Ryan Molitor - Manifesto

We should not let technology ruin our socialization or the socialization of or that of our descendants.

Technology has noticeably made human beings fear human beings. Many of today’s youth can be seen as much different from their parents in terms of socialization. According to Inside Sociology (Hughes and Kroehler) Our socialization is transmitted by family, school, friends, working, and even consuming products; however, it seems today that many of these social resources are being depleted as we can use technology for just about everything.

As we head into the future we begin to rely on the sanctity of our own home. From here we have a computer, which we can communicate with friends via SMS and never have to leave home. This is a problem when it comes to making new friends, or even knowing how to appropriately conduct ourselves in a public setting. Even more, we do not have to purchase pretty much anything directly from a store. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I bought a pair of shoes that wasn’t from Zappos.com, it’s all too simple and convenient.

Even schools are beginning to put more and more classes online. School is probably the most important medium of socialization outside the family, and even our family members are able to work from home on, you guess it, the Internet. If we are ever to maintain a social society we must remember how to do things for ourselves. We cannot simply rely on machines for the remainder of human existence.

We ought to further technology that really matters.

By this I mean medicine, or that which can prevent crime, or even that which can simply improve the overall health of a human being. That I can fit all my books, music, pictures, and even all of my information on a single device is not really necessary, only convenient. Sure, it makes things much easier to pay my bills online and keep up-to-date on important subjects, but I can do without it. I can do without pretty much all of it.

It’s when we look at how there are still a massive number of health problems all over the U.S.A. that we can determine what technology is useless for the overall well being of the nation. Any technology that can promote leisurely activities is what we need to keep our eyes on, as it is making people lazy. Netflix can give just about any movie to anyone at anytime, and even if the movie list on Netflix sucks; screw it, any one will suffice.

We need to also realize that some health problems are simply congenital, or the result of an accident. These are the ones that technology should address. We now have pills to lower cholesterol, increase our sexual drive, or flat-out destroy anything they come into contact with, but there are also neurological issues that cannot be fixed so easily. These are the matter which technology should be devoted to.

If we have the technology, we ought to make it available and affordable to everyone.

It seems each time some new breakthrough technology; whether it be in medicine or entertainment or anything else, it is outrageously expensive and unreachable by lower classes. Computers alone are worth around $1,000, and I do know some who have no internet to go with their computer if only because it’s too expensive. The Internet has been around for decades and still seems to be absent from certain households and country. Talking about websites charging for access seems absurd to me. What happens when information becomes something expensive to all classes again? If we must pay to access information, why not return to the previous method of buying encyclopedias? We would not have to pay per visit, just a one-time fee.

More importantly, what happens if we do achieve the singularity and are able to live forever? It seems as though it will be impossibly expensive for the poorer citizens, and they will simply die off. If we can cure all diseases for a considerable sum of money, the rest of the world should be able to dip their finger in the pot. If a terminally ill person goes to a doctor asking for the invented cure, should he be turned down for not being able to afford life? We should not hold out on technology when we have it available.

We should not give in to immortality.

Kurzweil consistently makes the point that we will be able to live forever through medical advancements in technology. We will have nanobots to repair our bodies as necessary and we will have surgical procedures to rebuild and revive human beings. If this is to happen, it poses problems with population control, and even boredom. Who wants to live forever? I admit to wanting to live long enough to see the entire world, but what then? There still probably won’t be technology advanced enough to take us to the bottom of ocean, or the farthest depths of space. While I agree that life should be extended, provided it’s comfortable; I still think I would only want to live to see maybe 200 years… tops. After all, what is there to see after you’ve see everything?

We should not let technology deteriorate the finest art forms.

Technology has made the human race want to complete things faster than ever. This has had a devastating impact on the way people view art, in any of its forms. Theater has almost disappeared completely. It’s difficult to watch something dramatic when it doesn’t seem real at all. Everyday people need to see fake, controlled explosions, blood, and spaceships that look like they could actually be real. Who cares if the actor cannot act? As long as we have these special effects, what more do we need?

Music has also seen a steady decline not in quantity, but in quality. Anyone who tells you Ke$ha is talented is simply blowing smoke. Technology makes her voice sound good, but she still seems to be whining about something. I admit I like the fact that auto tuners and synthesizers exist, they helped to give Pink Floyd the right sound in every song; but we should draw the line when the technology creates music, and no one else involved does. This might be why I have adapted a hate for rap music. It steals music from those who had actually applied a considerable amount of effort, and destroys the original with all kinds of bass and fabricated words.

Painting and original architecture have also seen a decline. Not as many people like to see the aesthetics of the ancient to middle ages as much as they used to. They don’t seem to see things already done, but get things done. Even language is spiraling downward with acronyms formed all the time and vowels dropped. We should not forget our roots.

We should let technology take its course.

Contrary to everything I’ve been about throughout this manifesto, I think technological determinism is well on its way to never stopping. Maybe we’ve been going about this all wrong, and what is yet to come will be a blessing in disguise. It couldn’t possibly be too bad to live forever. Everything will become easier, and we may even have machines to perform every routine task. We may even create machines for mental tasks. We could have vessels to transport to a distant planet once our sun depletes its energy. We may be able to go there when we destroy the environment completely.

It seems technological advances can make us capable of anything. We can go anywhere, be anything, own everything, and have an everlasting life. We may live to see everything in the world. We may even the see the end of the universe at our hands. It’ll be fun… just like a Kurt Vonnegut novel.