Is Technology a Friend or a Foe?

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With advanced technology, human interaction has increased. Some two hundred years back, the fastest time one could cover a journey from London to Newcastle was two days. It took even longer to travel from London to cities like New York. With advanced technology, one needs some hours to reach these destinations by air; you can travel across Europe in minutes.  Science and technology have greatly impacted on humanity in all aspects. Technology is a friend because, with advanced medical practices, people can live longer than before.

According to the United Nations Children Emergency Fund, 15 million children under the age of five years, died annually during the neo-colonial period. Diseases like diarrhea and measles were common. The organization believes that with only $10 every year, these children can be saved. Several factors affecting child survival from contaminated water caused by drought. Some of the diseases that affected children during the Neo-colonial period are preventable since they are associated with water. For example, diarrhea affects more than five million children annually, but clean water purified using advance technology costing $300 million can be used to prevent these deaths.  Inappropriate use of technical skills and inequalities affected the milestone of achieving the desired health outcomes. With advanced technology, people have benefited, but others are suspicious about it because of the great danger technology brings to humans as it affects the natural world.

 

Technology has played a great role in education, it is rapidly changing the way students learn, how instruction is delivered and help with writing, especially where a pen and a paper is not readily available. Computers have replaced chalkboards and provided students with a wide range of online learning materials. As technology continues to evolve, it brings numerous opportunities and challenges for students. Social networks have facilitated or hinder learning depending on how students use it. Privacy and security are the major concerns that have emerged due to advanced technology making many people reject the idea that technology is a friend.

Pollution and wars are some of the negative impacts of advanced technology.  Chernobyl, Ukraine, is an example where nuclear reactor affected humans. It contaminated more than 160,000 square meters covering a huge geographical area. It pushed more than 400,000 out of their homes. The Chernobyl nuclear reactor had a long-term effect on humans as babies were born without certain organs.

The Bhopal disaster, India, is an example how technology can be destructive. Several accidents have been recorded since the disaster at Bhopal. The US in 1980 to 1990 experienced deadly chemical-related accidents with 15 cases of gas releases causing toxicity. Disasters like those in Chernobyl and in Bhopal are mostly caused by human errors, but others are caused by the failure of technology, proving how science and technology can be harmful to humans.

 

Apart from destroying humans, science and technology has facilitated the rise of capitalism fueling the search for modern ways of production and communication. As compared to the past, where the invention was more on religion and myths, people are destroying the environment without the proper knowledge to preserve it. Despite all the negative effects of science, it is still beneficial because it gives us better ways to understand our world. From the scientific perspective, we can study the world and explain action instead of relying on gods.  Science presents the reality, through an explanation that is predicted and tested to justify the outcomes that are more accurate.

Science is not about laboratories; it includes fieldwork through research, observing to gain knowledge practically. Science is part of the society. However, the negative aspect of it is caused by capitalism affects humans. Science uses the simplistic model of explanation. For instance, we can view a single cause of the disease to emphasize on the cure than prevention. If TB is caused by bacteria improving social conditions like clean water, better housing reduces its occurrence.

Understanding a person’s genes enable science to explain the human body function in a simplistic way.  However, problems related to the environment when explained using science presents a narrow outlook. Because the environment is a complex interaction of several factors that change constantly. Simplistic technology ignores some of the important factors and cannot be effective. Explaining the environment from scientific elite, views do not offer lasting solutions. The need for profit has affected science where knowledge is up for sale; research is funded by large companies and government and is directed to places with the potential benefit. Scientific discoveries are guarded, and people fail to share the true results in fear of competition, meaning that the capitalist decides what is relevant for them but not the society.

One biggest flop of science is on the environment, where people claim that there are no proofs of damages caused by the scientific inventions. It is not easy to separate science and advanced technology for the society. Ironically, science has become a monster to the society destroying the world. Misuse of science has cost humans more than just money, but humans also benefit from science invention where more jobs are created with new inventions. Nuclear weapons and other forms of the technological invention remains the greatest threat to humans, but other factors like environmental problems caused by human activities may also lead to war in the future.

Poverty, inequality and environmental degradation affect human existence, and in the long run, the world will be based on power and profits, which are among many threats of future wars. The skills gained from science, can improve human life rather than cause death if used properly. Science is not a friend or foes, adopting new technology largely depend on how humans embrace the new inventions.

 

 

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