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COMPUTERS AND THE DIGITAL AGE-FRIEND OR FOE

Updated on January 4, 2011

BACKGROUND

 The title of this hub may make one question what a known electrical engineer is doing writing on such a subject with such a title.  I think it is a valid question in our ever-increasing dependence on digital circuitry in every phase of our modern lives. I will postulate questions that should at least make you think about the subject.

QUESTIONS

  1. Do we really need computer-controlled skillets?
  2. Do we really need computer-controlled refrigerators?
  3. Do we really need drive by wire cars like Toyota?
  4. Do you have a web cam and if so are you sure there’s not a type of spyware on it similar to that used by Lower Merion Schools?
  5. Why was all TV transmission changed to digital? Do you know a speaker can be used as a microphone? If you have a cable box are you sure you’re not being heard in private moments? Is there a camera hidden in the box?
  6. What’s the total capability of a smart electrical grid going to be?
  7. Who’s watching the GPS signal on your cell phone?
  8. Who’s monitoring your driving activities with various digital communications devices in modern cars?
  9. Do we really need computer-controlled stoves?
  10. Nokia is now marketing a self-charging cell phone. It charges on ambient microwaves. Are there too many ambient microwaves? Is this level of ambient microwaves a health danger?
  11. What will be the ultimate outcome of artificial intelligence (AI)?
  12. What does broadband over power lines bode for our future?
  13. Have you heard of the coming technological singularity?
  14. Will humans become obsolete due to AI devices?
  15. How will nanotechnology affect our lives?

 

DISCUSSION

The list of questions above is of prime importance in human development as well as in our way of life. The modern ages we find ourselves living in are very complex. There could be many benefits realized in these developments, but it is also a double-edged sword. There is much room for abuse in these developments. Even the end of the human race as we know it could be at stake. There must be frank discussion of these issues and there is no time to waste.

Let’s face it folks time marches on but we must plan our future or someone else will do it for us, and that could be a horrid state of affairs.

OUTCOME

 I don’t know the outcome of this situation, but it’s a discussion that must be held and the sooner the better. We have many problems to confront. We are in the middle of a heated debate on health care, and another hot topic is our abounding national debt. The discussion on the impact of technology is not even being considered, and we can’t wait until it’s too late.  Do you want Big Brother watching your every move? Do you want to be replaced by robots? Do you want nanobots in your blood stream?  Who controls all these devices? Will unknown and unseen forces control human beings?

PROPOSAL

I am not an alarmist. I do think the time is ripe for society to have a discussion on these topics listed above. I therefore propose we make the topic a subject of our thought and discuss them thoroughly with all possible ramifications. Let us not have these decisions made by unknown others.

Throughout history scientific advancement has been a boon to our existence. We must plan well to make sure such is the case in the future. There is room for boon or bane we must make the choices through informed discussions.

If I made you think I have accomplished my mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments

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    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Pop,

      You make a valid observation. However the singularity could bode the total destruction of the human species.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singula...

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      Very interesting hub, Tom. Are we really making progress or are we forgetting how to think for and by ourselves?

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Sheri,

      I have no quarrel with computers. It's the future developments that I am questioning. People need to talk over the possible future.

    • SheriSapp profile image

      SheriSapp 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      I resisted computers for many years. I was a long-time hater and had no desire to learn anything about them. Sadly, I was forced to give up my one woman crusade. Since I work as a teacher, I really had no choice in the matter. We now have to enter all our grades into the computer and post them on edline for the parents to see. I actually like this because I hardly ever get calls anymore. The parents can access the grades anytime and keep up to date. We also now have smartboards, and since they cost about $5,000.00 each, we are kinda REQUIRED to use them. I really do enjoy it, and the cdrom that accompanies the book. I have also become a rather avid member of the hub community, and I am so glad I found this place and I have some great friends on here. I do think we are coming to rely much too heavily on technology though.

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      eovery,

      My main objective was to make people think of the many possibilities. Some can be good and some can be bad.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 

      8 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Interesting take, Tom. We do not know what is going on behind the code.

      This has a feel of a conspiracy film. Matt Damon would be good in it.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Tom Whitworth profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Whitworth 

      8 years ago from Moundsville, WV

      Pamela,

      You were quick. Thanks for the comment. Thinking is my goal. I was going to post a comment on the singularity.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singula...

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Tom, We have become spoiled with all the computerized things we own, but we probably don't want to give them up either. Interesting hub with food for thought.

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