Tuesday, 3 January 2012

It takes forever

My friend is only here for a short while and today we spoke about her internet connection in Germany and how even though it was slow for Europe, it was comparably fast to SA standards. And as if to prove her right, our internet connection is suuuuuper slow tonight. My sister sent me a Vimeo clip that won't load, my emails refuse to come in, even Facebook is not cooperating.

I read that in Scandinavia access to internet is seen as a basic human right. This is a very strange idea to me because on the one hand, we fail to provide all of humanity with access to clean drinking water, never mind a basic education, but in the First World the internet must be accessible to all.

Do not understand me wrong. I think the internet is a great source of useful and useless information and it is wonderful to be living in a time where we have so much knowledge and entertainment just a click away. But it is also astounding that one part of the 7 Billion can move ahead at the speed of light, whereas other populations are light-years away from this. It is strange to think that perhaps at this rate of development, we are not merely creating a better future, but also losing some of the more intrinsic values by expecting technology and advancement to be what propels us forward.

I am just letting my mind wander here, but in reflecting back, the rise of the Industrial Revolution and our belief in the purely positive aspects of technology are a double-edged sword : although it has brought with it  incredible developments like the camera, like hospital equipment and various non-animal driven forms of transportation, one could see all of these as negative as well. Without the camera and its advancement into moving pictures, there would be no child pornography. Without equipment that can keep people who are brain-dead alive, they could have maybe passed away in peace rather than being a living vegetable. Without transport, we would not be so reliant of petroleum to fuel our global economy.

In Paradise Lost,  God's argument is that he gave Adam and Eve the power of choice, of being able to weigh an argument and decide accordingly. I think we are living in an age where personal choices can make a large impact. Choosing to recycle, choosing to eat less or no meat at all, choosing to help others if possible, choosing to see oneself as part of a global population is more important than choosing to be an individual. We don't want to be like one another, we don't want to be wearing the same thing as others, but the truth of the matter is that we are all human and if we lose the ability to connect with each other, irrespective of race or age or gender or sexual orientation or political affiliation or whatever other category you can think of, there is not much hope for a brighter future.

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