Sunday, August 26, 2012

Man and Technology

I've been reading for the second time "From the Redwood Forest" by Joan Dunning, and a particular observation of hers has been running through my mind the last couple of days. In the book she writes:

"Perhaps men cannot help clear cutting. The technology is too new to have been tempered by natural selection. And the drives that propel men-to provide for family, to be the biggest, to conquer the most-are perhaps too old to be easily corralled. Technology has put powerful tools in men's hands. A Fish and Wildlife biologist overheard loggers, unaccustomed to being asked by their superiors to clear cut, stand back and survey a wasteland of their creation.
     "Wow, can you believe we did that?"

This is such a profound insight in my opinion. The power of technology and it's consequences has yet to be fully understood at the moment, especially when placed in the hands of men who are simply acting on their natural instincts. On a related note, I have to wonder whether or not we as humans are used to thinking about the big picture when we "work." I know I'm not. Just the other day, I was in the office and I had a list of chores to get done. My mind was focused on the job at hand. I was trying to finish the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. Yes, there were forces in the back of my mind at play, supervisors and bosses to keep in good standing. I simply wanted to honor the task at hand and do a good job. It wasn't until I was almost finished that the thought popped in my mind to consider all of the resources I was using, where they came from, what it means to be using them, just to complete a few tasks.  I was using far more resources than I usually do on a given day. Everyone in the office simply felt relieved that the job was done for the day. We simply don't think about the big, big picture and what it all means.

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