Technology offers different points of view

Derek Sutter and Derek Sutter

The amount of technological developments driving the past several centuries has served to advance the welfare of humankind.

Improvements in agricultural technology have increased food supply and quality while also liberating the time and energy of many persons for other positive pursuits.

Revolutions in transportation and communication technology allow people, information and dialogues to be carried around the world at previously unimaginable speeds.

The 20th century developments in medical aspects— especially new vaccines— contributed to the dramatic rise in American life expectancy.

That well-earned praise aside, technology is a double-edged sword. While new gadgets and apparatuses aid us, many also have an alarming and regretful capacity to destroy when in the hands of the wrong individuals.

The airplane— a machine developed in just this past century— serves as one of the great connections to exciting adventure.

Yet we all remember 9/11, when religious radicals used this technology to kill thousands of American civilians.

Of course, fear of technology is not a novelty. Many people once believed that microwave ovens caused cancer.

Please allow me to clarify. I have no fear of microwave ovens. In fact, I sleep just above one. What does concern me, however, is the vast amount of power that technology grants to individuals, regardless of their sanity.

The combination of technology and biological information make for an environment ripe for the development of some uncontrollable virus.

The knowledge of how to create a nuclear weapon is widely available; one need only find the materials.

As the power of technology grows, the power of radicals grows with it, as a frightening fire swells with its facilitating fuel.

If it is not already the case today, it will soon be that the greatest threat to all humankind rests haplessly at the intersection of advanced technology and a few worrisome individuals.

Ultimately, one must conclude that there is a certain safety in collectivism, that the capacity to self-destruct is not within all or most of us at any one time.

For that reason, governments should exercise greater control of new technologies.

As for the human race in general, I advise slowing down, and from time to time taking stock of what exactly we are creating, rather than myopically developing whatever promises a profit.

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