Socio-Technological footing of Mankind (1984-2014)

The Greeks were the first ones who came up with philosophy as a discipline and made great advancements in mathematics and other sciences. This knowledge was captured and revived by Arabs. After the Arabs, Europeans made numerous historic advancements in the sciences, mathematics, medicines and other such disciplines. Many universities and great institutions of learning in the West came into existence that continued to function. It was an age when the means of transport and communications were limited and slow. Great geniuses like Nicola Tesla, Marconi and Graham bell, made a series of discoveries that started to connect the world through radio, telephones and telegraphs. Televisions and other communication technologies were borne leading humanity into an era that brought the world closer. The travel time between countries and continents decreased with fast speed cars, bullet trains and aeronautical technology. All this made humans from different countries and regions of the world to share and communicate information at an astounding rate. It revolutionized and added to the advancement of all the disciplines, knowledge, and technologies. The computer became one of the biggest contributors to this advancement. The rise of the Internet spelled a very huge milestone of communication. After that, the progress of humanity started to exceed at an astounding rate. Many technology experts and future visionaries like Ray Kurzweil stated that the knowledge and technology will start growing at an exponential rate and the time is not far away when digit machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence (Kurzweilai.net).

The communication technology is the key to human progress. When the people are communicating in different ways that, are at avail today they are sharing ideas and becoming inspirations to others.

In the year 1984, the means of communications were slow and of less potency. There were no satellite television, no cell phones and no internet. All these things that we take for granted are changing human lives.

The technology since the 80’s has pushed to the edge of what machines are capable of doing.  They are getting more and more powerful. All the gadgets that we are enjoying today, bare credit to many visionaries who perceived them much earlier with their creation. Many investors made investments in the labs to make the dreams come true and to make science fiction science facts. All these skills that played a vital role in creating today’s technology was acquired by people in schools, universities and training centers. In order for people to get educated and trained costs money. The cost of education and training are on the rise. It is making the wealthy become wealthier, and the poor are getting poorer. There is a very big ironical argument that the great centers of learning in the world widens the gap between the rich and the poor.

Every country in the world is facing severe problems on the rise. One of the most significant problems “Poverty” that is dissolving social roots. There is a certain group of individuals that are deprived of good quality of life. These people are forced to live away from the rich communities and societies, in shanty towns severely lacking the necessities of life in most cases.

Lack of quality education is one of the problems that the world is facing. A degrading environment is also a very serious issue that has become a question mark for the survival of human species and other life forms on the planet.

Man is destroying the natural resources on which he is heavily dependent for his own survival. These resources are all nature based. The most prominent resource on earth is the rain forests that are the breeding grounds of Billions upon Billions of animal and plant life forms. These lush green forests are also the main source of oxygen supply for animal life. The number of useful plants with medicinal properties that has not even been discovered yet, are at the brink of extinction. These wild lives are being eliminated at an enormous rate in different regions of the world to get particular types of raw materials like wood or animal extracts that cater the needs of certain industries such as hard wood furniture and medicine manufacturing. The process of exploiting and destroying the forests in order to gain commercial benefits is called as deforestation. It is a very huge loss to serve the greed and self-indulgence of rich and upper middle classes.

On the other side of this destructive cycle, there are factories that are consuming and dumping toxic and environmentally harmful gases into the earth’s atmosphere and solid or liquid wastes into earth’s water resources. The developing countries are working hard to gain economic and social progress as their agenda to become developed. They also are also politically able to perform these actions because of the under educated and in many cases illiterate population. The companies that are breaking the environmental laws lack checks and balance, and they utilize procedures that are unconventional and illegal that allow them to escape any unjustifiable actions that they can take to break the rules. In short, there are environmental laws in developing countries but there are no implementations.

It is well known that the outsiders or the poor populations have to suffer. In many countries, there are several small towns and villages close to industries where the town dwellers and villagers reside are employed. As they do their extremely low paid jobs in regions with troubled economies they or their children are vandalized with crippling and life threatening diseases. These outsiders are forced to live in polluted regions and are forced to eat and drink contaminated food and water.

These industries are dumping chemical waste material in the sea and other water bodies such streams, lakes and river beds polluting all forms of animal and plant life forms. In some cases, the seafood from these water beds is a staple diet of people living around them. Therefore, there is a very alarming rate disease rate that is caused by eating polluted food. In many developed countries, the diseases like cancers are caused by eating food with carcinogens. Carcinogens are chemical substances that cause cancer, leading to an agonizing death. The industrial wastes released into the water and air is responsible for the presence of carcinogens and other toxic materials in food and drinking water. There are a huge number of diseases discovered by medical science that can be directly attributed to pollution.

One of the biggest contributors to the air pollution is the Carbon dioxide emissions from factories and cars. Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning fossil fuels in machines. More than half of air pollution can be attributed to gasoline that drive the vehicles on the planet. This dumping of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the Earth is responsible for producing “Green House Effect”. In the Green House Effect, the Carbon Dioxide absorbs the heat from the Sun and locks it inside the atmosphere of the planet Earth (Randal Jackson). It raises the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. Even the rise of a few degrees can have catastrophic effects. Scientists believe that the melting polar ice caps and the glaciers are responsible for rising the sea level in different regions of the world. The Green House Effect, is also responsible for creating many other complicated changes which will have disastrous consequences. The huge massive population will be forced to migrate to other places because of environmental changes, making climate extremely hostile to captivate inside the cities that are created and developed for many hundreds and thousands of years. There have been numerous efforts to understand and take action on the environmental damage that man is causing to its environment. There had been great efforts to find alternative sources of energy to the fossil fuels like coal, gas and petroleum. The ruthless consumption of fossil fuel is the number one cause of environmental destruction. The alternative of fossil fuels is solar energy and wind energy and electricity produced from such sources is considered clean. The very large corporations that manufacture automobiles are moving ahead with engines running on efficient Electric power. These Electrical cars will have rechargeable batteries. The carbon emissions from these cars will be zero. The designers are creating products that are more energy efficient to conserve the scarce artificial and natural energy resources. For example, when a person walks into a dark room, the lights are automatically turned on by sensors that can detect the presence of a person. The lights automatically turn off when a person leaves that area. Similarly, the futuristic taps in washroom facilities start to flow water when a user places his hands beneath them, and the taps shut down when the user removes his hands. Similarly, many other smart and conservational technologies are emerging.

On the same grounds, the recycling is used to reproduce the waste that minimizes environmental damage. Wastes such as plastic bottles, paper and tin cans are recycled removing the burden on the environment.

Socio-Technological footing of Mankind (2014-2044)

As we proceed into the future, there are many technologies that are being worked on around the world with breakthroughs happen each and every day. There are still many people that die because of organ diseases because there are not enough in the wealthy regions of the world. But this is only a part of the story. There are many people in the world that are living in abject poverty with no education and deprivation from even buy a decent meal. To make this pitiful and painful situation worse, there are many ruthless medical professionals who have created five star hotels that are designed for organ donations. The rich people around the world in need of organ donation because of the unhealthy practices in their lives like excessive alcohol abuse and getting kidney and liver transplant. There are very strict laws for trading human organs, but who cares. The poor and the rejected people in need of the necessities of life sell their organs for a few hundred dollars.  This trend is breaking up as the culture technology in medical science progresses in which stem cells will be used to artificially recreate human organs and save lives. The question is who will benefit from it before it becomes widespread? The forthcoming era will revolve around three technologies that are Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology and   Genetics. These are the three technologies that are very impressive and disturbing at the same time. These technologies as the experts say will be responsible for eradicating human life form from the face of the earth. We know that computers are extremely ahead from the human mind in certain cases such as memory storage and accuracy in data retrieval. The computer still does not match the power of the human brain in terms of processing. It is very rapidly changing as the technology is accelerating at an astounding rate rather being developed at a constant rate as many people think. The next technology is nanotechnology in which scientist will be able to manipulate matter at a particle level. They will be able to create extremely microscopic machines called nanobots that will be able to perform specific operations that are unimaginable. The nanobots some of comprising of up to a few atoms can be injected in the human body, and they will automatically clean arteries of cholesterol and fat deposits (Mick). The nanobot surgeons will be also able to perform medical operations to save human lives. They will have a host of other applications also. The third technology is Genetics to look at and see the processes in the human body in terms of information processes. The Genetics will become so developed that scientists will be able to defeat old age by taking the human body away from the diseases that are caused by old age. The cure for many genetic disorders and diseases is expected to be found but the rich and the wealthy will be the main beneficiaries. On the contrary, the poor and the needy will be forced to live in abject poverty and die in misery.

The life sciences will become so advanced in the near future that they will provide the means for the body to function at its optimal level. This medical science will be so advance that there will not be a Special Olympics in the coming time. Scientists, engineers and technologist will be able to create bionic parts that will turn humans into Super humans. The human beings will become so dependent on technology that the technology will become an indispensable part their bodies. To create a superior being, with enhanced mental and physical faculties will become achievable. On the other hand, those people who will not be able to afford the emerging technologies will fall behind this competitive race. This desire to compete and succeed will bring humans to the verge of extinction (Gainextinction.com).

 

Imagine that it is May 23, 2044. Write a first person narration in which a character who lives “inside”describes what he/she did the day before (May 22).

It is another winter morning of May 21, 2044. The day is Saturday. Mark, a research scientist working at the University of California, Berkeley. A few years back his brain was synchronized with the human intelligence software that made him a highly paid scientist at the Berkley University of California. Long gone the days in which you have to study for 16 years to become a Ph.D. Scientist. The operating procedure for implanting digital devices to enhance intelligence and knowledge was also a thing of the past after 2024. After the year 2025 scientist perfected the technology of mapping the complete human brain in a digital computing machine. A person can share his knowledge, personality and skills with a digital machine. This hard earned knowledge can then be digitally transferred to other people who have pockets big enough.

It cost Mark a fortune to have this procedure. Fortunately for him, his father was a wealthy businessman working in the technology business. Mark sold some of his inherited properties to have the Brain mapping procedure. He also bought some devices to learn Chinese and French. In order to use these devices, you have to put a device similar to a cap connected to another device on the head and the person starts to learn languages through magnetic resonance.

Mark apartment was not a big one, but it carried a very neat and sleek design and the futuristic curves of the furniture made with white artificial wood like material and shiny metal.

Mark rose from his bed, and he listened a very clear and vivid synthetic voice as if it was a person……”Good morning Master Mark………I hope you had a nice night”. It was an AI computer designed for assisting work in houses and outside where ever the master went. As Mark came into the sitting posture that shutters of the window started rising, allowing the sunlight in the bedroom. The Television was turned on with the news in front of Mark. He looked at the thin TV screen for a few minutes and ask Max, the central computer which he communicated with the watch that he wore even in the shower to prepare some coffee and eggs for him for his breakfast. Max accessed a nanotech machine and with the help of a robotic arm. It then inserted a piece of a white block that looked like a brick into the Nanotech machine similar to a domestic microwave oven. This machine was a nanotech food conversion machine and that white brick turned into a nice cup of hazelnut coffee and fried eggs.

After the breakfast Mark, commanded Max to bring him the virtual screen with furniture design option. He taped a touch screen that had options with a picture of furniture set of exquisitely black deign of nanotech furniture on the vendor’s website. The furniture of his descent apartment transformed in shape and design. All this was possible because the furniture was originally constructed with nanotechnology.

Mark was wearing a wrist band made with a highly intelligent technology that did a lot more than telling time. Mark used it to communicate with Max and the rest of his contacts just like a cell phone. This wristband also was his identification device to enter his apartment and other facilities that he was authorized to access. It was also something that kept a monitor on his health and communicated information to the computing system in a high-tech modern Health facility. Berkley, the region of California, where he lived. Marks’ apartment was surrounded by high rise buildings. The whole area where Mark lived commuted and worked was covered with a force shield in the form of a bubble that had its own eco-system. This man-made ecosystem was released with pure synthesized Oxygen gas and the environment was completely pollution free. Mark also paid oxygen bills just like telephone bills. The outside of the force shield was the external environment of the earth. The pollution degenerated the whole of the external environment. Under developed shanty towns and substandard areas where people were living in poverty. They were called dystopian. The government did its best to provide these people with clean drinking water, but the food was still of low standard. The winter was harsh for them, and education was nonexistent for them. They simply were under educated, and deprived of mainstream technologies. They were expelled from the city of Berkley. The work they used to do many decades back is now being performed by high tech and state of the art robots particularly designed to do the work of labor.

After some time, Mark asked Max to show him his lab. The ambience completely changed into a high-tech and sophisticated lab with highly compact neutron accelerators and all the gadgets and gizmos. All the environment was a touchable hologram, and as he was making changes here in his apartment the same changes were being transferred to his lab in the university via Internet. After he obtained some readings, he had a phone call from his boss Professor Edward. He attended the call commanding Max to open the hologram. Within a few seconds, a man like figure wearing a white lab coat an old man with the neatly cut beard was standing in front of him.

He said: Hi Mark……..

Mark replied:  Hi!

Dr. Edward.: Are you in the middle of something?

He said: yes! The project that I am working on for the atomic reactor that will be installed in a car to gain high physical speed is at my focus.

Dr. Edward said: Mark I like to inform you that there is a delegate of scientist coming from China, and they like to physically meet you. So teleport yourself to the university and welcome our guests. They are very interested in the nuclear fusion break through you have done. You will have ample time to psyche yourself up for the presentation.

Mark said: sure

Mark stepped into his teleportation chamber and asked Max to transfer him to the University teleportation pad. Within a few seconds, there was a bright light in which he lost his conscious. When he slowly opened his eyes, he was in the teleportation chamber in his University lab staring at the large portrait of Einstein on the wall.

He asked Max: Max, please search the database and bring me the presentation that I gave in Europe at a seminar. After a few seconds, a virtual screen came in front of him. A virtual slab consisting of English words and pictures displayed in front of him. Mark asked Max to translate the presentation in Chinese.

Max said: One moment sir.

After a few seconds, the screen was displaying Chinese text. Mark order Max to save it and read it aloud. Max executed the command as he worked around his compact neutron accelerator device.

After a few hours when Mark got satisfied with the presentation he asked Max to store it on his wristband device.

In the evening, the team of scientists reached the Berkley University for a physical presentation from Professor Mark Gotham. They were taken to the University restaurant that was full of food kiosks fueled by nanotechnologies a robot came to the table where the Chinese scientist and businessmen sat with Dr. Edward as Dr. Mark joined them for the meal. The robot took their order and the food and refreshments were delivered to them.

Dr. Mark, presented the blueprint in Chinese to the Chinese team the compact Fusion Reactor that was ten times faster and more powerful than its predecessors. The Chinese became extremely interested and an agreement date was set. Dr. Edward along with Dr. Mark and other colleagues became so excited that they arranged a huge party in the evening that they celebrated until late night.

  1. Imagine that it is May 23, 2044. Write a first person narration in which a character who lives “outside” describes what he/she did the day before (May 22).

 

It is Saturday morning of May 22, 2044. Jack Anton, who lives in a rural area of California near Berkley. It is called the hillside village. Jack is a farmer by profession. Farming is his family business since ages. He lives several hundreds of kilometers from the magnificent city of Berkeley. He is one of those people who are denied of the modern ways of living and are excluded from the utopian cities like Berkeley, California. He is the part of the poor class of people. He is dejected and discriminated of the Dystopia that surround him and other unfortunate ones all around the world. The utopian cities want them out because such people do not have money even to breathe and pay bills for the oxygen that is provided inside the city’s force shield which houses the city of Berkley. The utopians also do not want disease, poverty, ignorance and illiteracy, etc. in their vicinities. Unfortunately, Jack is one of those people who have all these traits. Jack grows fruits, vegetables and crops in a small farm and greenhouses. He also has some livestock. Jack is lucky to have all these because there are many people around the world who are born starvation and are destined to die of starvation. Even if they survive hunger they are malnourished and are grinded to work more and more for petty cash. Jack is dissatisfied with his life. Many times he imagines and dreams of living in one of those utopian cities, but when he starts thinking he has to end the argument keep everything to himself by saying that he is not capable of even visiting those majestic cities. The government has provided the dystopian regions with robotic police to patrol and monitor the people. There are smart cameras observing every nook and corner to prevent any disruption. The politicians make promises when they need votes from over populated dystopian, but when they win elections, the leader completely fails to fulfill their promises and the poor and rejected is further disheartened. The greatest problem with the dystopian are their overwhelming population and the scarcity of the resources. The lust and greed of the upper and the elite classes bring them to fill their bank accounts and grow richer.

Jack woke up in the morning in his old wooden house and a narrow bed with damp bed sheet, very similar to his clothes and curtains. The inner side of his house is also very dark with little light peeping through the window. He is very lucky to have a house, even if it is in a very poor condition. His wife was up from the bed before him and was making some porridge for their breakfast. Jack went to the bathroom to have some bathing where an old metal bucket was full of water was laying with a small broken cup that he used to bathe. When we compare these living standards of the utopian cities with the dystopian cities there is a huge difference. This difference is not only on the basis of finance and economy.  Most of the modern technology that was acquired and legalized by the modern cultures like human cloning and many other disturbing sciences like cryogenics forced the dystopian to boycott modern ways of living. Other factors were poverty, lack of education and inability to work in closed modern societies heavily guarded by robots.  Jack also knew many hackers who were engaged in hacking systems and computers in the dystopian cities just for vindictive purposes. They were the Hall mark of the modern dystopia.

He went to his field where he was growing some wheat crops with the “Terminator seed”. The property of the seed was that it gave was a very large amounts of crop and the downside was that it terminated itself by depriving the farmer of the seed. Therefore, many farmers had to buy the seed again and again every year. The farmers usually lured into this trap by advertising the quantity and quality of the crops by TV commercials and aggressive advertisement. Many farmers like Jack came under severe debt. He planned that he would pay his debt in this season but all in vain. He was unable to achieve his goal this season also.

Jack also had a tractor and a well water for his crops as his assets. The crop that he produced was sold outside the utopian cities and the dystopian bought it. He spends the whole day on the farm and return home as the night falls. Jack had two sons. He tried his best along with his wife to give his son’s good education so that his sons may go to college in the utopian city of Berkeley, but this level of education was limited to the very rich and powerful people. The human intelligence and talents seem to have lost their meanings in this high tech world. At the same time smart and intelligent were admitted or those who have access to cognition and mind enhancing technologies.

As he was returning to his home, Jack was solemnly thinking about the rut of his life where he will wake up again in the coming days and his life will go on like this in a gloomy routine.

 

References

Mick, Jason. ‘Dailytech – Scientists Ready New Nanobots To Swim In Human Blood Stream’. Dailytech.com. N. p., 2009. Web. 1 May. 2014.

 

Gainextinction.com,. ‘Human Extinction By Biotechnology, Genetics, Nanotechnology, And Artificial Intelligence’. N. p., 2014. Web. 1 May. 2014.

 

Kurzweilai.net,. ‘The Law Of Accelerating Returns | Kurzweilai’. Web. 1 May. 2014.

 

Randal Jackson, Amber Jenkins. ‘Causes’. Global Climate Change. Web. 1 May. 2014.