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Technology and Society

R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,732
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2/15/2014 4:06:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
We always assume technology=100% good. But there are subtle ways in which we are selling our souls for it.

Loss of hardiness - as we do less physical work, we are becoming physically weak, as well as losing the toughness one normally gains by harsher conditions. We are fat and soft.

Loss of Resourcefulness - our functions in society are incredibly abstract and narrow. I, personally, have been in the workforce for about 15 years and the skills I have picked up - food service, customer service, etc. are practically useless in everyday life. When technology wasn't so advanced, our work skills used to make us much more resourceful, learning how to build and maintain the basic things in life. I think people seriously underestimate this, and the policies and "skills" we pick up in the jobs we work nowadays are not only useless, they are down-right bad. For instance, working in customer service, I had to learn lots of incredibly meaningless corporate policies having to do with how certain cell-phone companies want to condition me to get the most work out of me, which usually had to do with suppressing my freedom and forcing me to kiss customers' asses.

Loss of community - as we become more oriented towards a technological way of life, our communities are dying. We no longer know our neighbors in our neighborhoods, we no longer interact personally with the people in our communities, and we are keeping each other at arms' reach. The negative results of this are numerous and far-reaching. You probably are surrounded by people in your neighborhood, but stay inside and pretend to be friends with celebrities on a sitcom while ignoring them.

Loss of spirituality - spirituality is nurtured by being able to see the patterns of the natural world, and then orienting yourself to harmony with these patterns. As artificiality increases, it becomes incredibly hard to see natural patterns. Our lives are controlled from above by governmental laws and corporate policies (themselves originated in greed), and we are forced to align ourselves with these instead of doing what is right in our hearts.

Loss of hope - as we become more dependent on technical solutions to problems that arguably don't even exist, our hope diminishes because part of hope is accepting the inevitable. If I criticized every technological field out there, and was successful in convincing you of how each weakens us, there would be one left at the end that would seem impenetrable, wouldn't there? Wouldn't you hold fast to medical technology, and point out developments like penicillin and eyeglasses as absolutely infallible? Of course you would. Prolonging life is perhaps our most noble goal. But why? Isn't death inevitable? Isn't a fear of death illogical? Hope and faith are virtues that are the opposite of fearing death. Our fear of death is viewed by some as one of the most ridiculous aspects of modern society, as we obsess over prolonging our own lives so that we may perhaps never die.

When my mother died, I went to her funeral, and the priest smiled through it. My initial reaction was "WTF?" But I quickly realized his wisdom that I lacked: death may be a tragedy to the living, as they adjust to the loss, and perhaps it is phenomenally-negative to the deceased. But phenomena are illusions. From a noumenal perspective, we have no evidence at all to suggest death is bad. I find it logically absurd to believe that a little girl that dies of disease should be mourned for her own sake, as if she just traveled to a place of pain and loss. We mourn for ourselves, which is OK, but we need to know and be certain of that, not fool ourselves into thinking that the deceased are disenfranchised somehow. Medical technology helps distort our spiritual perspectives.

With all this said, I am not purporting to disband science and technology. I simply want us to take it with a grain of salt instead of jumping in without even looking first. Whether you like it or not you are being conditioned by marketing into thinking you are inept unless you are "cutting edge," and it's a hampster-wheel you will ride until the day you die, never even stopping to ask whether you'd actually be more happy with less technology in certain aspects of your life. Let us learn, let us progress, and let us implement technology in ways that are only positive. That necessarily includes shaking off this religion of reliance, individualism, and insurance. Let us start looking at the opposite - independence, community, and faith.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
King_Nothing
Posts: 4
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2/18/2014 2:37:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Greetings...

As this is my first post here, I'd like to qualify all my comments a bit. This is one of my favorite topics to debate as I am an IT manager (Network Admin to be specific). Just for the record, I love the debate and it's not intended mean spirited in any way. I don't like to debate to turn things into a name calling slug fest. I'd much rather learn others POV and share my own.

With that said...

I don't necessarily agree that people assume technology is 100% good. In my experience (almost 20 years in IT now all together), it's generally about 50/50.

Loss of hardiness - as we do less physical work, we are becoming physically weak, as well as losing the toughness one normally gains by harsher conditions. We are fat and soft.


I would agree that we are less hardy physically as we create machines or tools to do or greatly assist in physical labor. One must be disciplined enough to find other means of becoming physically in shape or stronger. This will be addressed in other points as well but having continually better tools to assist or do the manual labor, we are left with time to find ways to enjoy keeping fit. In my case, that is hiking and spending time with nature that I wouldn't otherwise have. Again, back to this later.

Loss of Resourcefulness - our functions in society are incredibly abstract and narrow. I, personally, have been in the workforce for about 15 years and the skills I have picked up - food service, customer service, etc. are practically useless in everyday life....


This one sounds to me more like a corporate issue than a technological issue. But I have to disagree with it being meaningless. Technology still requires support. If your chosen field is cell phone companies (for example), it still requires skills to handle your customer.

Loss of community - as we become more oriented towards a technological way of life, our communities are dying. We no longer know our neighbors in our neighborhoods, we no longer interact personally with the people in our communities, and we are keeping each other at arms' reach....


Technology has changed our communities without a doubt. What we are starting to learn is that we're a global community as well as one that shares a neighborhood. Many of the decisions made by world leaders have global consequences. We, the rest of the world need to have a voice in those decisions. That would not be possible without technology. Some people want to be close to their neighbors, some wish to be a little more isolated. It is still up to each community to choose to be 'neighborly' or not. I still know all my neighbors.... and often time we know each other better because of technology. Talking via e-mail, or on the phone.

Loss of spirituality - spirituality is nurtured by being able to see the patterns of the natural world, and then orienting yourself to harmony with these patterns....


This one I very much disagree with. I am a Buddhist (albeit a crappy one). I assure you nature and the natural harmony of the world is very much on my mind. While I may spend my days working behind a screen, I spend many of my nights enjoying nature. But also technology gives me the ability to see what is happening in the world and better focus my energies on fights to keep us with a level of harmony rather than not having any idea what other parts of the world are doing to our little blue globe. Politicians have a false power. The masses have the true power, it's just a matter of choosing to exercise it. Challenge our politicians and leaders and question their decision. That is a whole other debate that I'm willing to have but running out of characters for this post!

Loss of hope - as we become more dependent on technical solutions to problems that arguably don't even exist, our hope diminishes because part of hope is accepting the inevitable. If I criticized every technological field out there, and was successful in convincing you of how each weakens us, there would be one left at the end that would seem impenetrable, wouldn't there? Wouldn't you hold fast to medical technology, and point out developments like penicillin and eyeglasses as absolutely infallible? Of course you would....


This one is certainly interesting but I look at it in a different way. The Survival instinct is one of the most basic human instincts. Whether that's running from a lion to not become a meal or putting masks over our faces to protect us from airborne disease. I think the fear of death is more of a philosophical debate rather than a technological one. But no matter how you break it down, we've always tried (generally speaking) to not die.

When my mother died, I went to her funeral, and the priest smiled through it. My initial reaction was "WTF?" But I quickly realized his wisdom that I lacked: death may be a tragedy to the living, as they adjust to the loss, and perhaps it is phenomenally-negative to the deceased....
;

First, my condolences on the passing of your mother. I'm sure that was a very difficult time. I agree with parts of this. We may not necessarily agree with what happens after life but we can agree that suffering and grieving is with those left behind. I don't know that I agree that medical technology helps distort our spiritual perspectives as I believe spirituality is an ever evolving thing. And yes, I see the irony in using evolve and spirituality in the same sentence. No matter if you live for 35 or 135 years, eventually you have to come to grips with your own mortality. Medical advancements may delay this, or even cause you to ignore it all together but sooner or later, you will face it. I don't see that as a distortion. But for the sake of argument, we will say it is a distortion. Isn't that my right to choose my own spiritual and life path? If that means I want to try and transfer my consciousness into a robotic body, then that is my choice to do. I can also choose to live in Tibet as a monk and follow the Buddhist ways. Either way, the beauty of technology is you can always refuse to use it.

With all this said, I am not purporting to disband science and technology. I simply want us to take it with a grain of salt instead of jumping in without even looking first. Whether you like it or not you are being conditioned by marketing into thinking you are inept unless you are "cutting edge," and it's a hampster-wheel you will ride until the day you die, never even stopping to ask whether you'd actually be more happy with less technology in certain aspects of your life. Let us learn, let us progress, and let us implement technology in ways that are only positive. That necessarily includes shaking off this religion of reliance, individualism, and insurance. Let us start looking at the opposite - independence, community, and faith.


Well said! Even debating the technological side of this, I agree with what you are saying in the end. The thing to remember is each one of us has a choice of how much we let technology into our lives. You must keep in mind that we are in the infancy of many of these technologies when you really boil it down. Many of these are tools to help us move forward but like with any tool, we must first learn how to use it. At times, the lesson is painful and once in a while, we're gonna get a bruise or scar. But eventually we learn to use it properly.

When I talk to my co-workers about technology, I tell them exactly the same thing. Even though I'm by FAR the biggest geek in the office, I still tell them this.

Thanks for reading
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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2/18/2014 6:07:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Subtract capitalist workplaces and consumerism, and you will found very little is wrong, yes?
Iredia
Posts: 1,608
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2/18/2014 9:01:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Technologies esp digital tech like games and hot smartphones are addictive. There's always one about. I thought I had overcome my love for console games, then laptops came up, now Androids and tabs, all with easy Internet access. I need to exert more conttol over them.
Porn babes be distracting me. Dudes be stealing me stuff. I'm all about the cash from now. I'm not playing Jesus anymore.