What is technology? If your first answer that came to mind was computing or gadget related objects such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads, iPods etc, you are not alone. Most people think of those items when they are asked that question. Now, when I asked that question to various people, I did not ask: “Can you … Read More
What is technology? If your first answer that came to mind was computing or gadget related objects such as smartphones, iPhones, iPads, iPods etc, you are not alone. Most people think of those items when they are asked that question. Now, when I asked that question to various people, I did not ask: “Can you name me a few technological objects?”, I asked: What is technology? Technology is anything that has been created by humans in order to facilitate or to enhanced our ability to perform most tasks. For example, it could take me days to walk to Wasaga Beach, Ontario from Toronto, Ontario, however If I have a car it would take me only a couple of hours, if traffic is busy maybe maximum of three hours. So, anything that fits in the category of enhancing the human capability to perform task fits the model of technology. Technology is unique to humans, at least studies on primates have shown that some bonobo chimpanzees are able to use tools like using branches to reach into holes for food. However, it is us humans who are capable of creating complex machines or mechanism in order to “enhance” or extend our capabilities.
For some, to “extend” our capabilities would seem ideal in our everyday lives, where technology can take the load of task that would otherwise be a burden for us and free up some time for things that are more useful. The sad part is that, this is not the case, if we have dishwasher we take advantage of the fact that we basically no longer need to wash dishes, so we leave it to the dishwashing machines to take care of that while many would use that freed up time to watch Dancing with the Stars on the T.V. Another example is the way smartphones are used, we were told smartphones would help increase productivity at work, an extension of the office. To a large extend, it is true, but it is also as entertaining if not more engulfing than television. Even right now as I am typing this post at the subway train on the way to work, I have have spotted about five people with smartphones four of which are playing games like Angry Birds or Solitaire. Therefore, we can conclude by observation that technology may be making our day-to-day lives easier in a way yet for not useful purpose. So, we can conclude that technology, if it is widely available, serves the purpose that television serves today, that is to engulf our minds to keep us from thinking on ourselves or from realizing the worrying and action needed condition of the world. Now, why would technology have that role today instead of being a tool to help us fight pollution, to helps us get rid of hunger in the world. We were told GMOs would accomplish that, but has it? If anything, the onset of GMOs has made companies like Monsanto richer.
If we look at how much we have progressed in the complexity skyrocketed by the onset of the industrial revolution, as the opening of the London 2012 olympics clearly depicted, for the last 100 years or so we have gone from travelling on horse carriages to driving electrical and hybrid cars, to prototypes for teleportation devices. I would argue that technology is not necessarily bad or evil, just like you would think of any technology such as a hammer, we can use it to build to shelters, or we can murder someone with it. Any technology has two purposes. What were are using technology in our present time is unfortunately not the benevolent option. If you look at a bird nest, the mother bird collects materials from all of her surroundings and builds a nest that enhances the habitat of the birds’ offspring. If you are paying attention as you stroll by the park and look up, you may see that bird’s nest and when you do, do you think that is a bird’s technology? or do you simply call it nature? I would argue that technologies that we are experiencing today are also part of nature, it is our construct or collection of materials really not much different that how the bird collected twigs and dead leaves to make a nest. We should therefore embrace technology rather than fight it. The problem is that there are some people who have interpreted this idea in the most corroded way. I am talking about transhumanists. These transhumanists are a collection of philosophers, celebrities, scientist and politicians who believe that the power of technology will soon surpass the power of human intellect and thus reach what is known as singularity.
“The main objectives of the Initiative are: the creation of a new vision of human development that meets global challenges humanity faces today, realization of the possibility of a radical extension of human life by means of cybernetic technology, as well as the formation of a new culture associated with these technologies.” – The 2045 Initiative
You have seen in fiction what scenarios that could take from movies like Terminator, Blade Runner and recently iRobot. Those transhumanist believe that since we are approaching this point, we may as well begin to merge with technology by accepting the microchipping of millions and by enhancing our human abilities so that when singularity happens, we will stand the chance to not be dominated by machines. There are those transhumanists who want to embrace singularity to extend their lives by transferring the entire information stored from their human brains into supercomputers, so thus they can live forever. Now, to a certain point, these can all sound logical, the problem is these transhumanist want these to themselves and have very low regard for the masses, to whom they see as mere cattle. The most well known organization that is pushing for this move, is what is now known as Humanity + [http://humanityplus.org/] (formerly the World Transhumanist Association). For this, transhumanist also believe that if there are people who are not ready to embrace this inevitable change in human evolution, they will simply fade away as the weak homo sapiens sapiens and there come homo superior. This idea or “philosophy” is exactly what the ideas of Eugenics were bring forth before and during and now through humanism when Hitler’s “Final Solution” of cleansing the human race from weak races and thus, through eugenics programs, influence evolution to “better” men. Although wars, do still happen, there is more types of cleaning going on in the world, as the Foster Gamble very well explains in his highly recommendable documentary Thrive: What on Earth Will it Take, please watch the clip below the article.
Recently, a Russian group called the 2045 Initiative brought forth a strategic plan to transform humans in an effort to transition on what they call the “Cybernetic technologies.” If Foster is right, we are in deep trouble and worse we barely have a clue, or at least most of us are trapped by the appeal of technologies that further chain us in the fake reality of this world full of commercial and materials concerns as we constantly think of making the rent this month, or what car will I get next, or when am I moving to a bigger home etc etc. Meanwhile, there may just be an entire chain of events happening unbeknownst to us that is taking place and that will eventually hit us hard because we had no warning other than perhaps this and other internet articles and perhaps documentaries like Thrive. So, what are you going to do?