By Roy D. Follendore III
Copyright (c) 2002 RDFollendoreIII
September 14, 2002
is made of machines and machines are neither good nor bad. It is the
nature of man to do with them what we will. The ideal concept of a machine
is always one that helps men do what they can not easily do for themselves. The
idea that machines can be more effective than a man alone is of course an
ancient one. The idea that machines can hold leverage over mankind is
almost as ancient. It took a little time to for the majority to understand
that and there are those who still refuse to accept it. The idea that machines can dominate
mankind is a relatively recent concept. This
paper is about the concept of technological balance as it relates to the
progress of the society of mankind. It concerns the importance of
constructive continuous political and economic competition to maintain the
existence of human progress. Finally, it discusses the implications of
technological stagnation as a form of entropy and the encroaching anarchy that
may prevail if society is not capable of maintaining a balance of technology.
what is it that we mean by a “balance of technology?” To understand this concept we must consider the dynamic roots
of technology within our modern society. Mankind has so far survived both
nature and the nature of our selves using machines. The moment that our
ancestors picked up and used a stone to crack the shell of a nut, our kind has
been on a relentless search for better tools to do more kinds of things.
We found that tools fed us, sheltered us and protected us from our enemies.
Modern man ignores the extent to which this is true. The wheel is a
machine, but so is your home and your fireplace and the knife you use in your
kitchen. Natural biological evolution has been left behind because the
problems we face are rising to meet us faster and with ever-greater
consequences. We are naked creatures to this universe of nature we exist
in and the only thing that protects us from the elements are the tools that we
create from within our minds. These tools have allowed mankind to dominate
the invention of tools, man has changed not only how we can successfully live
but also what we are. Through technology, our societies have been allowed
a conscience experimental evolution as social beings. We are the dominant
species with the power of complete extermination over all others, including
ourselves. In all of the ways that count except time, mankind has become the
single most successful species in the history of the earth. We have become
dominate because as societies evolve they build better tools and use them to
dominate and change other societies. The history of the evolution of tools
is the use of tools for the politics of ever changing societies. The societal
system that constantly builds and improves tools for society is in itself the
Meta machine that we often refer to as industry. Since machines are tools that
have been embedded within societal self-defense, it was therefore be no great
surprise when about 1816 the Prussian Carl Von Clausewitz made the remarkable
observation that " war is simply the continuation of politics by other
means." If we are to believe this then we must also accept the
implication of this statement to the value systems of social economics.
with all of the horror and evil that exists in war, it must be concluded that
the use of machines for the purpose of societal domination has been overall
mostly a good thing. The
justification for this conclusion is that mankind has not failed. Mankind has
thrived. The reason is that good societies have somehow been able to outperform
the worst ones in the creation and production of tools.
reasons why this is so are many. Societies that are free are better able
to utilize more creative free thinkers. Societies that are more creative
have more artists, writers, and poets that open up visions of opportunities and
potential that affect scientists and engineers. Competitive industry has
given a societal advantage to those who believe in freedom and human rights.
Such concepts as social welfare would not exist if it were not either imposed
upon or elected by society. It is important to understand that war is often
caused by a crisis of conflicting political ideologies, which are resolved
through combat so that they may be eventually further resolved through
imposition or reason.
relatively recently that has been the importance of evolutionary technology to
the evolution of society. Man has leveraged its societal evolution
through the creation of more effective and efficient technologies. In
times of peace, there were few reasons to invest in more than simply incremental
technological and industrial improvements. The objective of market
economies is obtaining the largest return on investment. This means that
the longer an industry remains productive, the greater the return on
technological development costs. What tools are considered important for
investment is managed. Solutions that are beyond their day are repressed.
It becomes more important for the pipeline of research and development to be
constant than revolutionary.
changes the peacetime equation of economics and by doing so challenges the
status quo of societies. Wartime economies are affected by the desperate
organizational sense of survival. The limitations of what tools are
important and should be produced become unchecked. Monetary floodgates are
opened and funding for wartime solutions are less encumbered. Any revolutionary solution, which can
shorten hostilities and prevent further economic loss, takes on tremendous importance.
Machines that support such solutions are improved to achieve technological
dominance over the enemies industries. In this way, a rock became stone axes,
became arrows and spears, became bullets, and becomes rockets and missiles.
The side effect of technological warfare between societies has become radios,
telephones, televisions, cars, dishwashers, Walkman, jet aircraft, satellites,
personal computers, the Internet, and everything else that we think of as part
of modern. The developments of new technology have been contributions to
political conflict and sometimes war. Without conflict, there would not
have been a recognized need for many of these things.
societies of mankind may have become associated through the trade of raw
materials but they have become completely interconnected through trade of ideas
as well as products and tools. The
reason is that there are competitive advantages. As economic products,
technology annually generates thousands of trillions of dollars with no end in
sight. If we were to compare the worlds largest gold fields of
Witwatersrand South Africa, we would see that it has yielded a mere
half-trillion dollars in gold since production began in 1886, with only another
half-trillion left dollars left. We could do the same analysis with respect to
oil, which is also finite. Gold and oil are obviously not the foundation of
world economics, as some economists believe, technology is.
engine, which is the foundation of our world society, should never be confused
with the accumulation of wealth, nor the fuel that burns within that same
engine. We mine gold and drill for oil to acquire wealth, but we create
technology through the intellect of our socially conscience minds. The
accumulation of wealth through technology is different from that of accumulating
wealth from limited precious resources. Through the creation of new
technological development, wealth is created through a continuous stream of new
uses and applications. If
technology is the media then the message is that technology both the cause and
effect of modern competitive interaction.
that for some reason chose or were not able to participate in the creation,
manufacture, and trade of technology were not able to remain competitive with
their neighbors, and have been more easily overwhelmed and assimilated.
They lose the potential of sustaining economic wealth, and were consumed by
other social systems rather than becoming important consumers.
took centuries before the physical limitations of distances became a factor in
the increasing speed of advancement of technology. We may want to think
that our generation is inventing the concept of a global economy, but the fact
is that it was global economics that advanced modern society. Society has
long been connected politically through technology and war. Societal connectivity implies change as
every technologically affected organization affects another.
the balance of politics changes, the achievement and the maintenance of personal
freedom becomes a constant and enduring struggle. This is because Freedom
is both gained and lost through technology as political power struggles take
place. Moreover, as society gains and loses capabilities through
technology, the ideals people have of personal freedom also changes. The
ability of the people to modify the government evolves. The ability of
individual people to check the power of the organizations evolves.
Indicators can be found in the degree of limitations on privacy and personal
control of communication and data as well as the impact of the gradual
encroachment on general personal liberty. The effect of government control
on the future of society grows through the advancement of new technologies,
especially as a consensus of acceptance of political solutions is more easily
democracy is built upon foundations of rational debate that conclude in
consensus. The dynamics of technology on population, ecology, and the
limitations of solution states upon this globe determine the correctness we are
able to achieve. On previous occasions of history, mankind has been able
to compete social ideals through acts of organized warfare. But as
technical communications has made human communication easier and faster, the
exchange of ideas have change from incidental transactions, to waves, warfare
has became far more deadly and costly. Military competition is becoming
inaccessible because it has become more complex and vastly more effective.
over used phrase "weapons of mass destruction" have become the
objective choice of the few to affect political change on the many. The
implications and impact of changes through these kinds of weapons are
frightening and of course cannot tolerated. Political control is
galvanized by the prospects of terrorists obtaining such weapons. We have
seen the trend of weapons being taken out of the hand of individual citizens,
and we are now seeing certain countries being forcibly disarmed of weapons of
the equivocation that war is an extension of politics by another means is true,
then the opposite is also true. As
Carl Von Clausewitz also clearly stated, arms control is the ultimate purpose of
warfare so that political control by one society may be imposed on another. We are fixing what countries may or may
not have such weapons. The concern is that we shall not get it right the
the change from stem cells of the human embryo, nations are becoming specialized
in their contributions to the good of the whole.
The collections of individual nations are evolving into a single
“societal organism” of nations. The
risk is that societal stagnation may also become potentially the greatest threat
to the world society as the individual citizens access and contributions to a
means of challenging political control becomes increasingly limited.
globalization of technology means that society is forming a single world
government with less potential diversification. Reorganization of roles
does not mean that the roles are right, or just. Global cooperation does not mean the end of technological
conflict. The risk of
self-annihilation through technologies after unification remains. The weaknesses
of expanding and evolving technologies will continue as part of technical
only potentially viable solution that has been evolving over the last decade has
been the use of technology to control technology. This is essentially the
same as saying that we are willing to put machines in charge of the future of
mankind by eliminating nature. Human beings are being cut out of the loop
and we are putting our faith in our children the machines because they can be
made to be uniformly consistent. This is of course the best ending point
of this question of technological balance. That which has allowed human
beings to evolve has not been constantly uniform, but constantly changing.
the past, human beings have been engaged in creating ecological systems with
enough potential solution states to adapt to different kinds of circumstances
using different technological resources. Controlling access to technology
through technology can therefore effectively halt the rate of human progress.
is a physical law of entropy that when we choose to create order, we create far
more disorder during the process. The more complex our attempt at the creation
of order, the more complex the entropy that we create. The race for new
technologies is an explosion of problems, which generations must solve in the
future. Because of technology, the human race must keep pace with not only the
shrinking of physical space, but also solution space. The state of modern
society is that there can be no stopping technology without consequences.
There is certainly no turning back.
all technological progress halts, then it will be because of the limitation of
space and resources. But an effective halt to human progress can result in
the expiration of all forms of space and resources. The consequences are
therefore the same. An analogy is that mankind is on a treadmill that
pumps oxygen in and water out of cage. If we stop running the endless race
we will surely suffocate and drown. The consequence of our technological
failure is certain anarchy the comparison of which our past world wars would
course this potential is contingent to the idea that the continuation of society
as we know it is necessary. We may
exist today upon the surface of a planet with limitations but we also exist
within a universe open to exploration. Perhaps the importance of the
search for life in the universe is more important to the success of this
planet we call earth than we might otherwise have thought. The existence
of extraterrestrial life would show us that it is possible life is part of an
open system and potentially could demonstrate how we might be able to strike a
Until we know otherwise, we must simply assume that solutions will continue to exist as problems arise, that society must continue to successfully evolve and that life is meant to expand into all forms of space-time. We must assume that there is a dynamic balance through sustainable technological progress. We may also assume that because of the nature of complexity, there is no end to technological progress. Any technological balance in our future requires the assumption of constant sociological change. A stagnant society is inherently technologically unbalanced as a consequence. This is the fundamental reason why security philosophies must remain dynamic.
Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved