Monday, August 30, 2004

Technology & Humanity

The world is a small place. Never before in the history of the planet could one take a virtual tour of the earth via satellite. Now one can. Traveling to every corner of the earth and exploring without facing adversity, climate or ticket lines. It is truly amazing. I predict that everyone will have this ability in the future and that it will be as common as webcam surfing. Naturally there will be a concern about privacy and folks will get a bit phobic about their public activities when they are being watched from above by the curious eyes of millions of satellite users.

I see the increase of satellites for law enforcement as well. Tracing vehicles to and from the scenes of crimes will become common place and clever crooks will have to outwit the peering eyes from the heavens.

So much will change in the future. The jury is still out as to whether the internet is a boon to human relations or the kiss of death. While communication is facilitated, the more pathological personalities tend to lash out more at others from behind the veil of technology, probably crippling their social skills in real human encounters. The blogosphere is one of these internet interactives which bring both folks with common and diverse views together from all over the earth.

Yes, the world is a small place and getting smaller. Millions of things can be pondered. Will technology replace religion? Will bloggers replace the local priest and verbose clergy as dispensers of weekly wisdom? Will technology create a common union between people of all lands? Will this same technology reduce wars and bring people together or detach them and make it easier for folks to kill? What about communities? Will the sense of community in the physical world diminish due to the shifting of time and communication on the internet?

Like all things, technology has both positive and negative attributes. It will largely depend upon humanity itself whether it aids or hampers civilization.

In the meanwhile remember that the words you put out here are real. Insults are real. Thoughts have substance. It's even more important to think closely about what one is going to say because once converted into digital signals it can be accessed over and over again. One speaks to a larger audience and not just someone in the immediate physical vicinity.

Hopefully by learning to moderate our own thoughts here we can better moderate them everywhere. If we can be civil on the web, we will fortify and strengthen our abilities to be civil elsewhere, even when it appears as if one's audience is an audience of one. Eventually we will moderate and monitor our thoughts at all times, catching forays into emotional or unintelligent, unproductive thought patterns. We each have the innate potential to improve our humanity and in doing so make humanity that much more noble at the same time.

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