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So Why Is It Still Called "Progress"?

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The dearth of responses to my Poll "Has Technology Made the World Better?" is probably more telling than the responses to my, and other polls, which have elicited a greater response in the past. I assume that people either just looked at the title and decided it was too dumb to respond to because; of course, technology has improved life on the planet, or avoided the whole subject altogether because they just don't want to deal with the obvious (I admit that I should have had the title read "Modern Technology", mea culpa...)

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Personally I tend to believe the main reason is far and away the latter. One reason is because of the 10 people who have responded, only one voted that technology had made the world better in the past 20 years, but even he totally misunderstood the question, judging from his comment in the Comments section.
I genuinely believe that the average person cannot not look at our present condition and rationally declare that technology has actually made our lives better. It may have made the processing, storage and dissemination of things more efficient, or our lives longer, or traveling from one point to another faster, etc... But it can hardly be said to be responsible for our leading more meaningful, richer and satisfying lives.
Even apart from the technological revolution of the past 20 years, I don't recall Louis IV reeling in despair because he didn't have even the most basic of modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing and/or electricity. And I don't believe that the argument could be made that Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci or Sir Isaac Newton were critically hampered in being productive members of society without being proud owners of a refrigerator or electric light bulbs.
So the question arises: Why do we still equate technological innovation with "Progress"?
I'm not arguing that we should chuck all these newfangled toys and gadgets and revert to an earlier, more primitive existence. I'm just suggesting that we start thinking about what "human progress" really means (or at least what it should mean), and adjust our perspective accordingly.
It's, of course, okay for us to keep all this fun stuff and even create more if we like. But, I suggest we stop assuming that we, as a human race, are making the kind of "progress" which I believe the term implies, primarily because of it.

 

I am an aspiring mystic with a bit of experience in sales/marketing, currently living in the New York metro area with my books, candles & more books. I believe we, as a civilization, have reached the low ebb of an entire cycle (see "Hindu Yugas" & (more...)
 
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