You know a thought occurred to me as I read the thread title. The thought has cropped up before, so it's nothing new. However, it's stark contrast to
what I would have thought when I was younger. At a younger age, I had so much bottled up enthusiasm for the future. Technology dazzled me, swept me
away with promises of possibility and discovery. I think some of it stems from my interest in systems. Whether they be engines or bridges and
spacecraft or software programs, they're all systems built and improved by us. That was part of it, for sure. Yet as I've grown older, I've become
more weary of these things. I think technology changes us. It changes what we want and what we'll tolerate. It changes what we expect too. These
changes can have profound affects.
How will sexbots change us? I can't be sure. I think how we're changed is non-linear. It's like a web interacting with other webs, yet they're all
constructed of different materials and operate under different rules, even different pressures or gravitation.
I think borders will be removed and others added. If you look at history, progress is a systematic removal of past barriers and the addition or
alteration of others. commensurate with the technology and cultural attitudes we have.
Maybe it's helpful to examine how a already understood technology has changed us? Maybe I'll try to give a hack at computers and how they might have
changed us? Or perhaps how they will?
1) Like books, we usually sit to use them--this changes hormones and mood and some have argued increases nearsightedness. Health has probably
suffered, not just from generally reduced levels of exercise, but stress injuries to the wrists and fingers or the neck resulting from heavy use.
2) They can "think" on a primitive level 24/7, replacing repetitive tasks we might have done in the past, relieving us of them and allowing us to
focus on more dynamic comprehensive procedures. The consequences of this are perhaps deeper than they appear. Maybe evolution tinkered some of us for
3) Rapid exchange of information across the planet has changed how we communicate and even congregate. Speaking into a phone is not the same thing as
speaking to a person face-to-face. The internet is more than just a place to share information or do business, it's also a place to meet and
socialize. Young people are increasingly using it for this purpose, whereas in the past, again, face-to-face contact was more common. Changes from
this are likely.
4) Chemicals/electromagnetic waves. Yes, plastics and electronics. I can't realistically put this here, but then again, it feels too dismissive not
to. What if these things are changing us?
Don't sweat the small stuff and pick apart what I wrote there. It's just a stab. The ripples--from these things--in our human continuum are wide and
far. I believe my understanding of this is infantile. I also think it's probable many of the changes on us will remain unknown. And when something is
unknown it means we can't counter it.
If you think it's only cultural or societal, you may be wrong. Look up epigenetics. I'll even put a link here:
en.wikipedia.org - Epigenetics...
Epigenetics is the study, in the field of genetics, of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or
environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells read genes instead of being caused by changes in the DNA sequence.
Hence, epigenetic research seeks to describe dynamic alterations in the transcriptional potential of a cell. These alterations may or may not be
heritable, although the use of the term "epigenetic" to describe processes that are not heritable is controversial. Unlike genetics based on
changes to the DNA sequence (the genotype), the changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype of epigenetics have other causes, t
Maybe I should not worry. Hasn't it always been this way? If you're younger, you may ask yourself the same question one day. And no it's not a
rhetorical question. I genuinely ask it.
edit on 10/1/2015 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)