Science and technology can be compared like beauty to its beholder it has as many facets and ways of looking at it as will the beautiful Mona Lisa painting have various interpretations of its meaning. This paper makes an argumentative essay of the effect of science and technology and its threads throughout history till modern day, and seeking to find the answer to whether this relationship is like a thread that can be traced to the modern day world.
The Honorable Fight
It is important to note the stand that the Europeans had towards the inception of technology and its inception especially in the era of wars. Initially, there was the thought that there was in fact a true meaning of honor and glory in war. For example, one would reflect upon the times of the Greeks and Romans and see that with the sword and to the death, they fought for these two things. This was similar to the initial Europeans (and perhaps the entire world of the time) view of the purpose of conflict and fighting at this scale the pursuit of glory. Science and technology, however, came about with weapons that could make their destruction apparent without getting so close to their target. Consider the dynamite club, which was an instrument that could be used at quite a distance and the damage would be done without the glory to the fighter, except to see that his wit and not his strength, caused the enemy to fall. Science and technology, albeit called to be forward strides in modern warfare, was seen to be the reduction of the glory for the persons involved in the wars as the soldiers now involved could fight dishonorably.
Nietzsche, when considering his philosophy on the will to power considered some important things about the development of technology in making the fight fair. The beginning of the First World War to him meant the end of a time where man could be trusted to wage war fairly, but instead begin to use dishonest means of attaining the best interest of the powerful party. In his theory, Nietzsche described the chief driving force of the human being namely ambition, and power and attaining higher than the previous generation. This indeed was what led to the development of technology, but also led to the development of the inappropriate use of this technology for the purposes of feeding the human ambition to areas that it may be not satisfy itself. Consider the assassination of world leaders of the 19th and 20th century in the pursuit of this power. Anarchism begun as a result of the introduction of technology after what was referred to the Golden Age of the mankind in the recent past, where the meaning of abstracts was clearly understood by those who undertook to follow them. With technology and science in this area, however, it was no longer as easy to determine such abstracts anymore. The craving for power and the place of ambition showed itself when the instrument of better destruction was in the hand of the individual who harbored this ambition, and the strife to reach the highest possible position in life begun. This may explain the assassination of Tsar Alexander in 1881, or that of President McKinley in 1901.
Further in the consideration of this line of thought, technology was the vehicle upon which atrocities rode. Consider the first use of trench warfare, where about 2 million were dead at the turn of a year of war. The first idea of nerve gas was also introduced courtesy of the interesting phenomenon called technology. Because of the availability of the air-to-ground method of delivering weapons of mass destruction, the advent of technology put the crown on the head of modern-day warfare. Technology was not only in the hands of ambitious men, but men considered to be mad pushing it to the very limits to see what the worst can be done. So there was the use of devastating artillery so that on the very first day of the battle of Somme, there were 60,000 casualties already. Perhaps, this is the last straw that the Mona Lisa of technology is hanging on. But indeed, men loved playing with their toys, and have done so since time in memorial. Consider the development of swordsmanship where kings playmates could easily be struck down for sport; or jousting, where men would knock the living lights out of each other using 6 foot lances for pleasure. Or maybe American football where heads knocking finds many people pay to watch some weakling get knocked about. The script is the same, only the times and the amount of force varies.
Along this line of thought, saying that technology has been the instrument through which the Golden Age was faced out using, or that technology has caused the much suffering and bad fortune that it has is an issue that is open to much dispute. If we were to consider when the technology was yet as advanced as it was in the 19th century (including the use of guns and ships and air-to-ground weapons of mass destruction), we would see that treachery was still present. The ambitions of men were not fueled by the development of weapons, because as early as the ancient Biblical times in the interesting allegory of the two brothers Cain and Abel, it would be safe to assume that the two had neither guns nor missiles. But the ambition and ill will of one led to the death of the other. Similarly, medieval times saw no use of technology except the blacksmiths innovation, yet men were still treacherous and kings were murdered in their sleep. So the question arises whether the fair fighting was really hampered by the growth of technology and science, or whether this was just an instrument of magnification of the already existing state of the hearts of the people.
Technology and science thus becomes something that is apparent throughout the history of the art of warfare. While some argue for the existence of a time of bliss and the solidification of abstracts, there are those who are of the pinion that technology just came to show the true colors of the human definition of the existing abstracts. Needless to say, the effects of technology were felt throughout the wars, and especially the Second World War. The conception of progress, namely technology, became the eraser of the former. The devastation in the wake of science and technology use in the Second World War was so major that the description that it was given was that the technology of the time had come to quite literally erase its maker. Consider the litter of mangled bodies that was left in the wake of the war, and the much destruction of entire cities and villages and the collapse of whole economies. So the economic effects of mans lovechild came to bite the people of the time in form of the Great Depression, and an exemplification of fascism. Fascism was just a description of what Nietzsche was describing in his Will to Power theory, where every man was for himself. This is seen to be the root cause of capitalism as a method of economic empowerment.
Futurism in Technology
Le Pigaro describes his interaction with technology and science the car that he owned, yet that piece of machine that he couldnt understand, yet so loved. Considering his time, and the car he was driving, the vehicle must have been moving at no less than 30 miles per hour when it crashed in the ditch because of the loss of control when he saw the two cyclists. Nonetheless, this was still an item of technology that inspired the hearts of men in his time. Even in Paris, random people would be willing to help him to get his car out of the ditch that he had gotten himself into. The science and technology of the car was alien to him, yet the magnificence of the car was apparent to him, comparing his car to a woman who both threatened his stomach, but received his caresses. This presents the precarious relationship that science and technology had with human beings, if a literary analysis of this was going to be taken. Consider the position of having his gut threatened by the same thing which he praised for the speed and ease of work that it made. This was the same thing that happened during the wars, when technology tore apart the worlds of those who created it and all those who were in their path. Indeed, mens guts spilled under the blade of technology.
If theres one thing that technology and advances in science has ever inspired in people, it is the ability to disregard the rules and go on and enjoy the full extent of the glorious innovation. Consider than in 1909, le Pigaro considers a car that couldnt possibly go faster than 30 miles an hour. Furthermore, cars didnt have fuel gauges till the next decade, so this was a technology which you didnt know when it ran out of juice until it did. Consider this, then consider the statements he makes concerning the lovechild of technology: we intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness. It would appear that the first thing that man is inclined to do with an innovation of science is to determine how much trouble he could get into, or better yet how much destruction can be done. This was true of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, and one mans greenlight has its effects being felt to date. After such display of the power behind the product of science and technology, then the clogged wheels of literature are expected to start moving. Yes, the songs and poems and newspaper articles with rhyming titles. The works. This was the case in the Battle of Somme mentioned above, with newspaper articles that read Terrific Bombardment or as a graphic novelist of the time put it Joe Sacco, On the Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. An Illustrated Panorama.
Today, not as many car crashes have lucky survivors as was the case of le Pigaro. His love for speed and energy while testing the limits in todays age would mean that he probably wouldnt be present to reflect on the article.
The Redeeming Hand of Technology
Technology cant be said to be something that is entirely evil and worthy of being cast out. Indeed, technology formed the basis upon which the human race survived the effects of the wars, considering of course the good will of the person to offer their help using the very instrument of destruction. The Marshall plan was the embodiment of this Good Samaritan face of technology, which sought to rescue Europe from its endless woes after the end of the Second World War and the ensuing Depression. Poverty was widespread in Europe, and so was destruction and the lack of resources coupled with the inability to produce because of the destruction of industries. This equally meant a constant dependence because of high unemployment rates. The governments could barely support their people. Technology had indeed threatened at their guts, and made good its threat.
However, with the same zeal the Marshall plan in the instrument of technology and science became the Messiah to European nations that were going under with the adverse effects of fascism being felt. The rich could afford to maintain their lifestyles with ease in the society while the poor faced the upbeat and low beat of the Depression music. The Marshall plan came in as a contingency considering the growing influence of the Soviet Union, and in the interests of ensuring that a larger scale war than World War 2 doesnt occur. The use of technology and science was used in the aid of the recovery of European nations, as the money donated towards this cause for the industrialization of the nations in question.
Even in the face of positive effects of science and technology, such as their potent power to raise nations from the ashes as was evident in Europe after the Second World War, George Orwell still warns that there is need to take care of the machine age and its very deep influence on people. The use of technology cannot be increased just for the sake of it....
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