Looking at the world with fresh eyes is the hallmark of a genius inventor – being open to endless possibilities for creation. How we use things is totally upon us. The fault lies within our way of thinking, not in the human inventions of various nature.
Photo source: 123rf Do human inventions move societies backward is a serious question to deal with because it is nothing but an array of human inventions that amazed the life of an ordinary human being. Human inventions have brought people closer to each other, made communication more advanced, and have given us sophisticated supply chains to exchange goods and services.
Besides, the invention of modern gadgets and smart devices virtual reality has made life real magic. The use of virtual reality in fashion, in education, in medical training, in entertainment applications such as video games and 3D cinema gives us a completely different perspective to view the different situations without our physical attendance in that particular situation.
In such a well-communicated and more coordinated world, the statement that human inventions move societies backward literally makes no sense. Contrary to that, there exist many warning signs that compel one to think that new inventions are moving societies backward in the primitive ages. Escapism, anti-social behavior, addiction to the internet games, separatism are not all but a few of the instances that can convince one on the argument related to the associated backwardness with human inventions.
As a matter of fact, none of the human inventions is moving us backward but it is the human mind that uses these inventions in harming the other creatures of the world. It is not the scientific inventions that move societies backward but the illusion of the human mind that utilizes that invention against the human being.
Before going into the details let’s first have an overview of certain human inventions that did wonders in transforming the whole world.
The invention of the wheel, perhaps, the most primitive of the scientific inventions. Before the invention of the wheel in 3500 B.C., humans were severely limited in how much stuff we could transport over land, and how far. The invention of the wheel has facilitated agriculture and commerce by enabling the transportation of goods to and from markets, as well as easing the burdens of people traveling great distances. Now, wheels are vital to our way of life, found in everything from clocks to vehicles to turbines.
The invention of nails dates back more than 2,000 years to the Ancient Roman period and became possible only after humans developed the ability to cast and shape metal. Nail-making machines came online between the 1790s and the early 1800s. Technology for crafting nails continued to advance. Another invention that is central to navigation is the invention of the compass.
Ancient mariners navigated by the stars, but that method didn’t work during the day or on cloudy nights, and so it was unsafe to voyage far from land. The Chinese invented the first compass sometime between the 9th and 11th century; it was made of lodestone, a naturally magnetized iron ore, the attractive properties of which they had been studying for centuries. Soon after, the technology passed to Europeans and Arabs through nautical contact. The compass enabled mariners to navigate safely far from land, increasing sea trade and contributing to the Age of Discovery.
The next is the electric welding process of Elihu Thomson. In the era of mass production, the electric welding process enabled faster production and construction of better, more intricate machines for that manufacturing process.
The printing press is yet another remarkable scientific invention. The German Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press around 1440. printing presses exponentially increased the speed with which book copies could be made, and thus they led to the rapid and widespread dissemination of knowledge for the first time in history. Internet, artificial intelligence, internal combustion engines, electricity bulbs, and telephones are some of the great human inventions that changed the fields of navigation and communication altogether.
However, it is believed that human inventions are propelling societies backward. The very first example can be considered as the destruction of human societies by modern weapons and aerial technology inventions. Weapons of mass destruction are frequently being used to harm the existence of human beings in various parts of the world. Aerial bombing and attacks on humans and belongings in Yemen, Syria, Iraq portrait a bitter picture regarding the use of scientific inventions.
In addition to using aerial vehicles for surveillance and security purposes, these UAVs are also utilized to target distant locations as well as people. All this happens in the name of terrorism but end result appears in the form of widespread civilian casualties.
Another way in which inventions done by humans are moving societies somehow backward is the destruction of natural climate. Inventions of petroleum, diesel engines of transport vehicles release greenhouse gases in the atmosphere beyond save levels. These gases cause retention of heat waves within the living part of the atmosphere and result in the melting of glaciers, the annual rise in the sea level, global warming as well as acid rain. All these phenomena are the consequences of modern-day scientific inventions. These things are warning the planet earth and making it less liveable and unsafe for human survival in the form of floods, heatwaves, extra cold, and hot temperatures.
In addition to this, the invention of chlorofluorocarbons is destroying the ozone layer in the stratosphere and causing skin problems, weathering of paints, destruction of plant tissues, and eye infections. Besides chlorofluorocarbons, compounds containing bromine, other halogen compounds, and nitrogen oxides damages the ozone layer. The destruction of the ozone layer also stops the natural barrier to the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The ozone depletion is most pronounced in the polar regions.
Likewise, the scientific inventions of the internet and related software applications like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and many other similar platforms were meant to enhance the social interaction among the people. But the real picture is somewhat despicable in the sense that these social media platforms have increased social isolation among the people. Despite sitting in the same space, people prefer to interact through their online social space instead of verbal, face-to-face communication. This has estranged the distances among the people despite their social proximity.
Moreover, addiction to gaming apps is spoiling the children as well as adults and making them more prone to leisure. Online gaming apps are replacing healthy physical activity among societies and thus resulting in health backwardness.
Another scientific development that is moving us backward is the introduction of pesticides on the planet. Pesticides are chemicals used in agriculture to protect crops against insects, fungi, weeds, and other pests. But, unfortunately, these chemicals have been implicated in human studies of leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the brain, breasts, prostate, testis, and ovaries. Reproductive harm from pesticides includes birth defects, stillbirth, spontaneous abortion, sterility, and infertility. All these aspects are a testament to the fact that scientific developments are moving the planet backward and endangering human survival.
Depression due to technological innovation presents another evidence in support of the argument that human inventions move societies backward. Social media and mobile devices may lead to psychological and physical issues, such as eyestrain and difficulty focusing on important tasks. They may also contribute to more serious health conditions, such as depression. The overuse of technology may have a more significant impact on developing children and teenagers. Many studies indicate that continuous use of computers disturbs sleep in both young adults and children. Some studies have noted that there may be a relationship between the use of online social networks and depression and anxiety.
Using a cell phone while deriving increases the driver’s risk of causing a crash. Drivers are distracted, decreasing the driver’s awareness on the road, leading to more car crashes. Drivers who text when behind the wheel, are twenty-three times more likely to have an automobile crash. Cell phones ease the communication but their use at a wrong place add destruction and mystery.
The invention of plastic is still another scientific invention that is wreaking havoc on the land as well as water. When plastic was first invented, it’s perceived as a miracle due to its widespread use, durability, flexibility, and heat-resistant structures. But this invention came up with so many destructive effects.
There are thousands of landfills in the United States. Buried beneath each one of them, toxic chemicals from plastics drain out and seep into groundwater, flowing downstream into lakes and rivers. In addition to this, toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other ailments. Wildlife becomes entangled in plastic, they eat it or mistake it for food and feed it to their young, and it is found littered in even extremely remote areas of the Earth.
Last but not least is the invention of gunpowder that is moving us backward. Gunpowder is the first explosive to have been developed. It is popularly listed as one of the “Four Great Inventions” of China. Gunpowder made warfare all over the world very different, affecting the way battles were fought and borders were drawn throughout the Middle Ages.
This explosive invention became the basis for almost every weapon used in war from fiery arrows to rifles, cannons, and grenades.
In short, there are so many situations that tell us about the wrong side of scientific inventions. Still, it’s the human being that is using the technological advances against itself. Man has turned the technology in his favor as well as against himself by turning towards the wrong use of that inventions.
It’s not inventions that are moving the societies backward but the human being that has turned every technological product from plastic to vehicles, from nuclear technology to aerial vehicles against themselves. There’s no iota of the doubt in the fact that looking at the world with fresh eyes is the hallmark of a genius inventor – being open to endless possibilities for creation. How we use things is totally upon us. The fault lies within our way of thinking, not in the human inventions of various nature. You can follow us on Facebook