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On Technology and Future
Starting with the industrial revolution, last century has been rapidly transformed to a technological wonders era. Including the World War I and II periods, the world has been through many damages and set-backs. Nevertheless, the wars were great reasons to develop new arms, information systems, equipment, machinery, transportation and so on. Is there greater challenge then the humans' desire for domination? First radio, then TV and then computers on public service. Were they invented merely to inform or entertain us? Or are they simply new ways for mesmerizing, so that we are more prone to manipulation and no questioning. Mass media, global information, consumerism industry.....
How much of the truth do we really get through them and how much of it do we really need? While the technology is growing in an extreme and -most of the time- exciting pace, in the last ten years, the interface users figured out how to use it to their advantage, how to ease the daily tasks, to communicate with long distance family, friends and even strangers, and to escape from reality and enjoy themselves in virtual reality. After starting the MFA program in Design & Technology at Parsons School of Design this fall, I became heavily involved with critical reading and thinking on technology's progress and its effects on humanity and future. The good side is anything can be possible now that we could not even dream before, or dreamt but never thought it could become real. The bad part is, we might completely loose its control. Having said that, without careful ethical questioning, we can easily turn the world to an unbearable junk-land.
All of our personal information and identity may be easily accessible and controllable by whoever wants. We already damaged the atmosphere, are in the process of damaging the nature, and should be alerted by gene-engineering as well.
Today, almost everyone is aware of the dynamics of the governments, militaries and the corporate monopolies. That even shows parallelism in most of the countries. On one side, we are going to the space; on the other, we still face many wars, poverty and hunger on earth because of the power-struggle, politics, human desire to rule and dominate.
Obviously, technology does not define its role as an upgrader of humanity's well-being. In the contrary, it easily becomes a goal rather then being a tool. While it seems as if the world is getting smaller and closer on one hand, the gap between hi-tech and not-so-tech worlds is getting bigger and bigger on the other, very much because of the socio-economic gap. Nevertheless, our lives are full of machines and new toys now, and we are not in realization yet that we are loosing other pleasures and experiences in life and getting more and more virtually real.
@The Light Millennium magazine was created and designed
by Bircan ÜNVER. March-April 2000, New York.