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Thread: Is technology mans downfall ?

  1. #1 Is technology mans downfall ? 
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    Hey everyone.. i just registered, this is all a bit new to me.. im studying sciences at college in the UK and yea im enjoying it

    I saw this and i thought i'd read through some of the articles.. all very interesting

    ermm yea so i wrote a little essay a while ago.. i was just curious of what you all thought of it.. so yea be honest and as harsh as you want...

    http://www.quazen.com/Science/Philos...truction.89585


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    not bad - maybe somewhat old-fashioned on evolutionary theory (e.g. we are not as unique as we like to give ourselves credit for + evolutionary progress seen as a ladder is a rather outdated concept), but in general i agree that the things that have allowed us to increase our numbers beyond the natural carrying capacity for a large mammalian species make us also more vulnerable to a population crash when our technology can no longer hold us aloft

    in addition, our habit of fouling the nest might not have mattered too much when all you had to do was move a few miles to another pristine place, but when your nest is all of the earth, there's no other place you can move to get out of trouble


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    We cannot just blatantly advance technology without the means to control it; unfortunately that is what we are doing (to a certain extent). This is why philosophy is necessary to advance at the same rate as science; they control and keep each other in check.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i'm not aware that philosophy has ever changed the way technology has developed - do you have examples ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Forum Freshman Elando's Avatar
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    Attchually this is quite interesting. There was a street talk going on about this kind of thing when I went to cambridge once. However it was more about "Is technology making us stupid" than killing us but its all the same outcome.

    Technology, I belive, is mans downfall due to the fact that as we grow stronger in knowledge and develop new and exciting things to help people and so on, we also create an equil or bigger number of things to kill people more effectivly and efficiently. Also technology is also killing the species slowly threw the fact that many of us are dependant on it. For example alot of people now days cannot survive without simple technology such as microwaves and televisions. If you gave them a tent, lighter, knife and an axe and stuck them in the woods they'd most likely cry for Arnold Swartsanager or Silvester Stalone to come rescue them rather than do something for themselves. Also technology, mainly television and computers, are some of the main causes of obessety and also contibute to deaths as a whole.

    Therefore, yes technology is mans downfall but, however, without it we wouldn't be the most dominant species on Earth would we?
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    I never said it did, MarnixR. If it did, then we wouldn't have all of the problems that we have today in relation to technology.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

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    Use your computing strength for science!
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    What about the real possibilities of technology that enhances our memory and intelligence? Can't wait to see what happens once we're able to reverse engineer the brain.
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  9. #8 Re: Is technology mans downfall ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by richardbounds
    Hey everyone.. i just registered, this is all a bit new to me.. im studying sciences at college in the UK and yea im enjoying it

    I saw this and i thought i'd read through some of the articles.. all very interesting

    ermm yea so i wrote a little essay a while ago.. i was just curious of what you all thought of it.. so yea be honest and as harsh as you want...

    http://www.quazen.com/Science/Philos...truction.89585
    I think you make much sense and it is well written.

    We live in two different worlds.

    I recently had occasion to hang out in the waiting area of St Joseph Hospital in Asheville for a few hours. I was free to walk many of the corridors and rest in many of the waiting areas along with everyone else. It was early morning but it was obvious that the hospital functioned fully 24/7.

    A person can walk the corridors of any big city hospital and observe the effectiveness of human rationality in action. One can also visit the UN building in NYC or read the morning papers and observe just how ineffective, frustrating and disappointing human rationality can be. Why does human reason perform so well in some matters and so poorly in others?

    We live in two very different worlds; a world of technical and technological order and clarity, and a world of personal and social disorder and confusion. We are increasingly able to solve problems in one domain and increasingly endangered by our inability to solve problems in the other.

    Normal science is successful primarily because it is a domain of knowledge controlled by paradigms. The paradigm defines the standards, principles and methods of the discipline. It is not apparent to the laity but science moves forward in small incremental steps. Science seldom seeks and almost never produces major novelties.

    Science solves puzzles. The logic of the paradigm insulates the professional group from problems that are unsolvable by that paradigm. One reason that science progresses so rapidly and with such assurance is because the logic of that paradigm allows the practitioners to work on problems that only their lack of ingenuity will keep them from solving.

    Science uses instrumental rationality to solve puzzles. Instrumental rationality is a systematic process for reflecting upon the best action to take to reach an established end. The obvious question becomes ‘what mode of rationality is available for determining ends?’ Instrumental rationality appears to be of little use in determining such matters as “good” and “right”.

    There is a striking difference between the logic of technical problems and that of dialectical problems. The principles, methods and standards for dealing with technical problems and problems of “real life” are as different as night and day. Real life problems cannot be solved only using deductive and inductive reasoning.

    Dialectical reasoning methods require the ability to slip quickly between contradictory lines of reasoning. One needs skill to develop a synthesis of one point of view with another. Where technical matters are generally confined to only one well understood frame of reference real life problems become multi-dimensional totalities.

    When we think dialectically we are guided by principles not by procedures. Real life problems span multiple categories and academic disciplines. We need point-counter-point argumentation; we need emancipatory reasoning to resolve dialectical problems. We need critical thinking skills and attitudes to resolve real life problems.
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    Forum Senior miomaz's Avatar
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    The downfall of Humans... it is the way one would regard what humans should reach, if it is the population of earth, this is true. Looking from the other side gives the viewer a different picture: The population of earth, with a low intelligence, to be born to live a purposeless life and to die seems not right to me. Intelligence is what makes us human, without it we wouln't even be humans.
    My picture of technology, intelligence and the purpose of life.

    regards,

    Mark
    I haven't come to fight my word, but to find the truth.
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    the downfall of human kind... would be due to our technological break throughs such as cars,comeputers,industry,ect. first of all techology allows us to improve our selfs with better diets& medical. which increases our lifespands and helps people stay alive which in turn raises our population to dagerus highs so much so that it is hard to distribute food watter and other resources equaly among everyone . also techology betters us in warfar which consaquently enable's us to have the power to destroy 99.9% of liveing thing on earth 20*s over with the press of a button. our therd problem is the enviorment our growing population is striping the planet of all its resources and industry is polluting the atmospher and oceans killing meny animals and raseing the temature of our planet due to globle warming.
    im not a english wizz.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    i'm not aware that philosophy has ever changed the way technology has developed - do you have examples ?

    it seems to have slowed down stem cell research; to an extent nuclear tech, cloning, in our age. probably in the past days of "witches" and what not they would have been against many inventions then. I'm not a historian.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I simply cannot bring myself to agree with the idea that technology is to blame for all our worst problems. Technology, no matter how fancy or complicated it gets (until we develop completely autonomous AI), is nothing but a tool. And it is the people behind those tools, and the choices they make, that cause problems.

    It is arguable that were it not for our use of technology, our species would not exist today. It is a part of who we are. We use our intelligence to build and use tools. This is intrinsic to us, it was intrinsic to our evolution, and there is nothing wrong with it.

    Human behavior bears many heavy influences from a very different past. From a time when it was advantageous to hate the outsider, to work in concert with your group members to destroy them, because by doing so you were able to get more food, and have more offspring. The world is not the same anymore and most of our genes have not caught up yet.

    It is people that need to, and can, change. Not technology.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    I simply cannot bring myself to agree with the idea that technology is to blame for all our worst problems. Technology, no matter how fancy or complicated it gets (until we develop completely autonomous AI), is nothing but a tool. And it is the people behind those tools, and the choices they make, that cause problems.

    It is arguable that were it not for our use of technology, our species would not exist today. It is a part of who we are. We use our intelligence to build and use tools. This is intrinsic to us, it was intrinsic to our evolution, and there is nothing wrong with it.

    Human behavior bears many heavy influences from a very different past. From a time when it was advantageous to hate the outsider, to work in concert with your group members to destroy them, because by doing so you were able to get more food, and have more offspring. The world is not the same anymore and most of our genes have not caught up yet.

    It is people that need to, and can, change. Not technology.
    So you think we should adapt everything that makes us human in order to fit in better with what we have created? That just makes us slaves to what we made. Which seems to be the trend anyway...

    Technology allows us to live longer (overpopulation), build more (global environmental damage), kill eachother better, etc. It depends what you see the aim of life is, but if it is ultimately "happiness", i don't think technology is doing a very good job.

    I feel like a big hypocrite sitting here burning technology using my computer connected to the internet
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    How would you be a slave? You only adjust your means for which to deal with your creations, for the better of course. Are you saying that putting a protective cap over a nuclear launch button is making us slaves, just because we have have a reaction to our actions? If we did not react accordingly at times, then, we would really destroy ourselves. Following logical processes cannot be related to becoming a slave of the properties of nature. Thinking that way destructively pessimistic.

    I agree paralith.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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    Using your example; what is the real feet of technology.. the intercontinental nuclear missle or the protective cap over the button? If we didn't have the missle there wouldn't be a need for the cap in the first place.

    Technology isn't really advanced for any reason except for corporations to fatten their bank account. Things are constantly invented that we don't need, but we adapt to them anyway. Forcing us to compromise our way of life to adapt.

    As for being a slave, you go to work every day so you can save up for the new plasma tv, or v12 twin turbo whatever, etc etc. 8 hours a day 5 days a week or more sounds like servitude to me.

    Of course; this is all theoretical, and i type this at my 9-5 job on my flat screen monitor. I just dont think it is necessary to keep inventing stupid materialstic things which seem cool but ultimately don't enhance our standard of life as a society in general.
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    Thats the point, the cap is the adaption. Naturaly it would be considerably better if we didn't have ICBM's in the first place...

    Most technological advancements are for selfish money gaining reasons, unfortunately. This leads to people making things that will actually be detrimental to society, that only allow them to make more money.

    Well, I try to ballance work with personal time. I, like most other people, want a super car, a giant flat screen, or something else expensive, but I do not prioritize it over more important things, like philosophy, reading, and familly.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Fusion
    Well, I try to ballance work with personal time. I, like most other people, want a super car, a giant flat screen, or something else expensive, but I do not prioritize it over more important things, like philosophy, reading, and familly.
    See? It's all about the human attitude toward the technology. As CF says, sure it's nice to have a big tv and a good car and all that, but as long as you don't become over obsessed with these things and keep your priorities in order, they're not going to destroy your life. But the same could be said for lots of things. Becoming obsessed with any one thing isn't good for you. Technology just happens to be easy to obsess over.

    A lot of you seem to think that what I'm suggesting is equivalent to us humans bending over backwards in order to accommodate our technology - which is not true. Is learning to live with appreciation and respect for other life so difficult? Is learning to be responsible in your actions and to keep your priorities straight such an onerous task? These are things people should do anyway. It is when people don't do these things that they use the tool of technology for ill means.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Forum Senior miomaz's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. The amount of damage compared to the amount of compensation which technology creates, is less.
    I haven't come to fight my word, but to find the truth.
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    Theres a great book about technology and the techniques we use as people within civilization called "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
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    The development of technology is moving so rapidly that humans themselves are starting to lose grip over its complexities. In order for humans to keep up with such complexities, we must use this technology to expand our own intelligence. There is apparently an exponential growth in our technological developments, and supposedly we are to have human-level AI or an extension of the human brain by the mid 2020s. After that, the rate of development will reach a new level since by then, mankind will be "faster" and "smarter" at the same time.

    This prediction is called the Technological Singularity and the familiarity of this concept has been gaining pace recently. More and more people are becoming aware of the upcoming decades for humankind. I also heard that there is going to be a movie in theaters soon called The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil.
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  22. #21  
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    There is a lot of good that has come from technology. improved efficiency, improved health, less environmental impact.
    I think we really do need to learn to live in peace with some of the very useful technologies, that have been developed and do away with the cumbersome ones. It's good to balance both and reap the benefits without overlooking human value.
    I agree that it is not technology doing wrong. We are creators. We want to improve upon our lives. We do, however, need to expand our minds as well and live our lives and not be fully dependent.
    We've lived in a very wasteful state for a long time it will be a long time before it is corrected or perfected.

    (i appologize if this is real choppy. I have to go to work soon and i'm rushing!)
    If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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