Since the beginning of the world, humanity was cursed to forever labor in order to produce crops and survive. Humanity has been seeking ways to make life more fruitful through technological innovation ever since Adam was doomed with the plow. In order to preserve control over our technology, I believe the first step is self-awareness. Self-awareness starts with understanding the invention of the microchip, physiological influence on technology, processing power, and Big Data.
In the Beginning…
We first used animals as helpers in our labor. Basic technology in agriculture was used for centuries to feed families across the world. In the early 20th century, one farmer was able to feed 19 people with the help of basic farming tools and animals. Yet, those in agriculture have always looked for better technology to feed families and others in the community.
We fast forward to the late 20th century to the invention of the microchip. The microchip was invented in 1958 with the primary purpose of increasing power without increasing size. It was a huge leap forward in technology. No longer do we need to rely on large chipsets with few components per circuit. It allowed for 2-10x more power output for the same sized circuit.
With the invention of the microchip and soon after the personal computer, processing power has been increased dramatically. Now a single farmer can feed 155 people with the help of advancing technology. Now farmers will work just as hard and feed 8x more people! Oh, how a long way we have come.
We are Evolving
Farmers today are accomplishing great feats with the help of technology. The fruits of humanities labor continue to increase as technology continues to innovate and excel forward to feed our growing world. Nowadays, a normal human is able to produce more crops, content, and data with the help of technology.
Our faithful tool, the plow was once used for cultivating the land and producing fruit. Our faithful tool is now an intelligent handheld device made up of millions of robots. The purpose of our faithful tool is to cultivate current generations for future cultural influence.
As Google and Facebook implement phycological research into software development, social media, and marketing tactics, our culture could soon be changeable by a single post or youtube video. Our lives are no longer being devoted to producing crops for families and communities but instead have been focused on producing fruit for random strangers with numbers as names.
So how could technology turn on us? Well in the Terminator scenario, the toy could surpass the toymaker. But in reality, it really comes down to processing power and data. Nowadays we have supercomputers whose processing power is ever so close to the same processing power of the human brain. According to an IBM Research Division specialist Michel,
“If computing engineers aspire further to the operating speed of the Zetaflop (1021 operations per second), a brain-like structure will be necessary. With today’s architectures, such a device would be larger than Mount Everest and consume more power than the current entire global demand. Michel believes that such innovations should enable computers to reach the efficiency, if not the capability of the human brain by around 2060, a hundred years after the introduction of electronic computers.”
According to the Independent, with the enablement of quantum computing, we could see supercomputers with the same processing power as the human brain as soon as 2030. Ultimately, humanities strive for efficiency, ease, and fruitful labor is falling on technology more and more. With the introduction of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data our world is turning more into technology and less human.
The real danger in today’s world is Big Data. Big Data is a combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence and is a term used for storing and analyzing large amounts of information. Google and Facebook both store lots of Big Data for deep analysis. Then, Google and Facebook use their analyzed data for their business advertising models. Their business advertising models essentially sell user information and impressions to businesses that pay the highest price.
Yet, Google and Facebook allow you to view the information they have collected on you and even delete certain amounts. You may even have as many as 3 million Word documents filled with information that large tech companies have collected on you. Big Data is here and it is composed of millions of robots fighting for your information. Take the time to understand how you may be at risk by looking at your Google Account information.
Reminisce On Technology
Do you remember your first flip phone? I sure do. After I got my first job as a soccer referee my dad gave me this little flip phone. I was very excited on that day. My fascination with technology has led me to be curious about how things work and strategic play. I have also been immersed in video games and computer games so being “online” has always been a part of my lifestyle and cultural upbringing.
As I’ve seen technology develop from my first flip phone to my latest virtual reality headset, it amazes me how awesome the creator of the world, God, is. To have created brains with efficiencies of 1021 operations per second and such maximum capacity is beyond me. Take a moment to reminisce on the first piece of technology you ever owned and compare it to the most recent piece of technology you have.
Your Personal Evaluation
Self-awareness starts with understanding the invention of the microchip, physiological influence on technology, processing power, and Big Data. The question that I am pondering is “were our minds created to handle our technologically immersed world or are we over capacitated because of technology?” I don’t have an answer to this question but I know one thing is for certain. Technology is still just a plow and we are merely farmers.
Our tools and technology will always evolve to newer and greater heights as we humans pursue efficiency and progress. In order for the plow to not overtake humanity, we must not let go of the plow lest it gets behind us and runs us over. In order to preserve control over our technology, I believe the first step is self-awareness.
If all of the information in this article is new to you then you are in the awareness stage. continue to bring heightened awareness to technology and how it advances your life and controls you.
If most of the information in this article seems semi-familiar then you are in the education stage. Continue to learn about technology and how you can use it to increase the fruit of your labor as well as the cautions and great power that comes with the use of technology.
If everything in the information in this article is Elementary to you then you are in the evaluation stage. You have consumed a lot of information about technology and its effects on the world and are deciding how you want to act.
Whatever stage you’re in, focus on your mindset towards technology. Take the time to understand whether you are using technology as a tool or whether it is a tool using you.