Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 and Meditation on Technology Changes

Thanksgiving 2015 and Technology Changes-- 

               Here I am at home, half-avoiding the traffic and lines of Black Friday after Thanksgiving.   I might go to Wal-Mart or Toys-R-Us later today with the wife.   I have meditating on the future lately:  Where are we going as a world, as a nation (U.S.), as a state (Alabama), as a city (Huntsville), as a community? 
             A friend of mine talked about how the future is wide-open and bright, but then discussed how great driver-less cars would be.   I don't so much think so, because I dislike technology that removes control from my hands and I like the freedom and power afforded to me by driving my car.   I have nothing inherently against new technologies, but I prefer to manage the pace of change in my own life. I resist technologies that remove control from my hands.    I do use new technologies when they come to appear more useful than not to me and for my life though.
           For instance,  I initially resisted the self-serve check-out lanes at grocery stores, but then I noted that the lanes did move faster and I began to use them, particularly when they have someone watching over the lanes.  I do still use the usual teller check-out lanes when I have unusual items or lots of stuff, but for a few things or a normal stop I will use the self-serve lane.   
           I also tried the phone-pay technology for my car insurance bill for the first time.  It didn't go smoothly the first time, but I found ways to rectify the errors.  This is important to me, for I need ways to correct errors when I use automated technology (or any technology in general).   So, I am likely to try to use the technology again and figure out how to use it more efficiently.   I like being able to use new and old technologies as these techs are useful for me and as they prove correctable.   I am of the opinion that our technologies are meant to serve  humans and not the other way around, humans there to serve technology.   (The Sabbath was meant to serve the human, and not the human to serve the Sabbath, so to speak).
           I am of the opinion that technologies should be directed by humans and not humans directed by technologies.   As teaching technologies advance, I employ them and use them as these tools seem fit to me.   Hybrid classes using computers and face-to-face lecture and teacher-student time appears to take the best from both worlds in education, of the traditional and the novel.   I may attempt to teach a fully on-line class if possible to build my teaching repetoi're but whatever tools I use will be guiding by my hand as a professor for the benefit of the students.
          That is the way I think we humans should head to truly make the future bright and wide-open with good possibilities.   Otherwise, the brightness of the future makes me think of a nuclear holocaust.   While I am not so pessimistic to think that only trouble lies ahead, I am far too much the realist to believe that technologies cannot be used for the worsening of human life as well as for the bettering of human life.   I thus think that managing our computer tools and guiding them rather than being being led by nose with technologies is the best path to a bright and happy future...
          Now, for the good things in life, friends, family, and love, I am greatly thankful and blessed.  For the nice practical tools of life, I am thankful to be able to use them to better myself, my friends, family, and others.   Cheers and pass the soon-to-come eggnog with the turkey and dressing!