Is it possible to live without technology?

How possible would it be for you to live without Technology? (From Quora)

My answer: A given individual can live without technology – telephone, radio, TV, automobile – but society in general can no longer go back (how far back?) to the time of 3 or 4 generations ago. Everything has been ‘piling up’ and become more and more complex and, at the same time, integrated or intertwined more or less haphazardly. We need modern technology even if only to take us out of this mess – a mess which I don’t need to describe in any detail and which affects the whole world.

Are we at the point of no-return? Nobody knows. While there are dangers, there are also opportunities, advances and turn-backs. Each individual is like a cog of a great machine (or a thread in a tangle?), and only individuals can bring about some change for the better – others do it for the worse. It is like the ancient lore of good and evil in endless battle. The myth of Prometheus (and also that of Pandora) loom over all of us. The Greeks understood all this very well.

‘Advaita Vision’ is an antidote.


4 thoughts on “Is it possible to live without technology?

  1. Hi Martin

    Whilst a few individuals might be able to live off grid, civilisations – representing humans living at scale – cannot do without technology. As you say it underpins all of the complexity of societal functions. And I doubt technology is going to find a solution for the degradation it has caused – take the electric car for instance, and think of the environmental harm caused by mining for the rare earth metals that are an essential component of the batteries.

    We lack wisdom and compassion; our intelligence and technology, is just used for self-serving purposes. At a microcosm, I read a couple of weeks ago, that doctors in India had, through IVF treatment, helped a 73 year old woman give birth to twins; the following day the husband died. No doubt the doctors were chasing a record to break. I don’t need to point out the lack of wisdom and compassion at a macro level.

    Even if some miraculous technology existed, we don’t have the ability to cooperate for the common good, unless there is a monetary incentive. Somehow, this is fitting, given that historically speaking, the industrial revolution is an outcome of European colonialism and the slave trade, that both drove the demand for power (in the sense of both engines and weapons) and the spoils of which funded the university science that provided the inventions.

    We are like a parasite that has taken over a beautiful host. And the host’s immune system is about to fight back.

  2. PS: Advaita IS the antidote, but it never reached enough parasites to enlighten them.

  3. Venkat: ‘Even if some miraculous technology existed, we don’t have the ability to cooperate for the common good, unless there is a monetary incentive.’ You also refer to wisdom v. technological prowess, and I agree on both points. Those who are responsible for making decisions in the industrial and political sectors are generally motivated by profit or self-interest. One cannot be optimistic about the future of humanity given the trends we are seeing on many fronts.

    The TED talk provided by Shishya: Jamie Metzl: “Hacking Darwin”, does nothing to assuage one’s feelings in that regard. Einstein has been quoted as saying: ‘I don’t know with what weapons the lll World War will be fought. The lV World War will be fought with sticks and stones’.

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