The technological revolution has given rise to the development of many complex gadgets and devices which, 100 years ago, no one could have ever predicted. Lifestyles of the 20th and 21st century couldn’t be more different. Technology has allowed humans to overcome the obstacles of time and space, in order to achieve tasks that were previously deemed impossible. Not only can we contact anyone on the face of the Earth, we can extend people’s lives with organ transplants and we have even put man on the moon. It seems as though there is nothing that can come in our way; as a race, we have become unstoppable. Or have we? Unfortunately, every advantage comes with a disadvantage and as technology is hugely advantageous to us, we can only expect the drawbacks to be just as bad. Yes, technology has saved more lives than it has taken, but, its implications are largely mental, and irreversible.

Nowadays, we are almost completely dependent on technology. A life without it is inconceivable, especially for millennials who haven’t had to endure living in such a world. Technology has helped to increase economic growth in countries where automation has brought about a rise in productivity and efficiency of the workforce. The end of low-wage, menial labour has come, and we are now able to focus on the jobs that really matter. However, the way in which we are all connected in this virtual world has meant that the attack surface of technology is huge. There is 1 defect in every 2 thousand, five hundred lines of code which may not seem like much, but it’s enough for hackers to have an enormous impact. To put this into perspective, the Google search engine compromises of roughly 2 billion lines of code, this means that there are 8 hundred thousand defects. That’s 8 hundred thousand chances hackers have to exploit Google search engine users and cause harm.

In addition, technology experts haven’t really had enough time to fully master their skills in cyber security as technology is, of course, a relatively new phenomenon. This means that we haven’t had the experience of defending against different types of threats. Once an attack occurs, it’s extremely difficult for government agencies to locate the people responsible. This could be led by the fact that technology is becoming increasingly complex and ever-changing so it might be difficult for everyone to catch up. Furthermore, the growing internet of things is not only making things more convenient for us, but it is also exposing more of our vulnerabilities. We need to take caution when posting personal information online because poor security accompanied by careless actions can lead to disastrous consequences.

Moreover, the recent culture shift towards a hyper connected society is a bold and dangerous move. Right now, there are at least a billion people using Facebook alone. It’s clear that we rely on connectivity more than ever and we could never imagine a world where it didn’t exist. I have the ability to contact my cousins in India, or America, and receive a response instantly; in fact, we can all do this and sometimes I feel as though we take it for granted. Effectively, anyone with a gadget connected to the internet is never alone, they have access to over 40% of the world’s population – that’s more than 3 billion people! In 1995, less than 1% of the world’s population had this privilege. Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come? We need to preserve this legacy and protect humankind by ensuring that technology, as much as it helps us, doesn’t disrupt our lives.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I hope that this post doesn’t make you think I’m a technophobe because I definitely support and embrace technological advancements! I just think that it’s easy to get carried away with only considering the good that technology brings, and ignoring the bad.

TechDanger

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10 thoughts on “Technology’s Weak Side

  1. Couldn’t agree more with the main thrust of your argument, but there are a number of claims within it that give me pause. I won’t draw them out since there’s no reason to play gotcha.

    Warnings against being too caught up in the so-called technological sublime have been issued for many generations. The latest instantiation (the Internet in its many manifestations) is arguably the most ubiquitous and enveloping, especially to human thought-worlds, but it’s hardly alone in its wholesale transformation of what it means to be alive on the planet. Previous candidates include the TV, automobile, radio, steam engine, printing press, mechanical clock, writing, agriculture, and wheel. Each has estranged us more and more from the natural world (since humans are in truth animals) and driven us toward what we recognize today as an abstract, instrumental, virtual reality. We all start out in infancy in a state of nature and only gradually accept the dominant technological worldview via socialization as we gain sophistication and maturity. For those of us who reached adulthood prior to the onset of the Internet, there is no difficulty remembering what it was like to participate in social networks unmediated by electronics. I only began using computers in my late 20s, and things still got done before then, and in many ways, better than they do now.

    I’d recommend reading Neil Postman’s book Technopoly, nearly 25 years old now, for a thoughtful critique.

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  2. In the early-mid 20th century, a number of well-known philosophers were warning of the dehumanization associated with technology. Now 74, I completely agree with them. A recent example is the TED talk “A black man undercover in the alt-right | Theo E.J. Wilson | TEDxMileHigh” (20170814) wherein Wilson came to have compassion for the ultra-right individuals and their human struggle, not acceptance but compassion, emphasizing the human need for connection, something that cannot be fully appreciated by techno-connection.

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  3. I recently had my internet connection severed because of…well I am not sure. I had installed an app on my phone that let me cast a video to my new television. I was very excited and happy with this. It meant I could move my television around without moving wires. (I don’t watch much other than Star Trek in all its versions.) But then everything went terribly wrong. I spent three days on the phone with various providers techies and (they were very kind to me) all for what? A distraction! It was also possibly the nicest weekend of the summer. THIS IS MADNESS! I had to reset things to factory settings and that meant dealing with all the passwords I had forgotten for apps I didn’t know I had. Happy to say that I got my entertainment appliances all working again and have gone back to ignoring the various Star Trek re-incarnations I like to have playing while I sew. Brave New Crazy World. Brave New Crazy Me.

    Liked by 1 person

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