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technological advancement


									In the past, technological advancement was generally held to be
synonymous with progress, and progress to be synonymous with absolute
good. People thought of technology as a solution to problems, not a
creator of them. As we took each step forward, technologically speaking,
we assumed that we were leaving old difficulties behind and advancing
into a new and more pleasant future. This was only partially true. For us
technological advancement did solve old problems, it also created new
ones. These problems are of various types, each having different
implications and requiring different degrees of human decision.

¡¡¡¡One set of problems can be readily identified by looking around.
These problems concern the "pollution" of our environment by technology
as a result of sudden upsets and imbalances in the physical, economic and
social equilibrium. The most obvious aspects of these are the general
pollution of our physical environment and the destruction of
irreplaceable natural resources.Not so obvious as these, but just as
painfully significant to some, are the effacement and displacement of
jobs which over night often create large groups of jobless citizens.Can
technology be used to undo what it has done, replace what it has
destroyed or substitute what it has caused to disappear? No one knows.
Many of us wonder whether all of the sources of pollution have yet been
identified, whether they are being arrested and whether they will be
prevented from recurring. ×Ö´®5

¡¡¡¡Another set of problems relate to what technological advancement has
done to the quality of life. An improved life has not been,
unfortunately, either the goal or the chief beneficiary of technological
change. Too much has happened too fast. In contrast, in the past, things
changed slowly enough to accommodate gradual change. People could be
aware of it and adjusted to it, and perhaps they could even change it. In
the modern world, we must make rapid decisions today, or tomorrow wemay
find a whole new world built up.Presumably the most significant and
potentially explosive issues, however, are those related to methods of
human manipulation and control. There is also the new horizon of genetic
analysis, manipulation and correction. And there is now the possibility
of creating a living substance and decoding and generating a complete
organism from the information found within a cell.This is no longer a
daydream. Some consider these possibilities visions, others nightmares.
¡¡¡¡It is true that incredible powers are now within our hands,or at
least within our reach, and the question no longer is "Can we do it?" but
"How soon can we do it?" Our lives have been and are being changed
drastically. The point is to take control of technology or to be driven
by it

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