Technology has improved our lives in matters of convenience, but has not improved the human condition overall. Our behavior hasn’t changed for the better over the past few centuries. Technology causes our lives to be busier — involved in more mundane activities with more mundane objects. Television is a great technology that has compromised our attention span and our interactivity with other people. It also infiltrates our home with nonstop promotional advertising. I disagree. I have all the information of the internet available to me instantly from my home. I have google to sort it for me.
This is not a convenience, this is an unbelievable resource. Information is power. Throughout history the ruling class kept strict reigns on information in order to keep the masses in check. Without information, who really makes the decisions? With unlimited information, it is truly I who decide what to think. This by itself is proof of the benefits of technology. Speaking from the point of view of an individual, this is the greatest time to live to date. Advertising itself lends the illusion that we should be in constant pursuit of contests in an attempt to win something that we didn’t earn.
It, like lotteries, gives us false hope that we might get lucky, and causes many people to focus on such frivolities. Advertising is a reflection upon the common person, not the controlling force of them. If people were different then advertising would be different. The string is there, you just have it wrong about which end was pulling which. Telephones have made it easier to contact people, but also made it easier to be contacted, thus invading our privacy. While we can choose to go without services like a telephone, we generally cannot rightly do so and function properly within a basic community setting.
Again, this is information flow. It brings a community closer together. In days of old, those on the other side of town were strangers because you only saw them at church. Now you can call or email them. I am friends with you and you are a thousand plus miles away. Technology is good. Advanced modes of travel have made it easier to go long distances in a short time. But is there really an innate need for us to take so many trips to far-off places? Did people of the 1700s have such a need? Perhaps with the new technologies, we have created accompanying needs, which would mean that technology is also more demanding.
Families are moving farther apart, which creates a niche for greater travel. If we just stayed closer together, we could accomplish the same thing and eliminate the middle man. You presuppose that this travel is for travel’s sake alone and that there is no other reason. People move and travel for a great number of reasons. Most of them are reasonable and positive. I cannot see your logic here. Technology is a mechanism for achieving something that might not have been necessary or even beneficial, but since it was not previously possible is therefore assumed to be progression.
There are side effects to every adaptation. So what? Language, by itself, has had a number of unforseen consequences. Should we abandon language as well? Your facts are not in dispute. Your reasoning does not make sense. If you are saying that we as a community are not making the necessary adjustments to accomodate the new technilogocal lifestyle, then fine. But, that is not a problem with technology. That is a problem with us. Technology is represented by city life, while life before our current technology is represented by country life. Which people are happier?
Are the city folk better off because they have more gadgets? What do these gadgets do for them that country folk don’t already have? Do things faster, farther, with less effort? Are we turning into nothing more than very efficient machines? And are we always expecting more of them, never satisfied with the status quo? Sorry to dissappoint you there young fella, but the technology of farming is exactly what allows for city life to exist. That is the backbone of social technology. As far as people being happy, we are not simply products of our environments.
We are people. We can transcend environment with knowledge. Where and how we live is irrelevant. I am in the second least populated state and was raised in the least populated county in that state. I now live in the city. I can assure you that the country living and the city living are not as great a difference as you might imagine. Sure, on a physical level, technology is great. But on a socio-emotional level, it takes away about as much as it gives. It causes us to depend less and less on ourselves, and shifts the focus to form and away from substance.
All the “white noise” created by technology makes it harder to think clearly. Despite technological advances, we’re still desperately hanging on to our pastoral origins. A lawn and trees, bushes, flowers, etc. , are more than embellishments — they are often requirements to maintain sanity. We don’t cling to bits of the past for sentimental reasons so much as we do to keep some semblance of the simple in order to survive in the midst of the utterly complex. I like this. But let’s take this a step further.
It is our interdependence that will eventually bring us to the next level. Technology is the glue that binds us together as a community. ODN is a community. There is more opportunity for community than ever before. What would a smart guy (let’s say like you) in a rural community do with his mind even fifty years ago? Now, you can talk to PerVirtuous a thousand plus miles away and have access to another smart guy from a rural area. The ability to form communities using technology is only beginning. This will be the ultimate social change. This will redefine everything.
One positive social aspect of technology is that increased communications has deeprooted systems of government that are not for the people, and given the people more of a voice, so they have become less oppressed. No comment. When I retire, I’d like to “get away from the things of man,” as they say in Joe Versus the Volcano. And I don’t mean a trip to an exotic location, but a permanent vacation where there are no tourists. Somewhere in Colorado or Montana would suit just fine. Overall, that is a multi-layered question. We’ve got a few acres here for someone like you. It is exotic, though. So think about it first. Then C’mon up.