Musings on the nature of technology and nature

2 Jan

The sound of a city being built is often preceded by the sound of felling logs of a ground dug deep in order to lay the foundations and of the marring of natural beauty. The square and artificial structures of concrete and glass look out of place in a dynamic forest composed of fractal patterns of the chirping birds and the lively animals of the natural world. Day by day, Night by night square and right angled lines are drawn after the natural lively world have been destroyed. Indeed it is true that cities are in some places beautiful in and of itselves testament to the subjugation of nature under the heels of man where wanton destruction is carried out in order to create an environment fit for paper-pushers,accountants and office workers. An environment safe from natural dangers yet at what cost?

Even as we discover great natural capital in the form of various forms of medicines,foods materials and scientific discoveries waiting to be found in various ecosystems around the world places of great beauty. Concrete cities and mechanization spring all around destroying all in its path in favor of the artificial urban environments of man and currently even composed of ugly architecture . Sure such technology benefits us immensely and considering human nature, technology is inevitable.

But it is time to consider this, that though we cannot wind back the clock, we should examine the ideas in our own heads. Why can’t man live in harmony with nature with minimal destruction? How long are we going to put up with poor stewardship of his creation? Every hour natural capital is being lost as buildings are being set up along with its corresponding natural beauty.

Surely we can change the way technology is shaped,conceived and implemented. So that even the buildings and structure of man seem to not do anything with destroying nature, rather enhancing and beautifying it even further rather than being out of place and incongruent with the environment.

What do you think? Can our civilization change so that environmental destruction is no more or at least minimized?

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12 Responses to “Musings on the nature of technology and nature”

  1. Will S. January 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    It’s a good question, infowarrior1. I’m pessimistic, in that I think ever since the Industrial Revolution, it seems to be inevitable that wherever there is urbanization, there is increasing damage done to the environment, as factories belch filth into the sky, and into our water; even with attempts to treat it, there are still effects – and then, with advances in technology and new inventions, we have other environmental threats that have arisen: pollutants that mimic natural hormones in their molecular structure, which get into the water table, and diminish reproductive capacity, alter sex ratios of children born, and change their hormone levels. Even things like dental fillings lead to an increase in the environment of heavy metals, as some dissolving of them occurs in saliva, then eventually is excreted out, and so enters the water table.

    Now, as we learn more, I think we can work to combat some of these effects, so I don’t think the situation is completely hopeless. But as long as we’re living in the manner to which we’ve come accustomed, absent a radical change in lifestyle, consumer goods consumed, changes in medicine, etc. it will likely be an uphill battle. Unless we’re prepared to copy Old Order Anabaptists and return to a 16th century agrarian lifestyle, we’re almost certainly going to continue to have a huge impact on our natural environment; the question is whether we can manage it, so that it doesn’t overwhelm us, and harm us greatly.

    • infowarrior1 January 3, 2015 at 1:52 am #

      As for us. Its best we all embrace minimalism. Hence we limit our own impact. And encourage others to do the same. Likewise we should start to recycle and reuse more than we throw away. Perhaps even do away with rubbish altogether as they have all the components of potential products. For example with human waste sewage is purified and made clean and the dry waste that is left is also turned into compost. We should transition more and more to a zero-waste society.

      And I think we should change the nature of our thinking as well. That very fact is what gave rise to the immensely damaging civilization in the 1st place.

      • Will S. January 3, 2015 at 2:03 am #

        Indeed, I think we would do well to not feel the need to acquire so many material goods; as we Christians know, we can’t take them with us. And we also know that our true riches lie not in material goods, but in spiritual goods, which are eternal.

        We as Christians, of all people, ought to set a good example, by learning to cut back on acquisitions, learning to live with less, and not making ownership of a house and a car, etc., the end-all, be-all, measure of earthly success – not that we should care all that much about earthly success in the first place, but my point is, Europeans don’t place as much emphasis as North Americans (and I assume, Australians) on home ownership, and vehicle ownership, esp. those who live in cities, are happy to have apartments or condos, and use public transportation more; it wouldn’t be a bad thing for us to get used to more of that kind of thing, and might be good for the world, in the long run.

      • infowarrior1 January 3, 2015 at 2:11 am #

        Aren’t Christians supposed to imitate Jesus in being uber-minimalists. Plus we get a lot more free time and make more money more easily as we spend less money. It not only conveys peace of mind but more freedom to enjoy life as well.

      • infowarrior1 January 3, 2015 at 2:12 am #

        ”Europeans don’t place as much emphasis as North Americans (and I assume, Australians) on home ownership, and vehicle ownership, esp. those who live in cities, are happy to have apartments or condos”

        Probably. I don’t see Australians being too excited about mcmansions as far as my social circle goes. But thats probably my personality that attracts particular people.

    • infowarrior1 January 3, 2015 at 1:53 am #

      ”But as long as we’re living in the manner to which we’ve come accustomed, absent a radical change in lifestyle, consumer goods consumed, changes in medicine, etc. it will likely be an uphill battle. ”

      Change is best gradual as you reduce your impact gradually. A sudden radical change on the other hand cannot be sustained. Likewise all that toxic stuff with the right technology can be made benign or re-purposed through chemical processes into useful products.

      • Will S. January 3, 2015 at 2:04 am #

        Yes, there’s much we can do, as technology improves.

        And yes, gradual change is more sustainable – just like in losing weight, better to change your lifestyle gradually, rather than try to deny yourself in the extreme, and expect to lose all your excess weight quickly, right away; better to make slower but longer-lasting changes to diet and exercise.

      • Will S. January 3, 2015 at 2:05 am #

        And surely the same is true in changing your lifestyle to be more friendly to the natural environment / energy conservationist, etc.

  2. ballista74 January 3, 2015 at 3:05 am #

    Good post. We’re apt to invent, create and build as humans. We’re easy to take the tools and things that come of it and find uses for them very easily. But we are much less apt to adjust to the moral ramifications of the things we do and adopt in how we change and shape both nature and ourselves in exercising our ingenuity and the dominion over the earth that we have been given. We are much less apt to know the effects of the things we do and consider them than to affect change in ourselves and our surroundings.

    There are many technologies like that, which seem like great ideas at the time, but in the end either destroys ourselves or our surroundings (personally I believe global warming to be a possibility, but because we are encasing the earth in asphalt and concrete, materials which store heat much more efficiently than the earth itself) in the name of “progress”.

  3. Exfernal January 11, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    Heh. No species in nature is in perfect harmony with any other species. So why do you demand it of the human species? If they don’t wreak havoc upon their food sources, competitors and predators, it’s ONLY because they don’t have the means of doing so.

    • infowarrior1 January 11, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      The acme of skill is to barely make an impact at all yet being maximally effective. And since humans are the ruling species of thid planet surely we can do a better job.

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  1. New Year’s Mini-Linkfest | Patriactionary - January 2, 2015

    […] Breaking through Illusions: Musings on the nature of technology and nature […]

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