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Humanity Vs Technology - A "Quote-Unquote" Debate #edcmooc


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This is my digital artefact submission for the E-Learning & Digital Cultures MOOC (EDCMOOC 3 : Nov-Dec14). The quotes I have used in the presentation bring out beautifully the debate on technology vs humanity and utopia vs dystopia - a debate that is as old as recorded history itself.

as mankind has evolved, so has technology. From the day and age of the wheel to the age of space travel, we certainly have come a long way. Yet, the viewpoints on technology differ. The dystopian view would be that technology tends to make slaves of us humans, rather than being masters of the technology created by us. The opposite view would perhaps be that we owe our very progress and existence to technology. Are either of the views wrong ?

Not in my view. Both are equally valid. Too much of a good thing can be bad. But then, when we speak of humanity falling prey to technology, we really cannot generalise. In my view, technology is there to make life simpler and more advanced. It all depends on how we use it. Becoming a slave to technology is also a choice, as is using it judiciously. That's my view, and you, the reader, are welcome to yours. Neither of us would be wrong. The debates on Humanity vs technology have always been there and will continue to rage long after you and I are gone.

These quotes, however, bring out the essence of the debate, and I will let the slides speak for themselves.

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Humanity Vs Technology - A "Quote-Unquote" Debate #edcmooc

  2. 2. Utopian vs Dystopian Humanity vs Technology A “Quote-Unquote” Debate
  3. 3. A Presentation By Rajiv Bajaj
  4. 4. Dystopian Views
  5. 5. “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein
  6. 6. “Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.” Jean Arp
  7. 7. “Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy.” Pope Paul VI
  8. 8. “Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” - Mitchell Kapor
  9. 9. “The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” B. F. Skinner
  10. 10. “The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.” - Andrew Brown
  11. 11. “Men have become the tools of their tools.” Henry David Thoreau
  12. 12. “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”- R. Buckminster Fuller
  13. 13. “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” Aldous Huxley
  14. 14. “If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.” - Omar N. Bradley
  15. 15. “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.” John F. Kennedy
  16. 16. “The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.” - Edward R. Murrow
  17. 17. “The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.” E. F. Schumacher
  18. 18. “The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  19. 19. “It's impossible to move, to live, to operate at any level without leaving traces, bits, seemingly meaningless fragments of personal information.” William Gibson
  20. 20. “A satellite has no conscience.” Edward R. Murrow
  21. 21. “What troubles me is the Internet and the electronic technology revolution. Shyness is fueled in part by so many people spending huge amounts of time alone, isolated on e-mail, in chat rooms, which reduces their face-to-face contact with other people.” Philip Zimbardo
  22. 22. “We are in an age of technology where we sit in our little cubicles and we IM each other and Skype each other and never connect as human beings.” Sarah McLachlan
  23. 23. “Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” Steven Spielberg
  24. 24. “We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” Carl Sagan
  25. 25. “We already have - thanks to technology, development, skills, the efficiency of our work - enough resources to satisfy all human needs. But we don't have enough resources, and we are unlikely ever to have, to satisfy human greed.” Zygmunt Bauman
  26. 26. “If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology.” Bruce Schneier
  27. 27. “We're in a new world. We're in a world in which the possibility of terrorism, married up with technology, could make us very, very sorry that we didn't act.” Condoleezza Rice
  28. 28. “Technology is, of course, a double edged sword. Fire can cook our food but also burn.” Jason Silva
  29. 29. Utopian Views
  30. 30. “Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.” - Steve Jobs
  31. 31. “I have an almost religious zeal... not for technology per se, but for the Internet which is for me, the nervous system of mother Earth, which I see as a living creature, linking up.” - Dan Millman
  32. 32. “The number one benefit of information technology is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It lets people be creative. It lets people be productive. It lets people learn things they didn't think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.” Steve Ballmer
  33. 33. “What new technology does is create new opportunities to do a job that customers want done.” - Tim O'Reilly
  34. 34. “The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel.” John Glenn
  35. 35. “There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future.” Mark Zuckerberg
  36. 36. “We humans have a love-hate relationship with our technology. We love each new advance and we hate how fast our world is changing... The robots really embody that love-hate relationship we have with technology.” Daniel H. Wilson
  37. 37. “In education, technology can be a life-changer, a game changer, for kids who are both in school and out of school. Technology can bring textbooks to life. The Internet can connect students to their peers in other parts of the world. It can bridge the quality gaps.” Queen Rania of Jordan
  38. 38. “Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.” Jacques Ellul
  39. 39. “There are no morals about technology at all. Technology expands our ways of thinking about things, expands our ways of doing things. If we're bad people we use technology for bad purposes and if we're good people we use it for good purposes.” Herbert Simon
  40. 40. “Good, bad or indifferent, if you are not investing in new technology, you are going to be left behind.” Philip Green
  41. 41. “Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.” - Alfred North Whitehead
  42. 42. “Stone Age. Bronze Age. Iron Age. We define entire epics of humanity by the technology they use.” Reed Hastings
  43. 43. “Our technology, our machines, is part of our humanity. We created them to extend ourselves, and that is what is unique about human beings.” Ray Kurzweil
  44. 44. “There's no question that as science, knowledge and technology advance, that we will attempt to do more significant things. And there's no question that we will always have to temper those things with ethics.” Benjamin Carson
  45. 45. “If you look at the various strategies available for dealing with a new technology, sticking your head in the sand is not the most plausible strategy.” Ralph Merkle
  46. 46. “Everyone seems to think that digital technology devoids the medium of content, but that is not true at all. If anything, it broadens the content.” George Lucas
  47. 47. “People use technology only to mean digital technology. Technology is actually everything we make.” - Margaret Atwood
  48. 48. “All art is dependent on technology because it's a human endeavour, so even when you're using charcoal on a wall or designed the proscenium arch, that's technology.” - George Lucas
  49. 49. “I really believe that we don't have to make a trade-off between security and privacy. I think technology gives us the ability to have both.” John Poindexter
  50. 50. “Sharing is good, and with digital technology, sharing is easy.” - Richard Stallman
  51. 51. “Like all technology, social media is neutral but is best put to work in the service of building a better world.” - Simon Mainwaring
  52. 52. “Everybody has to be able to participate in a future that they want to live for. That's what technology can do.” - Dean Kamen
  53. 53. “You have to learn how to harness technology so you can use it for positive stuff without being disconnected from nature.” Talib Kweli
  54. 54. And My Take On This Debate ? Best summed up in words of Steve Martin…
  55. 55. “I love technology, and I love science. It's just always all in the way you use it. You can't really blame anything on the technology. It's just the way people use it, and it always has been.” Steve Martin
  56. 56. And The Debate Goes On....
  57. 57. Acknowledgements Brainy Quotes – Image Sources: Morgue File – Google Images Wikimedia Commons Images Audio: Path To Follow by Jingle Punks (From YouTube Free Library, Shared under creative commons license) Presentation for non-commercial, educational purpose only. No copyright infringements intended. All rights of the images used are vested with their respective owners.