Science and More Gadgetry


Science and Gadgets

 .Science has been the double- edge doppleganger sword for every good and evil technological ill in the modern world. We’re so fascinated by gadgets that we are told improve our lives just one little bit yet, nonetheless, we’ve made some indispensable to our daily routines. Gadgetry fascination is about the same as catnip to a cat. Pretty soon we’ll be enchanted by such new technologies as robot and drone delivery systems (for packages under 5lbs) sponsored by Amazon and Google; another Google invention, a windshield wiper that comes on when it rains. Whoopy!! Of course, the driverless car is becoming a part of our lexicon reality before it actually is a real reality. If they’re going to change the way people drive as well as the entire way we’re going to drive the vehicles themselves, the roads management, all that, but still complain that making a car that won’t burn fossil fuels, I’d say they’re not being that serious about global warming or eliminating the fossil fuel burning monsters we have. If our cars and windshield wipers are going to make all our individual choices for us, then what are we as so- called drivers supposed to be doing while we’re traveling. Read the digital newspapers and books? Then why don’t we all make a transition to the train.

However, since I don’t believe in capitalist world where we all are moving toward the illusion that life will become easier and more leisurely for most of us, they’ll also probably make a driverless working space car, so one can spend the endless hours trapped at traffic jams or driverless car wrecks, working. We’ll change the office environment from tall buildings to fill the freeway (or toll) lanes with privatized, driving contracts. Driverless cars and semi’s today. Mobile workstations tomorrow.

In fact, why don’t we just turn ownership over to whoever wants it in a real sense. Make trains our long-range option, make rental type driverless cars for those short trips, and electric bicycles for just getting around town. The cars and bicycles would be operated like short term lease, where the owners take all the responsibility for insurance and ownership hassles. That’s certainly a better option than having fifty different makes of driverless, gas operated individually owned cars, the same as it is now. I’m not sure but with all the cellphone usage while driving, most cars are nearly driverless now. I feel bicycle riders like myself are brave indeed, although it's probably not as bad as, say, Jakarta or Ho Chi Minh City. 

If we continue to allow big money to determine the future for the sake of profit-oriented consumeristic expedience, then we’ll have a real mess on our hands. Technology isn’t the answer, you are. We always complain we’re not being considered in legislative and corporate decision making. They’re never going to make the object that will last a lifetime, only the object that starts becoming obsolete as soon as it’s sold. Look how many different cars we have to go on the same roads. Rich people say they should be able to buy something that reflects their own self-importance, yet they still have to drive under the same laws, the same roads etc that everyone else does. We have socialistic roads and capitalistic-consumer vehicles. Everybody thinks of their cars, rather than just being transportation, as privatized, individualized freedom icons, like a flag or some other symbol of freedom of choice.

It’s funny how we see freedom of choice. We think a different color car represents freedom yet we allow the government to set the standard on what real freedom choices we can make.

If we have to live under the pretense of being free, and I understand that part of social community is for everyone to contribute their fair share, though we continue to argue or discuss what ‘fair share’ means, I’ve always been a proponent of allowing people to pay whatever taxes they are required to pay (as their fair share) to whatever they feel is important to them. If a parent is concerned about their child’s education and we are supposed to have a public education system, one that requires children to get an education but also one that doubly functions as a socialization institution, then that parent should be “free” to have their taxes go to education. If one is concerned about the threat of terrorist, then they should be “free” to help finance the military. The same for road maintenance and the million or so other priorities that develop over the course of a lifetime. That’s real freedom.

But what’s happened is we’ve allowed the government to determine all priorities, both local and national. Our schools crumble, our infrastructure weakens. Unfortunately, nearly all our progress has been determined initially by military and strategic interests. The computer itself has always been connected to the defense department, highways to the movement of the military machine, atomic energy, obviously military, solar energy, space program, etc, etc. and now our smart phones have practically become like methamphetamine. I don’t care what anyone says about it, if you can’t lay it down for more than a few minutes at a time, there is something wrong with you. It may not be fatal but don’t call it smart.

Smartphones and cars. We’ve made both indispensable. Technology has changed the way “change” will take place. If I may say the word, “revolution”, a word that has become quite trite in its meaning and is no longer a realistic social ideal but more of an anti-social engagement to commit to keeping up with whatever science wants to throw our way without any consideration of how it affects anything outside of our own self-interest.


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