"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Where is Technology Headed?

Sun, Jan 7th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, January 8, 2001

No one is really exactly sure where technology is headed. But one thing is for sure. Some day I'll be telling my grandkids amazing, unbelievable stories about a time before the internet. Maybe they will be in awe at tales of a time when I drove an "old" internal-combustion powered car! These stories may seem as unreal as our grandparent's stories of times before TV or even before cars!

Times change quickly. And with these changes come new and more efficient ways of doing things. But there is something else that often comes with change. That's confusion. A feeling of being suffocated by all the terms and knowledge required to be "in with the times." The rapid movement of technology sometimes makes things even more difficult to get done.

One day I was sitting at my computer (this happens often to me) and doing a report. I had a few pages typed up when all of a sudden the computer got confused! We all know what happens when this occurs. A nasty little error given a nicer name than it should have. The computer "locked up!" I ended up losing all of my report and had to start all over typing it. This would have never happened had I been using a typewriter! So in that instance, the "old ways" would have been more efficient than the “new and better" ways of today!. Of course that is only one of the MANY things computers do that makes you want to give the stupid machine a good boot out the window. I believe computer lock ups and other related problems are due to the rapid movement of technology. People putting products out before they really know what they have and know how everything works. There are many small detailed thing that go into any type of technology. People in charge don't seem to give it a full test before throwing it out on the shelves. And in a year or so that thing will be obsolete anyway, right?

Cloning, gene manipulation and other such things are topics for another technology debate, that raises questions about moral issues. Is it the right thing to do? What's next, genetically enhanced humans?? They are even talking about building a computer that works just like the human brain. That is a scary thought. If it can "think", it could get a "mind of its own!" The thought of machines on a rampage for revenge seems a little cliche sci-fi, but the possibility does exist. And if it isn't possible now, I'm sure it will be in the future (most likely in the near future).

The time has come in our evolution where we must decide what limits to put on our advances. People may argue, "If we have the ability, why not?" Well, If you don't, you might just have one of your wonderful technological creations knocking at your front door looking for a rumble! And I hope you can live with that.

I'm not trying to say, "Stop technological advances!" I'm simply saying we have to be careful! We must be able to decide which areas to tread on and which areas to leave alone. Our world can be a great place with the technology that is possible. But it also could just as easily turn into a wasteland.

Chris Guttormson

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