Elsa Franco Al Ghaslan
Published — Friday 1 February 2013
Last update 2 February 2013 4:19 pm
I am no historian but I am also not unaware of what has been going on for thousands of years here on Earth, since mankind first appeared on the planet. Two things in particular strike me, two precise points in history when giant leaps seem to have occurred, with a pattern that appear to be totally different from the other historical periods. We are used to saying that Nature is never in a hurry, that all the natural phenomena take place in due time, following a progressive pattern of development. Plants bloom, die and bloom again throughout the seasons, following a precise rhythm, never hurrying nor slowing down in a significant way. Therefore, physical transformation has happened slowly across the geological eras. Animal evolution has also taken its time and so has the human race, treading through the centuries at a seemingly steady pace, systematically acquiring new knowledge in all fields (art, science, literature etc.).
But there are two moments where change took place almost “overnight”, i.e. in a relatively short time, almost inexplicably. Maybe there are facts we are unaware of which might explain it. Who knows? The first “quantum leap” seems to have happened when, out of the blue, from the prehistoric age (let’s say about 10,000 BC) we find mankind building pyramids, well organized Empires brimming with art and culture. After that, the world seems to have progressed at a steady pace, with the many successive civilizations, with gradual social transformations, discoveries and inventions – till our days. Then, suddenly, a second quantum leap takes place: The “computer revolution”.
The first idea of using a machine for calculations dates back to the end of the 19th century and it has progressed for several decades till the sudden “explosion” of these last few years. What is becoming available on an almost daily basis has given birth to a sort of frenzy. The speed at which newer and newer devices are literally thrown onto the market for the avid buyers to purchase is incredible.
But this is not all. It seems to me – a simple layperson – that some of these discoveries and inventions (no matter the field) are also needless. They entail a great amount of money spent on research, experimentation and realization with, of course, the expectation of huge revenues. As usual, the first (and only?) goal is making money. This is the world we are living in. Many are the consequences of such rapid transformation, some certainly positive. But there is a “negative” side that strikes me. It is the immediate availability of the most immoral, dangerous, criminal material, regarding “stuff” that in previous times only existed in “restricted areas”, of which only few were aware of, interested in and familiar with.
Today, with only one click in the privacy of their room, any person (including young and very young people) can access material that should stay where it belongs (in the trash?). This easy way of access stimulates human curiosity and invites many to “try”. It is material that does not need to be displayed in public and presented as appealing, as normal, as fun, because… it is not. Freedom of expression, you say? No one compels anyone to watch, you say? Sure! But, I wonder, why is there this need to dwell on the lowest forms of thoughts and behaviors? Why this desire to expose the ugliest sides of the human nature so that even those who would have never imagined they existed, are now duly informed and “indoctrinated”?
The conclusion of such wondering? As usual, there is none! It is just my personal observation – as a reliable (I hope) witness – on how such incredibly fast technological transformation is giving origin to a society of chip-fed individuals who, if the trend continues at the same speed, will end up creating a new “race” of human beings. Is the price mankind is paying for this “progress” worth it? Is there a hidden meaning, a mysterious plan behind all this? Where do these “periodic” quantum leaps come from? Where are they leading mankind to?
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