Thursday, March 1, 2007

How we view the future

After watching Ghost in the Shell last night, I can't help but notice that almost all of the films and books we are dealing with have a very similar apocalyptic view of the future for earth. There are virtually no examples of nature and biological life, tall skyscrapers and flying cars dominate the skys, and there is conflict everywhere. Not that conflict isn't already everywhere today, but people don't seem to have any optimistic views of the effects of technology. It all leaves me with a sense of impending doom...and no one is doing anything to really counteract it. There seems to be a concensus that humanity is drunk with technology and out of control and its all leading to this ultimately nasty situation. I guess we should all start learning how to guard our brains against hackers, distinguish bad androids from good androids, and keep ourselves out of the lower levels of the city lest we get sucked into the machinery. Crap...its depressing.

I still have an optimitstic view of the possibilities of technology if only we don't let the technology control us. The idea of cybernetic bodies is appealing when you consider the medical possibilities of being to help people. Being able to "jack in" through our own brains is just plain convenient. The ability to break down national barriers and have an actual global community and understanding would be fantastic. Why can't people take that type of spin on some of these things...even partially? I realize it all sounds naive and utopian, but it seems like a better goal to shoot for than some total anarchy with humans against androids with cyborgs stuck somewhere in the middle...


Amanda said...

I too feel as though much of what we read and see is depressing and far from optimistic. However, I believe this is in part due to the fact that the creators of the work are trying to warn us of what can happen if we do allow technology to rule our lives. This is not too far fetched because more and more, people are relying on technology rather than their own intelligence. One example would be how much people rely on computers for work, school and school purposes. The social interaction is has been minimized over the years, thus the interaction that helps us learn and grow from each other is lessened. Also, schools are allowing students to use instruments such as calculator for simple calculators. If people are not careful, they could allow themselves to get sucked into a simplified life that technology will create for us. In other words, people will not use their brains as much as they could. With the use or it lose it theory pretty much proven, it is realistic to think that future generations will use less of their brain and intelligent, until there comes a generation completely depended on technology, instead of their selfs for survival. In that case, the warnings brought to life by the materials in class can be viewed as realistic and a possible future, emphasizing why the creators feared what the future may hold.

terra said...

I agree with Amanda's post that this dreadful image of the future had been the reaction of the author's beliefs on technological advantages. This has been something that I have been struggling with during this class.
As I read, I look more into the thought process that went into the story than the story itself. I'm not sure if it is because that was what I was expecting our discussions to be more about, or the fact that I find it difficult to imagine a future as these authors.

Because of humanity's destructive and selfish nature, I think our demise will occur before we will have the opportunity to co-exist with cyborgs. Moreover, I do not see creating cyborgs as being a plausible future. After studying all of these Science Fiction theories/themes, it seems irrational to think that humanity would actually allow these sorts of technological advances to develop. Isn't that the point of it all? Aren't we being warned that technology can lead to our demise?

Although I am now quite dependent on my computer, I miss the time when I didn't have to login numerous times in a day. I am amazed to think that just a few years ago I didn't have a computer or a need for one. Last summer, I had this feeling of anxiety, because my cellphone didn't work and I couldn't check my email. We have become so socially detached, but incredibly technology/thing attached. I find it unsurprising that the mental health industry has been thriving.