... but in bigger, more nefarious ways as well: One neuroscientist theorizes that technology is moving too quickly for our brains to keep up -- we've outpaced our own evolution. Oh no!
Why We'll Be Having This Argument Forever
A few years ago xkcd pointed out that, at the turn of the 20th century, we were all pretty sure that letter-writing was going to destroy the art of the conversation and that everything was moving too fast for us to keep up. But I think there's an even weirder point here.
We worry about technology making us lazy because it outsources part of our brain, right? Like we used to do X with our brains ("X" being "remember how long it took to boil an egg" or whatever) but now we have an app in our phone that does it, and therefore we are lazy. But the problem with that line in logic is that it's not just apps on our phones -- every single piece of technological advancement in human history has made life easier for us. We invented writing so that we didn't have to memorize everything; we could write it down and free up our brains for the heavy-thinking required to invent polio vaccines and nuclear power. We invented horses so that we didn't have to run everywhere we wanted to go and wouldn't be too out of breath when we got there. Hell, we invented division of labor so that everyone could pick one or two things and be good at them: The construction worker doesn't need to know how to fix a car because he has a mechanic, and the mechanic doesn't need to know how to perform surgery because he has a surgeon, and the surgeon doesn't need to know how to teach American History because he has a school teacher ...
The point is, the fundamental assumption at the center of the "technology makes us lazy" panic is wrong: When you take a responsibility away from a human being, they just find something else to do way, way better. I'm pretty sure that faster computers are going to give us better medicine, word processors are going to give us better books, and newer, fancier sex toys are going to, ya know ... sex stuff, but better.
Ivan Mladenov/iStock/Getty Images
My point is, we can't let this stuff distract us from the real threat. Which is Terminators.
JF Sargent is an editor and columnist for Cracked. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. If you want. It's not a rule or anything.
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