Technology is a Tool, Not a Solution

Human technology today is outstanding--mind-boggling almost beyond comprehension; we have advanced so quickly in such a short space of time that most of us are unaware of our true capabilities. While we have automated assembly lines that make the production line of Henry Ford look like child’s play, very few of us are aware of the additive manufacturing evolution that is about to make production lines, automated or not, completely redundant. Even glass, something we are surrounded by every day, is no longer simply a translucent barrier between us and the natural elements, but a medium of communication capable of storing data and displaying information or media at our whim. Electrical power generation through the means of burning fuel or damming water is an antiquated model that has been superseded by nano technology that not only converts sunlight into energy anywhere, but without the need of an electrical power grid. Thinking computers are transforming the responsibility of humans controlling a vehicle from point A to point B into a relaxing computer-controlled journey.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our advancing technology, and the prototypes are by no means pie-in-the-sky dreams of the future; these technologies are a reality now. The fact that you have not heard about them should not come as any great surprise; the last thing the elite, with their vested interests in this social paradigm, want is for us to be aware of our expanding capabilities, for that may cause too many to start asking the obvious questions: "What exactly is the point of what we are doing?" and "What are we going to do when there are not enough jobs to go around?" There is nothing on our planet that is not being altered in one way or the other by our advanced technological ability, and as we begin to leave the curve on the exponential growth chart, the only thing we can be certain of is that the future will change very dramatically for most, if not all, of us.

Technology is a tool, not a solution.

Yet as advanced as we become, it is not solely technology that will improve our lives or condemn us to a continued existence as little more than slaves, for technology is neither good nor bad, and it is not an all-encompassing solution to our human problems anymore than it is responsible for any of our social ills. The propensity toward pointing fingers at our technological advancements is a scapegoat for the individual who does not want to look further into our social operation to identify where things may be going wrong, or indeed right, on a fundamental level.

Of all the social injustices in our world, none of them, not a single one, will be overcome by advancing technology alone, just as no social problems will arise of the same making. Technology is not going to consider our consumption-based society for us; it is not going to make us feel the impacts we are having on our biosphere or produce a society that refuses to go to war with each other. These things some technologies may better enable us to understand and communicate about, but in the end we as human beings will have to contemplate these issues ourselves.

If we were technically capable of producing food through the additive manufacturing process, that in and of itself would not rectify the problem of starvation or malnutrition. Indeed, if we were to continue to operate in our current social order even with that ability, food would still be very much out of reach of those who needed it most, and in all likelihood the number of people who found themselves in a position of poverty would increase as jobs melted away. Just as a technical solution that allowed us to pump oil out of previously unattainable locations, while solving potential oil scarcity, would in fact have a negative retro action in regards to environmental sustainability on our planet. The idea that technology will solve our problems ranks right up there with the idea that we must reduce our population or face ecological disaster. Neither of these ideologies dares to investigate our social organization with any amount of thoroughness or scrutiny, but rather chooses that it be left to be dealt with at a later time.

There is going to be no way to avoid the inevitability of having to address our social modus de operandi, and so there shouldn’t be; it must be a fundamental part of our intellectual growth as a species to address and hold ourselves accountable for the social methods used in both our past and present. It will allow us to all be better for it and to make wiser decisions as a species moving forward together. The mantra of "make the best of your current situation" is no longer good enough, as it will condemn our prodigy to having to deal with issues we choose to treat as taboo or simply ignore.

The reality is, we do not have the luxury of time in regards to this subject. Unlike any other time in our history, we find ourselves at a crossroads: deal with the underlying fundamental social issues that are manifesting all the inequalities and environmental symptoms we find ourselves facing, or suffer the undeniable forthcoming ecological and social disasters. There are solutions, but we have no more time for procrastination or dreams of these issues working themselves out without our intervention.

The time to stand up and point out the nudity of the emperor is upon us. Future generations will exist--or not--by the decisions we make now.

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Sun, 09/23/2012 - 10:42pm | Yep I agree. Technology is (Score: 1)
Mon, 09/24/2012 - 10:51pm | Hi Sean. That was a very (Score: 1)
Fri, 10/05/2012 - 4:57pm | Yes, I agree technology will (Score: 1)