Technology- Friend or foe?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Popcorn8636, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Tirstan Registered Member

    Technology is an expression of our cumulative gifts

    Technology is our friend. The people that wield technology are the problem. People are the weakest link.

    We need to use technology to help us build a better society.

    Technology is developing at an incredible rate, yet as a society we have acheived little since the Roman Republic.

    Complexity and complacency have been the biggest hinderance to social development. Computers excel at aiding in managing complexity. The 20 million dollar question is how to use computers to help.
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  3. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    That is very optimistic. We would go extinct almost immediately. Suppose some magic wipes out all of our technology today -- all our electrical power plants and refineries, gone; no way to power our manufacturing plants. All of our ships, trucks, cars, highways, gone; no way to move goods around the world. All of our manufacturing plants, gone; no goods to move around the world. All of our tractors, plows, and other farm machinery, gone; no way to produce the massive amounts of food we need. All of our computers, books, universities, gone; no way to reproduce all that we have lost. All of our hospitals and medicine, gone; no way to fight the diseases that kept our life expectency at 35 years until recently. How many of the 6.36 billion people currently alive would still be alive one year from now? Not many, I would venture to say.

    Technology is absolutely essential in sustaining our livelihoods, our health, our wealth, and our very lives.
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  5. duendy Registered Senior Member

    see they taught you 'well' in school then
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  7. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Extinct means ALL dead n' gone ....if only a few are left, that's not "extinct".

    If that's true, how did the human race begin? And how did they survive for millions of years with nothing but stick and stones for weapons?

    I don't think you give humans the credit that they deserve ...or else much too much credit to technology.

    Baron Max
  8. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    The human race (homo sapiens sapiens) did not survive for millions of years, since it has been in existence for at most 195,000 years, and maybe as little as 35,000 years (depending if you call hominids prior to Cro-Magnon "human"). Hominids have been around for far longer, but those prior to 195,000 years ago are not of our species.

    The world population is way beyond the level sustainable by stone age technology. We would undergo a massive die-off should our technology suddenly reverted to stone age, and most likely to a population level below what we had in the stone age. Life would be brutal for those who did survive.
    We have breed the survival skills out of our domesticated plants and animals. Would they survive without our technology to sustain them? What would we eat?

    But extinction? Maybe, maybe not. So I exaggerated. I don't care if some small pittance of humanity would survive my hypothetical technology-destroying magic. Our world cannot sustain 6.36 billion people without technology. Dispute that.
  9. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    You could keep a fair number alive with stone age technology. Provided you mean neolithic period. They had domestication of animals, farming, irrigation, crude wooden boats and fishing, etc. I would hazard a guess that the population would stabilize at perhaps a bit over half a billion worldwide if we are lucky.

    Paleolithic, on the otherhand, would basically involve us living as animals. Our greatest piece of technology would be a piece of wood that we stick in large quadrapeds. I would guess our worldwide population would be stuck in the millions.

    Either way, we die like any other animal species next time an extinction event rolls on.
  10. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    I would hazard lower guesses. Our population didn't reach 10 million until around 5,000 years ago.

    Our population level may well have been knocked down to a mere 10,000 by the last extinction event, the eruption of Toba in Sumatra around 70,000 years ago. The next extinction event may well be ongoing right now -- and its one of our own making.

    Note that I never have answered the original question -- technology, friend or foe. I merely said that it technology is necessary. Technology is neither a friend nor a foe. It is a double-edged sword.
  11. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Of course large portions of the world were still in a hunter gatherer existence back then. Without agriculture, 99% of the earth's land went uninhabited except for those rare instances where the nomadic population plods through. For this arguement I am presumeing a homogenous worldwide population at the peak of neolithic technology. While primitive from civilized standards, such people are doing a lot better than cavemen.
  12. Facial Valued Senior Member

    Technology is a friend in Clockwood's sense.

    However, it is foe when it comes to consumer-oriented lavishness.

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