HAVE WE BECOME SLAVES OF TECHNOLOGY ?

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent the highest order and was highly regarded as on science and technology, in which hardly one of the most prominent explorers of visual communication and sight-related anyone knows anything about science and technology", said Carl Sagan, an American theories as well. "It has become appallingly obvious that our astronomer, astrophysicist; cosmologist, author and highly successful science populariser technology has exceeded our humanity", said Albert Einstein, often regarded as the father of and science communicator in the Space and Natural Sciences. During his lifetime, he modern physics whose great intelligence and published more than 600 scientific papers and originality have made the word "Einstein" popular articles and was author, co-author, or synonymous with genius. A witty man too, who editor of more than 20 books. Unfortunately, had a penchant for delivering gems like the one mentioned above. Well, Einstein's what he said has a smattering of truth in it. How many of us can claim to have a deep remarks were made with the dark shadow of nuclear weapons in mind, but the same understanding of the workings of a television? Even graduates from holds true even now. With technology Pratheek Praveen Kumar expanding now at a surprising pace, professional colleges sometimes do First prize winner of CSR Super Brain not understand the nuanced workings there is no telling what may be Youth Contest 2011 (2) : Topic 2 of the gadgets we use in our lives with Mr. Pratheek Praveen Kumar is a resident discovered now, or more importantly, regularity. Even technical subjects of Bengaluru, Karnataka. He is a B.E. in how it will be used. Nuclear power is harped upon by the media, and thus Telecommunications and uses a very lucid both destructive and useful. Several brought to the attention of hoi polloi language to express his ideas. He chooses apocalyptic yarns have been woven over in long drawn-out debates and his words very carefully and succeeds in the years of scientists' developing discussions by news channels, like the establishing a rapport with his readers at technologies that can be cataclysmic to 3G standards are not well-known to once the world at large. The basis of all these stories deals with mankind's lust for power and the public. In this milieu of universal ignorance, we are practically blind. "Omne ignotum pro magnifico", is an individuals trying to control the world for their own ends with the hero trying to stop the villain. While this may old proverb which means everything unknown is magnificent. We seem to be following it faithfully, and sound too frivolous to happen in the real world, one can never say. are so much in awe of this rumbling colossus .called technology that we stare at it, impressed and open-mouthed, With, life now becoming synonymous with computers, ignoring the fact that this ignorance may get us trampled mobile phones, ipods and other gadgets, we seem to down. consider their presence as ordinary and their absence as With ignorance so common, we seem to be at the mercy of something unnatural. "I am sorry to say that there is too technology and not the other way round. For how can one much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than be the master of something one does not know anything ours", said John E Kennedy, the 35th President of the about. With technological advances taking place at a U.S.A. Kennedy's youth, energy, and charming family breakneck pace, it looks like the "aam admi" cannot keep brought him world adulation and sparked the idealism of a up. However, one facet of this technological generation, for whom the Kennedy White House became development to be noted is .that the development seems to known as "Camelot". A charismatic personality that he be accelerating. was, his life was tragically cut short before his time, by If we lie back and relax for some time and watch, or rather observe the world around us, we get to notice a few Lee Harvey Oswald. Supposedly, anyway. Murky rumours still abound as to his murderer or murderers, but well, things. With technology moving ahead by leaps and bounds, that is beside the point. He was also known as a brilliant we try to take advantage of these advances. We buy various orator and had a way with words. Technology can be very gadgets arid try to incorporate technology into our lives dangerous too 'as can be evinced from Hiroshima and so that our lives become simpler. We become used to Nagasaki. Recent efforts to decrease the number of having things easy and with time, we lead lives utterly nuclear warheads notwithstanding, we still hold our own dependent on advanced technology. Whien new technology is destruction in our hands, but the question is how long? developed, we try to introduce it into our lives and make With rogue elements and terrorist groups hankering after it easier. "Technological progress has merely provided us with weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), logically it looks more efficient means for going backwards", said Aldous like it is only a matter of time before they get a WMD. Huxley, an English writer and one of the most prominent There is a theorem called as the infinite monkey theorem. It members of the famous Huxley family. By the end of his states that if a million monkeys are given typewriters life, Huxley was considered, in some academic circles, a leader of modern thought and an intellectual of (Continued on page 154)

SUPER BRAIN YOUTH CONTEST 2011
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and set to work, they would eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. This frolicsome theory basically shows the power of large numbers. It we factor in a large amount of time, who knows what terrorists will be able to do, or get hold of, taking in human error also into account? Pretty much, as one can imagine. So here we are at the mercy of terrorists, where we cannot destroy them completely as they are mutable and fluid in their approach, but they can deal out heavy damage to the world at large. Here technology is dangerous to both the sides. "All of the biggest technological inventions created by man—the airplane, the automobile, the computer—says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness", said Mark Kennedy, an American businessman and politician who was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007. Technology as the above-mentioned statement implies has made us a lazier and lazier. With technological advances making our life easier, we tend to take life easy, depending almost entirely on these devices and we feel lost, if these devices are taken away from close propinquity. Life seems impossible sans these devices. We are heavily inconvenienced, if there are power shutdowns and we feel helpless. Technology, these days, directs our actions and our decisions and sometimes, we do things based only on technology. This has become especially prevalent over the last few years. Reading the last few lines, if we replace the word 'technology' with 'master', doesn't it read Like the words of a slave? It will not be prudent, however, to say that we have become slaves of technology. After all, it is man who has created all the things, which collectively account for technology, for his own comfort and to make his life worth living. Even if technology looks like master sometimes, it is, in fact, a puppet in the hands of man who is actually its master. If man had not been its master, technological advances would not have continued with each passing day. Every year, man succeeds in achieving some new milestones and moves a step further in the direction of perfection. It will be cynical to call technology something having a unique identity of its own. We have brought it into being; we have nurtured it, we have given it a shape. It is up to us whether we use it for the common good or destruction of our own race. In fact, we should be a bit serious while discussing it. Nuclear energy, for instance, can be a good source of power we need for development and we can cut our carbon emission to a great extent, but it will bode ill for humanity, if we do not put an end to our lust for global political power by engaging in the nuclear arms race. Humanity looks forward to even newer technological developments, no doubt, but shudders at the thought of another Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Aldous Huxley did not dislike science or technology, nor did Albert Einstein. Actually, what they tried to bring home to us was the idea that technology should not be used for destructive purposes. They wanted us to remain human not unscrupulous in our approach to science or technology. We had been, we are and we will be the master of technology, never a slave of technology. It is all a matter of perception. If we think that we are slaves of technology, we become. Similarly, if we think that we are its master, it is bound to be at our beck and call. We can use it as we will, according to our need.

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