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Do we know what we are doing?

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

It seems to me that there have been a lot of important inventions lately. Big strides are being made in the field of AI, the CRISPR gene editing technology is making genetic edits cheap and available, and the smartphone has connected us with our loved ones more easily than ever before. The world seems to be on the cusp of some big changes.

But do we really know what we are doing? These new technologies seem to be outstripping the vision we have for their use, they are ready but people don’t seem to see a guiding principle for their use. It’s as if the mental program is stuck in the mode of “more of the same”. The internet seems to be exposing a bewildering array of views held by people, including conspiracy theories that may be very far from the truth.

In a way, the internet should be a great tool for spreading the dhamma, but the interest in it is building very slowly…

Wishing you a thoughtful and pleasant 2023!



  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited December 2022

    More of the same, indeed - very aptly put. We've been stuck in that mode for a very long time, and not just in use of technology. It seems like much of the thinking about that technology is geared to figuring out how our gadgets can be used to prevent our having to change our established primal habits of mindless over-breeding, wastefulness, over-consumption - on and on. No, I don't think we have the slightest idea what we are doing. It's like watching sausage being made - an astonishing mess. Makes a fellow want to just throw up his hands and say - Why worry? God must have it all under control.

    Happy New Year to you as well, and don't forget to enjoy the ride.

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Sentient Being Oceania Veteran
    edited December 2022

    Human nature being human nature...Life is trial & error...and for the most part we tend to learn from our mistakes (at times some of life's lessons may take a little longer to learn)

    And may the New Year be full of joyful moments ...

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The liminal space Veteran
    edited December 2022

    I would say our progress has definitely outpaced our wisdom.

    If you want to scare yourself, you can look into Nick Bostrom's Vulnerable World Hypothesis.

    Essentially, there is a non zero chance that at some point along the line we will invent a technology that will unavoidably destroy humanity.

    Personally, I remain fairly optimistic in people's ability to solve problems.

  • do we really know what we are doing?

    I don’t know but the sun still shines and the carrots still grow.

    One thing I love about Buddhists is your concern. Your concern for everything really.

    Happy new year everyone

    Metta <3

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