Fandango’s Provocative Question #6

FPQEach week I will pose what I think is a provocative question. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

This week’s provocative question came up when I read an article that talked about how the extent that Russia used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States and the Brexit vote in Great Britain was more extensive than what was originally thought and that such disinformation and misinformation on social media sites continues almost unabated to this day.

With that in mind, here’s this week’s provocative question.

“Is technological advancement a net positive or a net negative?”

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

And most important, have fun.

16 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #6

  1. The Haunted Wordsmith December 19, 2018 / 3:51 am

    It can be a great tool but few use it that way anymore. The majority of the world’s population would die quickly if we were all thrown back into the stone age and people didn’t have the internet to look up how to build a fire, make a snare or fishing line, and how to cook on an open flame.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 19, 2018 / 8:08 am

      Ha. True. Pretty soon the ability to think and reason will be replaced by artificial intelligence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marleen December 19, 2018 / 11:33 am

    When my oldest child was in sixth grade, the district was treating that age like early junior high school, and there was a new course called “Technology” — which was the traditional “Shop.” My son had been home educated up until shortly before that point, and we’d had computers at home [not for the purpose of accomplishing the homeschooling, but just because Dad was a computer major for his masters degree]. In the second semester of fifth grade, this son (and the next younger, in third grade) had helped all the teachers at the elementary school to understand their new technology (computers were just then being introduced into the schools). I suppose, with the course title, someone was trying to make the point that the definition of technology was not computing (or even typewriters or screens). Everyone was calling the computers “the technology” (while, at home, we’d called these things computers or PCs or the like*). There was even a subject for the little ones referred to as technology (to get them used to the machinery and typing). It was an interesting idea, then, the re-branding of “Shop.” I don’t remember if he took that curriculum then; I think he only saw the syllabus. But he had classes with that kind of activity in college, as he studied architecture and industrial design.

    * The word technology would be more likely referenced (at home or among nerds) when discussing the particulars of components, especially inside (like when assembling a new version). Or when considering how something functioned and whether that was “elegant.”

    Technology is involved, however, in a fundamental sense, in the construction of even the casings… whether they are stamped out on an assembly line or were they to be carved individually by hand. And in the manufacture itself of whatever the ideas are.

    I sometimes get very annoyed with things not behaving properly. And I’m tempted to say we’d be better off with the old ways. But, in fact, I think advanced technology is generally good for us (except in the sense of the physical waste we are creating with it). As long as people don’t get too arrogant (always a risk) about their inventions, and as long as we don’t abandon teaching basics to everyone, I vote “net positive.”

    Yet, I often hear people complaining in their work. And I feel for them. So, I’ll be patient with the person on the phone in the employ my car insurance company [or at a doctors’ office or what have you] upon their relating that digital technology is “supposed to be great but… ”

    There needs to be more communication around, education concerning, and immediate support for all these individuals who have to use these devices to accomplish important tasks. AND the devices and their programming should be carefully done and not spit out like cheap plastic trinketry handed out at a traveling fair.

    I have another son (second-to-youngest) who isn’t interested in digital technology at all (except for the occasional online game… and, of course, he has a smart phone and all the usual). For work, he wants to have as little to do with it as possible. He was hired right out of college — without being told forthrightly — to learn and end up managing the “engineering” of a company. What this really meant there was on-the-fly programming [even though this is a big name organization] and whatever he could come up with on how to herd those cats [people who literally made strange noises and fought over their prowess… not to mention, stayed too long at work so as not to have to go home]. He couldn’t stand anything about the job… and as he had majored in economics (and if he’s not doing something classically intellectual he’d rather be doing something very physical), he left. Can you imagine doing a job with a reputation to be based on strict logic — but in a slap-dash, do-what-gets-you-through-the-moment, way?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marleen December 21, 2018 / 11:36 am

    When it comes to music, by the way, I use digital… but also analog. I’m pro-analog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango December 21, 2018 / 1:56 pm

      I agree that analog gives a better, fuller sound, but I’m all digital. I don’t even own a turntable anymore.

      Like

      • Marleen December 21, 2018 / 3:35 pm

        Yes. I’m glad people, including you, still recognize vinyl and older technology provides more satisfying sound. It’s kind of a misperception among many that new means advancement or “better” anything (which I don’t mean you were saying). I disagree.

        It can be or might be sometimes.

        On music, I largely use digital. And I’m pretty satisfied with the sound system in my car (which is part of how I choose a car when I get to). I also, however, have purchased an old turntable. This is to be in my basement (or on the lower level).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen December 21, 2018 / 7:02 pm

          {Cars can have both — analog (AM/FM) and digital (CD player and XM/satellite) — types of music.}

          Liked by 1 person

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