It may be sacrilegious to dare such a criticism of Silicon Valley’s latest-and-greatest. But deep down in your pocketbook, you know I’m right. Lately, each new phone edition is simply gilding the lily by adding just enough new fru fru to drive our consumer appetites into another I-gotta-have-it frenzy. However, as for adding something of significance to our world, hell no. Why do that when your customers are giddily pre-primed to be first-on-their-block simply to own your newest useless gimmick?
Okay, Okay, I understand this is how a consumer economy works. However, economies need substance as well as smoke. Lasting breakthroughs not simply annual gimmicks. Aren’t there any really great breakthroughs still begging to be made? ‘The Atlantic Magazine’ has that in mind in their current publication titled ‘The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since The Wheel.’
Among their choices were: abacus, sextant, gun powder, paper, anesthesia, vaccination, automobile, television, air conditioning, Internet and in the number one slot: The printing press from the 1430s.
Quickly now — trace your finger across that list, and it should be apparent each of these historic technological breakthroughs is precisely that. Another stunning technological leap for mankind. To put that another way, a stunning new How-To. How to better grow, communicate, travel, learn. etc. And yet, doesn’t every How-To surely invite a What-For? In other words, don’t mankind’s improved Methods call for improved Messages as well?
Ask it this way. If we can do something better, is WHAT we can do really worth doing in the first place?
Enter the Thinkers to go with the Technologies. Here I’m talking about the philosophers and theologians who the last time we heard from was in one of our elective classes in college. That’s too many years ago. Socrates, Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Mill, Chesterton, Camus, Russel, even huckstering Richard Dawkins. Humanity should be looking to our Thinkers as well as our Technologies. Otherwise we can end up being the most advanced technological generation in history with the least to show for it.
As in using our smartphones to post puppy pictures, family picnics, gossip and genitalia faster and sharper with every new edition. Please, Steve Jobs wherever you are, tell me there’s more to our techies than that…???
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