Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Ethics of Technology

Having started my MA I have been taught the importance of mind maps.  "Mind maps" dears not spider diagrams (but as far as I can see a mind map is what I thought a spider diagram was).  I was told to create one on Concept Draw to see what avenues I should be looking at for research.  The result...I should be researching EVERYTHING!

What interested me most is the fact that in addition to all the usual trend, marketing and consumer malarkey I should also be considering ethics.  Not just any old ethics but how ethical technology is.  This wonderful concept has opened up a world of information to us but do you know the problem with it?  There's too much information.  It's actually scrambling the brains of the youth, with the younger generation (including me) being bombarded with so much we are now the most anxious younger generation there has ever been (or at least that is the gist I got from a recent Viewpoint article).

Technology is, in essence, taking over the world and scientists are making what we see in Science Fiction reality.  The only problem with this?  It's damn scary.  I've seen the Matrix and iRobot, technology isn't good in those films it's downright evil.  I found a whole book based (entitled Technophobia!) focusing on this issue and posthuman society.  So, as you can see, I was beginning to panic slightly.

Well....I panicked massively actually.  That is until I watched a video on Ted Talks called Ze Frank's web playroom.  For once, something was showing me that technology can reach out to people, connect them and make them happy.  So what if we're finding happiness through virtual worlds and virtual connections?  Especially when the people on the other end are real.  Surely if we're happy surely that's all that matters?

There is a lot about this world that needs fixing...and I mean A LOT...but if we start with the positives of technology and work out a way of finding our way through the mass of information that the Internet provides us with maybe, just maybe, we can use it to improve our world and work with us.  That has to be a better concept than it ruling us right?  After all, in a posthuman society we aren't here and that's just no good at all.


  1. What kind of hippie crazy talk are you spoutin'?

    Technology taking over? Technology is not an entity; not an awareness. It's merely a tool, like a car or a hammer. If everyone was using a hammer all day, you wouldn't worry that hammers were taking over the world. Your concern might be that people are doing something to themselves through their use of hammers, but not the hammer itself.

    Same with technology. If an ethical dilemma exists, it's the same human dilemma we have always faced, not a new one created by technology.

    Technology brought me my TV and my Xbox and Halo. Do NOT disparage technology.

    Rant over.

  2. Lol I didn't panic in the OMG THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN style of doing things. More the OMG my whole uni project is based around technology and people want to abandon it for a slower way of life that they control on by themselves in the real world rather than the virtual.

    Technology brought me my iPhone, my iPad, my laptop and my wonderful new tv without which I wouldn't function. I am a geek not a hippie :p