1st March 2011,
“Modern technology” is a deceptive term, a better description would be “Exploitive technology”.
Most modern technology is made to last three to five years if you're lucky. It has built in redundancy. It also appears by the pricing structure, that what you are purchasing is a bargain. A bit of investigation reveals you are actually paying more financially, environmentally, and emotionally, than you realize.
Ten years ago an average priced computer with a screen, keyboard and mouse, cost around $1,500 and lasted up to 10 years. Now a modern computer costs, with the above, around $1,000, but only lasts 3 to 5 years. So over the same period you have forked out $2,000 to $3,000, plus had the added cost and emotional stress of having to transfer your data to a new machine two to three times. It also means that you have created three times the environmental damage.
So in real terms you have been ripped off by the illusion of getting a bargain! Some would argue that the modern computer is faster, but then it is weighed down by bloated software that pretty well robs it of any gains in physical performance.
I saw a joke recently that pretty well sums this up.
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
A modern engineers take on that is "If it ain't broke add more features."
If you are going to have a technological systems changing so rapidly you need to have very efficient recycling systems in place to recycle all these resources back into production, or all we are going to end up with is a planet full of mounds of toxic junk. Have a look at this presentation which explains how our present production system works "Story of Stuff." The only reason for having a endless junk production cycle is that it makes a few very rich by concentrating wealth. I have nothing against people being wealthy and rich, but we have lost a sensible balance. More people are becoming collectively poorer while a few are becoming super rich.
The big question is does any of this mountain of electronics and gadgetry actually contribute to our personal and collective true wealth and happiness? It would seem wise to have all this enormous physical, financial and collective effort of technology focused onto collectively reducing world hunger and raising world living standards, and not producing endless junk.
How can we have a so called advanced civilization with some of the most advanced technology ever created, focusing most of its efforts on trivial entertainment devices and endless production of junk, when a third of the population is living in abject poverty?
This system, which is focused on making a few people incredibly rich by trashing the planet and wasting our collective resources in endless production of junk, while a third of the world starves, is morally sick. It would appear we need a better system.
The collective priorities for human life are universal.
Have fresh clean air to breath.
To have clean water to drink.
Have fresh food to eat.
Have good shelter.
For you and your children to live in a healthy safe environment.
To live in a free and supportive community, that understands that individual rights have to be balanced with social responsibility.
We have to look after each others interests which are all the same. This means collectively looking after Earth’s biosphere, because it is what sustains human life.
Our technology should be aimed at improving and sustaining the above, this is where our true collective wealth is! Using technologies that are destroying the collective priorities for human life is just craziness!
To me the sole aim of modern technology and production seems to be aimed at keeping a relatively small group very rich and powerful by keeping the majority entertained and distracted. The price we are paying for not paying attention to what is really happening is that our true wealth is being destroyed.
We need a new financial and technology system, one that supports the collective priorities for human life. A system that provides freedom and incentive but not at the selfish exploitation of other people and the environment.
© Peter Daley 2011
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