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Have a Little Faith September 23, 2009

Posted by milimittal in As The Future Catches You.
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The idea that wealth is increasingly created by one person (or a small group of people/empire) that are selling ideas rather than exploiting natural resources really strikes me (read: bothers me). It is inspiring in a way, as I try to start my own business, but also defeating in that its natural conclusion is that humans are less and less dependent on one another for success. As technology advances and we map genomes, we watch ourselves shrink further and further from human interdependence.

I struggle with the implications of technology on our interconnectedness: on one hand it brings us closer (in a minute I can pull-up a live on-screen video chat with dear friends in Columbia, Japan, Scotland), and on the other it distances us (I ride the BART with an ipod plugged into my ears, completely numb to the people on my train). But to claim that those who create and legitimize this technology are those that create all the world’s wealth and knowledge is insulting and unfair to the majority of the people on the planet. There are armies of people (teachers, non-profit workers, farmers, merchants, laborers), who may not be on the cutting edge of technology but whom we are without a doubt dependent upon – even those clever and privileged few who keep pace with cutting edge science and technology.

What Enriquez fails to recognize are the cycles of history and human patterns: yes, the agricultural revolution brought tools to automate and scale farming, created wealth, and launched us into the modern age. Today, however, the most educated of our society are turning not to genetically modified tomatoes, but to the good old-fashioned tomatoes they are growing in their own backyards.

While Enriquez paints the picture that technological advancement is a series of events that build upon one another and continually move us forward, I would argue that it is in fact a series of actions and reactions, a pulse; and that we as humans cannot depend solely on the latest technological or scientific advancement for our success as a species. We must depend a little more on our own humanity – and I believe we will.

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