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The Downside(s) of Technology


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Well, I woke up this morning with a topic at hand of which I'd like to see other's input on, which is why below will be kind of a TL;DR moment for some.

Have you had a moment where you could sit down and look at how technology is advancing? It's amazing, isn't it?

However, have you ever considered the downsides to continuously growing? Or have you ever thought of the affects that a global power outage could cause? Not just a little power-cut, of which back up generators kick in up until the power is restored, but where the world is entirely deprived of its electricity.

Just think for one second of what would happen if the world were to suddenly lose its source of power; such as electricity... What would happen? The answer is that everything that is run by electricity, such as computers, building equipment and even the internet would cease working.

Sure, there will be back-up generators ready to kick in and provide a temporary source of power, but they'd run out eventually, unless you can continue producing batteries for them, of which would become a very hard task for some.

So, what's the harm in losing electricity? Unable to access the internet or talk over the phone? Well, for one - without running electricity (excluding back-up generators or alternative power sources) things like flood-walls, dams, radars and many other things that humans depend on for their own well-being and safety would all be deemed useless.

Not only that, but now that almost everything about your life is stored electronically, which would mean many Hospitals would be in the dark, the media would be unable to report or inform people of any threats or danger that is incoming, such as severe weather changes, e.g..: tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, etc.

As said previously, the Internet would cease to exist, servers world-wide would be shut down and nobody would be able to access their computer unless they were to generate a constant supply of batteries, but even with that; they wouldn't be able to get Online.

But it doesn't stop there, No... Drinking water would become contaminated with diseases and bugs of which you really would not want to place inside your mouth, as water purifiers would also cease working, where they would be unable to clean the water of which we often take for granted.

Houses that do not have any insulation and those that use electric-powered heaters or boilers would struggle trying to survive the cold nights and those in hot areas would also struggle to survive as they'll have no working source of air-cooling, which would result in the elderly and those that are easily affected by the heat would suddenly begin to die out; for an example of that, you would just have to look at France, almost ten years ago, when they had that extremely dangerous heat wave flow through their country, of which caused more deaths in just an entire month than in the entire duration of World War II.

The Economy, as well, is another thing; it would suddenly collapse, currency would have little to no value as the worth would become obsolete; where the world would have to go back to bartering or construct localized currencies, although that's not really a bad thing, in my mind, as I would prefer to barter for items of which I wanted, by trading one item for another.

Much of the educational system would perish, as again, most things schools require are stored electronically, over networks and/or the internet, which includes student records, GSCE Results and much more of which is mandatory in the Educational system of today.

Essentially, the world would enter the dark ages; as businesses would crumble, local shopping centers would be the only ones to make any money, if any; as you would also have to take into account that food wouldn't be shipped to places on time, as well as their storage, whether it be a fridge or a freezer, would quickly become moldy and unable to be eaten; in turn would cause riots and the looting of every shop and grocery store just so that people could survive, unless a strict law were to be in place across the entire globe, where food and bottled water becomes rationed.

Humanity literally depends on electricity; we have progressed to that point where we are beginning to lose our survival instincts and would find it hard to adapt in a world without the things of which we have depended on for a very long time.

I constantly find people that assume electricity will remain constant, and that if it were to suddenly deplete and they wouldn't be able to cook, go online, listen to music or use their phones, they wouldn't know what to do and would most likely end up killing themselves -- All because they depend on electronic devices far too much, which makes the lives of those who have been brought up in luxury to suddenly become entirely different, one of which they would be forced to adapt to.

To get a feel of what it would be like to live in an environment with no power; meaning - no electricity, gas heating, water, etc, just simply take your house off the grid, metaphorically, and take a look at everything in your house which you use on a day-to-day basis and think to yourself how luxurious the life you are currently living is, where everything is readily available, your food can be cooked in minutes with an oven or microwave, your fridge stores all your dairy products, such as milk and butter, and your heating, which keeps you warm during those cold nights, especially during the winter is something almost everybody relies on, whether constantly or not.

All in all, I just wanted to provide a little bit of food for thought; it's not much, as well as possibly being a subject of which is always being brought up, yet other than getting into serious detail of which would explain how certain power-issues could suddenly start fires, explosions and even nuclear meltdowns, I found that this was the easiest way to explain and for now the best I can do without ranting on like a lunatic; plus, I would love to hear other people's opinions and perhaps solutions to this topic.

So, what are your thoughts on how we are progressing; are we eventually going to be our own downfall by being so overly relaxed with technology? Please do reply; as long as you look at the thread seriously and not just push it aside.

I hope to read some interesting responses!

Cheers. :matte-motes-smile:

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Humans are a remarkably adaptable species.  It wasn't all that long ago when we did live in a world without power as we know it today.  However there was still power available from dams and water wheels, from burning things to keep warm, from harvesting natural things such as wax and oil for lighting and from animals and our own bodies. 

I have experienced being 'off the grid' as you described. We had a hurricane come through a few years back that reeked havoc on everything.  Region wide, we lost all our utilities including water and sewage, Transportation was damaged to the point that food and supplies were not available for hundreds of miles around and could not be brought in. Stores soon emptied , after the first day or so, you couldn't find ice, batteries or gas for the car.  It took weeks to restore utilities and longer for transportation of goods to resume.

 During that time life changed dramatically.  On a positive note though, neighborhoods came together and addressed and solved problems of survival.  People formed groups to get water from the river and bring it back and boil it for neighbors to share. People with back yard gardens shared what produce they had and people helped maintain the gardens by hand carrying water to them. Resources were gathered from those that had them and shared with those that didn't.  All the families in our block pitched in and shared what food was available and prepared hot meals communally using fire pits and such.  In the evening we would gather to entertain ourselves.  Those that could play instruments provided music for dancing, and sing alongs. People told stories or read aloud from books. All in all it was actually a good experience that brought people together. 

I am not naive though and know that if the loss of what we depend on were permanent, it might be different. If circumstances changed as you describe there would be a period of confusion certainly as people regrouped and the old ways of surviving were revived. There would be hardship and deaths and crime would rise as the desperate took what resources they could find from those that had them, without a doubt.  But there is every reason to think that the human race would eventually regroup, reorganize and survive. With what we know now that we didn't 200 years ago, I wouldn't be surprised that new ways of power generating would eventually come on line and new inventions would arise that would take the place of all the conveniences we have now. Who knows, they may even be superior.

 

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Although power issues are serious, you seem confused about the nature of electricity. It isn't something that can "deplete" because it's a by-product of how the universe is put together. You can generate electricity by rubbing a balloon on your head. If the force that holds electrons to atomic nuclei somehow went away we'd have a lot more to worry about than not being able to use our microwaves because the physical world would literally fly apart.. Backup generators don't use batteries; all you need is some source of energy that can turn a magnet in a coil of wire.

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In advanced nations, the electric grid is very vulnerable to cyber attack.

Also on the topic of technological disruptions to society, consider the potential effects of a large-scale EMP emission. I daresay my iPad wouldn't survive, and I doubt many energy-smart appliances would either.

The planet could not sustain anything like its current (over-)population without refrigeration. Or irrigation, for that matter. A lot of people would starve to death long before existing, suddenly obsolete technology could be replaced.

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lol we would just go to the ranch ..my family owns all the land on our road...we're all setup for something like that..we have diesel generators and tons of fuel that would last us years..

5 gallons of diesel and 50 gallons of just about any kind of oil powers  our crank generators..that's the same mixtures the trucks and tractors and machinery take  there as well..so we could still drive around..but even if we couldn't ..we've got around 100 horses and i think about 50 or 60 head of cattle..

we would have A/C and electricity and all that good stuff for the houses and shops.. i think the generators run on about a coffee can of fuel a day..something like that..

we've also got windmills and a bunch of other crap lol

solar fences you name it lol

my father has been making the ranch self reliant for years now..

really the biggest thing i would be getting worried about besides you guys trying to invade us...LOL... is cooling down the nuclear power plants supply of plutonium..soon as that heats up  run..

 

 

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Hooray for solar energy and solar generators completely powered by the sun no sun at night for power? good means more sleep means getting heathier xD also it would create new jobs cause all around the country people would half to make solar plants/stations and getting power the natural way is better for the planet.

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Gadget Portal wrote:

2/3 of the electricity I use, I generate myself, between solar, wind, and water devices. If the world lost power tomorrow, my lights would still be on, and I'd keep playing Xbox games, undisturbed.

probably not. about the undisturbed part

the generating capacity will be taken off you i think and redirect to emergency services like hospitals. you probably be moved out of your house as well under whatever the new emergency laws that will be made

 

 

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I see lots of downsides to technology, that is why my computer is the only modern item in my home.

I have no mobile phone, tv, washingmachine, etc, etc.

Don't need em.

The computer is the only post war thing I own.

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would be bored to death x.x

maybe we can all hunt zombies for fun when that happens :P

i dont see enything like this happening if there is a disaster that would take out the power in one place other placers still have it. and if the disaster is world wide there wont be much trouble with it either couse there wont be meny that survive it

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I already have downsides to technology. I hate mobile phones and use mine as little as possible. It's mostly my alarm clock, but I find that people get mad with me for not answering them IMMEDIATELY when they text me. 

Mind you, it can take me days to notice texts sometimes. I also get tinfoil teeth whenever I here the word "textses".

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuPKjH4q9lk

Learn to live the old way would be really hard, many would likely die without training or knowledge of the old ways that is. Think of living in a forest, and actually going around well with deer skins wrapped around you instead of clothes, and actually getting your water from a waterfall rather than a sink for that matter.

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i saw that show already..it's pretty cool..

but it wouldn't be as bad as going back to furs and all that living in a forest..cities would be the worst place to be  in something like power going out for good..

we have a lot more knowledge now than back then..

plus when survival instincts kick in you would be suprized what you are capable of..plus you wouldn't be alone..

i drink from our springs all the time..it's a lot cleaner than bottled water you get from the store..

i've been on some really neat trail rides where you take off for two weeks with a pack and your horse and thats it..you don't come out of the mountains  till two weeks later..

oh and almost forgot..my guns and knife go with as well lol..

everyone in a group doesn't need to know how to survive..you just need someone there that knows how..

the others would learn pretty quick..and you can bet the rules don't get messed with..

it would probably do some people some good to be stuck in the woods for two weeks having to hunt what you eat and all that good stuff..

it gives a good sense of what really matters in the world and whats really important and where a lot of time is wasted..

there is nothing like waking up in the mountains in the morning and having breakfast next to the stove/campfire lol

it makes you never want to see a microwave again hehehe

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As part of my job I've "lived" in  a 14th century village (part of an archeology themepark) and discovered that things were'nt as horrendous as I thought and after seeing "Terry Jones's Medieval Lives", I'm convinced that life back then for many was not that bad.

As part of my lifestyle I live like someone from the 1930s, besides my computer I have nothing modern in my home.
And I love it, am not missing out on anything.

As part of something totally different I've had survival training.
Being send into the woods without much or anything at all and having to live on what I could find.
I loved it and did very well.

We have so much rubbish and useless stuff today, we're being spoiled rotten.
Taking a few steps back wouldn't bother me at all.
If I had an EMP device... I might use it the next time an annoying moped races trough my street, some antisocial scumbag is listening to loud music on his ipod or talking loudly on his phone...

Modern times..... bweh.

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Jo Yardley wrote:

 

As part of my lifestyle I live like someone from the 1930s, besides my computer I have nothing modern in my home.

And I love it, am not missing out on anything.

<Snip>

We have so much rubbish and useless stuff today, we're being spoiled rotten.

Taking a few steps back wouldn't bother me at all.

 

 

I admire you for living as you do as described in the first paragraph I quoted and totally agree with the second.

To be able to make ends meet I discontinued cable TV about 6 months ago.  I had intended on getting an indoor antennae to bring in at least local stations and "maybe" Netflix later on, but I found to my surprise I am not missing TV in the slightest so those ideas are now on indefinite "hold."

I had a simple cell phone for years on an inexpensive plan, but cut that out as well to economize.  Even when I had the cell phone it was just to be able to call for aid if my car broke down (my job involved a lot of traveling) and for outgoing calls if needed.  I didn't even know my own cell phone number as I only turned it on to make calls, not receive them.  I met a woman in my apt. complex recently and we exchanged phone numbers.  I KNOW I told her I did not have a cell phone.  A few days later I get a call from her and she says, "Your cell phone isn't working - I just tried to text you and got an error message."  Me: Ummmm, I don't have a cell phone, just this land line which you apparently tried to text."  Her:  Stunned silence. 

I've never been overly materialistic but stumbled upon an intriguing blog about a year ago re: minimalist living.  It really jived with me as I enjoy clean, uncluttered living spaces so I have been gradually getting rid of excess "stuff."

I do need to do more in the way of emergency preparations, though, since I live in the land of hurricanes and we got hit with 4 successive ones a number of years ago that knocked out electricity for weeks for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.  In addition to natural disasters, in this age of terrorism, *anything* could happen.  "Be prepared" is a good motto.

I am a SL time-traveler (stated in my profile *grins*).  Definitely need to re-visit 1920s Berlin. I visited a few times several years ago and loved it, but was partnered at the time.  Partners can be very time-consuming...lol.

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