Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We can do something does not mean that 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 knowhow 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.

2 comments:

  1. B B Goel5:25 PM

    Innovation is nothing but a business now. It’s irrelevant if that is needed or not. Where there is money, where there is “demand”, there are people and “scientists” who is more than willing to cater that demand. If there is no demand but they have developed a “technology” or “product” then they create demand (in formal term, “market development”). Who cares whether that is good or bad! And moreover, in an era where higher authorities, federal Governments in almost all the countries are losing trust of general people (more so after recent economic meltdown). Majority of central Govts, even in first world countries, allowed few sharks to gobble up interest of common people. It seems to be un-stoppable monster that we created. “Democracy”, in its present form, does NOT protect or care much for their own citizens (forget big thing like “humanity”). Old, wild wisdom “survival of the fittest” is in action here. But unlike in wild, physical might has been replaced by shrewd intelligence and power of manipulation. Sometimes election of a politician like Obama gives some hope.

    Anyway, read the following article published in NPR radio (the most trusted and neutral media in US for me). You will learn how big corporate houses use technology and so-called “innovation” ONLY to increase its profit and care less for its customers. "How A Bone Disease Grew To Fit The Prescription" : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121609815 .

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  2. “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high ,
    Where knowledge is free
    Where the world has not been broken into fragments
    By narrow domestic walls”
    Tagore has been honoured with the Nobel Award probably for bringing into light and being precise with those little things which a common man would sometimes like to think of but would never dare to think of!
    These words are as enlightening as nectar is to honey-bee!
    But Today’s man well knows the fact that his enlightenment in the form of Happiness majorly depends on Money factor rather than merely family pleasure, togetherness or bonding which could have given him the liberty ”Not to do what he can do” .. But these types today would be classified as Emotional Fools!
    Technology can make a man equipped with a wider world, money, fame and all those “stay good” factors! So there is no choice but to depend on more innovations and technologies to fill up your life with choices!
    I would rather beseech all to be His own self which would enhance him
    “Into the heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country be awake!”

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