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In Greek legend, fire was the gift of Prometheus to mankind. The myth captures the idea...

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dotta12345 | Student, College Sophomore | Honors

Posted May 25, 2013 at 2:34 PM via web

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In Greek legend, fire was the gift of Prometheus to mankind. The myth captures the idea that control of a tool--fire--changed what it meant to be a human. Some people suggest that computer technology is changing what it means to be human--that we are gradually becoming "cyborgs," new organisms that are a melding of humans and machines. Do you agree or disagree that computer technology is a promethean technology in this sense? 

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted June 17, 2013 at 12:17 AM (Answer #1)

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I would agree that computers and computer technology are changing what it means to be human, although I would disagree that human beings are becoming a blend of human and machine. 

Computers and their associated technology are definitely changing the way that people interact with one another. Before the 1990s, interaction with other human beings was primarily done on a face-to-face basis. Mail had to be transferred to one human being by another and that transference took days or perhaps even weeks. Now, we can talk to and even see a person on the other side of the planet almost instantaneously.

This ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere is leading to the workplace becoming amorphous. A company's workers no longer have to be in a central location. Teachers for online universities can "teach" students all over the world and the teachers themselves can be all over the world. 

Computer technology has also, undoubtedly, contributed to the mechanization of manufacturing. Watch any episode of How It's Made and you will see very few human workers. Most of these products are made by machines. It seems to me that these days humans are either the overseers, adjusters, or fixers of the machines. 

As time goes on, machines, aided by computer technology, will perform more and more tasks. We may see a day when humans will literally interface more and more with machines, as profit-driven businesses would prefer to take the human element out of the equation. 

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