Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Technology: Trouble for the Human Race?

Paul Virilio's "The Third Interval" raises the question about the effects on human society from rapid pace of time on space. It relates to other arguments raised in class as well as other works. Well's "The Time Machine" speaks about the negative repercussions from dependency on technology, making us unimaginative, less mobile, and so on, which relates to Virilio's views about the future. I wonder why writers such as the ones before mentioned are pessimistic about the future? Maybe they are less open-minded? Perhaps scared of what may become?

I don't really agree with that Virilio says. Technology has made life easier, but I don't believe it will make us so heavily dependent that we became "terminal". For example, something as simple as the TV remote control has made it easier to watch TV, but we haven't become slaves to the TV where we just can't stop watching. After a few hours, humans will become bored of it and go ahead with another activity. Virilio gives the impression that technology will make life repetitive and mundane, when naturally, humans have an inclination of trying new things and having that pursuit to reach happiness.

When I think of the future, I'm expecting a higher quality of life than I have now and I know technology will be the catalyst for this process. With the invention of new media and methods of communication, practically all the world's information is at one's fingertips. This would only cause a person to think more, be more knowledgeable, more skilled- creating a new advanced human race. But perhaps, I may be too naive and I'm not considering other complications that may rise from technology. I guess we shall have to wait and see.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

I agree with most of what you say about how technology is a good thing but in a sense I believe technology has made a somewhat terminal. We often rely heavily on technology to do simple tasks like computers, vehicles and cell phones but yet very few of us know how they actually work and if they break we don't know how to fix them you either find someone to fix it or have a machine make you another one. With the rise of childhood obesity and the technology that produces processed foods and staying indoors and playing video games all day is the start of making our race more terminal.

3/10/2007 5:03 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Chien said...

I also completely agree with what you are saying. While it is true that Virilio attempts to present this new teletechnology in a bad light, it has become so integrated into our society that we cannot see anything but the benefits. For example, without the use of telephones or even webcams, we would be unable to communicate with others. These technologies remove the obstacle of space, transcending it to create a new presence. While he states that 'present' time is killed, changing our presence from concrete to discreet telepresence, I still see it as a way for us to maximize efficiency of communication, travel, etc. We no longer have to go directly to a bank to transfer funds - we can do it online now. We no longer need to send mail through postage stamps and wait days until the receiver gets it - we can send e-mails now. We are not simply becoming the "motorized and wired disabled person" he claims us to become, enslaved by technology and overdependent on it. I feel that it has allowed us to transcend the limitations that were being set, and further maximize efficiency of time and space with our lives. I agree that we will certainly not become "terminal" with this dependency on continuously-improving technology. It will only continue to make life easier.

3/15/2007 4:00 PM  
Blogger Shyam said...

In your example about the tv remote, you can even say that people rely too much on the remote control to change the channel. No one nowadays bothers to get up and change the channel on the tv. EVERYBODY now has a remote control in their homes. Not getting up to change the channel in the future is not going to make anything less out of us. However, little things like this can add up to amount to an ultimate couch potato, who does nothing bu t push buttons to do things. This is definitely bad and I think is what Virilio is getting at.

3/16/2007 8:30 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I think I, too, see what Virilio's getting at.. In terms of the remote control, all have one and most have a universal control to not only to watch TV but use it to function other technological devices. We're getting too good at being lazy - universal remote controls, "clap on, clap off" lights, robotic vacuums. On one hand, we're sitting and having everything served to us on silver platters. On the other hand, we've got great ways to be more efficient with our use of time - or so we say.

4/27/2007 1:31 AM  

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