Friday, August 2, 2013

Modern Cyborgs

Technology is a double-edged sword. It helps us while hurting us at the same time--if we allow it. It robs us of our gender identities by hiding the biological differences between men and women and cuts off our personal formation gained from necessary face-to-face, human interaction and cooperation.

“In Chuang Tzu, a traveler sees a farmer laboriously carrying water with a pitcher to water his crops. The traveler walks up to the man and suggests that the irrigation could be done for a hundred plots much more simply with a draw-well and channels (a piece of appropriate technology if ever there was one). This is the farmer’s response:

I have heard my teacher say: ‘When a man uses a machine he carries on all his business in a machine-like manner. Whoever does his business in the manner of a machine develops a machine heart. Whoever has a machine heart in his breast loses his simplicity. Whoever loses his simplicity becomes uncertain in the impulses of his spirit. Uncertainty in the impulses of the spirit is something that is incompatible with truth.’ Not that I am unfamiliar with such devises; I am ashamed to use them.

1 comment:

  1. I just started reading Jacques Ellul's 'The Technological Society'. It's pretty mind-blowing so far. Definitely worth a read on these issues - although for Ellul the problem goes deeper than technology, to a state of mind determined to make everything more efficient - 'technique' - as an end in itself, something he sees as a destructive modern phenomenon.