Saturday, June 21, 2008

Technology <=> Philosophy

Remember what the implication sign (<=>)meant in propositional logic? No? I'll tell you what it means... Technology implies philosophy, and philosophy implies technology. Both are interdependent.

We've recently been talking about how questions about general things in life lead to unanswered questions (like the electric fan, leading to the question of "What is an electron?") and we interpret the answers to those questions as "the will of God".

Philosophy has always asked strange questions. Cavemen had no idea what caused fire, or wind, or even rain. For them, this was philosophy... "What is this yellowish glowing thingy that gives us heat.. and burns us when we go close enough", or "What is the thing that we feel is moving, ruffling leaves, but still we cannot see". This was philosophy then. And what was the answer to the philosophical questions at that time..? "It is God". They worshipped fire, air, rain, etc. And what about technology? It was only so much that they could do some basic things: make stone tools, animal skins as clothes, etc. They had no idea why things were the way they were.

Just a few centuries back, the idea was that atom was the ultimate particle. Then came the subatomic particles. Then the quarks. And then came strings. And we're still in doubt if strings actually exist.

Today, the scene is pretty much the same. We have no idea what an electron is, or what made the universe, or even what makes us "alive". And what is the answer to the philosophical questions now? "It is God". And most of the people still worship God... nothing has changed since we were cavemen. Though technology has advanced a lot, we're still unable to answer some questions.

The point I'm trying to get through is, humans have consistently tried to find out what "God" is, and he has almost always found an answer. But that answer is a partial answer. It reveals another "God", a new entity that humans have to solve for again. And upon solving that there's an even newer "God" that comes up...

Its like the quadratic equation problem: y = sqrt(x+sqrt(x+sqrt(x+sqrt(x+..... you square both sides in an attempt to find the answer, and you end up with another problem. Unless you apply the "trick" of the question, you can't solve it.

Maybe humans are doing the same thing. Attempting to solve things with their own way. We've not yet found the "trick" that'll solve the mystery of "God". Maybe we aren't supposed to... because then we won't remain humans. The curiosity of humans would then have been satisfied. With nothing more to know, the human brain would stagnate... leading to the de-evolution of humans into protozoans.

Or it could be the other way round... knowing everything possible in the universe, probably trying to make it better. And doing an experiment on an evolution method much better than genes.. and watching the results over years. These new "species" would then try and seek *us*, the new "Gods".

Strange huh? I've got stranger ideas... more on them later though.

So what does all of this mean? It means Technology <=> Philosophy. Its the current technology that decides what philosophy we "have". And current philosophy provides questions for technology to solve. Quite a cyclic relation between the two, isn't it?

1 comment:

GauravNath said...

Amazing post man! keep up the great thought process :-)