Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

A reliance on technology creates weaknesses?

On November 17, the Washington Post issued a World Alert and reported that “[..] reliance on technology created weaknesses in its [..]”. Their alert created my immediate interest. Does a reliance on technology indeed creates weaknesses? The answer depends on your time frame.

Several of my blogs claim that our species cannot survive a next glacial period (a.k.a. Ice Age) because we have become too dependent on technology (eg, electricity, heating, internet, retail, transport). The Last Glacial Period ended about 15,000 years ago and lasted some 100,000 years (Wiki).

For many people, the long time frame of a glacial period might be irrelevant. The same could be argued for interglacial periods. Wiki: “The long glacial periods were separated by more temperate and shorter interglacials.” Those interglacial periods may last for some 50,000 years, of which 15,000 have passed.

Many articles claim that social media (ie, technology) is harmful to society and/or to mental health. That leads to the question: is harmful a weakness? In my view, it’s the addiction (eg, to social media) that is harmful. Addiction is a behavioural matter. Technology may increase our addictions.

Most of all, technology is a human tool. Also see my recent blog: Technology: a human tool but for how long? Any tool has strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats. In our human view, the downside of anything is usually less relevant than its upside (eg, use of atomic bombs in 1945).

Moreover, the WaPo article claims that human beliefs were (probably) essential to those weaknesses rather than technology. WaPo: “We didn’t believe that [..] had this capability, and so we didn’t see it coming,” Even official warnings did not change those beliefs (eg, BBC, Guardian, ToI).

In my view, our beliefs – a.k.a. known unknowns – represent our weaknesses. Technology is a tool that helps identify known knowns a.k.a. facts. Our beliefs result in our opinions. Technology will not – and probably never – change our beliefs. Only a crisis in faith can change our beliefs (eg, NYM).

Some relevant quotes on technology:

  • The great myth of our times is that technology is communication. Libby Larsen, composer
  • Technology made large populations possible; large populations now make technology indispensable. Joseph Krutch, writer
  • If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. Omar Bradley, General US Army
  • Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. Arthur Schlesinger, historian

Ayo Technology (2007) by Milow (2008)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-song

Ayo, I’m tired of using technology
I need you right in front of me

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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