The Impact of Technology on Civilization

The Impact of Technology on Civilization

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In this paper I will talk about the topic that technology will eventually destroy the entire civilization, since people are greedy and the revenge of nature. After reading Spiritwalker, the first thought that came to my mind was whether or not humans will be destroyed by technology. Different people have different answers. Technology's advantages and disadvantages are a subject of constant discussion. Those who are against technology have the opinion that technology harms people and will ultimately ruin human civilization. Threats to the environment are pollution, resource depletion, greenhouse gas, and nuclear power abuse. Those who find technology advantageous, on the other hand, argue that technology benefits people. For example, the internet facilitates the communication between the diversity groups of people. Genetics increase people's lives and cure diseases, and the invention of the airplane reduces the time of traveling from one side of the world to another one.

The main line of the story is through the main character, "I", entering Nainoa's (a future character who lives 5,000 years from now) body to experience his void of technology. The story begins in August of 1983. It is the first time that the main character entered Nainoa's body. During his strange journey, the main character could share Nainoa's feelings, observe the future world, and even read Nainoa's mind. The future world is very strange because the future looks like an aboriginal society of the past. People have reverted back to the use of wood and stone as tools and weapons. They also use cotton and fiber to make clothes and do not have transportation tools. I am astounded by this unbelievable situation that looks like our ancestors' life in a horrible and harsh environment. People can be eaten by animals. Without hospitals and medicine, people easily die from disease. How can human history regress to the way it was thousands of years ago? There are three main tribes in the future. Each of them is dependent on natural resources. One focuses on agriculture, one lives by invading others and another lives by hunting animals. Where has the modern civilization gone? Why does the future of human look like the Stone Age? Does it mean that our society is declining instead of progressing? In order to defend against another tribe's attack, Nainoa is sent over the mountains to find horses. He travels a very long time to look for the lost western civilization.

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I think the western civilization is that people know how to use the knowledge and technology for the attainment of specific goals. In this society, the level of technology is very high and has become indispensable to people's daily life. Why does this prosperous civilization come down and eventually disappear? Our contemporary society involves is a part of the lost western civilization. A myriad of persons are using technology to facilitate their lives. People drive cars to work, watch TV for entertainment, and use machines to produce products. All of these need resources to generate them. Are there not these kinds of resources in 5000 years from now? Or do people fear the revenge of the nature and want a simple life. This causes them to automatically abandon the western civilization and willingness to go back to primitive society. We all know that once the resources are exhausted, then there is no way for people to generate them, at least not in a short time.

If the world was just like Spiritwalker described, I cannot image how worse life could be. This stimulates my mind to think and worry about the future of humanity. Personally, I agree with the author. As technology prospers, human beings will eventually destroy the entire western civilization, which is defined as the lost western civilization in Spiritwalker. The simple reasons are the exhaustion of renewable resources and the revenge of nature.

There is no denying that technology plays a highly significant role in peoples' daily lives. According to Volti (2005), "Today's technology leaves us both exhilarated and terrified". (p3) It demonstrates its tremendous effect on our society and the nature. People seem to fail to take into account whether people really master technology or not. Spiritwalker shows that people fail to master their technology, since people turn back to the primitive society. Although the author did not explain why the western civilization collapsed, according to his several assumptions, I find the most reasonable cause is that modern technology is destroying our civilization. In the contemporary world, there are so many serious environmental problems that have already appeared, such as overpopulation, pollution, greenhouse gas effects and nuclear flotsam. Spritwalker suggests these factors will prevail and become more serious in the future world. Therefore, people's intrinsic greediness and everlasting dissatisfaction will ultimately lead us to perdition.

Reviewing the use of fossil fuel in history, people used to use coal as a main source energy. After the second half of the industrial revolution, people switched from coal to oil, and then natural gas. Nowadays, coal, oil, and natural gas are the three main energy resources. The exploitation rate never catches up to the consumer rate. There are three main reasons. First of all, as the population increases, more fossil fuels are in demand. Secondly, most developing countries use more fossil fuels in order to develop their economies. Thirdly, developed countries also increase reliance on fossil fuels to maintain their high standard of life. This depletes resources.

When resource problems occur, people often solve them by developing substitutes. This is not always possible. No one knows what will happen in the future. Although nuclear power, solar power and wind power are the potential resources to replace fossil fuels, they are either very expensive or not as efficient as fossil fuels. We all know fossil fuels are unrenewable and finite resources. Almost all machines and other energies such as electricity are directly or indirectly base on fossil fuels. Without coal, the steel industry can not operate properly. Moreover, many cities' power plants can not generate electricity. Without oil, most transportation such as cars, trains, ships, and airplanes cannot work. Without natural gas, most buildings cannot generate heat. Therefore, if the fossil fuel is gone, all of the modern technology that facilitates peoples' lives will be gone. Furthermore, the modern technology society will be gone. Eventually, we will lose our proud civilization.

Fossil fuel is just one of factors that destroys our civilization. There are many other significant factors that have the same affect. Humans invented the steam machine, thus pushing the progress of the industry civilization. However, it led the beginning of pollution and environmental deterioration. As the society entered the industrial era, deforestation was substantial. The sky was no longer clear, and greenhouse gas increased. Humans invented pesticide in order to suppress insects, but rudimental agrochemicals caused a great deal of death of plants and seriously hurt human health. Humans discovered the atomic power in order to provide a lot of energy, but they made the atomic bomb which is enough to destroy human civilization, and also brought nuclear pollution and nuclear waste. Humans invented plastics, from that time on the material of the world become abundant. However, plastic garbage is not easy to dispose. Usually people pile it up like a mountain or embed it underground. Humans use cow bone powder to feed cows. They think this is recycling waste, but it creates the virus and lets the bovino spongiform encephalopathy infect the world. Humans discovered that fluor alkaline will increase cold effect of refrigerators and other researches of thermodynamics of important function. However, the fluorine Lyons became the cutthroat of the ozone layer. They nibble our thin ozone layer gradually. Humans invented computers, clone technique, thinking of themselves of Demiurge Gods, but did not discover that they begin to break the rules of society continuously and begin step by step to perish it.

Look around our world and think what people have done to the nature. We know that everyday two species in the world disappear. We also know the greenhouse gas lets the glacier of the South Pole melt. Moreover, the tropical rain forest is continuous decreasing; fertile soil turns into desert rapidly; garbage produce at a high speed rate; water's quality is decreasing speedily; the resource and energy are continuously dried up; various strange disease are prevailing over the world. Nature can not bear human's brutality. It begins to revenge to human. Look back what happen in 2005. We will find out that hurricanes makes larger damage than in other years. Earthquake let thousands people died and lose their homes. Bird flu and aids are prevailing at that time.

I believe that nature balances everything on the earth. Nature is the judge on the earth. It has its own law. No one can break it, even are humans. Compared to nature, humans are too insignificant. However, humans' crankiness and greedy let them neglect nature's power. We should not ignore that other creatures also have spirits. They will complain humans' crime to nature. Nature will give humans some punishments such as hurricanes and earthquake. At this time, people feel despairing and helpless, and begin to fear the revenge of nature. However, humans never learn from these lectures. I think that everything in the earth must be equated. If we continue to break the equilibrium, then one day nature will not bear humans' brutality and destroy them all. This is like the extinction of dinosaurs.

All of these discussed above are give a alarm to people. However, human is greedy. They do not want to give up cars, machines, and whatever they have. When people face doomsday, there is not choice that people have to give up technology in order to survive. Just like Spiritwalker display, 5,000 years later, people have to rely on basic skills such as hunting and agriculture.

In conclusion, if people are not that greedy; if people can stop and begin to think the solutions of the damage of nature, we maybe avoid the collapse of our civilization. In order for our next generation, we have to slow down the speed of industry and technology, until the world finally gets balanced.
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