Truth about the Unabomber
Una bomber Wasn't Completely Nuts!
I am not suggesting that the approach the Una bomber took is right. I do not believe violence will ever solve any problem. It might be obvious to say "what a waste of a great mind", but I think it's probably safe to say his mind was warped anyway. He was never going to be a productive scientist making the world a better place. However, his anti-technology stance has caused me to think long and hard about how technology fits into the future of the human race.
There is little doubt regarding the future of life on Earth, the truth is, there will not be life on Earth forever. Forever is a mighty long time and it's difficult to comprehend deep time, in terms of hundreds of millions of years, but in the end the truth remains. We are going to have to find another home in the stars. The conundrum is this; technology is a very strange kind of animal, if you will. There isn't any technology that I'm aware of that dosen't have two faces. Meaning, for every determined benefit from a given technological advancement, there is also a negative side effect hidden somewhere within, obscured by the shortness of time. The fierce speed, or shall I call it fervor, to advance technology seems more like a drug addicted society looking for the next high. It must have begun with one of the first humanoids cutting themselves on a sharp rock by accident. Then, in a moment of supreme contemplation about the blood dripping from it's finger, we began our love affair with technology. The thoughts must have began to spring forth for this early human like a crashing wave. What else or who else can I cut with this stone? What if it were longer? What if it were heavier? Where can I get another one? Can I make another stone sharp like this one? Wait till I show the others my ideas? Will someone try to take it from me? That last one is the hard truth about human nature. We can't help ourselves. We do covet our neighbors possessions. We do envy others. This simple trait of human nature began the technology avalanche. Because once your neighbor realizes they are not going to be able to steal your sharp stone, they set off to make their own. They have seen how yours works, and during the process of creating their own sharp stone, they make a stone that's sharper, and easier to hold. Suddenly, the rest of the clan wants the sharper, easier to hold stones, and so on, and so on, and so on! To this day, we are doing the very same thing with virtually every single technology on Earth. This race to the future seems unnecessary and dangerous. It's as if we can't wait for the future to come. You know, it's the "are we there yet" syndrome. We want all the technology of our future now, and we are determined to spend whatever it takes to get it. Meanwhile, all that money and all those resources could be making life better for the millions and millions of people suffering around the planet right now. The true cost of technology for the future of humanity may outweigh any benefits we gain from it now. One example is Medical Science, it's study has prevented tens of millions of us from dying naturally from diseases and virus strains over the last one hundred years. It could also be argued that plagues and pandemic diseases are natural forms of population control. The fact that we are saving so many lives today with un-natural means may lead us to a future of unsustainable over population, and all the lives we have saved today will be lost in the future due to unforeseeable consequences. Medical science is vital to life as we know it, and I too want want to be cured should I become ill, but could some of the money and resources be put to better use caring for people in the present? Should we be funding a search for unknown bacteria on the bottom of the ocean, knowing it's likely we will not find any, or spend that five million dollars building quality schools? We need to be spending more on projects that make a difference today, and much less on flying at light speed into the future.
What do you think?
Do We Spend Too Much on Unnecessary Scientific Studies?
Some Technology Is Good!
Having said all that in the above stanza, there are technologies we should probably spend more on. The fact is, our planet is temporary, and if the human race would like to be around fifty million years from now, we are going to have to find a way to live in space while we travel to other suitable terrestrial planets. The cost of this kind of technology is excessive. There is going to have to be a global effort to finance our endeavours in space. The international space station has show that countries around the world can come together to accomplish big things. Nobody reading this today will live long enough to see humans set off on a journey to a far off planet outside our solar system, but we must continue to support these technologies with our dollars today.
"Clean" and renewable energy technology will also need to stay high on our list of priorities. We have made great strides toward less dependence on fossil fuels and we need to continue to focus our resources on these technologies. Most importantly the hydrogen fuel cells for our cars. Getting the industry in place to make fuel cell vehicles an affordable reality is very important. Capturing the energy from tidal currents also makes great sense. That sort of technology delivers everyday, everywhere the ocean touches the land, regardless of weather conditions, including solar storms. Thank you for your interest!