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#18304 - 01/16/09 10:54 AM Raise of technology: downfall of humanity?
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
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A first note: I'm not quite sure this topic has been discussed before somewhere on this site. But from the looks on the past topics I don't see anything related to it.
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Raise of technology: downfall of humanity?
 Quote:
Technology is a broad concept that deals with an animal species' usage and knowledge of tools and crafts, and how it affects an animal species' ability to control and adapt to its environment. Technology is a term with origins in the Greek "technologia", "τεχνολογία" "techne", "τέχνη" ("craft") and "logia", "λογία" ("saying").[1] However, a strict definition is elusive; "technology" can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines, hardware or utensils, but can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. The term can either be applied generally or to specific areas: examples include "construction technology", "medical technology", or "state-of-the-art technology".

This as an average definition of the concept/word TECHNOLOGY.
Now, technology in this modern day has different meanings and forms. We as humanrace invented/discovered new manners to make life more easy. As a humanrace we would like to be renowend for our highly intellectual capacities. With the dawn of the computer-era new ways were discovered to store, share and spraid information across the country at first and afterwards the whole world.
The comming and idea of internet made it possible to communicate
with persons around the globe at any moment of the day (this at least if they are connected and have the possibilty or accesibility). The idea of internet was to communicate with scientists around the world and to share ones discoveries, keep in touch with recent discoveries etc. In the 90's internet became more accesible to the normal group of people. And thus different sites came to life and so on. We all now the stories.

Now internet still has the same purposes as it had when it was founded. It is like one huge library at the tops of your fingertips.
But with these possibilities it has to offer there are some thought-provoking things.
Like the standard questions: "Is this information provided by this site valuable?". "Can I trust this person's experience?". And so on.
But this isn't my intention with this topic.

The internet provides much information, stored on different servers across the globe. As curious as I am, I wonder: with all this information locked tied in an easy accesable thing, isn't there any danger that with a sudden collapse of our society lots of information can be lost? At this very moment I notice people storing information on their computers and on the internet and not within their brain. Is there a slow degeneration happening? Or is this a bit blown up?
Probably something most people will laugh at and will not take seriously. But still... my main question is: does there lie any danger with our advancement were we store our knowledge on a secondary "brain" instead of our own?


Edited by Dimitri (01/16/09 11:02 AM)
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#18306 - 01/16/09 11:17 AM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Dimitri]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
I suppose there could be danger. If the entire internet went down for some reason, and for some equally odd reason the internet was the only place people were stroing important information; that could be bad.

Perhaps if you we're a serial killer and kept pictures of your victims in your e-mail, which subsequently got hacked, that could also be very bad.

Those two instances, and a myriad of others, aside; I don't see too much danger here. I am pretty sure that any important information that would be devestating to lose is not kept solely in one place.
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#18314 - 01/16/09 04:37 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3117
 Quote:
Those two instances, and a myriad of others, aside; I don't see too much danger here. I am pretty sure that any important information that would be devestating to lose is not kept solely in one place.

True, but imagine this: you encounter a situation where you need all your knowledge but don't have acces to your "secondary brain". What are you going to do?
Suppose things can go horribly wrong when making a mistake then.
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#18316 - 01/16/09 05:04 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Dimitri]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
Well, I suppose I will have to cross that bridge when/if I come to it.

Imagine this: All the nuclear missles in the world detonate at the same time. What are you going to do? I will tell you what you are going to do, you are going to die. My point is that I don't consider what you are proposing as a legitimate fear. Nor do I consider my little "what if" as a legitimate fear either.

I am not sure what you mean by "secondary brain". If you are referring to computers/internet; I am not worried about not having access to them. There are things I store on my computer that I can't store in my brain. Things like movies, music, pictures and school assignments.

If by some dumb luck I lost access to that information my life wouldn't come to a complete halt. Even with massive communications break downs around the globe, and the loss of all the information one was privy to via that medium; the important knowledge like how to start a fire, how to hunt and skin animals et al. would remain in my brain.
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#18317 - 01/16/09 05:16 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3117
 Quote:
My point is that I don't consider what you are proposing as a legitimate fear.

To clearify, I'm not considering/proposing it as a legitimate fear. That's an assumption from your behalf. My only question was if there is potential danger within storing information an a secondary brain.

And indeed with secondary brain I am referring to digital media or other sorts of devices information can be stored on.
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#18318 - 01/16/09 05:56 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Dimitri]
6Satan6Archist6 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 2509
I am well aware that you weren't proposing it as a legitimate fear. However, wouldn't considering something that is interpreted as a legitimate danger eventually become a fear?

 Quote:
My only question was if there is potential danger within storing information an a secondary brain.


Yes there is potential danger. There is potential danger in anything. I wouldn't worry about it though.
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#18320 - 01/16/09 07:06 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: 6Satan6Archist6]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
Dimitri,

Presenting your only question like that is a bit vague, and appeals quite vague answers like you had from 6Satan6Archist6. What could be added?

That's why I prefer to answer this more specific and concrete formulation :
 Quote:
with all this information locked tied in an easy accesable thing, isn't there any danger that with a sudden collapse of our society lots of information can be lost?


Assuming that such a big disaster happen and we would lost all the digital information, yes indeed it would be a big step backward in the progress of mankind. Imagine the bank accounts suddenly cleared off and the mess in the stock exchanges. The nations would wobble or even collapse.
But is it realistic that such a disaster occurs? On this I don't see what it could be, so I would agree with 6S6A6.

But there are more real dangers, like the security level of IPv4...

Technology enable us to increase our power over the world, the reality. We have to extend our brain to progress as we had to first extend our body for progressing from stone age.
Perhaps one day we'll all have some RAM or ROM implanted directly in our brain. And yes, we'll be more dependant on it.

That's the other side of the coin. Look at the SF book "Dune" from Frank Herbert. In the story, the mankind banish the artificial intelligence. Following this, they learn to use more and more their brain. Some men, the "mentats", are trained for becoming supercomputers...

I don't have a cristal ball, who knows about the future? But that's the world we live in, progress goes on whatever you want it or not...

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#18335 - 01/17/09 12:55 AM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Fabiano]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Hell's Pisshole, Texas
And on a lighter and more personal side of it, how many of your friends phone numbers you actually "know"? Or are they programmed into your phone?

Where are your pictures from this last "holiday season"? Where is your "music" collection?

Do you own an address book, with actual addresses? Do you still use the phone book? When was the last time you got a letter, in the mail, handwritten?

If my technology came crashing down... it would certainly be... a bummer.
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#18349 - 01/17/09 07:26 AM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: daevid777]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
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Indeed, I know people whom, if their car died somewhere and by some bad luck, their cellphone battery too, they'd be into some serious problems because they don't even know their home phone number. How many do even know their own cellphone number and not have to look it up when someone asks?

I know some but admit, if technology fails, I'm going to experience some problems too. In the not so long ago past, I did have a database in my brain with telephone numbers. The very fact that you had to dial those numbers each time reinforced them in your memory but since all you have to do now is select a name, all the other info doesn't get stored.
We live in a society so dependent upon technology, that it became our biggest weakness. Take out technology and our civilization comes to a halt. Things will break down.
The information doesn't even need to become lost, just your access to it is enough.

D.

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#18354 - 01/17/09 12:08 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Diavolo]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
I'm in the same situation as you 2. But in the past I could memorise maybe a dozen of phone numbers, now I have hundreds of contacts including mail address, etc... in my pocket

We're not using less our brain, we're using it differently. Who doesn't know the google url? Who needs a directory for going to wikipedia or Youtube? I've the impression we're shifting from memorisation/restitution to sefl-organisation/learning, what is not worst to my eyes...

But yes we're dependant on it, and the more you use it, the more you're dependant. That's progress ;-)

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#18367 - 01/17/09 04:42 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Fabiano]
Morgan Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
Part of it as Daevil said is the number progression memory. Its for the most part gone in people. If you don't use it, you lose it. I'm included, I don't know my moms' phone number off hand. I think it would be harder for people to try remember numbers if they never had to before. Meaning older people would be able to do it faster than younger ones because at one point, we had to.

As for storing information, books, etc online with no hard copy back up for me is silly. In my opinion, you need to have a hard copy somewhere because computers crash all the time. I also like the feel of a book, the pages. I hate reading shit online and not being able to write notes in the margins.

Yes, we are using our brains differently, more visual cues, less detailed cues. You see a name, brand reconizition, and you know if you like it or not, no matter what language its in.

Yes, we are dependant on things, but I think we still need to be aware enough to survive without it.

Morgan
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#18372 - 01/17/09 08:37 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: daevid777]
ceruleansteel Offline
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Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 784
Loc: Behind you
 Originally Posted By: daevid777
And on a lighter and more personal side of it, how many of your friends phone numbers you actually "know"? Or are they programmed into your phone?

Where are your pictures from this last "holiday season"? Where is your "music" collection?

Do you own an address book, with actual addresses? Do you still use the phone book? When was the last time you got a letter, in the mail, handwritten?

If my technology came crashing down... it would certainly be... a bummer.


You know, email has always rubbed me the wrong way. I'm not sure why. I still write letters. I make my kids write letters (my five year old thinks it's the best thing ever). I do remember most of the phone numbers I call frequently. I make a point to...and I have a hand-written address book.

And I print my pics. Am I a weirdo?

If my technology came crashing down...I'd bitch about the cost of replacing it.

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#18373 - 01/17/09 08:50 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: ceruleansteel]
Octavius Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 557
Loc: Left the party
Ugh. I object to this whole post. What is the point of theoretical doomsaying? Don't you (Dimitri) have anything better to do than worry about what happens IF the internet crashes? Geeze, people, sure there will be a moment or two of inconvenience, but if you're an intelligent person, you'll be fine. Now stop wasting your time and go read a book.

Octavius
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#18374 - 01/17/09 08:52 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Morgan]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
It's foolish in general to store important information in only one place. Even when I knew phone numbers by heart I didn't dare to not have a paper back-up of it.

The progress lead us to live in a world where we're flooded of information. It's a question of adaptation to learn living in such a world.

And sure, we must stay aware of what we're depending on and reducing dependancy is always an advantage. But on the other hand, we cannot live in the past. I don't think I'll learn to live without fire because I'm dependant of it...

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#18376 - 01/17/09 09:22 PM Re: Raise of technology: downfall of humanity? [Re: Fabiano]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
I'm using technology not as a crutch, but as an enhancement to life... and there's where we can find a happy medium. If you can create architectural renderings with a pencil and paper, the a CAD program and a computer can enhance your skills. If you can only do it with the CAD program, you are limited by the availability of that computer and electricity to run it.

If you can do your own cost accountings using ledgers and double entries, then a great Excel spreadsheet can enhance your abilities. But if all you know is a1+b4=c2, you're going to be in deep shit with the histroic blackout of 2000 and whatever year it happens.

I'm of the belief that children's access to computers should be limited until they know the basics of the disciplines of education. A quick look around the internet will quickly show you just how close to illiterate many are, with very little understanding or sentence structure, grammar or correct spelling. Now don't get me wrong... we ALL make spelling errors. I type at 60wmp... I'm bound to screw up from time to time. But how many people have you seen that just have no concept of word usage? Their, There and They're have distinctly different meanings, yet many use them interchangably. Same thing with to, two and too. Learning the basics is key. One has to know the basics of carpentry before they build a sound structure!

And even IF one knows those basics, and one enhances them with technology, it's always wise to back one's own ass up. I trust my bank, as much as anyone can, but as accurate as they've been, and as up to date as my statements might be, I'm smart enough to keep $10K in cash in my safe deposit box. There's also a list of contacts, and insurance policies, my DD214, VA benefits package, etc. Boy Scouts taught me to be prepared... just before I was let go for not believing in God.
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