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Debates Forum

  1. 12 Aug '11 22:54
    In another thread, the issue of technology replacing workers has come up and it ties in with something I have been wondering about, so here it is.

    I recently read a rolling stone interview with Ray Kurzweil (I know this is from like a year ago) where he discusses "the singularity". Which is where technology merges with humans to make us immortal. Nanobots were discussed at length and Ray said that self replicating nanobots might have the capability to wipe out all organic life forms in a matter of months.

    My question is, can you see a point in time when we might stop the advancement of technology? Do you believe that technology we create can become a threat to our survival?
  2. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    12 Aug '11 23:03
    Originally posted by dryhump
    In another thread, the issue of technology replacing workers has come up and it ties in with something I have been wondering about, so here it is.

    I recently read a rolling stone interview with Ray Kurzweil (I know this is from like a year ago) where he discusses "the singularity". Which is where technology merges with humans to make us immortal. Nanobo ...[text shortened]... t of technology? Do you believe that technology we create can become a threat to our survival?
    The technology we have NOW is a threat to our survival.
  3. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    12 Aug '11 23:17
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Do you believe that technology we create can become a threat to our survival?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_warhead

    The U.S. alone has more than 5,000 of 'em.
  4. 12 Aug '11 23:43
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The technology we have NOW is a threat to our survival.
    Allowing that, what can be done? You can't undiscover it. What if scientists press ahead with nanobots and we discover later we can't control them, should we stop people from working on certain things in the interest of safety?
  5. 13 Aug '11 00:00
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Allowing that, what can be done? You can't undiscover it. What if scientists press ahead with nanobots and we discover later we can't control them, should we stop people from working on certain things in the interest of safety?
    It is an interesting sci fi and possibly philosophical issue. We are seeing that technology has impacted issues of morality, in our entering spheres we never considered in the past.

    My thinking is that the "danger" is all speculative, but the benefits of technical development in the last century are mostly positive, and the negative stuff can be discarded.
  6. 13 Aug '11 00:01
    Originally posted by dryhump
    In another thread, the issue of technology replacing workers has come up and it ties in with something I have been wondering about, so here it is.

    I recently read a rolling stone interview with Ray Kurzweil (I know this is from like a year ago) where he discusses "the singularity". Which is where technology merges with humans to make us immortal. Nanobo ...[text shortened]... t of technology? Do you believe that technology we create can become a threat to our survival?
    The technology we create can become a threat to our survival. So can the failure to create technology that can, say, detect and ward off a lethal asteroid strike.
  7. 13 Aug '11 00:11
    So far technology hasn't replaced jobs, it's converted them into different jobs.
  8. 13 Aug '11 00:24
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    So far technology hasn't replaced jobs, it's converted them into different jobs.
    The automobile killed all the buggy whip makers. Blacksmiths went under. I'm sure more jobs were lost.

    Auto make jobs were created, road building jobs, the gasoline industry, the motel industry, the tire industry. Need I go on.
  9. 13 Aug '11 00:30
    Originally posted by normbenign
    It is an interesting sci fi and possibly philosophical issue. We are seeing that technology has impacted issues of morality, in our entering spheres we never considered in the past.

    My thinking is that the "danger" is all speculative, but the benefits of technical development in the last century are mostly positive, and the negative stuff can be discarded.
    I don't think you can say the danger is all speculative, look at Chernobyl, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Clearly splitting the atom is dangerous. What about pharmaceuticals? Many drugs prescribed in the past are now outlawed. It's even possible that diseases such as AIDS were created in a lab. Plus, advances in technology gave us guns. Like it or not, guns have killed a great many people throughout history.
  10. 13 Aug '11 00:32
    Originally posted by JS357
    The technology we create can become a threat to our survival. So can the failure to create technology that can, say, detect and ward off a lethal asteroid strike.
    A side note of this question, to my mind, is; Should we learn to accept our own mortality?
    It would be supremely ironic if we created nanobots to save us from cancer, aging, and memory loss, then they wiped us out.
  11. 13 Aug '11 00:34
    Originally posted by normbenign
    The automobile killed all the buggy whip makers. Blacksmiths went under. I'm sure more jobs were lost.

    Auto make jobs were created, road building jobs, the gasoline industry, the motel industry, the tire industry. Need I go on.
    Um... were you trying to disagree with me?
  12. 13 Aug '11 00:35
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    Um... were you trying to disagree with me?
    It's so ingrained he doesn't even realize when you are arguing the same side.
  13. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    13 Aug '11 02:52
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    So far technology hasn't replaced jobs, it's converted them into different jobs.
    Technology eliminates more jobs than it creates. This is an inescapable fact. Instead of reducing the number of hours that everyone has to work, technology is used to eliminate the number of people that are needed. It is an anti-social use of technology.
  14. 13 Aug '11 10:35
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Technology eliminates more jobs than it creates. This is an inescapable fact.
    Somebody failed econ 101.
  15. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    13 Aug '11 10:41
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Technology eliminates more jobs than it creates. This is an inescapable fact. Instead of reducing the number of hours that everyone has to work, technology is used to eliminate the number of people that are needed. It is an anti-social use of technology.
    Why? Technology improves the lives of all. There is no downside apart from inequality and unfairness.

    Is anyone really worse off now than in the neolithic? Or even C18th?