Living with Technology

Our technologies are what has made us the dominant species in the world. But as they become more powerful (as they rapidly are) – they end up being in control of us.

I am always asking “What is in control here?” And the answers I get are sometimes disturbing. It does seems like people want to give control of themselves over to something else. This was originally God, but has become Technology. And people easily confuse the two.

A good place to start looking at this situation, is probably the Industrial Revolution. An event we have never fully understood – but we can see that Machines – the Steam Engine, and then the Internal Combustion Engine – had a huge impact on us. In many ways, they simply took over – and we became like them. This was an advantage, and a disadvantage both – as I have remarked elsewhere.

This can be seen in the case of the Railroads – most of our energy (and our finances) went into building them. They, in return, provided lots of jobs. And made possible the Civil War, WWI, and WWII. The Railroads (and its people) benefited enormously from all this – but people in general, did not do so well (as shown by the Holocaust).

Note the pattern here – people who identify with a successful technology (no matter what kind of people they are) benefit from it – at the expense of everyone else. And those who benefit most. allow the technology to take over their minds – so they can no longer think for themselves (the Nazis, for example).

This takes us up the the middle of the last century – when we were hit by Television  – and have never recovered from it. We were now controlled by forces we could not identify – and didn’t want to. But we got its basic  message – we are important, and you are not!

And people everywhere know those in power must be obeyed.

 

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