Meighan Dober: Manifesto

We should realize that technological advancement is inevitable, and therefore we should use it to its utmost advantages to improve human life.

Once we have come to the realization the technological advancement is inevitable, it is important to embrace it and use it for all the advantages it has to offer. Technological advancement can improve functions of human life and make our lives much easier. We may be able to perform certain tasks quicker, therefore saving money. Additionally, we can receive information faster and be in contact with people at all times. Our learning can become personalized allowing everyone to receive the best education available to them. Having this principle in place will allow everyone in our society to benefit from whatever new technologies are available to them. I think that this principle would be accepted by the majority of society. Of course, people can choose whether or not to use these different technologies. But that point is that they will have a choice—various technologies will not be ‘off limits’ because someone deemed it to be. These advancements have the potential to not only make our lives easier, but perhaps longer as well. If this principle is accepted and we as a society choose to embrace these advancements, it may accelerate the rate at which new innovations are made. Throughout history, we have seen the positive effects that technology has had on society. We should continue to learn from that and be open to whatever positive changes future technology can make as well. If people do not accept technology, there will be no reason to encourage future advancement. This principle is fundamental for creating a society where humans and technology coexist.

Juliet, J. "Benefits of Technology." Benefits of Everything that Matters. N.p.,
5 Sept. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://benefitof.net/
benefits-of-technology/>.

Because technological advancement is inevitable, we should have strict guidelines that make human safety the number one priority.

All aspects of technological advancement are inevitable. This includes advancements that may involve humans (i.e., medicine, replacement limbs, etc.). I think that having a principle (for example, something similar to the proactionary principle) in place the protects people from these advancements is nonnegotiable. As these advancements progress, people may be recruited to test the new technology out. They may be rewarded in financial gains or some other type of compensation. This can get very dangerous on many levels. First off, those who are unemployed may choose to volunteer themselves as a source of income. Secondly, if there is no principle in place to monitor this type of testing, side effects that are unknown can be detrimental to both individuals and society as a whole. If people are only concerned with compensation of whatever kind, they may not be thinking clearly as to what effects this testing may have on their lives. There are already guidelines in place that protect people from being ‘guinea pigs.’ However, as technology becomes more and more advanced, it is important that these guidelines become stricter and stricter. Human safety should always be the top priority—even above technological advancement. I know that people will argue that they should have the ability to do whatever they wish to their bodies, but I believe that strict regulation is absolutely needed in these situations. People may have a hard time accepting this principle at the beginning, but in the long run, it will help to keep individuals and society safe.

"The Proactionary Principle." Extropy Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
<http://www.extropy.org/proactionaryprinciple.htm>.

We should tailor our educational policies to ensure future generations can properly use new technology and benefit from the advantages of networked knowledge.

Currently, new technologies are changing that way that teachers teach and the way students learn new techniques and gain knowledge. Classrooms are changing all over the country to incorporate these advancements so that their students benefit from all these advantages this new technology has to offer. I think this will be a trend as technology continues to advance in future generations. Education policies will have to continually change to keep up to date with the technology. This is important because if students do not know how to properly use the technology that is available to them, then it seems pointless. We are switching to a society that values networked knowledge. We can turn to the internet and become experts in a variety of fields in a matter of minutes. This is something that can be extremely beneficial to people of all ages if they know how to access the information. I predict that having a policy in place that will monitor the educational practices to make sure that they are in line with technological advancements will be welcomed by society. This brings into question that problem of education inequity—we would have to ensure that all children are getting the same benefits from educational reforms. Also, we would have to be prepared for whatever repercussions these reforms may have. For example, four-year colleges may not be necessary. However, as our world becomes more technologically savvy, it is imperative that our society is equipped with the knowledge to use these technologies. Otherwise, advancement is pointless.

Lytle, Ryan. "Study: Emerging Technology Has Positive Impact in Classroom."
US News Education. U.S.News & World Report LP, 14 Jan. 2011. Web. 16
Apr. 2013. <http://www.usnews.com/education/high-schools/articles/2011/
07/14/study-emerging-technology-has-positive-impact-in-classroom>.

As technology becomes more advanced, we should always value human rights above any ‘rights’ that a machine may have.

As technology has advanced even in our lifetime, it is easy to see that these advancements are starting to take on more human qualities. Not only do they look like humans, but the sound like us and also make decisions like we do. I am sure that as these technologies continue to progress, they will only come to resemble humans on a much larger scale. Currently, there is already an ongoing debate arguing whether or not robots (or any technology with human tendencies) have rights. Similarly, there is an argument whether or not technologies should take the blame over different things. For example, should a GPS be blamed for an accident if it gives faulty directions? This debate will only become larger as technology continues to advance. If it ever gets to the point where technology does have certain rights, I think it is important to adopt a principle that keeps these rights forever subordinate to human rights. The world of technology and humans is quickly merging. Protecting human rights has never been as important as it is now. I think that a principle like this would be adopted quickly by society. I am not saying that laws protecting machines cannot exist. I just believe that human safety should be a top priority. It is important for this principle to be adopted earlier than later. It would be much harder to enforce if it is adopted after an incident that calls into questions human and machine rights. Entering this new generation where humans and technology are completely merged with law protecting humans will only make the transition an easier one.

Roth, Daniel. "Do Humanlike Machines Deserve Human Rights?" Wired. N.p., 19 Jan.
2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.wired.com/culture/culturereviews/
magazine/17-02/st_essay>.

We should monitor the growth of technology so that is does not completely replace all demand for human interaction and activity.

It is a known fact that as technology has progressed, it has made people constantly connected. This means that most people can always be checking their email, social media sites, texts, the news, etc. People are in more of a relationship with their computers or smart phones compared to people sitting three feet away from them. I think it is important to make sure that technology does not completely erase the need for human interaction. It is important to make sure we, and future generations, are socialized so that they can function without technology. I know it can be argued that we may need to redefine socialization. Children can be socialized so that they thrive in the online community. But I think that makes us weaker in some way—if we cannot form relationships outside of technology, then we are completely dependent on this technology which can be dangerous. As technology progresses, I think it is safe to assume that people will become more and more ingrained in it—at the cost of personal relationships. If society accepted this principle, it does not mean that innovation must be halted to ensure people continue to interact with one another. Rather, I think that school and community interaction just becomes more important. We are stronger collectively than individually. I think that by adopting this principle, our society can be strengthened. Yes, we can individually master the different technological innovations. But we need to be able to come together to continue to improve these different advancements.

Cafferty, Jack. "Technology Replacing Personal Interactions at What Cost?"
CNN. N.p., 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
<http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/03/
technology-replacing-personal-interactions-at-what-cost/>.

We should make certain that all new innovations will not further damage the environment.

As technological innovations become more and more advanced, I think it is extremely important to look at the implications that they may have on the environment. Technology is an expansion of ourselves, and hopefully, is created to improve some function of human life. As technology progresses, hopefully it will become more sophisticated as well (meaning that we will move beyond methods of innovation that cripple the environment). If we continue to use technologies that deplete the earth’s recourses or use recourses that further poison the earth, the human race (the creators) will be suffering. I think this is an important principle because I think as technology progresses, human wellbeing needs to be a top priority. This can be expanded to incorporate our environment to ensure our survival as a species. If society chose to adopt this principle, it may not be received well because it may put limitations on the types of advances that can be made. However, in the long run, it will benefit the human race. Ultimately, if an advancement is limited based on this principle, I have no doubt that the advancement will still be made. Rather, it just may take a little more time as innovators find alternate methods. Overall, there is no question that new technologies will somehow affect the environment. I think that with these new innovations, the health of the environment (and by extension that wellbeing of the human race) is easy to overlook. Having this principle in place will make the environment a top priority—something that every single person will benefit from.

Paulus, Zar. "The Necessity and Inevitability of Technological Advancement."
Ideas of an Aspergarian Futurist. N.p., 24 Aug. 2008. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
<http://aspieplus.blogspot.com/2008/08/
necessity-and-inevitability-of.html>.