John Stuart Mill was born in 1806 and lived until 1873. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Archive describes him as “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century.” It is interesting that almost two hundred years later, we are still grappling with the notion of whether automation has the practical impact of making our lives simpler. Are we better off today because of cell phones, social media, the internet, commercial air flights, and modern medical diagnostic and treatment protocols?
Looking through the lens of two centuries, the contrasts between the realities of normal life in 1820, stands in stark contrast to our twenty-first-century world. But when we shorten the interval to two decades, our perspective changes and losing yesterday feels personal. We feel nostalgia for a time we grew up loving. Embracing change can be difficult. It disrupts everything we depend upon, overturns our logic, and challenges our basic trust levels.
Technological advancement demands much from us. It forces you to examine your processes and open your mind to entertaining, and maybe even learning, new working methods. Some concepts are simple. Having a phone when your car breaks down on the expressway is a vast improvement on the alternative. Being able to access information online, makes research easier than spending hours in the library. Electric typewriters were great upgrades in their day, now laptops and tablets exude an undeniable appeal.
Has technology improved your life?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer