Is Technology Outpacing Wisdom

When dangerous technology begins to take on a joystick mentality when it possesses a futuristic look how long before the operatives take on the same appearance. Trust me it’s further down the path than most believe. Are you comfortable knowing who’s issuing the checks funding this kind of technology?

According to Max Tegmark a professor of physics at MIT “there are two areas that need to grow in parallel as society evolves. There is the power of our technology and then there’s the wisdom of us humans for how to manage the technology.” Tegmark continues “If technology grows faster than the wisdom its kind of like going into a kindergarten and passing out hand grenades to play with.”

There’s never been a wider gap between the power of technology and our wisdom to handle it. Mankind is teetering on a slippery slope. Technology is rapidly advancing while wisdom is propelling at a similar pace only in the opposite direction. When killing begins to take on the shape of a video game we begin losing the reality of its hellish effects. We become numb. We see the introduction of deadly technology taking on a joystick appearance carrying with it catchy names like Swarmbots or the updated version Slaughterbots. Deadly technology has taken on the appearance of a video game and why not? It’s easier to sell that way. You’ll get a better understanding by watching the mock video below. I can assure you this is how it will be sold to an ignorant society. Bare in mind while watching this is very outdated. Currently the military has models slightly smaller than a dime carrying firepower that can blow a five foot hole through a planes fuselage.

 

On a deeper level I found Tegmark’s comments left me an additional craving that now needed to be satiated. I wanted to understand what motivates nations to do great things? What causes the human species to gamble, to take on such high odds while funding such wild ideas? At least in their time were considered wild ideas? What are the motivating forces?

I began searching out information regarding my new found craving and stumbled onto a lecture Dr. Neil de Grasse did not all that long ago. De Grasse was invited to lecture at The House Science & National Labs Caucus. De Grasse’s hour and forty two minute address took place in the grand meeting hall of the Library of Congress. I found his address held water in many areas yet in others actually leaked quite a bit. . Everything is a duality. Once again it might be related to who writes the checks but that’s another topic for another time.

Keeping in mind that I wanted to expand to explore to venture back in history and see if I could locate any information pertaining to what causes people to invest huge sums of money on little more than a concept. What are its motivating forces?  As de Grasse articulates “what did people do in the past to engage in expensive projects? What motivated people to do great things.”

Promptly de Grasse determines “someone’s going to have to write the checks if we do such a thing.” Please reread that last quote. It bears so much meaning out of so few words. While formulating the content for his future lecture de Grasse gathered several solid points however there was one he found rather unexpected. Surprisingly there are only three motivators that drove nations and states to do great things! In the history of human culture de Grasse determines only three motivating factors exist for taking on as he puts it “something big.”

What he found to be the first motivating factor should come as no surprise. De Grasse mentions the “I don’t want to die driver. THE WAR DRIVER! Time and time again the conduct of our species has demonstrated that if you feel threatened money flows like rivers!” A quick sidebar, the previous might be another useful piece of information worth remembering. This type of motive funded projects like the Great Wall of China, the Apollo missions and the Columbus voyages among others.

The second motivator de Grasse mentions is “the promise of economic return.” Undertakings such as the Columbus voyages or discoveries made by Ferdinand Magellan both serve as prominent examples of expected economic return. A third case worth considering would be the Lewis and Clark expedition. While the adventurers had their motives so did their backers, and they were not the same. Queen Isabella didn’t pawn her jewels so Columbus could go sailing.

According to de Grasse the third and final motivating factor is barely active to today’s modern world. The third factor is “the praise of royalty or deities.” Most ancient Cathedrals, the great pyramids, Solomon’s Temple would all serve as adequate examples.

Those reading my posts for any length of time know I’m an advocate for promoting the fact that technology in and of itself is neutral. Technology takes no sides however the same cannot be said about its wielder. Cunning edge technology is expensive, very expensive so in essence it’s those who are writing the checks to develop the technology who ultimately get to determine its use.

 

Yes technology is progressing at an alarming rate. Our wisdom is not. I’d like to redirect your attention back to Professor Tegmark’s opening comment when he says “If technology grows faster than the wisdom its kind of like going into a kindergarten and passing out hand grenades to play with.” Fast forward to today’s technology and imagine what could be done with a hand held joystick control and a screen? What happens when this joystick technology becomes capable of taking out an entire nation. I guess at that point all that’s missing is the points counter at the upper right hand corner of the screen. Anybody know what the take down of an entire nation scores? Until next time.

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