Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Impacts of Technology (1)"

Today, I was fed with two interesting thoughts I want to share with you.
General context: During my technology class, we were discussing the politics of certain artifacts (yes, artifacts indeed do HAVE politics).
We were searching for some recent examples of how people deal with a certain new kind of technology and the problems that arise with this. Apart from a couple of other very interesting thoughts (I am not gonna dwell on now), these two got stuck in my 'oh-so-European' mind for quite a while:

I LEARNED: that once the possibility of genetically manipulated food, a whole lot of American citizen were indeed suspicious and worrying about unpredictable consequences, like us. They also opposed, like many Europeans did and still do. They were pretty much against it, same as in Europe. But other than in Europe, in the US, this led to a MASSIVE campaign run by those companies who tried to establish this new technology, dwelling on the notion that there are in fact no consequences. In the end, this campaign was successful, people finally got round to believe it and "Frankenfood" is permitted in the US up to now. That's market forces. That's the impact of late 20th century lobbyism at one of its best. Enjoy your meal!

I LEARNED: that there were some severe problems with a certain power plant in Upper Manhattan and that people complained about a great deal of air-pollution, a strong awkward smell and clouds of smoke hanging over their blocks. A great deal of protest went on, a citizens' initiative was founded. But the power plant stayed. Some chemists managed to alter the smell so that it is not recognized any longer. People also calmed down after a while, especially after the people in charge of it got round to built a huge recreation-park with many sports and gaming facilities. It is crowded out most of the time, it was exactly what the community in that area needed. Whenever people get there now, they think "Oh, there was this nasty power plant problem, but hey, at least they did something good for the community now and there are those nice pool tables and the soccer ground and hey, how about having a little game now that we are here?" Humans, always easy to appease with lollipops ...

What do we make of this? Always carry a couple of genetically altered lollipops and a flickering pocket-billboard around with you and whatever you did - you'll get away with it for sure!

2 comments:

_vel said...

whoa girl, your routinous use of English idioms I'd like to have! :)

Leda said...

People should read this.