Too much time, money, and energy are spent developing new and more elaborate technology. Society should instead focus on maximizing the use of existing technology for the immediate benefit of its citizens.


  I must say that I reject this statement. While it is true that we need to support society as much as possible with current technology, that does not in any way mean that we should stop progressing simply because our current technology cannot handle all the problems we have brought to it. Does that mean that we should simply accept the status quo and make do? No, I don’t think so. To do so would be tantamount to adopting a fatalistic approach; I think most people would reject that.

  Technology has helped, and it has hurt. Without it, we would never have our standard of living, nor quality of nutrition, expectation of a long and productive life span, and the unshakable belief that our lives can be made even better. But it has also brought us universal pollution, weapons so powerful as to be capable of rendering us extinct, and the consequent fear for our survival as species and as a planet. Technology is indeed a double-edged sword. And yet, I still have to argue in its favor, because without it, we have no hope.

  Some might argue that we would be better off without technology. They might say that a return to a less technologically driven approach to life would have the benefits of reducing stress and allowing us to live simpler, happier lives, like those of our forebears. Such an idea is seductive, so much so that much of art and all of nostalgia are devoted to it. But upon closer inspection, one realizes that such a move would only return us to a life of different kinds of stress, one of false simplicity, one fraught with danger. It would be a life without antibiotics where a minor cut could prove deadly. It would be a life where childbirth is the main killer of women, and where an emergency is dealt with in terms of hours and days instead of minutes and hours; a life where there are no phones or cars or planes or central heating, no proven drug therapies to treat mental illness, no computers. Would this world really make people happy?