Is Technology Murdering Us?

TL;DR: You Have Lost More Than You Could Ever Know

Mahdhi Rezvi
Feb 20 · 3 min read
Photo by Thanh Tran on Unsplash

As we all know, technology has come a long way from where it started. From the invention of the wheel to the invention of nanobots, it has come a great deal. The main reason for something to be invented is to benefit us, humans. This can be seen in major inventions. For example, the invention of the wheel resulted in easing transportation.

The problem with technology is that most innovations have unintended consequences, and those unintended consequences are piling up, causing harm and creating dangers of existential magnitude. We turn a blind eye to those dangers and uncritically presume that, for all but the creepiest technologies (such as animal cloning), the benefits outweigh the risks and that technological innovation is humanity’s highest calling.

Can Technology actually kill us?

Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom says technology often has unintended consequences, and that we may have to choose between totalitarianism and annihilation. This is the argument made by Oxford professor Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute, in a new working paper, “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis”. The paper explores whether it’s possible for truly destructive technologies to be cheap and simple — and therefore exceptionally difficult to control. Bostrom looks at historical developments to imagine how the proliferation of some of those technologies might have gone differently if they’d been less expensive, and describes some reasons to think such dangerous future technologies might be ahead.

From viral outbreaks to nuclear weapons, these can end up killing half the human population in no time.

Although the chances of you actually dying from a technological disaster are quite low, you have probably lost your human self by now. We humans have started to lose our human touch because of the involvement of technology in our day to day lives. Take our social life as an example, I personally have friends who spend most of their day — sometimes up to 12 hours, on social media, and later worry about not having enough time for their daily tasks. As we become more and more connected as a society, behaviours are evolving — some for the better, some for the worse.

Have you ever wondered what you do with the “time you saved” by using a dishwasher?

My mother once told me,
“We humans are losing our connection with the things around us. Take this grandfather’s clock for example. You have to wind it up every week for it to function properly. This means you are connected with that machine. With the clocks that run on battery, there is no need for any maintenance. You will simply forget that it even exists until the clock stops working”

This actually made me think about how and why we interact with the things around us. When people say that you value something only when you lose it, that is because you never feel the humane touch when handling it. Once you lose it, your human feelings take over and you realize the value of it.

Conclusion

Resources
https://www.wired.com/story/technology-could-end-humanity-how-stop-it/
https://truthout.org/articles/is-modern-technology-killing-us/
https://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/15/gy-killing-the-human-touch.html
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/03/technology-2050-save-humanity-or-destroy-us
https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/11/19/18097663/nick-bostrom-vulnerable-world-global-catastrophic-risks

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Mahdhi Rezvi

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https://thisismahdhi.ml — Writer at JSIPE, Better Programming & Level Up Coding❤️ Undergrad at UOM ❤️

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