Eric Kambach - Manifesto

1. "Digital technology should be used as a tool for man."

This is an obvious proclamation that satisfies all users. People have grown accustomed to the use of technology everywhere for all purposes: work, communication, medicine, research and entertainment. This has been partly due to the corporations, businesses and governments forcing workers and officials to adapt and learn to use these technologies as they’ve evolved over the past few decades and have had favorable results with productivity, health, finances, security, and the quick access to information. If technology were to be “discontinued” or completely taken out of the equation, man would fall to a type of “primitive” status not because of a lack of remedies for digital technology, but because man will have forgotten how to cope without it. In a way, humans of dug themselves into a large hole with each technological development, deep enough to find it difficult to climb back out if something were to go wrong, because they’ve become heavily reliant on technology solving every problem they run into. If anything, speculative literature and cinema depict specific scenarios of how deep man could fall if they don’t pace themselves in the research and development of technology.

2. "Technology should be used for beneficial study, especially medical, historical and other scientific research, so the full potential of nature and human development can be explored."

Another fairly clear and favorable statement. With the evolution of technology, there have been tremendous strides in medicine and new discoveries in man and earth’s history, and we are able to maintain history through different conservation methods. These developments have also made it possible to accurately predict future events and conditions, such as weather and environmental changes, conditions and changes in astronomy and extraterrestrial elements and even bodily deterioration like strokes, heart attacks and different hereditary ailments. This also means that humans have the right to protect and preserve life by conducting research towards treatments and cures for different diseases.

3. "Technology should be limited to external devices whenever possible. It should never be combined with an organism."
—Technology may be implanted in a living organism for health and medical purposes, such as limb and organ replacement and treatment.

This is more complicated in its easiness and implications. In a society that is constantly emphasizing the perfection of appearance in a world where the technological options increase in number every year, and certain ethics are constantly reviewed when differentiating between medical or social necessity and retail consuming. An example would be different bodily augmentations, like breast enhancements and collagen and Botox injections, and most other operations and procedures designed towards enhancing appearances based on popular social opinions and norms. Technology should only be used for medical purposes to repair or remedy a physical handicap of some sort, including the replacement of limbs and organs with articial limbs and organs. In short, technology in medicine should only be used for the preservation of health and life.

4. "Technology should not replace humans in the workplace, nor shall it be used to replace human identity."

This is a big issue now, especially with digital technology, and can be seen in E.M. Forester’s short story, The Machine Stops. This story depicts a future where mankind lives beneath the earth’s surface. Underground, humankind relies heavily on a worldwide machine that is designed to patrol and supply all the necessary means to preserve social productivity and life. This is done by placing each human in their own individual space, secluded from all other humans save for a digital computer screen, where they are able to not only communicate, but interact in different social activities, such as classes and lectures, readings, film and others. Today, with the poor status of the economy not improving much, people and businesses have been trying to find cheaper alternatives to their daily lives and operations, from moving businesses to foreign locations where labor is cheap, to digitizing documents and articles in order to save money on ink and paper. If there comes a technical alternative to a human job, the living worker has every right to argue and fight for his job just as he would fighting against a rival employee for a promotion.

5. "Technology should not be used as a remedy to prolonging life beyond life’s capacity."

This has been an issue in ethics for years and has been argued and debated over by politicians, socialists, religious figures and citizens without any real conclusions. When can it be determined life should end? There’s still the natural death, but there are scenarios dealing with terminal illness, being in a vegetive state, quality of life and the right to live or die. Medical practices and families have pretty much gotten it right when faced with these worst case scenarios in preserving or ending life. But should these be abused? Or rather, should the option to decide whether to die upon a turn for the worse or to live forever be given? I am considering Ray Kurzweil’s implied fear of death, and the options there are to live forever, i.e. cryogenic freezing or cloning. Cloning is always an interesting topic for its potential to learn about things or bring back individuals that no longer exist naturally, but is always approached with the ethical and theological question of the soul. But to cryogenically preserve an individual who is unwilling to move on from this life for whatever reason? In my opinion, that’s too much.

6. "Technological advancement and potential must be thoroughly experimented and researched before it is made available."

The problem with people is that they’re too eager to grasp the next best thing. Humans are greedy by nature, ignorant by association and stupid by default, but we are still able to learn and survive without too much difficulty. Fortunately, in most cases, man takes pride and care when working with new ideas in technological development, taking time to experiment and study before making difficult yet educated choices. But there are still issues even with these meticulous studies, primarily because of man’s lack of patience. For instance, stem research with human embryos is another ethical issue that is dire and complex in the medical world. The hopes are that these stem cells will lead to the cures of traumatic diseases, including Parkinson’s. But treatments employing these stem cells have been a series of tragedies because scientists have not figured how to completely manipulate them to work towards their desired purpose, and the successful outcomes have only been temporary before turning to disasters. Other scientists have used stem cells from mere human tissue with great success in curing certain diseases, and work is being done to manipulate these cells to do the work that embryonic stem cells are suppose to be potential for. These developments happen over time, and technology should be the same.