Transcending Tech – or, it was meant to be this easy

Computers and gadgets have come a long way. Gone are the days of 500 page manuals, and having to call your techie friend to help set things up. Just open the box, plug it in, and you’re on your way.

This is the way it’s meant to be. There was a time when cars were fickle and unreliable, and every guy had to learn his gaskets and gear belts as a rite of passage. No longer. Now it just works – most of the time.

Technology is meant to be the servant of man, not us spending hours and hours trying to figure out a simple feature. It’s there to help us, to make life easier, to save us effort and time.

And computers and the web have finally reached that mature point. That magic tv-zone. One button on, one button off, and it works. It’s taken a couple of decades, but it’s finally here.

We have transcended tech.

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5 Responses to “Transcending Tech – or, it was meant to be this easy”

  1. seekingfor Says:

    Very interesting thought.

    It seems like we have crossed a threshold. It appears that technology is constantly transcending itself. I wonder where our next learning curve will come from?

    Perhaps we can learn to transcend ourselves. Don’t worry I am not holding my breath on that one.

  2. SilverTiger Says:

    Technology has in many ways come of age. Many devices run continually without supervision, as you note. From using technology, we have come to rely on it.

    While this improves quality of life, it also brings dangers with it. No matter how sophisticated, machines are still designed by humans and humans are fallible. Bad design or bad quality control means breakdowns and breakdowns can even cost lives. (Think of recent mysterious helicopter crashes.)

    But we are on the threshold of an even graver step. There is a real possibility that we shall see control being handed over to machines. Once machines take charge of scheduling and operations, for example, we will have lost touch with what is going on. Instead of merely relying on the machine we will become dependent on it.

    In a small way this has already happened: in a number of cases, identity systems have applied the wrong identity to someone who has then had a very difficult job correcting the mistake. Humans very quickly adopt the “not my problem” attitude and become insensitive to claims that something is amiss. That, allied to the difficulty (even impossibility) of understanding what is happening within complex systems, let alone knowing how to redress it, poses very real risks.

    Is that the end of the line? No, I don’t think so. I think that in the not-too-distant future machines will be designed by machines, just as we already have computer programs that generate computer programs. We will then have lost control over all but the most trivial aspects of our lives.

    Email SilverTiger

  3. tobeme Says:

    In many ways you are correct, however in many ways technology is getting more complicated and in some ways less user friendly. Yes, the basic technology is one touch technology, however the number of advanced features continue to increase and become more and more complicated for the average person.
    This is why, things like Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” has become so popular.
    Technology is evolving in many ways faster than we can adapt.
    And then there is Micosofts latest OS, “Vista”, we will see how user freindly that is.
    Good article. BTW – Thanks for visiting my blog. I am looking forward to reading more of your writing.

  4. Kelly Says:

    I agree with tobeme. Among my circle of friends, there is a backlash. We are going back to our grandparents’ implements, back to intentional communities, back to our feet and bicycles, back to singing songs to one another instead of buying iPods.

    K

  5. gentiana Says:

    Amen to what you said!

    From the girl who just bought a DayRunner today and retired her Palm. *sigh*

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