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.