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Does technology = happiness ?

Does technology bring mankind more happiness?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • No

    Votes: 8 66.7%

  • Total voters
    12

George_Washington

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I was wondering if you guys would think that technology makes people more happy or less happy. Can technology bring happiness or misery? What do you think?

I myself am a fan of technology as in computers, audio equipment, etc. But be that as it may, I don't go hog wild over the latest technologies. But I know people who do. I know people who rent/who a massive amount of DVD's every month and who also have to have the latest gadget. I rarely buy the latest, you know, high tech gadget. I don't own any portable MP3 players, nor do I have any of the latest video game consoles. I play video games a lot but I mostly just play PC games. I don't really have a lot of time anymore to play them like I used to when I was a kid. But anyway, I wonder if buying the latest technological gadget really makes me people happy.

I think in a lot of ways, technology doesn't always make things better and this is another issue I would like to address in this thread. The examples are numerous. Laser cut diamonds don't look as eye memorizing or catch the light like hand cut ones. People say that bread doesn't taste as good in a modern, high tech oven as it does in one of those medieval style cauldrons. A sword that is molded by a laser has been proven to be more brittle and less durable than one where the metal is hand folded and melted. Some people say digital film can never look as good as the real thing and they might be right. When I view films that are done on digital film, I miss the grainy look of 35mm film. It could be that digital film just has a long way to go but still. And of course we all know that hand made watches, skeleton ones where you can see the small and intricate moving parts, is more enjoyable to own than a digital one.

As much as I like technology, I think in a lot of ways, our society is losing its sense of art and culture. I think this is especially true of architecture. Nowadays, buildings are just built for business purposes and to be, "functional." This is also true of furniture. No longer do we design furniture from an artistic perspective but from a dull, scientific one. I am not against science but I think that we should still have a sense of art when we do things. As technology increases, another significant aspect to be hit hard has been fashion. Technology has led to new and interesting kinds of materials and blends, such as spandex. In this way, technology has helped fashion. However, as we become more high tech, we've also seemed to abandon fashion. This seems really odd to me. When you think about it, the 20th century has been the only time where a lot of people, even the upper classes, don't care to dress themselves up. For the vast majority of human existence, people have taken pride in displaying their social status and personalities through the way they dress. But now, suddenly, it seems we've taken a completely different kind of view.
 
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Stace

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I think that new technology may bring pleasure and entertainment, but happiness? Not true happiness. You might be happy for a brief time, or for brief periods here and there when you use the gadget, but it certainly doesn't bring the amount of happiness that things like family can/do. Of course, if certain technologies are a passion/hobby of yours, it will bring more happiness to you than to others, but I don't quite think that that's what you're asking.
 

Kandahar

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It depends. Some people may be happier with the latest tech gizmos, but I don't think the newest iPod accessories make the world a fundamentally better place (which isn't to say that we shouldn't have them). However, modern medical technology certainly makes people happier. In the last century we've doubled the average life expectancy, and there's reason to believe that we'll be able to halt and reverse aging within the next ten years.

So my answer is "It depends on the technology and the person."

Also I disagree with your statement about the arts. On the contrary, I think technology has greatly expanded humanity's capacity for art. There are now entirely new mediums of art (MMORPGs and virtual reality), as well as more accessibility for the "common person" to produce art through the older mediums.
 

George_Washington

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Kandahar said:
Also I disagree with your statement about the arts. On the contrary, I think technology has greatly expanded humanity's capacity for art. There are now entirely new mediums of art (MMORPGs and virtual reality), as well as more accessibility for the "common person" to produce art through the older mediums.
You're right, technology like the Internet has certainly enabled the average person to publish their art easier. But then again, I think certain forms of art, possibly man's appreciation for art itself, have been neglected.
 
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Like Stace was saying, happiness isn’t something that comes from the outside; it’s a state of mind that comes from fulfilling your needs and achieving the reasonably difficult goals that you’ve set for yourself. Technology can provoke the occasional bout of euphoric glee, but it’s really just a tool to help or hinder ya along the way.

I think technology eliminates many of the things that can detract from people’s happiness, such as disease and physical deprivation. It also opens up more avenues to pursue happiness: online dating, ability to commute to work, taking classes online, etc. Unfortunately, the staggering number of options afforded by technology can overload people and distract them with cheap thrills instead of helping them attain real happiness.

I can understand your yearning for the handcrafted precision lacking in most of today’s technological gizmos. My first PS2 crapped out after 6 months, and wasn’t there a whole bunch of complaints recently about those new iPods being fragile as the bones of a calcium-deficient senior? *shrug* I guess those are the prices we pay for mass producing these things. In trying to find a balance between getting the cutting edge technology on the market and keeping it affordable, quality comes tertiary. If they actually put care into their making, only the uber wealthy would be able to afford them.

Me? I’ve never been that big of a fan of art and culture. The simplistic elegance of a well-designed utilitarian device is much more important to me than uselessly garish fripperies. I think fashion is about taking the same materials and construction techniques that have been around for years, and giving it a new shape that is aesthetically pleasing. It’s about adding adornments to make it look nicer. With all the new technologies and materials that just recently came out, we’re still working on creating the basic form and function. Give it some time, and I’m sure you’ll see today’s new plastics, polymers, and construction techniques being prettied up and made fashionable.
 
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Scarecrow Akhbar

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Beauty? What can be more beautiful than watching the Concorde fly? A most gorgeous bit of technology. Unless it's a Space Shuttle carrying your baby out of the nest to work and live, like when they launched AXAF. A state of the art advanced X-Ray telescope rising into the sky on column fire, linking man's newest achievement with his oldest discovery.

On a more prosaic level, I'm really really, I mean REALLY happy to have running water in my house. The 'puter's nice, TV is useful, the fridge keeps the beer cold, but...if I was faced with being able to pick one and only one bit of technology, it would be plumbing.

And this worship of architecture is misplaced. Throughout history, most buildings were functional. Why pay the expense of gingerbreading the place?

And even worse, most people don't have the sense of beauty God put in a horse's ***. Just one of those annoying facts of life, I guess.
 

George_Washington

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
Beauty? What can be more beautiful than watching the Concorde fly? A most gorgeous bit of technology. Unless it's a Space Shuttle carrying your baby out of the nest to work and live, like when they launched AXAF. A state of the art advanced X-Ray telescope rising into the sky on column fire, linking man's newest achievement with his oldest discovery.
Well, the Concord was really as much art as science, look at the design. I am not against technology in any way but I just don't always think that it can neccessarily produce the best product. A lot of so called, "high tech stuff" in our society is only needed because we've lost common sense. For example, look at all of the diet pills we have. We wouldn't need these pills if more people exercised. We've turned into a nation of lazy people that waste good when there are people in third world countries who go hungry every day.


And this worship of architecture is misplaced. Throughout history, most buildings were functional. Why pay the expense of gingerbreading the place?
I wouldn't say that. Infact, I'd say just the opposite. I would say that throughout most of history, buildings have been less functional and more eleborate. I mean look at the ancient Egyptian and Roman buildings. How were they functional? Mostly they were made to appeal to religious leaders, Kings, the upper class, etc. I mean we certainly don't do many hand painted walls anymore or put solid gold vases in most hallways.

And even worse, most people don't have the sense of beauty God put in a horse's ***. Just one of those annoying facts of life, I guess.
lol Well, that's kind of what I'm talking about, in a sense. I guess it all depends on how you view the masses. :::shrugs:::
 

Stinger

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What a nobrainer. Of course technology can bring happiness, would you rather be living in the days of no sanatation, unsafe food supplies, limited commuinication, very basic and not very compitent medical care?
 

George_Washington

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Stinger said:
What a nobrainer. Of course technology can bring happiness, would you rather be living in the days of no sanatation, unsafe food supplies, limited commuinication, very basic and not very compitent medical care?
Well yeah dude, in those ways it can. But the issue just really isn't that simple. Yes, we need mass communication and good health care. But I'm talking about technological things that people use every day in their lives, you know, consumer products.
 

Synch

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Stinger said:
What a nobrainer. Of course technology can bring happiness, would you rather be living in the days of no sanatation, unsafe food supplies, limited commuinication, very basic and not very compitent medical care?
Complications and stress reduce happiness, nuclear warfare adds fear in our everyday life, deadlier weapons aren't so safe easy, the world is much smaller and complicated. Disease spreads much quicker, before the age of trading in the middle ages disease, warfare, and horrible happenings were contained.

There is no secret anymore, the age of information where nothing is kept secret, warfare spreads quickly like wildfire.

It's a balance, we gain but lose at the same time.
 

stsburns

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It depends on the person's view of happiness? :2wave:
 

Stinger

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George_Washington said:
Well yeah dude, in those ways it can. But the issue just really isn't that simple. Yes, we need mass communication and good health care. But I'm talking about technological things that people use every day in their lives, you know, consumer products.
Yes those too can add to our quality of life and the happiness that results. But so do the things I mentions. As I said just look at what technology has done for food production and distribution, weather forcasting, and yes even entertainment. I have a new guitar amp modeler. Now I can play a Marshall, a Fender, a Vox, a Mesa and on and on, in the past that would have required me to work several jobs for years to pay for them all and have hugh room to store them in, now they are all in one little box. Makes me VERY happy.

Would you like to go back to 3 or 4 channels on your TV? I love my satellite radio since I travel the backwoods alot and would lose stations.

I have a small digital blood pressure monitor, very accurate and easy to use, love it.

My daughter has a small RF intercom system to monitor her baby in the other room. Great technology.

What technology has ruined your day?
 

Stinger

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Synch said:
Complications and stress reduce happiness,
How about the compliations and stress of not knowing if you crops you had to grow to eat would come through next year, a wild animal could kill you at any moment, the closest doctor is 50 miles away and 3 days on horseback?

nuclear warfare adds fear in our everyday life,
It actually prevent wars.

deadlier weapons aren't so safe easy, the world is much smaller and complicated.
Tell that to those who recieved the demands from Nepolian or Hitler.

Disease spreads much quicker,
Actually it doesn't and we can contain it much better. When was the last time we had a pandemic? How many children are cripple by polio these days?

before the age of trading in the middle ages disease, warfare, and horrible happenings were contained.
Baloney.

There is no secret anymore, the age of information where nothing is kept secret, warfare spreads quickly like wildfire.
Baloney.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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George_Washington said:
Well yeah dude, in those ways it can. But the issue just really isn't that simple. Yes, we need mass communication and good health care. But I'm talking about technological things that people use every day in their lives, you know, consumer products.

You know...refrigeration.
Air conditioning.
Indoor toilets.
Hot showers.
Safety razors.
Electric Shave.
Deodorant.
Soap.
Teflon coated pans.
Gas stoves.
Latex condoms.
The lathe.
Electric motors.
Elevators.
Elevator shoes.
Birth Control pills.
Electric guitars.
Paternity testing.
MRI's.
Stainless steel.
Pre-stressed concrete.
Silicon chips.
Pamela Anderson.
Lasers.
Little magnetic stripes on little plastic cards.
Cash registers in Kuala Lumpur that can query your bank in New York for instant sales.
Pineapples in the Portland Maine supermarket in December.
An entire concert in a little MP3 player.
Optics and eyewear.
Electric lights.
Taking less than six days to travel on the ground from New York to Los Angeles.
Flying to New York from Los Angeles in six hours.
Calling Los Angeles from New York in less than half a second.
The clock on my wrist.
Not being naked on a cold winter's day.

Yeah, there's a lot to be thankful for with technology. Clearly there's no downside to it.
 

George_Washington

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Scarecrow Akhbar said:
You know...refrigeration.
Air conditioning.
Indoor toilets.
Hot showers.
Safety razors.
Electric Shave.
Deodorant.
Soap.
Teflon coated pans.
Gas stoves.
Latex condoms.
The lathe.
Electric motors.
Elevators.
Elevator shoes.
Birth Control pills.
Electric guitars.
Paternity testing.
MRI's.
Stainless steel.
Pre-stressed concrete.
Silicon chips.
Pamela Anderson.
Lasers.
Little magnetic stripes on little plastic cards.
Cash registers in Kuala Lumpur that can query your bank in New York for instant sales.
Pineapples in the Portland Maine supermarket in December.
An entire concert in a little MP3 player.
Optics and eyewear.
Electric lights.
Taking less than six days to travel on the ground from New York to Los Angeles.
Flying to New York from Los Angeles in six hours.
Calling Los Angeles from New York in less than half a second.
The clock on my wrist.
Not being naked on a cold winter's day.

Yeah, there's a lot to be thankful for with technology. Clearly there's no downside to it.

Ok well, let's look at some of those things you just mentioned. The best soaps in the world are still hand made, made the same way they were hundreds of years ago. I've talked about the clock on your wrist. Clearly, flying is a great benefit of technology. The fact is, technology doesn't always make an item better and that was probably the point I was trying to make.
 
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