Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Some thoughts

So whats the difference between our citizens of the past and now? more and more time is dedicated to entertainment and leisure. Before there was such a rampant amount of technology, innovation, novel ideas and inventions, we were all in the dark: literally and figuratively. You worked from sun up to sun down. You didn't do too much complaining about what you did or didnt have because you didn't know that your neighbor, cousin, brother, had it worse or better than you. Plus back then we were self-sufficient. We had wants and needs. We did what we needed to get what we wanted. (sidebar: when was debt invented? Probably when slavery was.)
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Now with technology, everything is laid out in our laps. Our world has grown smaller with each newscast of China, or blog of Iraq. We are more aware of our neighbors over the Atlantic then we were with our next-door neighbor.
Back then our economy was geared towards manufacturing and industrial, but now with technology, those jobs are of the past. We have computers that run machines. That gives us the luxury of working in the service and information dominated economy. The luxuries include more time to spend with family or just to do leisure things, because technology not only solved the question of who's going to do the back breaking laborious job, but also streamlined all other jobs. Face it, typing an email to someone has considerably cut down numbers at the Post Office.
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Most people argue, though, that technology hasn't in fact helped out as much as we thought it did. We are still busy, if not busier than say, 50 years ago. People were enthused with the possibility of computers taking over a lot of things, but no one factored in the maintenance of our society as a whole. Humans are still needed to make decisions, come up with innovative ideas, solve problems and be leaders and mentors to each other.
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Then what happens when scientist finally crack the code of human intelligence? When computers are finally programmed to think on their own. Do we really think that life will be even easier? There will still be our core issues. Our problems will evolve into other things and the process will start all over again.
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I wonder if our ancestors, or just maybe 100 year ago those people had a chance to live in our world. I think they would have a mixture of joy and horror. All the beneficial and productive things, but the demoralizing issues. I wonder if they would think that all the advances of the human race are not worth the effort because of all the new devastation that wasn't an issue back then.
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Is technology worth it in the end? Is technology focused on the wrong things? Instead of trying to be the first company to invent a computer that can do this or that, how about an idea to combat poverty, pollution, crime, sexism and racism. I realize inthe scientific world our focus is on military, medicinal etc issues. A large part of that focus falls into creature comforts as well. When will we decide that the priority is our children and our seniors, the disabled and uneducated. Instead of ensuring everyone in their house has a television equipped to handle the move from analog to digital cable, how about we ensure all children have 3 squares, a bed to sleep in, and the promise to be safe from abuse.
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Has technology dictated our values or have our values dictated technology?
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2 comments:

Michelle Reed said...

Little confused about this: "Plus back then we were self-sufficient. We had wants and needs."

Back then I was on a sugar plantation or something. You mention slavery - I'm just confused how the two go together.

Enjoying your writing though =)

sweetpea said...

hmm let me attempt to clarify. i think that i had two ideas: 1. the ideal person was self sufficient and able to satisfy their needs and wants. he or she could supply all their needs in the sense like if you thought about the native americans or tribes in africa.

2. i come from african ancestry so its hard to have an idea of how history was without thinking of slavery because I am from Africa by way of slavery. The post was written when i was going through some college courses and my mind was swirling with thoughts. not all coherent. Thanks for reading and posting! Im sorry i took so long to reply!