Joseph Ratliff Writer, Researcher, Thinker

Slow Down: Let’s Not Let Technology Replace Humanity

We have a gift.

It’s called our humanity.  It consists of our consciousness, ability to adapt, and our ability to think beyond primitive needs.

We live in an age where technology has developed to a point where it can replace certain parts of our humanity.  For example, email replaces face to face meetings, a fact that Stephen Petranek reminded me of before a call we had last week.

Think about this one small way technology is actually damaging our human relationships.  When you email someone, that email takes all of the emotion, tone, inflection, and understanding of the communication away.

You no longer have the necessary elements for a human, face to face conversation.  And while we could replace that with say, a Skype conversation (video or audio), or as Stephen pointed out… a hologram conversation… we don’t do that, do we?

Nope.

We send an email because it’s convenient.

And in our overly progressed, overly efficient society… convenience causes obsolescence.  What we create in technology that can bring us what we want more conveniently, typically makes the solution before it obsolete.

Email is making conversations more convenient.

Plus, we can “hide” behind our monitor, so we sometimes say hurtful things that we would NOT say face to face, or video to video.

This is a simple example.

Eventually, some of society is looking forward to a “singularity” where technology makes some of our biology obsolete.

I don’t look forward to that.  Because when biology, seen as an outdated model by singularists, gets replaced by technology… humanity ceases to exist.

Sure, technology can “perfect” a human form and processes… but it cannot replace humanity.  Technology needs to be left to evolve itself, not transcend to attempt to evolve humanity.

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