Will there be future for civilization when the price of everything is known but when you know the value of nothing?
Everyone is pursuing for technology. However, do they know what actually they are pursuing? Is it for the pure luxury or is it for greater mankind advancement. In the past, it seems as if human had great handle over technology. However, now in the Information Age, there is a wide and growing perception that we no longer have a handle over technology, but rather we get mishandled by our technology.
Industrial leaders eye new markets. They grab the interest of the consumers by providing them with more intense entertainment. This makes the public that is already over-indulged, over-entertainment to rot even further. When the leaders start to focus more on the market that could earn them revenues, they lose focus on other even greater issues. This is when priorities are confused.
60% of the world lives in abject poverty, yet, we do not see the pressing matter. Why is this so? This is because our priorities in life change. What we desire is intense entertainment and information that may be important to us but might not be that important to the people in poverty.
Also, 50,000 children die of starvation in a day. This, to us, may be alarming. But to industrial companies like MacDonald, KFC and Burger King, this may be nothing to them. This is because their market is not tuned to the 50,000 children.
Furthermore, in my opinion, I found that we actually have over-engineered the trivial and are deaf to the cries of the many. Weapons, mines, tanks are some examples of advancement of technology. Warfare weapon technologies have advanced all over the world killing thousands and millions. Yet, proteins, vaccines and medicine are not distributed globally to save the many lives.
Everyone is hungry for knowledge and learning is a process. Day by day, year by year we learn something new with the information we have. However, with the advancement in technology, information flows in like river gushing in. We drown in information yet we do not understand the true meaning of knowledge. We are blinded in the endless flow of data, yet we do not feel enlightened at all.
On the other hand, technology advancement has actually lessened personal relations and community. Science and technology actually have created avenues for communication and knowledge previously that is considered unattainable. Examples: efficient access to information, medicine and sanitation for the benefit of the society.
The 20th century is one century that has many scientific breakthroughs and ground-breaking researches found. Some examples are the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming and bacteria-eating viruses by Frederick Twort.
Also, this century stops most of the racism issues. This century has made racism a shameful practice and pushed over gender oppression since the practice of meritocracy comes with technological advances. Nothing is based on mere opinions and feelings but capability plays an important role.
The most significant technology technological advances has brought to us is the discovery of new form of energy. All life forms and energy are bounded together forever. Sun is the main source of energy to sustain all life and the amount of energy it releases is zillions, zillions, zillions times so much so that technology now could not be used to measure. Till now, scientists from all over the world are still working on this endless source of energy. Thanks to Einstein’s dedication towards the realm of physics field, energy can be converted to mass by the formula E=mc2. This allows us to know the precise energy value of a given amount of matter. Sun and stars obtained this endless amount of energy through a process known as nuclear fusion. However, nuclear fusion is still a level unreachable to us. Despite so, nuclear fission is made possible with technological advancement. Large amount of energy is produced by colliding a large atom to a nucleus. This splits the atom into 2 and energy is released. Indeed, all our answer towards energy needs can be answered by atomic nucleus. However, problems also loom. One example is the invention of nuclear arsenals which has incalculable results if they are used. But, if we were to be careful with what we are doing with this advancement, then, definitely it aids more than it hurts.
With all this examples and scenarios, it is seen that this century has created many stupendous problems, both pressing and potential. This is made even more pressing by the population explosion. With the rise in world population, more energy is needed to supply the demand. Furthermore, we are also facing the oil diminishing problems and pollutions through the rise of effluence from automobiles and nuclear waste. Also, there is the depletion in rainforest too. Technology advancement has brought about all these issues and there are even more challenges ahead of us to be solved. For example, poverty and malnutrition. Can the advancement in new technologies benefit the social and human or will it pile more problems to the current ones? Will it increase economic opportunities to aid the poverty or will it expand the gap between the rich and poor? Can it find more cures to the deadly disease or will the entire planet be wiped off by diseases and viruses?
All this things are immense yet unpredictable. It may turn out to be good or the other way round. What awaits us in time no one can tell since what we are doing may not take immediate effect. Also, many things are not under the control of mankind. Many possibilities there may be, I still think that science, knowledge and power may change our perspective and creates more wisdom in us, making our Gaia a more rewarding place to live in.
BY: PHANG CHIAN HWEE