Technology is ever increasing, ever advancing. We know this through Moore’s Law. And, as seen in the video, technology has impacts that expand like the ripples on a pond. From the center (the development and release of a new technology) to the outermost ripple that seems unrelated. This is bad.
This is bad (ignore Vivek Wadhwa and his optimism)
One of the most prevalent ripples of technology is the effect advancement has on prices. New technology causes prices of old technologies to drop and almost seem worthless while the new technology takes the price slot of the old. As Professor Kane discussed in class, one of the forces of Complexity is “saving costs and adding options”. This basically means that prices don’t continue to rise with the new advancements, as companies save money on things that used to cost them and spend it on new features.
The genome example provided by Wadhwa accurately depicts the Ripple Effect. In the year 2000, a mere 13 years ago, Celera decoded a random DNA genome sequence. Years of work and billions of dollars. But today, “the price of genome sequencing is dropping at double the rate of Moore’s Law”. Within 5-10 years, it should be available to all who want it.
So why do I think this is bad? (No, I am not a pessimist, just decided to take a stance). Celera, in decoding the first genome sequence, was only trying to innovate and make a discovery for mankind, whether for health or monetary benefit. But how does this ability affect the lives of the average citizen?
I recently read the blog of a fellow classmate, Steve Ferriter, and posted a comment on it (https://mi021.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/has-technology-ruined-the-way-we-watch-sports/). I found his blog very interesting but also noticed that most of the comments had standard, truthful, but pretty boring responses. I thought of what might happen if, as Steve says, technology really does ruin sporting experiences, and how this could affect the average sports fan.
I am sure the inventors of high definition T.V.s or surround sound weren’t very concerned with the effect their products would have on stadium revenues and the sporting experience. They’re completely innocent.
So is Celera and their decoding of the genome sequence. But what if this breakthrough in DNA sequencing leads to new information that brings about the production of humanoid machines with artificial DNA sequences? What if these machines are mass-produced with superhuman abilities. This is bad.