Brain Dropping #35
Technology to the rescue! A counterpart to Richard Dawkins’ “God Delusion” is the “Technology Delusion” – the misguided idea that, like the U.S. Cavalry in those hackneyed Western movies, technology will win the day. That humankind’s stupidity, cupidity and self-destructive short sightedness will be made right by more sophisticated machines. These good folks, wearing rose-colored glasses, point to the development of new and more efficient pharmaceuticals to combat disease, non-fossil fuel alternatives for energy production, the defensive structures built by England and The Netherlands to hold back the sea, rising because of global warming, de-salinization of sea water for drinking water, and, of course, IT – Information technology, the instrument of the collective nervous system, feverishly working it’s electronic neurons to come up with new ideas to save our asses from the “Sixth Extinction.”
One machine alone could possibly end it all – the “mighty automobile.” The insatiable needs of the ‘gas guzzling horseless carriage’ so useful for the mass mobility of billions around the planet, is the greatest cause of social dislocation and environmental decay in the history of humankind. From ‘fracking’ jeopardizing fresh water aquifers, to green-house gas emissions, to the paving over of vital agricultural land, this grotesque machine, without which my own rural life would be untenable, rolls over every other human priority.
As I see it the machine, or computer, is a non-aligned entity in that it doesn’t take sides and, Isaac Asimov’s “I Robot” notwithstanding, has no consciousness – ergo ‘moral code’. It is a hand tool of the human brain which biologically speaking is still in it’s infancy in the development of the frontal lobes where reside logic and rationality. (See “The Biology of Transcendence – A Blueprint of the Human Spirit” by Joseph Chilton Pearce). The human species is largely still in it’s reptilian, ‘fight or flee’ mode of development, typified by the American Empire, among other examples of mindless belligerence, and no technological ‘philosopher stone’ will change dross into gold.