A Dane abroad:

In a recent article in the New York Times, tech writer Kevin Roose reported on a bizarre encounter he had with a Bing chatbot, in which it told him, among other things, that it dreamed of being human, that Roose should divorce his wife and that it wanted to steal nuclear bomb codes.

Don’t leave it on our watch
Other industries are regulated for the safety of humanity, so why does technology seem like a wild horse carriage ride with no driver in sight?

It is widely accepted that humanity has experienced more technological progress in the last 20 years than in the entire human lifetime combined, so perhaps it is not wise to pay attention to so-called ‘technological progress’?

Is it time to consider whether new discoveries and inventions are actually beneficial progress and not just progress for progress’s sake?

A recent DR article states that a record number of young people in Denmark are being medicated for depression and ADHD. What are the causes of all these diagnoses?

I find it interesting that ADHD is classified as an Attention Deficit Disorder and that the use of mobile phone technology, namely social media, has ‘accidentally’ been shown to significantly disrupt concentration – and cause depression in both young and old.

The use of technology, and social media in particular, has long been strongly associated with poor mental health, yet we continue to buy into it blindly, unhinged and seemingly unbothered.

The right kind of activity
The increased use of digital technology has been shown to result in 1/ spending less time outdoors and 2/ being less active – time outdoors and being active are two of the most effective anti-depressants.

As a physiotherapist, I find this extremely worrying. Being physically active is a determinant of health. Full stop. There can be no health without physical activity – we cannot tech ourselves out of it.

The behavior-regulating effects of technology are becoming a well-known fact, but despite these discoveries, people carry on as usual. Kids are on social media more than ever and mental health diagnoses abound.

There is talk of improving mental health care, yet nothing to address the actual causes of such a catastrophic development. As usual, our modern way of thinking suppresses symptoms, not causes.

As Dead as God…
There is an air of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ on this subject. Everyone knows there is something sinister about it, but no one raises the alarm. In a British documentary about Friedrich Nietzsche (‘Genius of the Modern World’), Bethany Hughes paraphrases Nietzsche’s frighteningly accurate predictions for ‘Modern Man’, which he referred to as ‘The Last Men’.

Hughes recounts Nietzsche’s contemptuous description of a future people who no longer care about challenging ideas and concepts, but instead live trivial and narcissistic existences, blindly buying into the “religion of comfort,” living a life of “shy mediocrity that makes kidding themselves, they are happy”.

Was the current world foreseen by a philosopher living in the 1880s (interestingly during a technological boom) who saw it coming that modern man will happily go down and sip lattes, turn blind eyes and upload stories to Instagram, not having the faintest idea what hit him?

Perhaps it is time to relaunch and prioritize moral and philosophical conversations about life and technology that have the well-being of humanity as a primary goal, and not just the blind pursuit of any “technological progress” at the expense of perhaps humanity’s greater good.

Source: The Nordic Page

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