What is the purpose for technology? It’s made to help improve our life, or make things easier for us, right? In class we often discuss how there have been many films made centered around the idea of technology taking over the world. So I tend to ask myself, are advancements in technology really helping us? In The Bohr Maker we see a world where technology is far more advanced than our own, however the advancements are not always improving human life. For example, the bohr maker pierced through Phousita’s skin and was slowly taking over her mind. The Commonwealth is in constant battle with technology and keeping it at bay, rather than letting artificial intelligence take over. We must often ask ourself where are the boundaries for making certain technologies, and is it ethical? In this novel Linda Nagata explores not only possibilities for artificial intelligence, but we also see improvements for human life in innovations like the nanotechnology that creates fluff. Technologies like these not only feed poor people who have no other way of obtaining food, but it also helps clean our environment.
Another reason I want to explore whether technology really helps improve our lives is because of problems raised by ecofeminists. Vandana Shiva and Maria Mies explain that man have used technology as tools to dominate over nature and women over and over again. In Ecofeminism they explain that many innovations help pollute our world and exploit natural processes. One example of this is agriculture and the different processes of cropping foods. Indigenous people have reused the same soils over and over again, until mono-cropping came into play. Corporations made an industry out of seeds, which forces people to buy seeds again and again each time they gather the crops. Before, there was no need to buy new seeds because the land and plants were self sufficient. Technology has worsened the state our planet is in, and often times people don’t really notice because we are so busy living our lives digitally. We see people hanging out in groups, but they are often stuck on their individual phones. It is rare for people to see the importance in nature and yet because of that our Earth pays a big price. I have struggled taking this course, because though it is very interesting to see new advancements, I have seen what technology has done to our world. Cars increase our carbon footprint everyday. Light pollution makes it impossible to see the stars. At a time where I was beginning to try to use my own technologies less, I am forced to plug myself in everyday. Though I see how important digital labor is, and I believe it is needed I did not plan on doing so much of it myself. With two very different paths our world can take, I wonder where this will take our Earth. Will Ecological movements, that fight against technology, influence our world and make technology less prominent? Or will the advancements just keep coming, without looking at the consequence?
Mies, Maria, and Vandana Shiva. Ecofeminism. Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood Publications, 1993. Print.
Nagata, Linda. The Bohr Maker. New York: Bantam, 1995. Print.
Crossposted from here