The Pros And Cons Of Progress

Good Essays
ID#12 Progress’s definition is shaky at best, and many unsavory dogmas have been promoted in its name. Western notions of progress that have been linked to Social Darwinism, ethnocentrism and manifest destiny, which should make most scholars question if progress within the realm of technology is beneficial to all of human societies, or even necessary. Often, when the notion of progress is associated with technology, scientists and academics pair these ideas to historical periods of invention within industrialized societies. Take into consideration a case study of John Gast’s oil painted rendition of the idea of “American Progress”. This artwork, now famously plastered in a numerous amount of US history textbooks, displays a large woman, speaking telegraph lines while a railway trails behind her in the middle ground. This work is accompanied with startling foregrounds of pioneer settlers displacing buffalo herds and Native Americans, shadowed and contrasted against the light that the goddess-like woman emits. Undoubtedly, technology…show more content…
Such benefits, need to be analyzed on a multi-leveled and cross-disciplinary effort, since more often than not there are hidden costs to apparent advantages of new technologies. Disadvantageous and non-progressive aspects of technologies are now clearly seen to be often found in spaces that are far removed from the advanced tech user. The typical Iphone owner will not see in first person what rare earth metals have been mined to create their product, or what fossil fuels have been used to charge it. Without examining where these technologies originate from first hand, it is easy to see why so many view further development of technology as progress. Further critique of this western notion of progress must continue to occur, if society is to ever mediate the problems that post industrial economies have
Get Access