Man as a machine

Today’s world of continually expanding technology has brought with it a certain optimism in the future for most people. But this optimism could be blindly leading us to a more machine than man future. Humanity was meant to be flawed and weak. Not a gradually developing synthetic species with an inadequacy complex, and a lack of appreciation for real interaction.

When I was a child I had talked to my father about life in the real world, and he told me that people would come and go and that there was no escaping this simple fact. However over my life technology has taken a hold of our society. With social media especially; things have changed. Before I meet people I have made judgements about them based upon there what information I have gleaned from their various profiles. Keeping up with people has become as simple as a mouse click with personal information streamed through my computer and into my brain. We’ve become a hive mind; like it or not.

I really do think people are aware of how this has happened and how little they can help but use these tools. Recently my good friend turned off his social media accounts, deeming them a superficial waste of time, but as a result has been unable to connect with his peers and lost opportunities to connect with people. I know that if I did the same it would have a hugely negative affect on my friendship groups, and my ability to keep up with others. Resistance to these changes is completely futile and self-defeating.

But to me this is only a small issue affecting myself, a part of a larger issue as a whole.

The words from the character Walton “What could not be expected in the country of eternal light?” paint light as discovery and enlightenment. 200 years ago an 18 year old girl was experiencing much the same lack of ease at the current human condition as I am now.  Part of the Mary Shelley’s book’s premise, Frankenstein, was that light often burns when you follow it without forethought. When Victor Frankenstein created his monster, he did not consider the consequences of what he was doing, and upon reflection was consumed by his guilt over what he had created. He then turned on his creation showing himself as the true monster. This obsession with taking the next step, regardless of the consequences, shows to me a childlike push towards a complicated question.

When Professor Oppenheimer, a father of the atomic bomb, spoke after the first atomic bomb tests he quoted Bhagavad Gita. “Now I am become Death..”. The bomb stopped wars, but was a disastrously powerful weapon really the answer we needed? It seems to me that our progression is tainted with an arrogance and a disregard for the unexpected.

Every night I play the computer game DoTa with my friends, talking over Skype, and while I know that real human contact has no comparison with a computer screen I take what I can get. When I leave my room I use my phone-computer. Star Trek’s species of the Borg come to mind. For to me; We are the Borg. We are assimilated. And only time will tell where this will lead.

obama-borg

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