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Moe Aye

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The Abuse of Technology

Do you think that everyday, the media is manipulating minds of teenagers/adults/children into obsession and addiction? Is technology doing harm than it is doing good? For example, in the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, it describes a dystopian society upon which technology takes over the city and books/knowledge is shunned.

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  • Da Way

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    Oct 23 2013: I think the 'abuse of technology' is a separate, and much wider subject than 'media manipulating minds'.

    Media hasn't only started manipulating minds since the advance of technology. With technology, things just happen quicker. That doesn't necessarily make it more successful, however. The main reason being, there are also a lot more alternatives out there. If you look at political propaganda pre-internet age, it's a lot slower, but more more efficient, because of the lack of information.

    Just look at it from an opposite angle. Put yourself in the evil dictator's position. 50 years ago if you had to manipulate your ignorant peasants, it would be much easier than if you had to do it today, with everyone having their smart phones and twitters. They can check up on what you're saying pretty quickly.
  • Oct 23 2013: Rephrasing the question:

    Do you think that everyday, teenagers/adults/children, willingly participate in Manipulation of their Minds?

    Forget books and knowledge. Examine the Self that is manipulated. The Self that is anything but Free.

    Ain't no victims to be found here. But plenty of Addicts
    • Da Way

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      Oct 23 2013: I think we are more forgiving towards teenagers and children in general because 1) their minds may not be mature enough yet for the self realisation you describe, and that may take time, so we're willing to give them more time. 2) they have more potential for change. Most adults minds are made up and are less easily swayed. Where as teens, if you support their growth and protect them just briefly from the manipulation, have endless potential.
      • Oct 24 2013: Forgive me....it takes two to tango...always. Judgement and comparison need not enter. If you were a child, a teenager, or an adult, and you did not know the extent to which you were actively being conditioned by everything in environment and the actors within that environment, would you wish to have the truth withheld from you? Would you wish to remain in dark ignorance?

        This is a matter of Awareness. Behavior emerges from awareness....or lack of awareness.
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    Oct 24 2013: Hi Moe .. nice to talk with you again. Nothing is either good or bad least you make it so. At this moment I am communicating an exchange of ideas on the internet and yet a child somewhere is using it to view porn or a person to making a threat or even bully.

    The responsibility is in the hands of the user. I concur that the media is no longer the instrument that it once was giving us facts to ponder and allowing us to arrive at our decision. Media is now the whore of the influential who wish to make decisions and policy for either power or money. Most of the public use technologies are TOMs Totally Obedient Machines and respond to the request made.

    We no longer provoke thought ... we teach the test and are only concerned that we arrive at "C" as the answer. There is little concern that we can apply it, explain it, or understand it ... because the answer is the goal. If we get rid of the 1% (wealthy americans) then all of our problems would go away ... millions believe this is the cure for the worlds problems because they were told it is true. I call them sheeple. Definitely followers.

    So in the final analysis it is not the technology .... its the people.

    I offer you the same advice as last time. Do your own thinking and research ... chose the right .... and live with honor and dignity.

    I wish you well. Bob.
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      Nov 5 2013: Impressive thoughts but I for one don't totally agree with your view. Generally speaking, the gullable public, as they always are, shall not be 100% blamed for increasing disgrace in human civilization or individual crimes which happen here and there across the world.
      Besides, no offence but I sensed a bit of escapism in your argument.

      Wish you well~
  • Oct 23 2013: Ofcourse media and marketing are manipulating minds but no more than preachers and politicians..
    technology hasnt changed the human condition, it has only provided a different and more effiecent channel to project our fear,hate, and desire..
    The real question is how do we solve the human condition, not whether we should suppress technology. Also technology has done a lot of good.. it all depends on how you look at things too, for example, you can say the internet provides easier access to information which is good and bad simultaneously. On one end we are being exposed to more ideas but on the other hand you can say there are mores fringe groups and bad information polluting the information we receive.
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    Oct 23 2013: The media manipulating minds?

    Is technology doing harm than it is doing good?

    Abuse of technology is choice to some and consequence to others.
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    Oct 25 2013: Hi, Moe. I think we all agree, more or less, about technology isn't bad or god by itself; it depends on the use we, humans, do of it.
    In my opinion, the debate is very well named, when you call it The Abuse..", I think what we must analyse and what we must argue about is just 'abuse' of technology.
    As technology is only a tool, first, we should define what we understand for 'abuse'. If we admit that we're speaking about an use exceeding the reasonable, healthy or whatever, abuse never should be admitted. Technology should be targeted to improve human life conditions anyway. And even more, in cases of abuse, could be possible to find some benefits? Let's think about certain cases of risk in using technology when the choosing is: all or nothing...
    Abuse for evil? Of course, must be rejected, just like worse and harmful behaviours. . . abuse for wellness? Lets' try, let's see and after, let's decide. :)
  • Oct 23 2013: New media and technology is always portrayed as evil tools of corruption by both conservatives of the close-minded variety, and those with stakes in the existing way things are run.
    The printing press, the original mass media technology, was at the time decried by scribes, some because they were afraid of progress, and others because they were afraid for their job. Then came along radio, which was besmirched by those with a printing press. It goes on and on.

    Technology doesn't abuse anything. People use technology to abuse other people. New technology may change the way the game is played, but not the motivations behind it.
    Note that this change can also be for the better; as Da Way mentioned bellow, its much harder to keep an autocracy up and running nowadays with mass communication technology available to the general public. The recent Arab Spring probably wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the internet and online social networks (the revolutions themselves may not have led to anything good, but that's another problem altogether).
  • Oct 23 2013: First of all,We are the ones making the decisions and choices,therefore,we are responsible for the results of this technology;negative or not.We are the ones making harm to ourselves as humanity.

    For example:In many cases,news stories and social networking really has an effect to us directly or indirectly.It changes the way we think,feel and speak about ourselves and others quickly.The bad thing about this is that we become gullible persons because of this.There are many things circulating around(through technology) that are not credible or true,yet,we believe it.

    It is about the right management of the global internet,limiting the access of teens or minors and false information from it.We need to somehow control things and have limitations by simply knowing to say NO.It is about the right usage of it,because technology was made to make life easier,not a way to harm and destroy us.The right ethics
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    Oct 28 2013: I think the media is trying to increase it's audience rating. As any company will to increase its income.
    They are indeed manipulating and hurting young people by showing the most horrible scenes and stories that attract viewers.
    One of the 'savest' ways for them is to call it The News..
  • Oct 26 2013: In the era (before the 18th century.) before the development of most modern technology, there were so much hidden abuse of children or domestic animals, (or even women) that weren't reported by the media. These abuses were almost all imposed upon the involuntary abused. The modern day abuse, at least voluntarily, BY THE MEDIA to the teenagers, etc. are due to their ignorance or addiction. Of course, this technological tool is not quite the culprit, because it is simply used by the human operation for profit. Do you indict the whips, paddles or knives as guilty for the crime for abuse?
    Similarly, the "dystopia" in Bradbury's book is really caused by the technocrats; i. e. the human control-maniacs.
  • Oct 25 2013: Its a reflection of the one who wields it. All knowledge is good to know.
  • Oct 25 2013: I like the question as it pushes one to place themselves in certain point of view of the issue. it depends who is contemplating the question of who gets the benefit and the adversity of technology over flow. if you are in cosmetic or beauty related industry, you cant ask for any thing better than the technology that intervenes in between your computer surfing the net by adds popping up to let you know about the latest waterproof eye lash products that the program has just learned that you might be interested, because you happen to be swimmer. on the other hand for an individual recepient of the technology over flow, the down fall is that by the very virtue of having things easier and in a more exotic ways, we tend to loose the sharp edge of ingenuity and tend to become slow and soft as we no longer tend to be in a state of need for things to survive in order to think on the front edge of inventions and discovery.
  • Oct 24 2013: I guess technology is bless for us if we use it in a proper way. Besides if we use it in a negative way it will be a curse.
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    Oct 24 2013: The more the power of technology grows, the more its control becomes one of an ethical, psychological and spiritual kind. Technology ups the ante, forcing humans to redefine what is important to them, forcing them to state clearly what is "non-negotiable" as regarding what it means to be a human being.
    In this sense, whether used in a humane or inhumane manner, technology is a gift to us humans to grow and evolve in consciousness, whilst at the same time solving a few practical problems to make life materially easier.
  • Oct 23 2013: The answers to your questions are best addressed by our imagination of what our lives will be and become without the component of technology. However if technology is our creative initiative, then we should also endeavour to rein on the excesses so as not to jeopardise our collective existence.
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    Oct 23 2013: Hello Moe,

    Here is a quote by Percy Redfern, written nearly 100 years ago in 1920, from his book "The Consumers' Place in Society" (section 12), in relation to the beginnings of the Co-operative movement which started in Manchester, U.K.

    "In our common everyday needs the great industries of the world take their rise. We — the mass of common men and women in all countries— also compose the world's market. To sell to us is the ultimate aim of the world's business. Hence it is ourselves as consumers who stand in a central relation to all the economics of the world, like a king in his kingdom. As producers we go each unto a particular factory, farm or mine, but as consumers we are set by nature thus to give leadership, aim and purpose to the whole economic world. That we are not kings, but serfs in the mass, is due to our failure to think and act together as consumers and so realise our true position and power".

    The power lies with us, individually and collectively, through our role in society as consumers. We can choose not to view media-stuff, and not to buy certain stuff. Business/media create markets, but they also follow new developing market trends. We can change things through how we use our buying power, and also by using the "off" button on various technologies we might own.

    Our minds are manipulated only when we are too lazy to think for ourselves, and thereby let others do our thinking for us.
  • Oct 23 2013: I learned about learned helplessness in psychology... and many people who complain about the media and wealthy are those who suffer from it. Technology is not the problem, technology can be the answer to a new age of longer and easier lives for all species in one way or another.
    It all lies in the motives of those who creates the technology and the one who uses the technology.
    We all know that the media gets paid to manipulate and fabricate any if not all stories they claim to be news, and we the people should be very much aware of that by now... We also should be very much aware of what certain people are doing with certain kinds of technologies and why... But the media and corrupted are not the problems, it's the people who do not agree with certain things, yet have a home full of their products. You don't agree with the media and their fabricated stories but you pay for newspapers, magazines, you watch them and go on their site, so you're still supporting them. You don't like big businesses and how they have no regard for human life and nature in their production and distribution processes or what they lobby for, yet you have a home full of their products and you work for the company or a partner company, you know all the stuff thats going into your food and medicines and vaccines, yet you still allow the healthcare industry and food industry to provide all those things for you and your family instead of growing your own... You circulate your money, time, energy, and labor in the right directions to keep such things alive... People allow themselves to be manipulated and addicted to things, and we refuse to help each other, we rather put each other down or watch each other on reality shows...
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    Oct 23 2013: Moe you have brought a very important current topic, Media is not the same today at least in India. They have become the tool of influencers to exploit the innocence and manipulate the mind set of People and citizens.

    Its a Shame to see Media Houses in India has become a source of earning money by either means.
    • Comment deleted

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        Oct 24 2013: Avinash Stop Worrying much and start doing your own research to come to conclusion. I have done the same.

        Please Contribute to the topic, rather than commenting on my views. If you are really interested in my Views, Please read all my comment Posted on TED various topic you will get the Idea.

        Thanks for partial agreement.
  • Oct 23 2013: Every coin has two sides. It is depend on use what the user want. It is no doubt that wrong side attract more than the right side. So teenagers attract more toward wrong side. it is the responsibility of parents or guardian to guide their child. Because every child think different ways.
    No doubt technology make human self-center. But Human will realize this point and try to overcome this problem. because necessity is mother of invention.
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    Oct 23 2013: As with so many things in life, technology is not bad. It always depends what you do with it.
    Take nuclear energy. With this technology you can destroy the whole planet if you use it in bombs but it can be (and is) also used to provide (relatively) clean energy.
  • Nov 22 2013: I've heard that very big corps. are putting people into CAT machines to learn how people react to products or commercials, (see neuroadvertising or neuromarketing). You've had buyer's remorse, right?
    Recently I saw an interesting vid of Derren Brown turning the tables on advertizers, getting a couple of young insiders to design him a advert, (which he had already designed & stowed-away), & led them with earlier subtle suggestions to the same "unique" design! Hats-off to Derren!
  • Nov 16 2013: In many cases the media is very agenda driven, it's very difficult to find a news outlet that's unbiased. It's quite sad actually. Technology can contribute to meaningful communication in many ways. The problem that exists is too many people don't take the time to exchange pleasant and effective thoughts through technological methods, i.e. twitter, facebook, website blogs. The harm that exists can be directly related to a particular individual that decides to share hurtful or negative communication. Sure, the media can have an impact, and should be more accountable and responsible for the messages they deliver. However, we as individuals are ultimately responsible for our own behavior. To blame others or the media is low-hanging fruit. We as people must have better values, be more responsible, and stop pointing the finger or looking to hang our own issues on things like the media. We are better than that.
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    Oct 23 2013: in 451, there is nothing like technology taking over anything
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      Oct 23 2013: then read it again or tl;dr? :o)
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      Oct 24 2013: Montag's wife, Mildred had floor-to-ceiling television and the little 'bees' in her ears (headphones); that's the 'future' technology in the book.
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        Oct 24 2013: they had gadgets, but those didn't control them. it was just a future version of the television, nothing else. those are not central to the story.

        the focus of the story is that people just don't care. they tolerate the most horrendous crimes as long as they themselves don't suffer, and they have comfort. promise people television, and promise them that you do away questions, responsibility, decisions, problems, doubts. promise that, and they will happily become vegetables, obedient plankton carelessly floating around in warm water.

        it is just a giant milgram experiment. will you watch tv while your government wages deadly war on "enemies" and detains/murders "trouble makers"? will you let them, just because they say "it is okay, it has been taken care of, it is not your problem"? what does it take for people to say no?
  • Oct 23 2013: Moe,

    Change the word Technology to Guns and think you would have the same arguments on both side.
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    Oct 23 2013:

    I believe the abuse of technology makes humankind self-extinction.