Technology is Not a Crystal Ball, but a Magnifying Mirror

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The idea that technology is a crystal ball is arguably the most widely held misconception about it. a crystal ball as it is said to provide us the ability to look into the future. And in order to assess whether or not that is accurate, we must comprehend the meaning and connotations of the word “technology,” or at the very least, its historical connotations.

The Greek terms techne and logos are the source of the English word technology. Techne can refer to an art form, a skill set, a craft, or the process by which something is acquired. The word logos refers to a speech, a statement, or a phrase that is used to communicate inner thinking. Thus, technology literally refers to speech or conversation regarding the acquisition of goods. Put differently, technology does not determine “why” we do things or “what” we should be doing; it just describes “how” we do things. Because it is only a means to an end and not an end in and of itself.

Therefore, since technology cannot provide us with a crystal ball, it is not a crystal ball. Rather, technology functions as a magnified mirror, reflecting just our current circumstances and, more crucially, our identity.

Because it reflects the engineers, designers, and programmers who create it, technology may be thought of as a mirror. However, it also serves as a reflection of all of humanity—its aspirations, anxieties, ignorance, knowledge, and limitations, as well as its positive and bad aspects. However, because technology amplifies and magnifies things, it is not like a typical mirror and constantly has unintended repercussions. The important thing to remember is that technology is only a reflection of who we are; it has no inherent nature.

Therefore, we might wish to spend some time and money enhancing the image we ourselves portray in it, that is, who we are, what we are doing, and why we are doing it, rather than concentrating just on cleaning the mirror, that is, upgrading technology.

In the end, then, technology is not the issue. It concerns us.

For, as I have often stated, even if you have the finest How, you will accomplish more harm than good if your Why or What is flawed. For this reason, technology is insufficient.

Furthermore, there are also historical instances where advancements in technology have made life worse rather than better. For instance, the Agrarian Revolution was dubbed “history’s greatest fraud” by historian Yuval Noah Harari. [Because we were better off as hunter-gatherers in every quantifiable manner, such as health, lifespan, number of labor hours per week, nutrition, infant mortality, etc.] Furthermore, if we are not attentive, we face the possibility of our present technology revolution being the biggest hoax of our time. And nowhere is it more evident than on Facebook and in Silicon Valley.

What makes Facebook? Because Facebook was once magical, it later became maniacal, and after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, we discovered it had grown terrifying. It is also easy to observe that most of the technologies we have developed since the industrial revolution either are headed toward becoming monstrous or already follow a similar trajectory from magic to mania to monstrous. Because people are magical, insane, and hideous. And we are reflected in technology. Examples abound, but plastic is the best that comes to mind.

You know, plastic was actually sold as the miracle substance in the early 20th century. because plastic can be used for practically everything, and it can do it more quickly, cheaply, and easily. We thus developed a mad obsession with plastic and built practically everything out of it. However, given that there are now more plastic particles in certain regions of our seas than fish, it is easy to see that we are neck deep in the monstrous stage. And to give you a small taste of how horrible things have gotten, have a look at this:

Currently, the world produces one million plastic water bottles per minute.

Even worse, just 9% of them are recycled at best. Every minute, an additional 910,000 plastic bottles find their way into the environment. Of fact, water bottles only make up a small portion of the plastic produced worldwide. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we are actually submerged in this initially magical, then insane, and finally terrifying technology. [Why might AI differ in any way?]

Therefore, technology cannot assist us predict the future. It just aids in our self-perception. Furthermore, we will get rubbish out if we put garbage in. This time, though, it’s exponential. Likewise with ignorance, bigotry, or wickedness.

Because of this, we truly can’t solve technology unless we first fix ourselves. For technology is not a crystal ball, but rather a magnifying mirror.

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