Sunday, August 20, 2006

Worshipping Technology?

So, I finally got myself a laptop. Its a 2001 G3 ibook that has been torn apart and put back together twice by me, with a fan, hard drive and memory from another ibook given to me by a former roommate. And it is really cool. What really was a pain in the ass was the backing up certain pieces of software before doing a clean install of the operating system. But hey, I must admit I really like the OS X interface, and the way I have been able to do everything I needed to fairly easily (have been searching on Google a bit, but thats what it is there for).

Now, the point of this article isnt to go on about my new (to me) laptop, but something I have been thinking about for quite a while. And that is how it appears to me that the current idol of modern culture is technology and consumerism. I'm sure everybody either knows someone or is one of those people who go out and buy the latest and greatest piece of technological gadgetry when it becomes available. Of course, it doesnt help that this is how the consumer part of capitalism works, you need people to buy what you are selling.

But there is another side to that equation, and that is looking at technology as the only place to put ones hope in. Dont get me wrong, I use technology heavily (my job depends on it), and I think that many technological advancements have allowed us to do many amazing things that have increased our knowledge of the universe, and ultimately God's creation. The problem comes when people start forgetting why they felt the need to improve the science/technology in the first place. I'm sure sometimes it is just because they can do better, but generally it is because the first iteration wasn't good enough to answer completely the question put forward in the first place.

Advanced optics, computer memory storage, faster processors, much of this has been developed not to make shinier new gadgets for us to play our music on, but to allow scientists to better study the mysteries of the universe (or conversely, kill each other more efficiently, maybe I'll tackle that another time). I think that as a society as a whole we are forgetting these things, and this story itself is changing. Now the drive is more and more the other way, with our entertainment driving the development of new technology, so in the end it comes down to money, and the ability to make a buck.

I think that is a pretty sorry place to be as a society.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Computers and the first internet were US army backed ideas and if it wasn't for war, specifically WWII, technology would not be as advanced as it is now. You could look at it like science and understanding the universe was (and still is) piggybacking on the advances in killing each other. Entertainment, actually the porn industry, and to a lesser extent games and movies, is why internet technology has advanced in the manner that it has. Isn't it ironic that to increase our knowledge of the universe, we've had to rely on porn and killing for major technology advances...