Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We can do something does not mean we have to do that

I was watching the sixth sense technology lecture by Pranav Mistry in TED India forum. No doubt it is a nice idea and I appreciate that. I was checking the comments, and, as expected too many people are excited.

I was dreaming a little further. Suppose I can implant a microprocessor in one’s brain (that can communicate with his own senses), attach that with a broadband network and then enable the person to communicate with the world without any more external device, at any time, day or night. He can get any data, any picture or just anything available in the web. He will be able to store huge information there in his head and never forget anything. If I am successful in doing that and give a lecture on TED forum, I think I will get huge “congratulations” for “extraordinary innovation”, making many Indians “proud” and so on. But, please think little deeper. Do we need such a (bionic) person in the first place? Will that (bionic) person be a better human being, more genius in inventing or innovating? Will it be worth doing so? Should there any of that kind of technology be invented or be allowed? Answer for any of those questions is a big no for me. It seems that it’s almost impossible to make many people understand that we can do something does not mean that we have to do that.
We have enough technology, sufficient medical and agricultural know-how to make this world a much, much better place. Judicious use of already existing technology, proper application of our current knowledge can make a great difference. In fact, when industrial revolution started in Britain a couple of centuries ago, it promised “eradication of poverty and a more just society”. We all now know that industrialization made things worse. Agrarian societies are fairer, distribution of wealth was more equal. Please do not misunderstand me. I am not suggesting going back in time to have an agrarian society.

Most of the time, when we get any new idea, we become so excited that we tend to lose sight of bigger picture. We tend to justify the means than the goal. I know that we probably can not and should not stop innovations; but, I think, it will be better not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

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