Friday, November 30, 2007

I Call It "Technovulsion"

So many of my friends are something that there's not a real good term for. I would call it technophobia, except that word has the implication of current technologies. It also has this connotation of ineptitude and foolishness. Maybe that's just my take on it. Regardless, it just doesn't feel right to call them that, when it's not anywhere near being a consensus label.

Our conversations will go something like this:
Them: (some new technology)
Me: Yeah, and in five years it'll either be obsolete or used by everyone
Them: That seems sort of sad.
Me: Why? We'll be able cure most diseases, eliminate scarcity, and upgrade our minds.
Them: But at what cost?
Me: Uh ... I'm not sure what you mean.
Them: If we put things into our head, don't we become less human?
Me: No? Do you become less human because they use pencils?

Of course I know that's a slippery slope; just because we use pencils to enhance our human functionality doesn't mean that augmenting our memory or intellect is automatically okay. If there's a way to convince people that we're more than our bodies, I don't know what it is, short of pulling the mind out of the body. It isn't just messing with the brain that makes them squeamish though; it's the domination of technology. Not the current domination of technology though, the future domination.

This is a theme that runs throughout our culture though, particularly in the sci-fi and action genres. I Robot, Terminator, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and pretty much every zombie movie made - all of them show the horrors of knowing "what man was not meant to know". And those are the explicit ones; there are many more movies, books, and television shows which have more subtle applications of that principle.

I think the atomic bomb is somewhat to blame for this.

1 comment:

Noodles said...

>>If there's a way to convince people that we're more than our bodies, I don't know what it is, short of pulling the mind out of the body.

Nicely said.

It would be depressing to think of oneself as just one’s body. I tend to see my body as a machine.

And I say welcome to the new tech age; I almost envy the people of the future.