Technology—Bane or Boon?

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The overt observation of some knowledgeable persons who passionately feel concerned for the welfare of humanity, in the wake of scientific strides and technological triumphs, laments that “technology creates more problems than it solves”. Their concern echoes the similar sentiments of thinkers like J.G.Ballard for whom, “technology dictates the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages or we remain mute”, and for Omar Bradley “our technology has already outstripped our ability to control it”. Despite these jarring notes, technology has acquired a halo that is almost impossible to shake off.

Who can deny the robust role and range of technology that we experience in our every day life. If we care to look at the scintillating side of technology, we find space technology and its applications provide useful data for natural disaster monitoring, solving environment problems, improve telecommunications and provide other basic services. Through fax, e-Mail and the Internet, information technology has outstripped all barriers that time and space had placed in man’s search for instant information. Though electronic information is hard to control, yet the individual newsgatherer is visible and vulnerable. The latest in the success story is the likely boom that bio-technology promises to unfold in the years to come. Rightly, biotechnology is being seen by scientists and entrepreneurs alike as the next big thing with the potential to revolutionise the fields of agriculture, health and medicine. The promises are many: disease-resistant and high-yield crops that could solve the world’s food problems; new medicines and drug delivery systems to cure diseases and prevent genetically inherited disorders; and new enzymes that make industrial production more efficient and cost-effective.

For ages the axiom, nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so, was the golden rule that moulded human perceptions and concrete actions. With the advent of...
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