Reality of Technology Risks
Technology has brought many positive benefits as well as negative downfalls over the previous centuries. From vehicles to airplanes, fire to electricity, cobblestone streets to pavement highways, snail mail to cell phones, the printing press to tablets, technology is constantly changing. Our society has questioned time and time again, “Is a more technically advanced society a better and more superior society?” The response to this question varies with each person, but I believe the answer to this question is simple. No. If you just stop and put your phone, tablet, video game, or remote down for a moment and really looked at our society, you would clearly notice that, if anything, technology will potentially be our society’s downfall.
Beginning with one of the main concerns around the world, technology around food, has had a large impact on the world. On page 48, it discusses how before modern technology our crops were left to weather conditions and medicines weren’t as advanced or available, and as a result many kids died in child hood and many people didn’t live over the age of 20. While this does make a valid point of the benefits of our technology in relation to food production, if someone was to search further than what is taught in schools they would learn many ways our technology has been harmful as well. For example an excerpt from "NRDC: Trouble on the Farm - Chapter 1." states:
"Late in the afternoon of April 1, 1990, a three-year-old girl playing in front of her trailer home in California's San Joaquin Valley suddenly lost control of her body and began foaming at the mouth. By the time the girl arrived at the local emergency room, she was near death. She recovered eventually. A report filed with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation concluded the child had been poisoned by Aldicarb, a highly toxic insecticide that works the same way on people as it does on bugs -- like nerve gas. ‘Somebody had parked a tractor with pesticide material on it right in front of the play area,' said Michael O'Malley, the author of the report and a physician at the University of California, Davis."
-- Matt Crenson, Associated Press, December 9, 1997
This article shows a perfect example how harmful these “superior” technologies are. Not to mention in an article I wrote and got published, Tanner, states how pesticides have been linked to the depletion of the world’s bee population. This in turn can even lead to the destruction of our planet given the fact that without bee’s many things we rely on would cease to exist.
My next example is not found in a textbook, yet it is hard to disprove. In an article by Lee, she states how our current president is not allowing our government to further spy on its citizens. Does anyone else have a problem with this? Many times our government has lied to and hidden things from us, if someone really thinks they will stop spying on us and denying us from our “American freedom,” I’m afraid that person is mistaken. Technology has proven itself to be a simple way for our government to keep tabs on us, if not control us. Furthermore if our government can easily hack into our personal information located in our technically advanced phones and tablets, who is to say our enemies can’t?
Are book-less libraries great for ease of access, or just another way our government can control us?
Also let’s introduce the latest in technology, a book-less library, as described in Weber’s article. With the movie based from the book, The Giver, hitting theaters, it baffles me as to how people can’t form a connection. Our government controls our internet, our phones, and our computers. If our libraries were to transfer entirely to computers, who could stop our government from controlling what books we can and can’t have access to? In the famous book turned movie, the community it is set in is entirely controlled by its government. Our government controls our technology, so in return by letting our technology control us as we are increasingly doing, our government also controls us.
2012 Nuclear Weapons
Another example of how technology is harmful can be found in our country’s ongoing war against nuclear weapons. In a small article released by CNN titled, “Nuclear weapons: Who has what?” it states that more than 2 dozen countries have nuclear weapons. The article states that of these countries even fewer are pursuing such weapons. While this is stated by such a reliable source, I doubt that it is true. Our government hides many things from us and we live in this country, just imagine how simple it would be for our country, or another, to hide research and development of nuclear weapons from another country. These weapons help protect countries from enemies, but they also have the potential to kill millions of innocent people, kids, and animals. Is it really such a good thing to have the ability to erase an entire country from the map?
So overall yes there have been great benefits from our technological advances, but I do not believe that such advancements makes a country more superior than another or how it previously was. Instead I believe it makes that country weaker, as its citizens forget how to think for themselves and become too wrapped up in the latest apps rather than their neighbors dying from this new inferior world. All I ask is before your drop hundreds to thousands of dollars on the latest thing, will you please see what risks could come from it?
Page 48, Macionis, John J. Society: The Basics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.
"NRDC: Trouble on the Farm - Chapter 1." Natural Resources Defense Council – The Earth’s Best Defense | NRDC. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2014
"Nuclear weapons: Who has what?" CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News. N.p., Mar. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
Lee, Carol E., and Siobhan Gorman. "Obama Says NSA's Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Data Will End - WSJ.com." The Wall Street Journal - Breaking News, Business, Financial and Economic News, World News & Video - Wall Street Journal - Wsj.com. N.p., 17 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
Tanner, Lorri. "No More Buzz, No More Life." HubPages. N.p., 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
Weber, Paul J. "Texas library offers glimpse of bookless future." USA TODAY: Latest World and US News - USATODAY.com. N.p., 4 Jan. 2014. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.