Many people blame technological innovations and inanimate machines for the woeful problems plaguing humanity. As with most assertions a basic definition of terms is warranted. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, technology is defined as follows:
1) The practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area.
2) A capability given by the practical application of knowledge
3) A manner of accomplishing a task, especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge.
I would define technology as the application and use of man’s intellect and creativity to transform raw crude natural resources into usable goods and services that benefit and lift his fellow men and women out the default state of poverty we were all born into. Technology is the means by which our lives have become less perilous and more comfortable. Technology is the use of tools to improve our daily lives. To be against technology is to be against hammers, shovels, cars, trains, airplanes, washing machines, indoor plumbing, refrigeration, electricity, air conditioning, shoes, telephones, computers, and the Internet to name just a few.
The tool can never be blamed for the wicked actions of the individual. We were all blessed with free will and a mind capable of making decisions. The responsibility always lies with the individual to discern right from wrong based on his/her own conscience. Moreover the consequences of those decisions can never be shirked, rather they must always be assumed by the individual. The tool is an extension of our bodies just our hands are an extension of our bodies. Just as if I strangle a hobo my hands are not blamed but rather my body/mind is; so too an inanimate object can never be the focus of any serious crime investigation. It is not a War on Drugs but rather a War on People. It is not a War on Terror but rather a War on People. It is not Gun Control but rather People Control.
It is not only that Free Market Capitalism has raised our level of comfort and given us enormous product variety, but also that many people throughout the world have come to depend on these technological innovations for their very existence. The wealthier society sees technology as luxurious but unnecessary and superfluous. The poorer society sees technology as an oasis in a vast desert. For us in the West to deride technological advancement and actively strive to dismantle its existence is to condemn the poor and suffering people of the world to lives of misery. Pay your respects to the intrepid inventors and courageous entrepreneurs that have, through their arduous toil, created the immensely intricate and wondrous civilization we have all inherited. The creation of wealth is a magnificent human achievement and representative of the awesome power of the human mind. It is what separates man from beast. Before you expire and pass into the nether world, do your part to make the world a better place than when you found it.
“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names.” – Confucius