How the wheel came to take all the blame

Every time some new technology was. It had, in its more or less dazzling dawn, a little handful of drivers and, in general, many detractors. Partnerships take time to digest the progress the restless innovator would implement now. This dynamic balance has governed technical progress since the beginning of time and has avoided so that we perform in some excessive creative fervor that we bogged down us singing bad best slogan known it is good to know.

With the passage of decades, civilization integrates new technologies, which become normal, in the status quo that must be preserved. Then something else appears, and the cycle resumes.

For about 20 years, although its history is longer, it’s up to computers, the Internet and smartphones to be in the pillory. The trial is public, absurd and grotesque. They are examples. If there is an extreme Madness with the thinness and aesthetic surgery, would who is to blame? A society obsessed with the body and the superficial or Photoshop? Photoshop, of course.

A teenager, who had already stopped worrying hostility videos uploaded on YouTube-starts killing classmates with automatic weapons, and whose responsibility is it? From a psychopathy misdiagnosed, an absent family or of video games and YouTube? Obviously, video games and YouTube.

A sociopath makes a gun using a 3D printer, and what is the outcry? That all these new things are bad, we were better before, he expects us a future in which black children manufactured pistols in their rooms. Not seem to matter that the 3D printing allows creating accessible prosthesis (one of its many virtues) or that it is a clean technology (one of several defects). It appears that when a very large change in the technical paradigms are unable to reason properly.

Not that the new technologies are free of defects or not can use them for evil; come on, even teddy bears can we used for evil. In fact, many technologies can deviate and impose risks that can not yet rate or even imagine; this is more common with those related to medicine, biology and genetics. Others deviate by the intervention of our most primitive impulses. We refer, of course, weapons.

Nor do we believe that digital and Internet technologies will be the remedy for all ills; there is a degree of naivety in such schemes. But we are throwing them pristine blame everything from teenage acne to climate change.

Oh, not so pristine? Own a friend who blames Internet NSA spying? A family insists that smartphones are becoming stupid because we no longer need to remember a phone number? The following, slightly ironic, humorous and mostly, we believe, quite revealing, it can help to argue or perhaps change the look.


We were as happy being hunter-gatherers. We did a lot of exercise and eat all organic. So, good for nothing that refused to walk 45 kilometers to get half a dozen stunted carrots came up with the strange idea of agriculture. That happened about 10,000 years ago, and we are still paying the consequences.

The wheel. Oh, the wheel! It was the worst idea ever. Just look at the statistics of traffic accidents. Who have been the fools who, not content with the healthy habit of walking or riding the noble brute, we wanted to shoot to a destination of endless claims? We do not know. Something history has forgotten its name.

The wheel is, at the same time responsible for the other fatal invention: the plane. As you know, the bold and completely irresponsible Wright brothers were bicycle manufacturers. Well, no wonder it eventually happened to them nothing less than flying. Fly! Birds fly. Do we have wings? Take a good look. Do we have wings? No, sir.

The navigation, well, let us agree that 71% of the planet’s surface is covered by water. But anyway, it’s unwise. Found it easy to stay in each continent. They are all very beautiful and picturesque.

Now, quite frankly, the biggest prize goes to the control of fire. Not invent it, but we learned to exploit its virtues. Or that was the argument, at least. Nonsense! Granted, a good rest is more palatable than the bovine natural, but how many fires have saved us if we left the fire to which it pertains. Mal there, Prometheus, huh? Too bad.


The same is true of electricity, which not invent, but we had to get the blasphemous arrogance occur. Have they seen any animal making electricity? No. And is the ultimate cause of many of the ills that plague us today. A clear and distinct example: your child spends playing Play instead of studying and ends taking 7 classes, including physical education. Why? Because someone somewhere installed a production of electricity by means of cables, comes to your home, where your child can connect the Play.

Worse still: all these unnecessary and dangerous inventions end up combining, because human arrogance seems to know no boundaries, and give rise to real nightmares. The single wheel would not have caused the pollution and noisy traffic of large modern cities. It took the fire and combine it with electricity, and that yes, we boast of having invented the internal combustion engine. If only we had stayed in the romantic steam!

And computers, well, it’s the last straw. We sold the story that adds intelligence to our lives. Please. Did Newton discovered universal gravitation using a Mac? And Einstein? No need any smartphone to revolutionize physics. No TV had great Albert, and View.


Thus posed, these allegations sound like delirium. The problem is to determine why they sound a rave, not to trip over the same mistakes in judging technologies, for its novelty, touch us emotionally.

Play it true that walks with electricity. Ergo, if there was no electricity, there would play. Until there is a valid argument. But the conclusion that, deleted the Play, the student will become diligent is spurious and is unsubstantiated. In fact, it is very likely to be false.

It is equally true that Einstein had no TV, but was not the lack of tele that led him to consider the relativity. Incidentally, Newton did not have a Mac, but we attribute an apple. (Had to say it.)

Pretend and air traffic accidents are caused by the invention of the wheel, fire control and electronics is tantamount to condemning gravity by breaking a glass. Would you accept anything you tell the waiter that the dish you ordered came cold because of entropy? That’s true, at one point, but it is also fallacious.

Agriculture is a typical case of uchronia, another fallacy. That is, speculate how history would have been if it had not happened what happened. A variant typical of political discourse today is to apply concepts and procedures that worked or were acceptable in the past. Moreover, agriculture is not responsible for that we spend 35 hours a day lying on a couch watching TV, eating bags of chips and drinking soda.

The flight contains a double fallacy. True, we do not have wings. But we do not have X-ray vision? Then also would eliminate the imaging? Moreover, from the Wright brothers, yes, we have wings. It’s typical of humans: it transcends our abilities. Animals do not take pictures; do not search the sky with telescopes or fundamental whys of existence arise. We, yes.

Perhaps the most pernicious of all sophistry is to believe that technological progress can make quantum leaps. We could spend flint and tinder to nuclear fusion. Science and technology need to evolve, and that process is gradual and is full of mistakes and dead ends. But there is another way.

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