August 22 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Issues Year: General Rating: 4
We’ve all enjoyed the level of comfort certain gadgets have brought us. From the incredibly useful back-scratcher to the universal remote, technology and design has made our lives easier. But the real question is this: How lazy are we going to let technology get us?
In the extreme scenario, even our jobs are taken over by machines. Instead of working eight hours a day, we’d get a weekly allowance from the government for purchases such as hotel stays at exotic resorts or a faster electric car. House repairs, food issues, and even the lawn is taken care of by nanobots (it’d only be a one-time purchase since they can repair each other in case of breakage). You find yourself waking when you want, going wherever you want, and eating whatever you want. But you feel your life has no purpose.
Would our life have a purpose? In having everything taken care of, wouldn’t it feel like we were living in a hamster cage? Having our every need taken care of, we’d mill about looking at random things, bathing every so often, while some other entity takes care of everything. We’d be pets. And like most pets, we’d get fat and unhealthy (unless the nanobots also take care of that or course).
Even if we had a job, knowing that the only reason you have it is because you asked for it would seem demoralizing. “Yes sir, please turn off the computer so I can answer the phones myself. Yes, I know it’s silly, but I just have to do work you see.” It’d be like spending days putting together a model ship when a robot could build an exact working replica in less than an hour. What’s the point?
Coupled with your own personal work station that takes care of your every need (food, bathroom, washing) while keeping you connected to the global web like a prison you never want to leave. A perfect example would be the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury where the main characters wife lives only to watch television, yet still keeps trying to kill herself. She’s been dumbed down to the point where she has no reason to live, no purpose, no feeling or history. Many think the book is about censorship, but he’s stated himself that the book is about how television destroys interest in actual information, the dumbing of society.