It is Easier to Create than to Comprehend

The Means Justify the Ends

There is no Team in Bonus

In the vain of these adages that I stood on their head, I bring you a new one.  Many times throughout my life I have heard that “it is easier to destroy than it is to create”, usually in reference to something beautiful or worthwhile being destroyed.  Well, it hit me today about the issue of the wrongful use people put well meaning technology toward.  For every technology that is designed to better mankind, someone takes it and perverts into something bad.  Computers made to assist and connect us become tools to take away or control us, same with cellphones.  In addition, there are all the unintended consequences of our rapidly changing technology.  Harmful effects that are not realized until long after the product is in use (i.e. asbestos) and the overwhelming amount of waste material pumped into our environment.  So I feel that a corollary adage should be added as follows:

It is easier to destroy than create, also, it is easier to create than to comprehend.

Of which the main idea is that in our greedy grasp for better and better technology, we can become quite blind to all the unforeseen effects of the technology we create.  Being short lived creatures, we tend to focus on the here and now and let our progeny deal with the consequences.  Just look at all the ways Wall Street used computers to hide the damage they did back in 2008.  How much easier did computers make it to push along the toxic debt?  In addition, Wall Street currently condones a two level information system, which to me smacks of insider trading.  I have heard there are companies who are allowed to trade with systems that get and analyze stock information before the public gets it.  It is only say, milliseconds faster, but with computers, companies can buy and sell stocks at a profit before the general public can and this is still legal because the government can’t keep up with the technology.

All of these are results of the creation of computers.  I’ll guarantee that the first computer designer never thought about computer viruses, fraud, or cyber warfare.  How could they have comprehended all the divergent paths associated with computer technology.  Bones.

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2 thoughts on “It is Easier to Create than to Comprehend

  1. Unfortunately I think you’re wrong on some points. The first computer designer’s were thinking precisely about warfare. They were designed to calculate the trajectory of large gun fire. (Though these computers were designed but never built.) It’s a sad fact that many inventions we enjoy today are by products of warfare. Our drive to destroy sometimes leads to better things. So rather than things like computers being taken and warped into weapons i think its often the other way around.

  2. You are right about the first computers being used to calculate shell trajectories, but I was referring to their use outside of just calculating equations. I don’t believe they would have comprehended how much we have become dependent on computers socially and economically. They saw computers as a means to solve tough equations accurately not as a means to distribute news and ideologies world wide with all of the attendant manipulation. Also, this is only one example of technology growing faster then our ability to deal with it.

    Another thing to think about with computers is how many people use them as casually without an inkling of what is really going on behind the scenes. At the rate our computer technology expands, even the tech people struggle to understand it all. How many Americans have had their finances damaged by not knowing the things going on in their computer

    Finally, like the marketing and downfall of Asbestos, how many new wonder products were created as the technological panacea only to turn out to be harmful to people? Look at the way they tell us how safe Nuclear Energy is even after Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Heck, mixing lead with paint was a technological method of making it more colorful. In our constant rush for bigger and better, including bigger and better profit, how many times have we left the concern for the possible outcomes for later generations? Especially in America, the focus is almost exclusively on profit and not responsibility until the s**t hits the fan.

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