Sometimes, a simple quote can have a meaning so deep it can promote philosophical debates. With technology an integral part of our lives, it is no surprise that some of the greatest minds in history have had their say on it. Here are 4 wonderfully accurate quotes that sum up humanity’s relationship with technology.
“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” – Douglas Adams
Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has its fair share of quotes that are quirky, yet amazingly enlightening. In the Salmon of Doubt, released a year after Douglas Adams passed away, the legendary author provides a gem of a quote that pretty much sums up the feelings of anyone who has had to struggle with a piece of technology. We buy gadgets in the hope that they will make our lives simpler. However, the results don’t always match up to our expectations. Not only are we unable to get the gadgets to function properly, we actually end up wasting a ton of time trying to get them to work.
“Technology can do little for people who have nothing to say.” – Eric Auchard
Mankind has always assumed that technology has the answers to all of our problems. And you know what? It probably does. The real question is if humans can harness the power of technology and put it to good use. Reuters columnist Eric Auchard inadvertently asks a much greater philosophical question when addressing the manner in which blog publishers are taking over the spotlight on the Internet, even though they don’t have much to say. Just because we have the technology does not mean we know what to do with it or how to get the most out of it.
“Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and stabs you in the back with the other.” – C.P. Snow
C.P. Snow was more than just a sci-fi novelist. As a scientist himself, C.P. Snow identified the intellectual chasm that separated humanities from the scientific community. In an interview for The New York Times in 1971, he discussed why such a chasm was inevitable. It mostly came down to the duality of science and technology; a duality that we still have to deal with in the present day. Technology is undoubtedly a double-edged sword. In the hands of men, technology is responsible for all the progress we make, as well as all the atrocities we commit.
“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” – Carl Sagan
There is actually a generation of kids out there who will never know what it is like to grow up without a mobile phone. Indeed, it would be impossible for them to imagine a time when everybody did not own a smartphone. Yet, how many of these kids will ever learn how a smartphone works? Humans have been on this planet for centuries, yet so few of us take an active interest in learning about Earth, the solar system, the Milky way or the Universe. Carl Sagan is one of the most renowned and respected scientists that ever lived and strove to promote scientific education. One cannot deny that Sagan was correct when he highlighted the lack of knowledge about technology in a world that is surrounded by it and depends on it.
These 4 fabulous quotes encompass everything that is good and bad in the modern human-scientific relationship.
This is a guest post by Patrick Armstrong. He is a poet by profession and likes to share inspiring quotes by well known authors and industry leaders through his articles.