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Are we wise enough to use technology without it biting back?

Many technologies have caused unintended consequences. There is a book about this topic "Why things bite back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences." I have not read it. Have you?

For example some of the side effects of automobile use are air pollution, expensive transportation, stuff being built farther apart, general lack of exercise in our society.

I realize a lot of anwers will be to the effect that it is an individuals choice. Think about the collective choices of what tecnonolgy society has adopted. Like the automobile some technologies are nearly mandatory to own in order to survive.

Topics: technology

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    Feb 10 2013: That's a really good question, Brian --

    I think humans will always proceed with things too fast. It always turn out that scientists dig into something that was accepted too quickly and causing altered nature in some way that can influence human directly or indirectly.

    A hypothetical example:
    – Imagine in a few years that a huge breakthrough will show that in a study a person not having had medicine through their life and a person who had medicine many times against disease through their life will show the results that the person who experienced medicine mutated their genes way more often than the person who did not receive medicine (of course under much repetition of the study). Or maybe (I don't know if this has been proven) that the person who was medicated has a much less effective immune system. I mean some people believe that the more the immune system experiences, the more effective it will be against unknown disease.

    My point is maybe humans are a bit too fast with releasing technology before studying the effects or predicting them. Knowledge is both of strength and our weakness in that way, seeing as the knowledge gives us the courage to invent and release new things because of built self-esteem, but at the same time the lack of the same will have unexpected consequences that we could not predict due to the lack of knowledge as well.
    • Feb 13 2013: To oversimplify things I would put it this way.. that new inventions/technology are another ratcheting up of human power and how we deal with that power is where we get benefits or curses.

      I believe there is a strong belief in human progress. Progress tells us new technology is good and any unintended consequences with said technology can be solved with even more technology. Here in lies the root problem. (in my opinion)

      If we dont consider all technology neutral from the beginning than we won't investigate the unintended consequences.

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