Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Does Technology Make Our Lives Better?

The Geek Answer: Come on! Of course it does.

The Philosopher Answer: Define "Better", and "Technology", and "Make."... Just kidding.

The reality is that technology makes your life better even if you don't realize the many ways that it does. Even if you're the type of person who believes that focusing on the simple things in life are what make your life better, then consider the following:

Do you enjoy sunsets or sunrises? Well, now you'll get to enjoy more of them. The average life expectancy in 1901 was 49 and by 2000 it was 77. This is due mostly to technology that allowed us to have cleaner (disease free) drinking water, better medicine and safer transportation. That's 10,277 more sunsets.

Do you think food should be simpler and "organic"? Well, you can thank modern transportation for giving you the options. Although food was simplest when raised in your own background on your family farm, the choice was greatly limited and a lack of refrigeration technology meant that for food to last it had to be smoked, pickled or otherwise prepared (most of which have their own health consequences). Transportation and refrigeration technology have given us the ability to choose food options that we wouldn't otherwise have access to.

Not convinced? Still think things used to be better before?

Nostalgia often makes us think of the past through rose-colored glasses. For instance, how many times have you heard people say how their old cars were like "tanks", much stronger than today's "plastic" cars?

Check out this video showing how well the technology of 50 years ago stands up to today's version:

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