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The Coalition of Man and Technology Part 2

Having considered the concept of Singularity in part 1, which refers to a single point in time where technology ascends over nature, it is worth discussing the additional consequences that it may have within society. There is increasing discussion concerning the depth and pace of technological advancement in the contemporary world, especially with regards to the perceived benefits and advantages that it offers to citizens. However, while many of these improvements serve individuals and their independent requirements, there are additional effects which could well impinge upon the well being of collective society as a whole.
Scientific Advancement and the Global Population

A significant aspect of progression concerns scientific advancement, and how medicine can evolve to combat wide ranging health issues such as Cancer or AIDS. In Professor Ray Kurzweils theory of accelerated returns, it is discussed that technology and scientific application will soon emerge as superior to nature, forcing the eventual coalition of man with artificial intelligence and machine within a single body. Many supposed individual benefits would come from this, including an immunity to weight gain and any existing illnesses and diseases, which would ultimately create a generation of citizens who will be assured longevity of life previously unimaginable.
Kurzweil goes even further in his publishing to suggest that mankind may eventually be able to decide when their life should end, and though this seems extreme the gradual eradication of disease through cure or scientifically enhanced human biology would have a similar corollary for individuals. Basically, human beings would be able to exist without illness or issues created by poor nutritional intake or lack of exercise, meaning that death by natural causes would become increasingly rare and occasional. At face value, this could be perceived as the ultimate vindication of technological and scientific advancement, but even this would have negative connotations for society at large.
If you consider the global population, then it becomes apparent that the number of citizens in the world is already becoming disproportionate to the level of natural and strained financial resources. In the US alone, the population has grown by between 200,000 and 300,000 individuals annually since 1990, and this trend is set to continue unabated for the foreseeable future.  This unchecked growth has been linked strongly with the rise in poverty throughout the countries southern state belt line, and replicates the issues experienced by poorer countries with minimal knowledge of or access to family planning values and birth control methodology, only on a much smaller and less primitive scale.
The Order of Nature
At present, as the population continues to soar disproportionately to wealth or resource, nature stands as the only regulator in terms of sustaining the earth’s status as a viable place to subsist. Given that the theory of Singularity is based upon the eventual emergence of technology over nature and into dominance, this would render the latter increasingly impotent in terms of maintaining order and rule according to requirements. This will eradicate any process of natural selection, and cause the global population to increase at a rate which would effectively elevate poverty towards the status of worldwide epidemic.
Whereas the natural order is balanced and regulates the whole environment through the processes of birth and death, the ascendance of technology over nature would gradually eradicate disease and serve only to improve each individuals chance of longevity. This is vast difference, and one which effects a single aspect of life that is closely affiliated to many social conditions, with the inevitable consequence that the accepted order becomes unbalanced and ultimately derailed by partial change. Regardless of the context, what is good for the individual is rarely as beneficial for an entire society.
This is the significant point of the debate, as technological enhancement is generally undertaken to serve the individual within society, and improve the speed or methodology involved in a specific process. Given the unique and diverse nature of independent humans, these benefits become diminished amongst larger groups of people, and can ultimately become divisive in ways that technology can not consider as it progresses. In order for science or technology to be successful in its aims it must be single minded, with each evolution focused on a particular aspect of behavior or everyday existence. So what is integral to their success is fundamentally opposed to the very core of social fabric.
Balancing Individual and Social Needs
The ideal of a world without disease or sickness is one which comforts us all, especially for anyone who has been directly or indirectly affected by their tragic effects. However, eradicating these through cure or enhancement must be a deliberate and gradual process, and one which pays due consideration to the necessary equilibrium between individual and social needs. A concept like Singularity, regardless of its reliability and practical features, seems too swift and ill considered when you think about the global society as a whole entity. Therefore, something which may evolve as a ground breaking resolution in terms of tackling illness and improving each individual standard of living may have more negative consequences elsewhere, which serve to damage the quality of life across a wider demographic. This is the balance that needs to be maintained, so that a society and its people can benefit equally across a range of evolving circumstances.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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