Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Human Progress

As I fly around IT and watch the variety of people that walk in and out of the doors, I cannot help but think about how broad a spectrum technology covers. Information Technology serves every department on campus, from biology labs to civil engineering to education. I am continuously fascinated by the variety of people that walk in, or call in, asking for help from our department. 

Technology exists in every field. Technology can be a great resource for advancement and progress, such as improvements in the classroom experience and more effective online learning. However, it can also be used for harmful or even malicious intents, like spam or world domination. While some advances in technology may eventually make certain controversies obsolete, other advances will bring more controversy to our attention. The following videos are TED Talks about some recent ideas and technologies that are being developed and have the potential to revolutionize our world and our individual lives. The length of the video shouldn't deter you from watching, the topics are fascinating:

(Tissue engineering from human skin cells)

(A new look at energy efficiency)

As I watch videos like these, I get excited about research and advances in science and technology. Our world is ever-changing, and the improvements that have been and can be made are fascinating and enthralling. However, there is a part of every person that feels a small amount of fear when new ideas are spread. I think it is important to recognize that this fear of the unknown is common, natural, and human; and it is not entirely unfounded. Sometimes the unknown turns out more dangerous than expected. 

However, exploration of the unknown has also brought incredible advances in our world (i.e. space exploration, energy technology, online learning). Fear of the unknown has been a part of scientific and technological progress at every point in history. However, we cannot allow fear to halt the progress of research and invention. God has instilled in humans a desire for knowledge, and a curiosity and drive to pursue truth and transformation, and He has also provided wisdom and discernment to help guide that curiosity.

We must be aware of our focus and intentions as we seek to advance our world, and of the consequences of these new ideas. However, allowing fear to dissuade our curiosity and hinder our pursuit of knowledge would be a tragedy.  

These are some thoughts and ideas I have had as I watch the world as a fly on the wall in IT. 

Have a blessed and thoughtful day!

The Fly ;)

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