I think the question is centuries upon centuries upon centuries too late to debate. When the wheel was invented, mankind never looked back. When Leonardo da Vinci put wings on a human being, it wasn’t a matter of if, but when. When Alexander Graham Bell tinkered with two cans and a piece of string, the IPhone was inevitable. Change, progress and capitalism are triplets in an ongoing enterprise.
The status quo is no longer static, if it ever was. Regression is impossible given mankind’s penchant for the next best thing. And capitalism…how can you even ask? Isn’t everyone aspiring to be Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or someone of lesser means, like the millionaires? Don’t we all wish we’d played the powerball lottery when the lucky winners are announced. I always query my husband afterwards as to why we didn’t buy a ticket. Then I’ll go out and buy $5 worth, lose, and forget all about the lottery until the next one makes millionaires out of middle-class folk like us.
If I were truly a hobbit in a cave, as I often say I am, perhaps then technology would have no bearing upon my life. And maybe there are those who live in isolation from the rest of society, like undiscovered tribes in South America. Unfortunately for these rare souls, technology will come knocking one of these days. They will be the unlucky recipients of the havoc technology has wreaked upon the earth.
Bulldozers are leveling rainforests. Man’s inventions are flooding the atmosphere with toxic gases. And in our race to stockpile more stuff, the internet and all its affiliated paraphernalia are making it easy to do from the comfort of our chairs and keyboards. We no longer need to expend the time or energy to get the stuff ourselves. It’ll be shipped in 7 to 14 business days.
So there’s no question that we are all affected, if not dependent upon technology and its benefits. And yet we seem to have a system of checks and balances. Having brains that obsess about everything, bodies which age without our consent, and Mother Nature prohibiting us from over-reaching, mankind is saved from the brink of total annihilation…so far.
Technology is a force with which to be reckoned, and we seem to be squeezing the life-juice out of it. Rather than dicker over our dependence, we should maintain constant vigil over its use for the common good of all people, and all species. But I’m not so sure we’re all on board in that regard.