Some days I just stare off into space and think about the impact the Internet has on our lives.
I recently took a break to listen to a song. The fascinating thing is the comments below the song. They were encouraging. You hear all about stupid people on the Internet, but there are also encouraging people.
How different was it before the Internet?
People talk about setting down our devices and connecting with people in person, yet even in Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird,” there was Boo Radley and Dolphus Raymond, people who did not openly interact with other people because of emotional scars and prejudice. It is not as if the internet created stupidity and bigotry. Fact is humans have been humans from the beginning of time. I see technology as an amoral entity we use for good or ill, but one should strive to use it for good.
Moore’s law is actually coming true, which means we have less time to process the changes in technology happening around us. And perhaps that is the real ill; we no longer know enough about how this new technology affects us to make wise choices.
I love my Smartphone. I recently moved to Washington, D.C. for the summer, I struggle to imagine what it would have been like to get around without it. I would have had to pour more mental energy into just getting to my job. In that manner, technology is giving me more mental energy to spend on science, something I really care about, as opposed to the layout of DC something I only sort of care about.
I also enjoy all the fun and challenge technology brings me, like Arduino and Kahn Academy. Yet, I get a fair amount of pushback from people about the ill it is doing. I can see their point, I know people who could use an electronics free day.
However, being scientifically method minded I am hesitant to draw a conclusion gathering all the facts, but I do not have time, or rather that is not the best use of my time. I guess the best approach is to enjoy all the good technology provides in my little corner of the world, while guarding myself against the possible pit falls.
My name is Caroline Storm Westenhover. I am a Senior Electrical Engineering student at the University of Texas at Arlington. I am the third of seven children. I enjoy collecting ideas and theories and most enjoy when they come together to present a bigger picture as a whole. Perhaps that is why I like physics and engineering. My biggest dream is to become an astronaut.
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