Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Cradle of Civilization?

The other night I was trying to watch a BBC special on Ancient Egypt, the Nile, and How the Ancient Egyptians developed around it. The narrator suggested that dependence and reliance on the Nile caused the Egyptians to stay status quo for centuries.

In my semi conscious mental state I wondered, are we like the Ancient Egyptians? Is the Internet like the Nile? I know that it provides my life needs, work and play. The internet is now a vital element of many lives. It provides financial support, socialization, and advice. I wouldn't have been able to wire my new outdoor GFCI without it.

So the question that has me wondering is, will it stifle our growth, the same way the reliability and constancy of the Nile, stifled growth in Egypt? Many parts of Egypt are as they were Centuries ago. Life is perfect and easy and who needs more.

Will we be satisfied with our virtual lives and friendships? Will we sit by our computers and watch virtual mountain climbers? Do we need to Tweet when we are on vacation with our families? Is Technology good or the opposite?

I'm really not sure. I only know that today, I am feeling like an Ancient Egyptian, watching the Nile flow under my fingertips.

2 comments:

Fresh said...

i had this whole reply typed out, then i re-read your query. So, I'll try again.

I agree that stasis and habit, whether it's the result of a reliable water-supply or a wi-fi connection, effectively stop human growth.

The Ancient Egyptian's religion, government, and social structure were widely accepted. All facets of the society stayed the same; the idea of "eternal life" was paramount the minds of Egyptians. Eternity is stasis. And reaching Eternity requires adherance to never-changing rules and traditions.

Our society highly values personal growth, social change, and technological advancement. The internet is a dynamic source of information. Unlike the Nile, no one is dependent on the net for survival. They just think they are.

An interesting distinction, in my opinion. As technology invades our lives, it affects how and why we change as people.

Does that stifle our growth? I think it changes our values. There already seems to be a reactionary movement towards unplugging and living offline.

You should watch 'Surrogates', it deals with similar issues.

have a great day, and thanks for the ponderings!

Anonymous said...

Balance in all aspects of life. That will keep us moving forward externally and internally! Thanks for your thought provoking post.
-- Lauri Jon

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