Technology in the Modern Era


            Human beings have been on the forefront of innovation for millions of years; it is not only a part of our culture, but also a fundamental aspect of our genetic selves. In fact, this spirit of creation is what makes our species distinct from many of our hereditary relatives; without the desire to design, humans would have evolved alongside their primal parallels. It is therefore hard to argue that the technologies of the past have not helped our species in one way or another. But does this still apply to the present? At what point does this innovation expand from necessary survivalism to willful destruction?

            Many technologies of the past extended from the necessities of life; medicines to cure the sick, tools to build shelter, processes to increase harvest. All of these things were used to sustain the humans that created them. Still, however, the “needs” of humans grew. Rather than produce a steady crop, it became “necessary” to overproduce crops, and sell them for other goods. In this way, humans of the past expanded their civilizations to daunting sizes. Technology became no longer about survival but about obtention. These technologies, while maybe not fundamentally righteous, are not innately malicious either. The desire to obtain can be found in most social primates (to a certain extent), and should not be looked down upon. The point in which technology becomes possibly harmful is when it serves to destroy, rather than create. Issues concerning this topic today focus mainly on military technologies, and most recently the uses of chemical warfare and biological weaponry.

            The question the world must ask itself is the extent to which we will innovate. How will these new technologies be used, and whom will they benefit? Do we need them? Most importantly, however, who will they hurt?