Technology plays in BNW a very important role. Do you think in what way does technology influence our life and what are the effects? Do you think technology is appointed to make our life comfortable or is it apllied in a bad and dangerously way?
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There are (at least) two kinds of science/technology. Pure science creates the technology in the laboratory; applied science "makes" things from this research. A good example is atomic energy. Once we mastered the skill of splitting the atom, we were/are free to create cheap/safe nuclear power, or we may use that knowledge to create nuclear bombs. Morality/Ethics must control the products of science/technology.
I think our present technology can be helpful (may lead to cures for diseases and help growing crops to help alleviate hunger), but it could also hurt us. For example, does anyone beside me wonder about cell phones and their tendency to separate us from those around us to be with someone somewhere? Do the ubiquituous MP3 devices which tend to create our own world around us, break down community? Does the information gathering possibility inherent in technology threaten our personal security should this information fall into the wrong hands? In the hands of a "new" government should our present form ever be usurped?
So, to answer your question, it can go either way. Used ethically, technology could be a great help. But there is a long history of technology's just providing more efficient means of destructions. It's up to us to make sure it doesn't happen.
There can be no doubt about importance and influence of technology on our life. Without the technology, life today would have been like it was fifty thousand years ago. Coming to the nature of effects technology has on our life I would like to divide these in four broad categories
- Direct intended benefits of technology, like providing us withe comfort and pleasures.
- Requirements that technology places on the people to make it work. For example, if technology has created the methods of mass production the people must change their ways of working to use mass production. These requirements of technology can sometimes have negative impacts on society and people.
- Changes in society culture as a result of benefit and requirements of technology mentioned above. For example the Internet has changed the way we buy, sell, and interact with others. One major impact of technology in this category is the development of large business corporation and need for developing demand for consumer products.
- Unintended side effects of technology like, pollution and work related diseases.
The sum total of all these effects is a mixed bag of desirable and undesirable. The Book Brave New World presents a rather depressing view of the future based on assuming that some of the negative impacts will become much more potent than these were at the time of writing. Luckily as the things are developing, everything is not as bad as envisaged. People have managed to reduce the ill effect of technology in many areas. At the many new problems not envisaged earlier have become now apparent. My belief is that in the long run we may not be able to solve all these problems completely, but definitely we will be able to limit them much better than the picture presented in Brave New World.
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