At what point does our quest for greater technology, more innovation and new frontiers become superfluous? One of our greatest differences – the thing that sets us apart from the rest of the animal world – is our intelligence; Our desire for knowledge and our ability to seek it and improve. While this may provide the cure to diseases, more efficient use of energy, or safer cars – is there really a need for faster cars, bigger planes, crazier gaming consoles or more blades on your razor? At what point does technological advancement become destructive to our race? At what point should we be satisfied with what we have? At what point does technological advancement reign purely for the benefit of a company’s bottom line and future growth?
There are many that argue (and Albert Einstein was one of them – many, many years ago) that there is a point in technological advancement where its negative impact starts to outweigh the positive. Case in point is the common razor blade. Or should i say, common razor 2, 3, 4 or 5 blade? Now, while the negative impact may not be immediately clear (how about the extra packaging, the massive cost to the consumer and the extra waste?) the point (pushed down your throat with a slick marketing campaign and the latest technology in computer graphics) of the razor blade is the smoothest, most comfortable shave ever – soon to be negated by the natural growth of your beard, when a day later, it wont be the smoothest, most comfortable shave ever. Toothbrushes are the same. How many times can such a simple device be reinvented and reinvented – and for what point? When they design a razor blade that shaves beneath my skin and a toothbrush that cleans my teeth in one fell swoop, then ill see the point to spending millions on research and development, advertising and marketing – other than the need for company profit and blind, pointless greed. It seems we are losing our place in reality, where self-awareness is fading away and we’re on an insatiable hunt for more, more, more! – Like the selfish beings that we are.
There comes a point when we should realise that we’ve taken it too far. There comes a point when we realise that we should be happy with what we’ve got, and where we should realise that parts of the world are falling apart around us, and faster cars, bigger planes, crazier computers, quicker consumerism, easier cooking and bigger machines arent helping to reverse those effects. There comes a point when we realise that enough should be enough. There comes a point when our selfishness and greed outweighs our compassion and forethought. I realised this this morning when i was about to brush my teeth with my new, “polishing star” incorporating, super-whitening toothbrush. – Will it actually work? I guess the placebo will do just fine.