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Can technology solve our big problems? Why couldn't it?

Why not document every technological advancement that has changed mankind for the better, and take note of the vast technological developments that have improved our way of life. Then assess where society would be now in 2014 without it.

  • Feb 27 2014: No,It couldn't solve the problem of conditional love. Can technology make Unconditional Love possible ?
    • Mar 6 2014: Maybe if we get to a point were technology has emotions? And starts to have unconditional love for its owner, like a dog or cat?
  • Feb 23 2014: Technology by itself cannot solve the human world's problems, only a new creative cooperative way of thinking can. In other words much can be done with technology but if it is not applied correctly, that is in an appropriate with long term thinking in mind, then it leads to a further degradation of life on the planet as of course has happened in the past. The pollution, destruction of habitat etc etc is a result of the use of technology when applied within a form of fragmented thinking.
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    Mar 3 2014: .
    No. it can't.
    It can't meet the ultra-high accuracy required by humans.
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    Mar 2 2014: Hello Alan,
    It depends on which interest groups develop which technologies and for what purposes.
    There is already a high enough level of tech know-how for everybody on the planet to have a dry warm house to live in, and to have enough to eat, and to have freedom to pursue a normal humane human life - but it's not happening yet.
    Technology merely amplifies the mind-set of those who develop it, so what we have got is an amplified version of the mind-set of the world's power-brokers. IE: scarcity, when there is actually no technological reason for it to be like that.
  • Feb 25 2014: Its already solved a lot of big problems actually.
    For example, infant mortality percentages aren't in the double digits like they were 200 years ago, and the average life expectancy more then doubled. We don't have Polio anymore. You can cross the Atlantic without rotting 6 weeks at sea. Its a very long list, so I'll just stop now.

    Future technology might solve some of today's problems, like today's technology solved some of the past's problems. Just keep your expectations realistic.
  • Feb 25 2014: Alan

    "It is not that I believe scientists will save us, it is that I believe non-scientists can not save us." Carl Sagan to Johnny Carson in discussion on ozone depletion. How I miss Sagan.

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    Feb 24 2014: Technology has given us incredible advancements in medicine and energy to name a few. Technology has also created problems that are not easily solved. The debate over stem cell research is an example. Our ability to deal with the moral, ethical and political issues caused by technology will be a key.
  • Feb 23 2014: I think it can - because we can use it to fix the 'money game' we've created for ourselves that is self destructive. Use it to remove the impediments preventing us from implementing things like direct democracy, provide a high abundance of quality goods for everybody, etc. The reason we don't today is because our economic system doesn't sustain when you add automation (people loose jobs from it). I have a solution, if anyone would listen...
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    Feb 22 2014: Greetings Alan! I'm curious to what parameters you would put around "changed mankind for the better". On a social level I believe technology has hurt us. We're less face to face with each other as we think a text or something else would suffice and yes this is a big problem. On an economic level, a lot of people have been displaced/replaced by technology. The biggest problem I see is energy. Who truly knows how much oil we have left, but there are a lot of emerging economies/markets. The way a lot of societies are set up, if oil goes so will people. If technology could make society (energy,food,etc.) self-sustainable/renewable, then it could solve a bunch of big problems. There is a lot of documentaion on technological advancement (think timelines). I like Jason's talk specifically when he mentions about how after all these years all we've got is Facebook. I'd have to agree with him.
    • Feb 24 2014: C. Dennis: You might be pleased to know that the energy problem has been solved, on a technical level. An alternative form of nuclear fission engine, invented and demonstrated during the Cold War to power aircraft, is powered by Thorium fission rather than Uranium. It avoids all the scary aspects of Uranium (Fukushima) type plants. The Thorium Liquid Fueled Reactor (LFTR) does not have any fuel rods, water, steam, hydrogen explosions or unmanageable quantities of longlived radioactive waste. In cases of damage, ,or accident it automatically shuts down . freezing any radioactive elements in place, without any intervention, or power requirements to do that. It does not produce usable nuclear bombs, which is why it has not been developed during the last 40 years or so.