I Love My Monsters

Instead of focusing on the negative impact of technology, for my last post I want to address my love for the monster: technology.

 

Chinese industrialization per say is taking a huge bad rap and media blows up the negative news. On the reverse, “in the process of “ industrialization “, the Chinese has lifted roughly half a billion peasants of grinding poverty”. In other words, brought humans out of suffering and starvation and putting them in a livable situation: where they can experience comfort, love, and sense of self-confidence. These little things we take for granted in our country, are luxuries in other parts on the developing world – and that is something we should all keep in mind. The world is progressing, the standard of living globaly is rising, and many people of the world are experiencing the positives influences and impacts of modernization and the catalyst technological progression.

 

For all the pro-environmental activists condemning industrialization and the exploitation of natural resources, the whole an as whole isn’t regressing – we are dying. Not in terms of widespread prosperity and quality of life. “Geographer Earl Ellis describes how mans have repeatedly transigned ecological limits since we were human gatherers”. This is what we largely forget, that humans and nature are still the same. Maybe the context and efficient our habitation and interaction with has change; but not the fundamental, innate human-nature relationship. “The ecological limits have proven extraordinarily resilient to population and climate pressures”. I believe the limits are there but we are far from them. Even on an astrological level, the Sun has 50 million years of life before earth can longer support life. My point is to focus on the present, the right now. The good deeds and lives you impact when you wake up in the morning for the betterment of yourself and the others around you everyday.

 

A dichotomy we have been exploring in class is the rich verse poor. I want to to subset that dichotomy; developed nations verse non-developed nations. “Rising economic optimism in poor nation has been matched, over the last two decades y rising ecological pessimism in rich ones. In time where lobbyist and special interest groups are the hardest on environmental exploitation in all of time, it is at the same time being more understood for the overall betterment and progression of human lives. In the simplest of ideas, perspectives, and objects another counterpart exist to define its existence. Like nature versus man, it seems impossible to describe let have one without the other. Mature would just exist, only limited with its own essence, have no interaction and special relationship with outside species – humans That are capable of utilizing its prosperous resources to live and create something truly special. To explore creativity and the unknown depths of the complex, bewildering human cognitive ability.

 

I will be careful before I completely side with optimism, for their human responsibility to sue nature and its resources for common good of each other. To all play out our own roles in and highly connected, interdependent, modern world. In Frankenstein, the idea of altercation of nature was condemned at he suffered the consequences. Latour offers an opinion regarding the action nature of his crime, “Frankenstein’s crime was not hat eh invented the creature through some combination of hubris and high technology, but rather his abandonment of the creature itself” This is where we must retain optimism, but not greed. To not live in separation and over-exploitation of nature and its resources – but to accept the resposbility to carry for own lifetimes, and the future of those who will precede us. That they have the same prosperity as us.

For the future, for myself I want to look at my responsibility and role for the position progression of an efficient world. Where humans live comfortable and can avoid greed and desperation. Where some of this is innate human society, I can be controlled. We are the creators of the monsters, but we must not abandon it. We must care for it and use in the right ways; unlike in Frankenstein. Maybe we can use our agency uses for positive progression and continue to create networks and assemblages of positive knowledge creating actions and reactions on society; our environment might hold. Out technology will continue to be an initiator of a better life if us humans choose.

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Shelley’s Archaic Dichotomy

As noted in several previous blog-posts, one of the many dichotomies consistent throughout “Frankenstein” is that of Nature vs. Science. Shelley makes it clear which to her is superior; she condemns Frankenstein to a miserable fate as punishment for his pursuit of scientific progress, while Clerval stands as a shining beacon of happiness through his appreciation of all things “natural.” Throughout his wretched wanderings, Frankenstein continually ventures to places of magnificent natural beauty — alpine lakes and winding rivers — in search of temporary solace from his all-consuming anguish.

Throughout the reading, this theme becomes clearer and clearer. Throughout the reading, I found myself more and more displeased with her message, and the existence of this dichotomy in the first place. Science is not something unnatural, not some brand of sorcery, but simply the systematic study and application of nature itself. When a monkey uses a stick to catch bugs, or an otter a rock to crack sea urchins, it is not unnatural. Just so, neither are more complex human innovations. In creating life, Frankenstein did not disrupt nature, but instead explored one of its many previously unexplored capabilities.

To defy nature is, in fact, impossible; anything that takes place in the natural world must be inherently natural. The dichotomy presented supports a purely dogmatic worldview — that certain actions are locked within the realm of the “supernatural,” and for a mortal to attempt and succeed at taking part is the ultimate sin, bound to inflict irreparable damage and suffering on the human-race. Using the monster as her mouthpiece, Shelley urges her audience to “seek happiness in tranquility and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries” (208).

Her lesson is to squelch the desire to overstep the boundaries which contain men and impede greater understanding. Had Frankenstein not pursued such a lofty innovation, he would have spent his days cradled in his family’s warm embrace, instead doomed to perish among strangers in a frozen wasteland.

In breaking apart Shelley’s dichotomy, however, I do not wish to establish an inverted one of my own. Just as “disruptive” human innovation is not evil, nor is it intrinsically positive in consequence. Scientific progress itself is neutral, and must be judged based on its application. When Einstein helped invent the atomic bomb, he created an instrument capable of destructive power previously reserved to the gods — and destroy it did. However, most would posit that its use caused less destruction than had it not been created.

By refusing the genesis of a second monster, Frankenstein turned away from building his own atomic bomb — a scientific creation that could have either put an end to impending suffering, or multiplied it tenfold. “I did right in refusing, to create a companion for the first creature” (207), he declares on his death bed. In the end, he is content with his decision to cease playing-god, and Shelley places an exclamation point on her case against “gambling” with nature.

While Frankenstein should have been more comprehensive in his foresight, I think that Shelley goes too far in her condemnation of his actions. Do you think that, as stated in Connected, “growth for growth’s sake is cancer,” or is this a mischaracterization?

Disclaimer — I would  like to admit a personal bias: I am an entrepreneur, always trying to think up better, more innovative ways of doing things. Even if it “ain’t broke,” I still want to fix it. In my circles, “disruption” is a golden word, and, like Frankenstein, I know I’m not the most responsible of innovators, usually preferring to take the “jump-right-in” approach, rather than cautiously testing the waters. Don’t worry though, my “little monsters” aren’t going to be eating you anytime soon…hopefully. I just wanted to better frame the post with regards to it’s author.