They both depend on computer electronics. Ergo: if yahoo can be hacked (as any other computer program system), so can a self-driving computerized automobile.
Hence, I am wary of this rush toward buying into self-driving vehicles.
It seems to me that it should give a person great pause when considering the idea of handing over the control of one’s vehicle to a computer.
Driving involves too many unforeseeable scenarios, has too many unpredictable variables, and is therefore too fluid a thing for allowing a computer to take over the driver’s seat of a car. (Note, there is already an officially recorded death as a result of putting too much faith in a self-driving vehicle. And the car was a Tesla, a highly respectable company when it comes to newly-developing vehicle technology.)
“Can’t stop progress,” you say. Quite right! I understand, point taken.
But what is progress? Is all technology good, just because it is technological?
Looking back at the last hundred and fifty years or so of our history—let’s say from the mid 1850’s to the beginning of this present century—considering all our mechanical and technological development, has it ALL been good for us? I believe that an honest answer would be NO; it has not always been good for us.
Is it possible that we place too much faith in science and place too much trust in technological development?
I must quickly defend myself: I am NOT anti-science nor am I against technological development as such. Believe me. (Here I imitate Donald Trump’s phrasing after he makes an assertion about himself: Believe me!)
Nevertheless, as one who respects and embraces scientific knowledge and advancement, I DO question our apparent blind faith in science and technology. I think that we are all too eager and ready to buy into just about any and every technological development that comes down the pike—with an “apply now and ask questions later” approach to incorporating the latest gadget and thingamajig into our lives.
We need to take a hard look at what we have done and continue to do to Mother Nature: air and water pollution, global warming, the threatening and actual extinction of various animal species, and so-on—all as a result of our placing too much blind faith in our technological development. It’s as if we believe that science and the advancement of technology is the supreme answer to everything we do on this planet, EVERYTHING!
It is not.
We should slow down a bit and ask some serious questions. As a starter, we should not only be questioning how modern technology is being used, we should also be asking how our modern technological gadgets are being made: for example, what limited geological resources are being dug up and exploited in order to make our beloved gadgets? That’s a good and fair question to ask, don’t you think?
And, exactly how might the exploitation of these particular resources possibly be causing long term damage to the earth’s ability to sustain life? Is that not also a fair question to ask? And shouldn’t such questions be answered BEFORE we invest in and delight in our various inventions?
But money drives everything. And, science and technology is first and foremost about big business! And, big business has little patience for cautionary, slow moving advancement when it comes to its investments.
Business investors care little as to whether or not new technological innovations are good for humanity in the long term. They only care about the immediate affect on the bottom line. Does it bring in dividends? Is it a cash cow? As to long term negative effects on humanity and the environment—they’ll let future scientists worry about that! And so it goes.
And so, I make the following observations.
- To our detriment, we all too often fail to consider the long term negative effects of our latest and greatest technological innovations.
- It seems that the more dependent we become on our modern technology, the actual less free we really are.
- Our growing dependencies on modern technological gadgets seem to have actually made us more vulnerable to unpredictable catastrophes, not less so.
- Modern innovations and gadgets seem to rely heavily on unrenewable limited global resources, which is foreboding for future societies.
- Though we are well aware of the positive effects of modern technology upon human interpersonal relationships, we remain quite ignorant with respect to its negative effects upon us. For example, we are barely ready to admit that various aspects of modern technology can be addictive, let alone have an understanding as to why this may be so.
As for me, I want to remain in the driver’s seat.