People Use Technology But Usually Have No Idea How It Works

I am increasingly concerned that everyone is so immersed in technology but they have no idea how it actually works. From websites, to blogs, to securing their data, all most people want to do is the easiest and trendiest thing. Not to mention the selfie and hashtag culture which involves high level of technology but only serves narcissistic and other disturbing human traits, as opposed to self-learning, self-actualisation, and from my perspective, true spirituality. Thoughts?

People Use Technology Mathematics But Usually Have No Idea How It Works.

I myself I’m tired of not fully understand maths, so I’m starting to study the more scientific/advanced side of it to at least try and feel less stupid. :wink:
MIT.edu have some pretty cool free courses on Math.

The reason most of us don’t care much about intellectual capacity is due to the fact that the fundamental necessities of life (eat, procreate, etc) are already complicated enough and most creatures have a sub-conscient focus on survival first: procreate no matter what.

Usually people barely have time to be pro-active into the green area of this well known pyramid:

That’s the irony of the Maslovian approach people take. If you focus on the green and purple parts the red and orange parts take care of themselves. The red part obviously doesn’t require much higher-level brain function, of course. Now, if people are in a deeply difficult family, mental or financial situation then red and orange is all you got.

That said, there’s many people with the orange and yellow all in place but can never really, like you say, get into the green part, nor care too, in most cases. People that focus on the green part are seen as “losers” and “not getting ahead”?

People focus on the bases, orange/red fields because they have no choice.

The large majority of our human society is very poor and at most have access to some old cellphone devices.
We just can’t have technology for everyone and knowledge about its inner functionality in a world where people still struggles to survive.
If you have no idea: if you made just U$1.500,00 last year, you’re in the top 20% of richest people of the world; This is where our human society is at right now :slight_smile:

Interesting site: http://www.globalrichlist.com

Good point. But of the people that made US $1,500 last year, I wonder how many understand technology beyond Microsoft Office, Facebook and selfies?

The issue of using the technology without knowing its inner works, has been around since the dawn of manking. 1000 years ago, a baker had no idea how to make a sword, how to extract the metal, how to mold it, the blacksmith had no idea how to make a boat, or why it float. However they use it all, without having no idea how it came to be or how it worked.
The world has always been to complex and the human lifespan to short in order to understand it.

Hence the Guild system which evolved or co-evolved into the Mystery Schools? We do indeed have bare minimum a Guild system for people that understand technology, such as on here - game developers, programmers, server architects, sysadmins?

To be honest though the world is not too complex when you get the “keys” to decode it… and if you have a certain level of intelligence of course. Would you agree?

yep, agree with you on that, I think would have used the example of “most people use vehicles but less then 0.1%(I’m overestimating that) have any real understanding of how they work” but same basic principal:), the truth of the matter is that most people simply don’t care how things work as long as they know how to use it.

also that pyramid picture just set my bs detector off big time:p

And do You really know how technology You are using works?
Few examples:

  • RAS CAS signals in dynamic memory,
  • Solid state memory cells,
  • led liquid crystals, how they change pixels
  • how computer multiplies 2 numbers or how it divides them
  • how electrical cables for energy transfer are made, i assure you it is not simple piece of copper.
  • electron tunneling effect, all microchips use it
  • why you cannot use LCD screen underwater

My point is that its impossible for most of us to know this all. You need to be PHD in multiple areas to know how just electronic equipment works.
Also where you draw line between knowing and not knowing. I personally have slight idea about all those questions above. But it is just slight
I know where to look for answers, but for eg. I could not code divide (in asm) algorithm for 2 integers right now. Yes cpus can divide, but there is somebody
who is implementing this in CPU microcode (or as bunch of NAND gates), every generation of CPU over and over again, same stuff slightly improved,
so we do not need to be bothered with simple things like divide.

And obligatory here, after Mr. Clarke:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

It’s from Mr. Maslov I believe :slight_smile:

Good point, with regard to technology then, how would we classify information, knowledge and wisdom regarding it?

For example, I would say:

Information = How CAS signaling in DRAM works
Knowledge = Using CAS timings to overclock RAM
Wisdom = ?

To say that you know how it works, you must have an expertise in the field of the particular technology, else almost all know how the engine of a car starts, what engine oils do, etc. But to know deeply why and how, you must be an engineer.
If we were about to have expertises in the technology we use, including computers, cell phones, cars, moto’s,etc ,even 3 lifetimes wouldn’t be enough… It is just an insane amount of knowledge.

Does it really matter? Technology is a tool, nothing more. Expecting everyone to understand how it works (or even judging them for it) is absurd.

Perhaps I am judging people. But I think what I am trying to say, is like myself, people are immersed in technology without thinking of the consequences.

Knowing all exact details can be a trap, we are swimming in information but true knowledge and wisdom is perhaps lacking? But then this perhaps goes on to another topic.

For example, we don’t need to know how exactly the Oculus VR works, some of us know different bits here and there.

But do we need to know or think about the **consequences **of immersive VR in society?

The pattern is always the same… the majority always have the herd-instinct. They look around, and follow the trend of what others are doing. It is not a condescending statement, it is just on observation. And there will always be the minority who lead the way - it is them who know exactly what they are doing, and when to stop doing things. So as for me, I just take it as a norm in our society today.

I hope you aren’t referring to something like radiation, but what are some of the consequences you had in mind?

I guess you’ve got to the crux of what I’m really saying. Most people use technology without ~caring~ about how it works. :frowning:

Dissociation from reality is the largest risk. 8 hours a day 7 days a week in VR may have some serious consequences for some.

I thought technology was an extension of ourselves,like autombiles verses weeks of walking. Do everything in moderation. Everyone has there own addiction. Thing is to be a friend and dont judge and help when that time comes.

That’s unavoidable. The amount of knowledge required to make modern computer or cellphone is so ridiculously high, that no single person will be able to know it all. We’re approaching “magic” level of technology. As in “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (A. Clarke).

For example, I have GPU in my machine, I know what apis can be used to interact with it, I might have idea where to find this or that algorithm used in it (and might remember some of them), but I don’t know its schematics, I don’t know how to make one, how to find materials for one, and how individual chips on it work, I don’t know their schematics voltages and manufacturing process. So, I don’t know how it works. It applies to programming as well - the whole point of programming is interacting with black boxes written by someone else.

That’s also predictable. People want to feel special and important and they want miracles in their life. That’s why they search for ways to “get rich quick”, “lose fat without effort” and “learn programming in 7 days”. Selfies and social networks prey on the “desire for a feeling of importance” (defined by Carnegie), but they only provide illusion instead.

IMO, there’s no such thing. It is “true scottsman”. I think it is more reasonable to concentrate on happiness instead. When person is happy and no one is getting hurt, it is good enough.

Zero percent of them. That includes people who work for Microsoft, Facebook and selfie host. Those platforms are just too big for one person.

It is not possible to fully predict the consequences of anything. IMO, it is humanity’s job to continuously mess up and learn from mistakes. After reasonable precautions are done, at one point you have to push the red button and see what happens.

I’m honestly glad that a lot of society is looking for these “Learn programming in 7 days”, and “Lose fat by taking a skinny pill” methods, as it automatically puts me above them when it comes to how successful any of us will likely become, because while they are out looking for the magic beans, others of us are growing our beanstalks over years of time to actually produce a harvest before winter rolls around. I know, bad analogy :stuck_out_tongue:

Soon technology will replace ourselves…!