14 February 2006
Instead of sleeker iPods, SUV’s that look like trailers and Mother-Of-All-Bombs, I wish scientists concentrated more on issues that affect us profoundly.
A new drug that alters your gene to change the color of your skin! No more Racism!
A new “pound-less” pill that lets you lose weight overnight! No more Prejudice!
A new tonic that alters your behavior to cure your smoking/alcohol addiction! No more Self-screw-ups!
When I was in my Eleventh grade, I had to give a speech on “Greatest Inventions of 20th Century!”. As I was preparing for the topic, my hostel warden, passed by. Since I respect him a lot, I asked him what he thought was the greatest invention of Mankind in 20th century.
And he replied, “Invention? I don’t think anything has been invented completely by Man!”.
I was taken aback and asked him “How can you say that when we have cars, airplanes even the fan that is revolving on top of us.”
“Well, what is the fan made of?”
“Where did u get that iron from?”
“So, you have harnessed something from nature, changed its shape to use another part of nature (air) to make it work. Maybe you can say mankind does invent things partly. To me, it’s all discoveries of nature!”
I remember that conversation to this day. And every time we get cocky about our new and greatest “invention”, nature slaps us on the cheek with a Tsunami or an earthquake.
I think, we, human race, have drifted from worshipping and understanding nature(stone age till time before 16th century) to harnessing nature(Industrial Revolution) to the current stage of “Manipulating Nature”(Cloning, messing with genes etc.). We study History mainly because we may not commit the same mistakes again (even though it keeps repeating itself) and understand our roots better. And one thing that is clear today is that in spite of the technological advancements, people seem lost. Clueless. Unhappy. Less connected in an “always-wired-mobile-everything-everywhere” world. I think we have safely reached a stage where enough energy has been spent on inventions that satisfy our external needs without filling the void that is inside.
We need technology that eliminates hatred. We need technology that doesn’t discriminate someone based on their religion, race or sexual preference. We need technology that makes it a level-playing field for rich, poor and the ones in between. We need technology that protects, enhances, and serves Mother Nature. Not provide new tools to cut forests, new tools to dig oil from oceans, new tools to destroy habitats quickly. We need technology that connects, not the minds, but the hearts!
It is time, technology (Science) works for the development of our spirituality and not for materialist pleasures that leaves us empty in the long run!