The bad guy isn't technology, it's our inexperience

The topic of discussion on NPR this morning was E-Memory and Human Nature. They were discussing how the future prevalence of large-scale computing power and massive storage (resulting in the storing of our memories, events in our lives, etc) will change human nature and what it means to be human.

One of the guests, and most of the callers, were worried about offloading our memories and processing power to a machine. They feared it would turn us into organisms with a powerful brain but with nothing to do; they feared the repercussions would make us less human.

What I think they're missing is that humans are inherently creative and curious. If we have more free space in our heads and more free time on our hands, we're not going to waste it away with pointless activities (at least not for very long); we'll gravitate towards being more creative and exploring areas of life that would otherwise have not been within reach.

The acceptance of mundane tasks and jobs as a part of our daily lives slows the progress of human civilization. While there are many socially, physically, and even culturally harmful effects of technology today, I think they can be directly attributed to the fact that this stuff is so damn new to us.

Humankind has never seen technology of today's complexity, at least not in recorded history. We have no idea how to cope with the changes technology is bringing about and so, like a baby learning to walk, we're bound to make mistakes and do things that make technology appear like the bad guy (and in many cases it is the bad guy; we just haven't figured out how to use it properly yet).

Finding a balance and living in harmony with technology is what I believe we'll eventually realize we must do. However, I don't think that we've even begun to realize that we much search for that, let alone begun the search at all.

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  1. you make me proud RAAM…
    this reads better then a writer for the NEW YORK TIMES….

    Some how you have to get you stuff out there in the right place for the right people to notice …

    I think your right that this is really your calling ….