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#232353 - 09/17/11 11:43 AM Re: Is technology making us dumber? [Re: AKSAR]
ablesolutions Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 13
Loc: New Jersey
Technology is great but we need to remind ourselves that technology is not a "push button solution provider". Critical thinking and being prepared are always our greatest strength, expecially in a survival situation.
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#232356 - 09/17/11 04:42 PM Re: Is technology making us dumber? [Re: AKSAR]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1251
As I read this thread and learn of the attitudes people have towards SAR operations, I can't help but wonder about two things:

1. Won't ethics play a big part at the moment we have to decide whether to rescue someone? What I mean is this: even if we are aware that someone is in over his head, the moment he calls for help because his life is in jeopardy, are we going to be able to resist the urge to save a fellow human being? To simplify this matter, some stupid guy who doesn't know how to swim jumps into the pool, much against our advice. He begins to drown. Do we save him? Or do we say, see, we told you so? I think as human beings we have been built to feel a great deal of pressure to save one another, and for us this feels like a matter of right and wrong.

Or is this a matter of, if you pay for it we'll gladly do the SAR, even putting ourselves at a reasonable amount of risk?

2. Some people are beginning to suggest this reckless spirit of adventure may be what set modern humans apart from other hominids:

Quote:
From the archeological record, it's inferred that Neanderthals evolved in Europe or western Asia and spread out from there, stopping when they reached water or some other significant obstacle. (During the ice ages, sea levels were a lot lower than they are now, so there was no English Channel to cross.) This is one of the most basic ways modern humans differ from Neanderthals and, in Pääbo's view, also one of the most intriguing. By about forty-five thousand years ago, modern humans had already reached Australia, a journey that, even mid-ice age, meant crossing open water. Archaic humans like Homo erectus "spread like many other mammals in the Old World," Pääbo told me. "They never came to Madagascar, never to Australia. Neither did Neanderthals. It's only fully modern humans who start this thing of venturing out on the ocean where you don't see land. Part of that is technology, of course; you have to have ships to do it. But there is also, I like to think or say, some madness there. You know? How many people must have sailed out and vanished on the Pacific before you found Easter Island? I mean, it’s ridiculous. And why do you do that? Is it for the glory? For immortality? For curiosity? And now we go to Mars. We never stop."


An article (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technolog...hominids/42117/) quoting from the New Yorker.

Isn't this just the same thing as those hikers who, relying on little more than a GPS, etc., get themselves into trouble?

Or I suppose there is a difference between someone who takes the effort to acquire all the knowledge and tools before setting out on a dangerous journey (e.g., today's astronauts) vs. someone who decides to take a detour while driving through an uninhabited part.

Da Bing

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#232363 - 09/18/11 12:34 AM Re: Is technology making us dumber? [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5797
Loc: southern Cal
My experience is that you rarely contemplate whether withholding rescue services is even an option. At the beginning of an operation, you only know that someone is in trouble, or is potentially in trouble. Hardly ever do you have credible information on which to even begin to consider the non-rescue option. The fact is that you simply do not have all the details that are often available later on.

That doesn't mean that a rescue will always be available. Rescuers may be engaged in another operation, or weather may present obstacles. There is often an appreciable time lag.

With respect to ethics, what can we say about the morality of sitting in impromptu judgment of another human being, and deciding that they should die or continue to suffer simply because they did carry matches, or a tent, or whatever. It would be something like deciding not to transport an accident victim to the hospital because we thought the injured person was at fault and caused the accident. I don't think we do that.

If rescue, especially wilderness SAR in mountains or caves particularly, is going to be effective, it needs to be as prompt as possible. You can't hang around to get the information to decide if the person(s) in jeopardy "deserves" rescue. What kind of world would that be, anyway?
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#232364 - 09/18/11 12:47 AM Re: Is technology making us dumber? [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5797
Loc: southern Cal
Wit respect to the second point of your post, I find the conclusion highly speculative and suspect - just another attempt to prove that humans are "special' and somehow very different from the rest of the animal kingdom. It is very simple - Neanderthals didn't cross large bodies of water because they didn't have watercraft. Would neaderthals or homo erecti have ventured out to sea if they had watercraft? Who knows? One thing, when you venture out onto the water, accidents happen. Storms arise and you get blown off course. Currents set you into unknown locales. Sometimes this results in accidental discoveries.

Now we have the technology to contemplate voyages to Mars. We will try it. But without the technology, we would just be pounding sand, or maybe stll fashioning flint knives.
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