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Love this idea. Here's my take on it. Man is the master of creating technology, and yet technology has turned around and rules many men. If you think this isn't true, how many people do you know who cannot get through the day without a cell phone, internet hook up, and etc. Don't get me wrong. Technology is wonderful in the opportunities it offers, but some people do allow it to override their lives.
It is an interesting topic. To me, the question touches on whether or not we have become slaves to the technology vs its master. Don't believe me? Try to "unplug" for a week. No cell phone, no computer, iPod, iPad, emails, instant messages or work stations. Try not watching TV during that time period too. It's harder than it sounds, and when I do this, I do enjoy it, but it takes major and conscious effort to unplug. What if I included not driving? Turning the power off in my home? We're not nearly as able to take care of ourselves as our ancestors were, without these conveniences.
This is an interesting question, I would like to think that we are still in control of technology, but I am not certain this is the case. As mentioned above we at least have a co-dependent relationship with technology.
So are you asking us to talk about whether people still are the masters of technology or whether, instead, technology has mastered humans? That's what the question sounds like to me.
Of course, you can argue that people have become servants to their technology. All you have to do is look at someone walking along with their child but talking on their phone instead of paying attention to the child. Or someone in the middle of a social function checking their text messages.
But, to me, these are relatively minor things. In general, we are still masters of technology because they mostly work to improve our lives. We may give up some of our independence when we are always in contact via phones and such, but we get in return things like medical technology that extend and enrich our lives.
It is certainly an interesting thought: are humans still the masters of their technology?
From the moment that the first human used a tool, technology began it's evolution. This was the moment that humans discovered that they could use the world to suit their needs. It was only a short jump from the first wheel to the technology of today.
But does that mean that human beings are still in control? Of course many argue that we've become enslaved to our technologies, as we're dependent on it for everything from knowledge to food to comfort. It has become more of a co-dependent relationship. Technology now does not merely help us achieve our needs but has become a need. In return, we continue to fuel the development of technology. It needs us, and we need it.
Kevin Kelly has an excellent new book "What Technology Wants" which explores the way that technology is evolving. He compares it to the way that biological systems evolve, a scary thought for anyone who's seen a movie like The Matrix where robots actually do take over biological entities. He also explores the relationship that people like the Amish have with technology, refusing to allow technology to become the master instead of the slave by sticking to only the bare necessities.
It's hard to say which way is the right way to interact with technology. Are we destined to be forever in a co-dependent relationship now that technology has become so big? Should we try and break the trend and once again and become masters of technology? There's no right answer, I don't think.
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