Technology between World Supply and Demand
Ability will never catch up with the demand for it. Confucius
Confucius was right. In this last century, growth of population increase year by year. FAO estimate in 2030, it will be more than 8 billion people in this tiny world. It means accumulation of human needs increase rapidly. World’s production capacity for food and energy must rise up to 50% from now to supply needs in 20301). In the other hand, as a fact, we have limited natural resource to fulfill.
As consequences, we require technological leap to fulfill those needs, especially in energy and food. Like analogy said by Archimedes, “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the world.” Technology become as a lever for increasing our limited supply. In the other hand, technology has to response by not only quantity of product, but also quality of product. It must be efficient and effective as well.
Researchers around the globe said that some of promising technologies to fulfill this huge demand are nuclear for energy and GMO (Genetic Modified Organism) for food. Regarding thousands and more of research, those technologies can help us to solve these problems.
Consider Advantages and Disadvantages
Like two sides of coins, technology has negative and positive impact for humankind. Hagelin, in 1992 2) said that “We have to consider the implications of the latest advances in scientific knowledge for the areas of conflict resolution and world peace.” Positive impact of technologies have clearly described in previous paragraph. In contrary, negative impacts of technology are from socioeconomic side, only some of countries that have resources and capabilities with advanced technologies such as nuclear and GMO. Other country that hasn’t its technology becomes a slave in their country. They don’t get value added because it belongs to countries that have its technologies. The poor country is still getting poor and poorer. This condition may lead exploitation and inequality. Finally, this basic needs pursuing the law of economic. Limited resources contested by infinity demand. Thus, it will create negative effect such as a war. The fact is spoken. Majority of war in last century was because of economic competition.
In the other hand, if we see from another negative perspective, nuclear technology rise to highly toxic, ecologically dangerous radioactive wastes,3) and a generation of weapons that has threatened mankind with extinction. What about GMO? When a new gene producing a novel protein is introduced into a crop, there is a chance that human subpopulations may have an allergic reaction to the protein4).
Technology, Morality, and Peace
Archibald Macleish said that “As things are now going the peace we make, what peace we seem to be making, will be a peace of oil, a peace of gold, a peace of shipping, a peace in brief. Without moral purpose or human interest.” It is very important to have good morality as well as smart brain. Morality becomes our guidance. It likes eyes of knowledge. Morality would choose which one is good, safe, and useful for us.
“History” television channel, in one of their documentary video in April 2011, clearly stated that disaster of this century, most of it, creates from human error. That documentary video, was giving some examples. Some of them are Chernobyl and Hiroshima-Nagasaki (in World War 2) disaster. Is it nuclear a gift or curse? Now, our morality chooses. Yes it’s dangerous as a substance, but, we have learned a lot to steer clear of it and make it safe for human. In my opinion, we can still use nuclear for our future energy source. But it is not for war. War using nuclear weapon is driving by human-animalism ego to win. And, that is not allowed by human morality. It’s clear that human without morality will cause damage and disaster. Thus, a key to make world peace is building morality in parallel with technology.
We Can Make a Difference
What we are going to do, now, is become as a part of solution. Like what Maria Montessori said that “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” In my opinion, now, our challenges are to facilitate and to educate smart-young people to have morality, vision, and strong leadership to make a better living for others. Those challenges are as important as contribute in developing knowledge and technology.
It is better for us to light a candle than curse for darkness. And, this is what I have done for lighting some candles. I have a small group in my home town that has routine meeting once a week every Sunday to discuss about humanity, leadership, and morality in young generation. This small group also has several programs like community development to increase morality and humanity awareness among youth generation. I am also actively supporting and becoming an advisor for some students to have academic and nonacademic achievement. Moreover, I actively become a speaker in some places like in university and school to share and inspire youth generation so they can reach their dream with their morality.
I do hope in next ten years, we become not only as a technology trendsetter, but also as a peace trendsetter. Wherever we are, let us build global understanding in youth organization. Optimistically, start from our local community, we can make a better world, a long-term effect in promoting security and world peace. Resemble a poem from Lao Tzu.
If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors, There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart.