Has technology translated into quality of life?
“Modern day coal miners, in comparison, work in an environment where all of the hard work is done by machines, their safety is protected by electronic devices and they have ample spare time. In that industry at least, technology has improved the lives of the workers beyond all recognition. The same can be said for all trades which have survived from the nineteenth century to the present day thereby allowing a direct comparison.”
I would argue that we have paid an equal and opposite price for that. How easy is it to get a job working in a coal mine today? I think a 55% labor participation rate tells the tale. In 1950 my grandfather pressed pants for a living, he supported 3 kids and a wife. Put all three kids through college, paid for 2 houses, and retired on a pension. Try doing that today. I dont even think they have pants pressers anymore..probably done with robots.
“In all industries, before the invention of antibiotics, a small scratch could be fatal. Gangrene, STDs and other infectious diseases were untreatable and often resulted in death. Life expectancy in the USA increased from around 50 years in 1900 to over 75 years in 2000.
How many people die yearly of fentanyl overdoses and other opiates today? I’d like to see a comparison between deaths by infection back in the day and deaths from modern causes. As to that old life expectancy myth, it is well known that the life expectancy averages were a function of infant mortalities, not adult life terms. Back in the 1800’s the number of centenarians was 1/3000….today its about 1/40,000. Check the census records, when I heard this I didnt believe it either.
The more I dug into it, the more I saw that the percentage of 80, 90, 100+ year old people in the US in those days was much higher. What that meant was, if a man reached age 30, his chances of getting to 100 were much HIGHER 150 years ago than they are today.
We had better hope that our technology can continue to progress. From experience, I can vouch that poverty has it’s downside, with or without a supporting extended family.
These days I can have a cup of coffee whenever I want to. Firewood is processed with a chainsaw. The list of obvious benefits that our civilization offer us is apparent to all the peoples of the world that do not have them.
It is only the ingrates who take for granted that we banish darkness with a flick of a switch who question our good fortune.
Can we do better? Of cause: and we must. We are advised to exceed the heights that our ancestors set for us.
The decision to be a whingeing couch potato is made freely.
Minerva in the Saxon Oera Linda states the obvious.
It is the desire of the Wr-alda that we be free to experience the results wise and foolish decisions so that we may become wise and help each other.
Other non-Abrahamic faiths call it Dharma.
Here Asha Logos reads the fragment.
Please provide evidence for your assertion that religion is “the #1 cause for the forced, destructive separation of humans from nature”. Methinks this is a opinion based on prejudice rather than a fact backed by evidence.
I don’t think its technology per se that’s the problem. Technology is just a tool; a computer, a printing press, a hammer . Its how you use it that causes trouble.
The primary issue? Modern Religion.
Specifically, it is the new religion called “Science”, which has been enabled by technology. “Science”, as it is practiced today, is actually just a narrative which can and does change daily, controlled by the Oligarchs, but unlike the preceding religions and/or moral philosophies, “Science” provides its worshipers no independent moral code to follow.
Notice: in “Science”, there are no Ten Commandments. No Five Precepts. No Tribal Wisdom. No Analects. No Tao. No Hadiths of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). The rules of “Science” aren’t written down anywhere. This freedom of maneuver from any written moral code allows the Oligarchs to simply issue orders, and have them followed blindly by the worshipers. They just have to say: “follow the Science!” Tech is then used to enforce the edicts.
Before Tech, the only way civilization could scale was a written moral code that some sizeable fraction of the Plebes bought into. (All successful-long-term civilizations have an explicit, written moral code.) But today, using tech, no explicit written moral code is required. Instead, software provides the – changing-daily – moral-code overlay. In fact, computer code – that none of us see – replaces the moral code.
Using Tech, conversations between individual Plebes that violate the latest rules of “Science” narrative can and are censored by the Tech software systems at an individual level. “Blasphemous” conversations between Plebes can be identified, and then nipped in the bud – Blasphemers can be publicly ridiculed, vilified, and suppressed, while Pious conversations can be amplified, reinforced, and rewarded.
The “vaxx selfies” of my friends on Facebook – highly promoted content – is a case in point. Oligarchy demands the Plebes take the shot, and then Tech rewards those who comply, and it silences those who object.
East Germany tried this with a tediously large number of individual informers working for the secret police, but now it is done very efficiently by Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The specifics of enforcement are written by a handful of software engineers in the Valley, with the details only visible to this small group, all done in the name of “Science.”
Under this new system of worship, when individuals see the system engaging in utterly sociopathic behavior (i.e. No Treatments For You), “Science”-followers end up simply following the Video Encyclicals of Pope Fauci rather than some potentially disagreeable (to the Oligarchs) internal moral compass.
“Wear Two Masks – because – Common Sense!”
“I take Vitamin D – but I’m not going to recommend it to you!”
“No Outpatient Treatments For You!”
Sounds Great, Pope Fauci. We’ll just all go along, because, its “Science”, and you’re the Pope of “Science”, so what you say is true. [Because, Papal Infallibility]
Tech made the efficient promulgation of the “Science” religion possible.
I know you were talking about something different – physical experiences vs virtual ones – and I do think there is merit there too.
But I don’t think we need deprivation and poverty in order to have virtue. I think our current society’s utter lack of an independent individual moral compass is a planned operation – it was put into place by the Oligarchy in order to provide them with a cohort of compliant slaves who will follow their arbitrary, daily instructions – with no pesky written set of morality that might interfere with those orders at some critical juncture.
And the side effect – an unintended consequence – is serious internal unhappiness among the Plebes, due to utter lack of agency, and the missing moral compass, which the bulk of humanity secretly yearns to have. Moral codes provide a rational overlay to a chaotic, physical world. Every long-term-successful civilization has such an overlay.
Of course there are other issues as well: soft slavery from debt, the constant deluge of “you will get laid if you buy this new expensive thing” from industry, “take this pill and you will feel better” from Pharma, it just never ends. It all promises (brief, temporary) happiness, if the Plebes are well-behaved little slaves and work hard on the Plantation for Oligarchy. Preferably until some expensive death occurs, whereupon Oligarchy can hoover up what remains of the Plebe’s life savings.
I believe it is possible to have either virtue – or vice – with tech. Tech is neutral. So is a hammer. Build a barn, or bash in the brains of your neighbor – how will you use the hammer?
But the way things are right now – we have allowed Tech to be used by Oligarchy to efficiently enslave us all, using the new religion of “Science.”
I’m going to say it again: there aren’t very many Oligarchs. And there are a huge number of Plebes. We really just have to notice what is going on.
We can start by not worshiping “Science” any longer.
Let us cast a glance over our shoulders to our ancestors, the Scythians for insight as to why Freedom is our greatest virtue as Freya told us. They have much to say on this topic.
Watch the last 5 minutes of this video first 31:45 ….to appreciate and add context to the fascinating history of the Scythians. “ Man who worships money becomes a smaller man.” (Paraphrase).
“I believe it is possible to have either virtue – or vice – with tech. Tech is neutral. So is a hammer. Build a barn, or bash in the brains of your neighbor – how will you use the hammer?”
My point was not that tech is necessarily the CAUSE of all our trouble, only that it does nothing to alleviate it. I’m not sure if tech is necessarily to “blame”…maybe partially. Using your analogy; Suppose humanity, having a hammer, will use it both to build a barn AND bash people’s heads in [ because human nature ]. Now suppose we got along ok for thousands of years without a barn. Having one certainly represents a convenience, but compare that to the downside…people’s heads are getting bashed in. I’d consider that an over-all loss.
There probably was a point where a certain level of technology did increase the overall quality of life. But when I look back at life in the 1980’s, there’s no question that the world today is alot worse off. My parents along with aunts and uncles, who grew up in the 1950’s, were emphatic that so much good was lost between the 50’s and the 80’s that despite the increased technologies, the quality of life got worse. My grandparent’s who grew up in the 20’s, mostly said the same.
They all say that even though life was a little harder, you didnt notice it because you didnt know any different. The bonds were stronger, life was simpler, fuller and richer.
It stands to reason that everything on this earth has limits to it’s benefit, right? Too much of pretty much anything is bad. Why should technology be any different?
If man has evolved over thousands of years to struggle against the external forces of nature…eliminating those struggles may cause an internal struggle for which he has little evolutionary defense.
Heard a good quote the other day on this very subject:
“Man is a species with a Neanderthal brain, using Medieval systems, but has been given ‘God-Like’ technology….”
No wonder we’re such a mess.
Technology is an extension of us.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” – “Pogo” by Walt Kelly
Tech is neutral.
This is demonstrably false. All technologies have inherent biases which dictate how they will be used. No technology is “neutral”. That’s just one of three projections that humans place on technology (Good/Neutral/Evil).
You’re correct about Scientism/Cargoism being the major religious zeitgeist of the age.