Plinky’s question today was about technology I couldn’t live without. I thought about that for a bit and came to a realisation, belatedly.
I live in a technological world.
From the moment of birth (emergency medical intervention gave me the chance of life) to this moment where I type on a laptop and transmit the words to …well, somewhere other people can read them….. every moment is supported by technology.
My food is kept fresh in a fridge. Without it I would have to shop daily or grow my own. My cooking is done on a device somewhat more advanced than an open fire. My house is heated with a system which can control the timing and levels of temperature for me. I travel in cars, trains and (rarely but easily) aeroplanes. The printing presses that produce the daily paper would be unrecognisable to the visionaries of Gutenberg. Antibiotics have reduced the mass killers of measles, diptheria and their like to pale shadows, a couple of days of inconvenience, no more.
And all of that before we consider the telephone and, eventually, the Internet.
I was once at a workshop where we were asked to consider the greatest scientific advance of the past 100 years. My own suggestion was the contraceptive pill; by giving people the means to control their fertility (while also developing medicine to extend life chances) we finally gained traction on our destiny, in the Western world at least, against the impetus of procreation.
So there is an awful lot of technology tied up with every facet of my existence, and virtually none of it feels optional.
It’s a slightly terrifying thought, and I am not sure I shall sleep easily as a result. Suddenly life seems precarious; to be confronted with my addiction to technology is disquieting and humbling.