Monday, September 25, 2006

In the year 2020

A group of experts (well, at least they say they are) have evaluated various scenarios for the future and noted the ones they think most likely. I haven't read the whole thing, but my favorite from the ars technica article is

Eexpressing belief that some who reject technology will perpetrate terrorist attacks against technological infrastructure, almost 60 percent of respondents agreed with the following scenario:

"By 2020, the people left behind (many by their own choice) by accelerating information and communications technologies will form a new cultural group of technology refuseniks who self-segregate from "modern" society. Some will live mostly "off the grid" simply to seek peace and a cure for information overload while others will commit acts of terror or violence in protest against technology."

Yeah, I can see that. As the pace of change accelerates (assuming that it continues, which is an assumption), there will be people who decide to declare the rats the winners and quit the race. I can't blame them--heck, I've considered it myself from time to time.

But here's what gets my goat:

Internet education expert and poll respondent Ed Lyell pointed out that "Every age has a small percentage that cling to an overrated past of low-technology, low-energy, lifestyle."

Overrated? Overrated by who? Just because Mr. Lyell wants to live there doesn't mean that the rest of us do. The Amish have the right idea on technology. A lot of people think the Amish refuse modern technology, but that''s untrue. What they do is restrict it's use to limit the deleterious effects associated with it.

As a parent who does the same thing with his kids (although not to the extent of the Amish--we all like our creature comforts), I sympathize with those who feel that there is such a thing as "too much technology".

Many years ago, a young man once told me that the key to having fun and never getting into trouble is to practice moderation. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that young man (Thanks, Clay) was wise far beyond his years. All things in moderation, goes the old saying--and that should include technology.

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