Matt Gilbert | Manifesto

1.

Everyone ought to limit his/her dependency on cellular devices. This statement is rather self-explanatory, but people are becoming so dependent of mobile devices, that it is becoming nothing more than an extended body part really. At all times of the day now, we see individuals using cell phones for various “dumb” reasons. Texting and driving is on the rise despite new laws; yet we still continue to do it. Avoiding awkward situations has now become rather simple; pull out the cell phone and act like you’re checking your email, texting someone, browsing social media, etc. etc. I have adopted this statement for a number of reasons. I discussed many of these problems in the essay that I wrote earlier in the semester. For one, I look at myself and how I have become dependent on my cell phone. There have been times where I have forgotten my cell phone either in my vehicle or at home. Feelings of nervousness and anxiousness begin to flood my senses. But I’ll bet this wasn’t always the case. When the cell phone was first introduced, people viewed it more as a “technological toy.” It was nothing that was depended upon. But as technology has evolved, the cellular phone has given us so much more. We feel as though we need as much human interaction as we can get, and the cell phones gives us such things as social media and simple text messages from friends. Unfortunately, society as a whole will be unable to fully limit the dependency on cellular devices; it is virtually impossible as it is too late for most of us. But the few individuals who decide to make a change, may bring this topic to light; it could make for one less texting-while-driving fatality or even make a person stronger. I implore readers to consider this topic for the collective manifesto. It will put the intended use for the cellular phone in perspective, and it will create intriguing discussions.

Source: What Technology Wants – Kevin Kelly

2.

Is the act of handwriting becoming extinct? If so, we should not let that happen. In an era where new technology is thriving, it is easy to be fascinated by the evolution of technology as a whole. There are many new technologies that are far more advanced and generally better than the previous technologies as a whole. However, I do believe that there are some old “technologies” that need to be saved, and handwriting is one of them. Why? Joanne Chen, author of the article “Is Handwriting Becoming Extinct?”, says that preliminary evidence suggests that writing with a keyboard doesn’t engage your brain the way writing with pen and paper does; it’s more detached and abstract. And I agree with her. In my personal experiences, I have found that I receive a better grade on a paper or written project if I handwrite my drafts. Of course, sometimes I get lazy, and I know that I can type faster than I can write. As a result, my grade is usually not as strong. I was a bit shocked and worried that there is even a possibility of handwriting becoming extinct. By not allowing this tool to go to waste, society can continue to thrive. As technology continues to advance, humans will be forced to think more creatively and intuitively than ever before. Wouldn’t the extinction of handwriting be a disservice to the human brain and our future generations? The fact that this is even a relevant topic, shows the progression of technology. That alone should grab the interest of the reader and be included in the manifesto itself.

Source: "Is Handwriting Becoming Extinct" - article by Author Joanne Chen

3.

We should begin to respect the power of the Internet. Because the Internet is still relatively new, many of us fail to give it the respect that it needs. In fact, the Internet in many ways is controlling most of us, and we don’t even realize the phenomenon. Evgeny Morozov discusses this in his novel “To Save Everything, Click Here.” He talks about how we will soon be able to take online classes from the most prestigious universities and use the Internet to track down criminals and predict and prevent future outrages. What Morozov warns us about, is not that the Internet doesn’t work in these instances, but rather that it works too well. I can’t imagine a student learning sufficiently without human interaction (between student and professor). Also, there have been more cases of criminals being wrongly accused due to false data from the Internet. But this is not the Internet’s fault; it is ours. Most Internet users still underestimate the power of the Internet. If we give it the respect that it deserves, we will understand how to use it properly. There are times when we need the Internet to solve certain problems; there are times when using the Internet to solve our problems are not ideal. The Internet and technology that surrounds it will never attain perfection. It will continue to evolve and become larger than we could ever imagine today. In the technological world in which we live in today, the power of the Internet must be recognized. This is the first step.

Source: To Save Everything, Click Here - Evgeny Morozov

4.

We ought to discontinue our predictions about social media. Technology changes and evolves so rapidly, that a technological breakthrough may become outdated in a matter of days, hours, even seconds. Many individuals are quick to judge and predict the future of technology. Although we may feel as though we have an idea for the future of technology, there will be advances made that will be simply mind-blowing. This is where social media comes in, as it is a popular topic. We all remember MySpace. It failed miserably, as it was unable to compete with its relatively new rival, Facebook. And then Facebook was the “new thing.” It was an opportunity to connect with friends (and some people you barely knew) and update everyone on your status. As we fast-forward to today, Facebook is nothing more than a giant, intertwined advertisement (at least that is my opinion). I remember a time where I was completely “lame”, for lack of a better term, and felt like I could not go more than an hour without Facebook; now I can’t wait to delete it after graduation. Will Facebook suffer the same fate as MySpace? I would say it’s very likely. Even Twitter is showing some early signs of dying sometime in the future. The problem with our society is that we tend to become obsessed with the new popular fad. But we then become bored and lose interest, that once “new fad” becomes old, unpopular and eventually extinct. So before we believe that it is here to stay, we must take social media one day at a time. Why is this a serious topic? Well, because we are beginning to see a trend. Social media is here to stay, but in 200 years, which one will have had the most success? Only time will tell.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/30/how-myspace-fell-apart_n_887853.html

5.

We should continue to improve upon hydrogen fuel cell usage as an alternative to gasoline. Hydrogen fuel cell usage has been acclaimed as a pollution-free alternative to using fossil fuels. They make water by combining hydrogen and oxygen. In this particular process, the combination generates electricity. The problem with fuel cells is obtaining the hydrogen. Such molecules as water and alcohol have to be processed to extract hydrogen and feed it into the fuel cell. Many of these processes require the usage of other energy sources, which obviously defeats the advantages of this "clean" fuel. Most recently, scientists have developed ways to power laptops and small devices with fuel cells, and some car companies are claiming that we'll be seeing cars that emit nothing but clean water in the very near future. The promise of a "hydrogen economy," however, is not one that all experts agree will ever be realized. That is why we should push harder; this could spark a major, positive change in the relationship between the environment and the technological world. If we were to have hydrogen-powered vehicles through fuel cells, it would lead to nothing but advantages. For one, the world would become a cleaner place. Secondly, the cost would decrease significantly, putting more money into our pockets. Since the environment is a major topic in world affairs, it is very appropriate to include this in the collective manifesto. We can use the evolution of technology to have a positive impact on the environment, and we should take advantage of that.

Source: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/hybrid-technology/hydrogen-cars.htm

6.

From a technological perspective, we ought to be more observant of the world around us and realize that the world does not revolve around ourselves. Many of us have a daily routine; we wake up, take a shower, make a cup of coffee, go to class/work, etc. etc. In the midst of this, we often concentrate solely on ourselves. In society today, you can hardly walk down the sidewalk (whether it be New York City or a college campus) without bumping into someone checking his/her phone. And many of us have been guilty of doing this, including myself. We are stuck in our own little technological world, where WE are the center of attention, and the world revolves around US. So why do I care so much about this topic, and why should we all care? Because I felt like I was becoming more self-centered, and I began to forget about the other people in the world. It’s amazing how different the environment is when you look up from your technological devices every now and then. You begin to appreciate the world in a way that you didn’t know existed. Colors and objects begin to expose themselves, and you really get an opportunity to observe others. Imagine if society was able to just take one day and give up cell phones and iPods or anything of the sort. While this is not the most challenging problem that the world faces, I do believe that we would obtain a new sense of self if we were able to put the devices down for a little. In a world where technology controls us, let’s step aside for just a bit and observe what we’ve been missing all along.

Also, a friend of mine shared this video. It goes along with this nicely.

Here is the link: http://www.upworthy.com/the-earth-shatteringly-amazing-speech-that-ll-change-the-way-you-think-about-adulthood-4?g=2

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/03/tech/smartphone-zombie-apocalypse-comments/