Monday, January 31, 2011

In 1994 The Today Show with Katie Couric did not know what the internet was. Could you imagine if they seen Facebook?

Just over 15 years ago no one knew what the Internet was including the hosts of The Today Show at the time. It's pretty hard to believe how clueless they seem about the Internet in this video from You tube. Today I can guarantee Katie Couric and the wrest has a Facebook, Twitter, email, and their own websites. It's amazing how far we have come but also scary as to how fast it has happened. Do you think the world's technology is evolving too fast for mankind? Are there any drawbacks from the rapid advancement of the Internet and other technologies?


  1. I think you ask an important question, and I think the answer is absolutely "yes". I went to school in the Boston area, and that *other* school, MIT, was everywhere--including inside subway stations. I remember reading an interesting placard describing how MIT was founded during the Civil War, to develop military technologies for the North. Eventually, the school went private. And that, of course, got me to thinking (again) about the Civil War, which is one of my great passions. Of course, in my family, it's still The War of Northern Aggression, but that's another story.

    To this day, the Civil War produced the greatest percentages of casualties and fatalities of any war that the US has ever been involved in. When I was studying in Georgia, I saw some very, very scary pictures. As we all know, the Civil War was a war of firsts, and one of the major "firsts" was photography. It was the first major conflict to be documented pictographically, by Matthew Brady and others. There've been a number of theories put forth about what made the Civil War so bloody; some are sociological, some are technological--and, really, can you separate the two?

  2. A professor in one of my history classes in college explained it thus: our technology advanced beyond what we, as a society, could understand or respond to. We had no similarly advanced medicine to cope with the casualties; we had, sociologically and psychology, no tools to process what was happening.

    I think the same thing happened during and after Vietnam, and it's happening again. When I first studied the western expansion, the similarities struck me: everyone from Custer to Bat Masterson were southern boys. They'd gone off to war, done what their government told them was right, gone, believing in their hearts, that they were doing the right thing. They suffered the horrors of war--horrors nobody had remotely prepared them before, horrors nobody had previously experienced--and came home, not to support, but disgust. They were outcasts. No wonder they all bugged out.

    My husband sees a lot of damage, particularly to young kids, being done by social media. Different battlefield, different kind of casualties, but in a way, the problem is being made all the worse by the fact that we're basically ignoring it. He says that most of the juvenile cases he deals with--many of which result in serious violence, and lasting injury, both physical and psychological--start on Facebook.

  3. I think the internet and technology can prove as both a blessing and a curse for humanity.

    Ken Wilber offered a good glimpse of the rise of technology in our times and the potential conflict, in his book, A Theory of Everything. That sometimes technology advances quicker than our advancements in the realms of ethics and morality.
    For example..yes we had the technology to create an atomic bomb, and the means, but was mankind ready to really use that technology that went into the making of an atom bomb to help humanity or to only cause pain and suffering. I can't figure out one good thing that came about through Hiroshima.
    Sometimes technology moves faster than what we are capable in terms of making humane and ethical choices in how to use that technology.

    Just some thoughts :) Hope you don't mind the length.