Reversals | logarithmically's Blog
The automobile solved some very important problems for most people, but in doing so, poisoned our air, chocked our cities with traffic, and contributed toward the destruction of some of the beauty of our natural landscape. Antibiotics certainly solved some of the significant problems for almost all people, but in doing so, resulted in the weakening of what we call our immune system. Television soled several important problems, but in solving them changed the nature of political discourse, led to a serious decline in literacy, and quite possibly made the traditional process of socializing children impossible.
It is doubtful that one can think of a single technology that did not generate new problems as a result of it having solved an old problem. Of course, it is sometimes very difficult to know what new problems will arise as a result of a technological solution. Benedictine monks invented the mechanical clock in the thirteenth century in order to be more precise in performing their canonical prayers, which they needed to do seven times a day. Had they known that the mechanical clock would eventually be used by merchants as a means of establishing a standardized workday and then a standardized product - that is, that the clock would be used as an instrument for making money instead of serving God - the monks might have decided that their sundials and water clocks were quite sufficient. Had Gutenberg foreseen that his printing press with movable type would lead to the breakup of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, he surely would have used his old wine press to make wine and not books. In the thirteenth century, perhaps it didn't matter so much if people lack technological vision; perhaps not even in the fifteenth century. But in the twenty-first century, we can no longer afford to move into the future with out eyes tightly closed.
There are no comments on this post yet, be the first to leave one!
Previous PostsOrbital Theory, posted January 28th, 2013
Flu Shots...., posted January 8th, 2013
Reversals, posted January 8th, 2013
Stone of Escape, posted January 8th, 2013
Lifting, Safety, and Beyond In The 21st Century Workforce, posted January 8th, 2013
Living in thee technological age..., posted January 8th, 2013
BlogrollHere are some friends' blogs...
HelpEmbed Photos Embed Videos