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Does Technology destroy our relationship with Nature?

I am an environmental Literature student, and I am interested in people's responses about the constitution of Nature, Technology, and the relationship that is apparently slowly being degraded with Nature.

All responses are welcome.

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    May 5 2013: Technology certainly has the ability to disrupt any number of relationships, but as is the case for many things, its impact on anything is dictated by how it's used by the individual. I can think of ways where technology has been used to enhance our relationship and understanding of nature. For example, the inventions of the microscope and telescope have given us important perspective on the scale of the universe and thus, a better understanding of how we fit into it (on a very basic level). I would argue that being able to see ourselves and nature (two things that are usually viewed discretely) in the same context is fundamental to having a "healthy" relationship with nature.

    That being said, many members of society seem to be gravitating towards one of two extremes; on the one hand, there are many individuals who use technology to enhance their lives in trivial ways that create a disconnect from nature (among other things) that is quite different from the traditional human experience. Then you have those who use technology to become hyper-aware and more connected than ever. It will be interesting to see the consequences (both positive and negative) of this new dynamic.
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      R H 30+

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      May 6 2013: I would offer that there is a third extreme, the quiet trend of developing technologies that seek to exploit, and even revolutionize, 'nature' for profit regardless of social and ethical consequences. Genetic manipulation resulting in tissue farming and cloning; psychological techniques, drugs, and inducements to manipulate personality; data compilation eroding privacy and individuality as examples of tech that will have tremendous social and 'natural' ramifications that only the wealthy will be able to manage. I would agree that 'ourselves and nature' should have a 'healthy' relationship, and that it will be very interesting, but also extremely complicated, to see the dynamic consequences of this developing coexistence.
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        May 6 2013: Excellent point. I feel the third extreme differs from the other two in that it's not typically initiated by individual members of the general public, so much as it is by corporate and governmental entities. It is, however, very much supported by the general public. If citizens declined to buy products from companies who engaged in such exploitation (to name one example), it would be far more difficult for this business model to sustain itself in the long run.
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          R H 30+

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          May 7 2013: Thank you for responding. Would you agree that 'the use' of technology is often not as 'optional' as we would like to believe? I cannot be as competitive as needed if I do not use the latest time-saving and efficiency-generating tech that my employer requires or recommends. This often requires that I learn and become proficient, on my own time and money, with these new apparatus, or face a 'declining status of competency' with my employer. The computer is a perfect example. We could argue this is 'optional', but not really. This develops a 'power base' for tech providers. Their products no longer, in reality, have truly 'discretionary' status. The competitive companies must use their products to survive. Therefore as the new technologies I described, and many others in development, become commercially viable and potentially 'change nature' as we know it, we in the general public must face their influence in our lives, and may have some very tough choices to make.

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