In today’s world, we’re luckier than past generations in terms of the many advantages that we shouldn’t take for granted — and that includes the technology that we use today, from computers tablets to the GPS devices that allow us to reach our destinations with so little trouble. Of course, today’s technology wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for those who helped paved the way centuries ago — including Galileo Galilei, Benjamin Franklin, Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers.
Technology is partly responsible for the world that we now live in — and not just in helping to make world history. Motion pictures, radio, TV, and the Internet have not only entertained us, but also brought us a bit closer to what’s happening in the real world. Ships, trains, planes, and auto vehicles have allowed us to travel within our nations’ borders and beyond — while outer space technology has helped us greatly in our understanding of the universe (including the Moon). The energy sources that helped move civilization forward in the past two centuries — from steam and electricity to solar and nuclear power — has powered not only our homes and various appliances, but also the many businesses and industries which depend on it in order to stay vibrant in the ever-changing global market. Technology has also played an important role in shaping both the scientific and medical worlds — from the various medicines and vaccines that we use to maintain our good health and prevent us from disease to the medical equipment that allows physicians and surgeons to help find out what’s troubling their patients (and how to correct their situations). And today’s technology continues to inspire today’s scientists, inventors, and creative talent, as they dream up the new wonders that were once confined to the realm of science fiction — and which will one day become a reality.
Of course, technology hasn’t always been perfect — and there’s always been those against it as a whole, including Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, who committed his acts of terrorism between 1978-95 to reinforce his beliefs that both industrialization and modern technology were dehumanizing the world. In my opinion, the only people who are dehumanized by technology are those who use it for their own selfish purposes, from cyber-bullies who drive some of their victims to commit suicide and computer hackers who attempt to steal our personal information (including our credit cards and bank accounts) and unleash techno-viruses that can disrupt and/or wreck our computers’ data banks (as was the case with Sony this past week) to corrupt nations using today’s modern-day weapons for power’s sake (including the possibility of destroying the entire world).
And yet, those of us who are sensible and wise have never given up hope that technology — despite its many failures and drawbacks — is essential, not only to our present, but also our future, as long as we use it to help improve our quality of life, while giving future generations plenty to look forward to, including a world that’s free of almost all the problems that mankind has had to deal with throughout its long existence, including the greatest and deepest fears that have almost drove us towards the abyss.
©2014 John Lavernoich.