Friday, September 14, 2012

The Epidemic of Faith Based Technology

Technology has been an integral part of our modern way of life since the late 1800’s. It has produced many wonders that would seem miraculous only a few centuries ago. Indeed, without it, most of us wouldn’t be alive today. Technology has earned the right to be held high among human accomplishments. No one can doubt that.

However, technology has enabled our industrial and technological civilization to expand into unsustainable terrain. We now have 7 billion people on the planet; our climate is changing rapidly along with deforestation and species loss of epidemic proportions on land, in the sea and in the air.

Technology is not at fault for this situation, it has only enabled it.

We are at fault, or rather our evolutionary inclinations to carry on our genes. Our greatest challenge now is in abating our strong, natural inclinations to procreate and to live as long as possible. Normally this is done unintentionally through war, pollution, starvation or disease. But because these things do not happen at the scale necessary to mitigate our population numbers (thankfully) they are not reliable or desirable methods.

We must mitigate our population by more intelligent and humane methods and in direct opposition to our natural instincts. We must have fewer children and seek to live shorter lives in the long term.

While life expectancy will be mitigated automatically as we power down and fall back on more organic ways of living, healthcare will not have the potential it does today to extend our lives long after nature has given up on us. Our inclination to procreate will be more difficult to stem. Although there is some evidence that humans will procreate less when there are less resources available, there is probably equal evidence to support the opposite. So leaving it up to our ‘nature’ to procreate less is not sufficient.

We must actively seek solutions to decrease our population thus decreasing our burden on the planet and allowing for a much richer life for the living.

However, there are those among us who would have us believe that there is still more Technology can do for us. Even amongst the environmental degradation, resource depletion and serious impacts to the climate and the earth’s natural recycling mechanisms, they feel technology still has more to offer.

I consider this to be the Epidemic of Faith Based Technology.

As all of our technical 'progress' has been at the expense of the planet’s health in one form or another, either directly or indirectly, it is extremely difficult to perceive technology as the solution when thus far it has been an enabler to the destruction and desolation we face.

In most cases, when a technological solution is proposed it will inevitably have side effects that will then themselves need to be mitigated by more technology/technology based solutions that ends up devolving into a constant battle to counter the side effects of the side effects of the side effects, ad infinitum.

This reasoning that gives way to this devotion to technology is at first glance, logical. For it is technology that has provided the high standards of living that most of us in the developed civilizations enjoy today. It is technology that has decreased the infant mortality rate and increased our lifespan, cured diseases and started the ‘Green Revolution’. It is technology that is allowing you to read these words at this very moment.

But there are limits. And this is where the faith part comes in. There is a growing number of people out there that manage to ignore the various situations we face today such as pollution and resource depletion because they have an unhealthy faith in technology. It is understandable, as technology has so far been able to counter all of the side effects of technology’s influence in the first place, it is a losing game that cannot last.

But as I said there are limits. We are at most of those limits now and will be reaching the rest within the next couple decades. This is where technology runs into the cold, hard laws of physics. And this is where otherwise rational and intelligent people start to move into the realm of faith when it comes to technology and our future.

Thanks for reading and for joining me on the journey of life.

Timothy Dicks
futurereferencefarm @

Video of the farm

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