Friday

On the impacts of new technologies

200704
(answer to the question "With all this great technology - computers, email, cellphones, IM, YouTube, MySpace, wireless Internet, etc. - where is it taking us? How is it impacting society?")

This question has been answered by countless books and essays. As I feel it, the very texture of society has changed (society as a whole as well as society as a puzzle of societies) and identity crisis is not over yet. The tissue can look much more elaborate, yet it can easily be torn. Societies either lock out to protect themselves, or collapse - the fittest survive, their frontiers blurred and everchanging. No wonder identity became a more complex concept and challenge for individuals as well as for societies...

The technology boom you mentioned is neither good nor bad in itself. It changed our perception of time and space, it changed the way we interact with our environment and with each other It contributes to diversity (ie revival of languages) and speeds up evolutions, but also facilitates globalization and uniformization. It contributes to knowledge, but also threatens intelligence. The sexier virtual worlds become, the duller real ones appear and the more people try to escape. ... and so on....

All this is at least disruptive and upsetting for any society. Gaps and divides are formed and not everybody will adapt, not everybody will follow the same path nor the same pace. More than ever, education is key. Beyond the learning of the tools you mentioned, of course.

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