What ails human society today that cannot be repaired by modern technology? Spoiler alert. It depends. Humankind has made substantial advancement in medicine but the old adage ‘you can’t legislate morality‘ remains much as it always has been. An axiom of human life.
Apple builds an ecosystem of modern technological marvels and integrated services that are the envy of competitors and bring admiration from every political side. Yet, with all the good an iPhone or Mac or iPad can give to society– when used appropriately– we members of society manage to create ills faster than such technology can solve the problems.
Freedom Of Speech Bots
One such example is how much the iPhone has become a supercomputer that fits into a pocket. We can argue that Apple’s version of the smartphone has revolutionized modern society; how we communicate, how we work, how we interact with one another– but has it all been for good? No. The human equation remains unsolved.
In the U.S. we have a degree of freedom of speech and press that does not exist to the same extent as in many modern, developed countries. We can encrypt and store personal information with security measures unheard of just a few decades ago. We have applications and sensors than can monitor our health, but not one of them will function in a way to help us avoid eating or drinking too much at the wrong times.
We can communicate via secure messaging to nearly any human on planet earth, but we are not held responsible for whatever information we disseminate to others, either personally or publicly. The internet itself, once heralded as the information superhighway, has become a personal cesspool for many and more of a mis-information superhighway which can spread falsehoods from one end of the earth to the other within minutes. Social media websites and networks, including Facebook, help to spread fake news thanks to both malicious and unknowing users, but spread faster thanks to the technology itself; automated bots with free speech capabilities.
Apple’s customers tend to be more educated and have more disposable income than either Windows PC users or Android device owners, yet the problems facing society are faced by all in technology. Just as leaders from the dawn of time have worked to legislate human morality, titans of technology and their elected or unelected government representatives want to legislate how we use technology. German politicians want to fight fake news and hoax-spreading bots by using the very technology used to spread such falsehoods. In the U.S., members of Congress want to legislate encryption usage (again) while free and easily accessed encryption reigns supreme over the world.
Humans have many ills and it seems to me that we’re not advancing technology fast enough to catch up, let alone manage or legislate our problems to the benefit of anyone other than legislators. Health advancements aside, what societal ills does an iPhone solve? Communication via social networks? I don’t think so. What can a Mac do to help advance the state of humanity? Meaningful education or employment?
As much as I love my technology gadgets and immerse myself in their wonders, the more I wonder about the overall benefits to society. After all, we humans seem more divided than ever, and interactive discourse has itself developed new lows in recent years. Apple is not to blame. Yet, I sometimes think that the technological devices brought upon humanity by Apple and competitors has not improved the human race much, if at all. Technology might one day solve all our ills but humans seem to be adept at creating new ones faster than technology advances.