet will be fine; it is Earths capacity to care for us that sure ain’t good. In which case, is our species really better off?
Some aspects of technology are a boon, like this here internet..instant communiciation. A more or less democratic dissemination of events. The citizens of this planet now have a stronger influence on what and how events are made public. The media are no longer in control, in fact they rely on videos and stills that get uploaded to the internet to fill out their reporting.
On the other hand, a lot of technology has become too complicated, and taken us away from being human beings first. Like Albert Einstein once said: "Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler" (or something like that).
"First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be necessary. Either of two cases might occur. The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained.
If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can't make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines. It might be argued that the human race would never be foolish enough to hand over all the power to the machines. But we are suggesting neither that the human race would voluntarily turn power over to the machines nor that the machines would willfully seize power. What we do suggest is that the human race might easily permit itself to drift into a position of such dependence on the machines that it would have no practical choice but to accept all of the machines' decisions. As society and the problems that face it become more and more complex and machines become more and more intelligent, people will let machines make more of their decisions for them, simply because machine-made decisions will bring better results than man-made ones. Eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage the machines will be in effective control. People won't be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.
On the other hand it is possible that human control over the machines may be retained. In that case the average man may have control over certain private machines of his own, such as his car or his personal computer, but control over large systems of machines will be in the hands of a tiny elite - just as it is today, but with two differences. Due to improved techniques the elite will have greater control over the masses; and because human work will no longer be necessary the masses will be superfluous, a useless burden on the system. If the elite is ruthless they may simply decide to exterminate the mass of humanity. If they are humane they may use propaganda or other psychological or biological techniques to reduce the birth rate until the mass of humanity becomes extinct, leaving the world to the elite. Or, if the elite consists of soft-hearted liberals, they may decide to play the role of good shepherds to the rest of the human race.
They will see to it that everyone's physical needs are satisfied, that all children are raised under psychologically hygienic conditions, that everyone has a wholesome hobby to keep him busy, and that anyone who may become dissatisfied undergoes "treatment" to cure his "problem." Of course, life will be so purposeless that people will have to be biologically or psychologically engineered either to remove their need for the power process or make them "sublimate" their drive for power into some harmless hobby. These engineered human beings may be happy in such a society, but they will most certainly not be free. They will have been reduced to the status of domestic animals."~ Theodore Kaczynski - the Unabomber.
Just found this interesting and it reminded me of this old thread. I didn't know it was Kaczynski until the end. Points to ponder.
Technology is an amazing tool, but it is just a tool. We can always maintain what is positive, good and glorious about life! Just keep it in perspective and technology can be such a help! I think we are closer to the astral plane with access to the internet and the ability to type and communicate at the speed of thought.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
as it is in Heaven.
These are important words to contemplate.
Those in power need to maintain love in their hearts.
Those not in power need to outsmart those who are in power… whenever they go astray.
Definitely with the progression of technology and computer sciences we are moving into a new age, especially with the pace we're advancing at.... but it really is only for the human benefit. We do things to make life easier, and with this ease and free time created by things that reduce time it takes to do activities, we are more prone to laziness, and lack of energy. Also, with computers being everywhere we look, it also makes you wonder how long our Constitutional Rights will last, with the invasion of privacy becoming a much more tempting tool to our government to settle court arguments, and basically know our every move. As there are pros and cons to everything, this law still applies to our technology furthering.
I think we are extraordinarily lucky to live in the current era, where our lives are so easy (at least in the developed world).
However, I do worry that ultimately, modern technology will be bad for our species. Every day I see more and more signs that we really are heading for the world of Wall-E. I think everyone should be made to watch that movie. Yes, it's a cartoon but it has some chilling observations on where some of our habits are taking us.
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