Visions Of The Future Essay, Research Paper
VISIONS OF THE FUTURE In the early 1900?s , by the end of the Cold War people might have not been yet aware of the problems of the future. Robert Heilbroner (an Economist) became concerned about some of these problems. One of the main problems that Heilbroner raises about the future in his book Visions of the Future, is the fear in society created by science. Unlike in the book Candide, where Voltaire is optimistic , Heilbroner has a tendency to take the gloomiest possible view of what the future holds. In Heilbroner?s point of view, science and technology is slowly taking over the power of human kind. Heilbroner brings out the topic and his main concerns about the visions of the future. Still only one hundred years ago, people were blindly optimistic about science. All work and products were created by man. People were not so concerned about making their work more efficient, easier, or better productive. The Scientific Revolution began to change many opinion of views of the people. The Scientific Revolution shaped the modern world by introducing mathematical and scientific theories. The formation of the empirical method , reason, and the laws of nature such as mathematical formulas, brought about more sense of thinking. Great thinkers and mathematicians such as Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, Newton, etc., are just of the few who expanded ideas. They began to use the inductive method as a step-by-step to their understandings. The new outlook generated by the Scientific Revolution served as the foundation of the Enlightenment. The Scientific Revolution gave thinkers great confidence in the power of the mind , which had discovered nature?s laws, reinforcing the confidence in human abilities expressed by Renaissance humanists. In time it was believed, the scientific method would unlock all nature?s secrets, and humanity, gaining ever greater knowledge and control of nature, would progress rapidly. Science and Technology has driven things in the 20th century. Technological and Scientific contribution to the world have made great advantages. Due to science and technology people learned how to replace their work by machines. In this process many of those machines enabled humans to produce faster, more efficiently and in larger amounts. Science has brought many advances such as medicine , that is used today to treat deadly diseases such as cancer. Since the introduction of science and technology people today tend to live longer. Inventions such as X-rays, dental equipment, artificial parts, etc., are still helping us to stay in better health. Science and technology has saved many lives. Science and Technology have contributed to agriculture as well. With the use of machinery farmers are able to grow crops in greater amounts. Not only does it help the production, but also to speed their process of growing. The great production of crops allow the farmer to gain a profit which contributes to the economy. When there is a greater amount produced in a small amount of time , and available to the public, there is less demand , which leads to lower prices of products. Technology has played a big role in contributing to the means of transportation. Examples such as steamboats which allow the shipping of goods overseas, airplanes allow faster long distance travel, cars enable the faster travel on land, etc. Through technology travel has become easier, faster and more comfortable. Technology advances have also enabled the travel of conversations over great distances. Technology has made a great source of entertainment. Through technology we are able to put together television sets, computers with the use of he human brain. Such inventions bring us great entertainment. Computers and video games have expanded the human mind, because it allows for human beings to think and invent new ideas. Technological advances have also introduced luxuries into our lives. Objects that are frequently used , but are rarely thought of , such as remote controls, microwaves, blenders, walkmans have all made the human life less complex and made it more enjoyable. Heilbroner is worried that technology and science will take over the human powers in the near future. ?One las ttime we begin with science and technology the source of two causes for unease as we look into the future.? (p.96) Heilbroner is rather pessimistic, due to the fact that he does not so much admire the advantages of science and technology, but looks at the disadvantages. Heilbroner implies that we could only ?avoid at least some of the more horrendous consequences of an unsupervised scientific technology, wether by professional self-monitoring or by government regulation.? To point out the problems of the future he should have used both advantages and disadvantages of science and technology. Some aspects bring some doubts , but there is a need to also look at the reality which Heilbroner lacks. Perhaps Heilbroner is not realizing that all this science and technology has been made by humans. Human beings have put time in making many objects work to make their work possible . Heilbroner implies that a robot will take over the human , this will only happen if the human programs him to do so. A robot could not just wake-up and walk all over the world, a human has to produce him. Heilbroner also argues that science and technology is the blame for production of bombs and other weapons. Science and technology make it available, but humans use their minds to use the availability to put it together . It is not the science and technology that is evolving but it is the human mind that expands with more ideas. The are some disadvantages like the problems caused in the environment, but there are more advantages that need to be thought of , even such as heat and electricity which changed the human life for the better. It is impossible to predict what will happen in the future , only assumptions could be made from the facts that are known today. From the evidence and what is predictable, I believe that there will be a bomb threat on the U.S by both the Russians and Iraq. Many economists find evidence to back up their opinion from the kind of relationship Russia has with the Arabs today. Russia trades with the Arabs, by exchanging arms for oil. Many economist have predicted this relationship to be a threat on the U.S. Due to the weakness of the earth, and its poor ozone layer the earth would be completely destroyed. If an atomic bomb is going to be dropped on the U.S., the radars ( contribution by technology) would be able to detect the bomb ,and destroy it before it drops. The U.S. would see that it has not been in the best of relation with both Russia and Iraq, and would make compromise with both for world peace. Destroying the atomic bombs would be the best solution, and it would be the best way for people to realize that the earth is not strong for another war. Knowing that technology has advanced the human lives, people will continue to contribute to make their lives better and easier. In continuation, human kind will continue to make the world a more luxurious place to live. Therefore, my perspective of the future is optimistic; similar to Voltaire?s.