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Are We Still Children Playing In Pandora's Box? Part Two

Feb 3, 2008
From Chapter V:

Barbara: Hazel, in talking about new technologies, how would you evaluate the next generation of technologies that would include such things as the satellite for education over India, which is producing on a miniaturized basis an enormous amount of information, and then the weather-monitoring satellites, and so forth?

Hazel: Well, I don't want to say a total no to all of these things, but I am suggesting that we no longer have the wisdom to use all of those sorts of things.

Barbara: We no longer have--?

Hazel: Or we've lost it, to use Jean's kind of imagery. For example, I read a report on that Indian educational satellite system; you know what has happened to that, don't you?

Barbara: No.

Hazel: Well, it's become purely a propaganda tool; it's absolutely nothing but thought control. It's a totalitarian state going into every village. And the fascinating thing is that they have found that if you go to some of these little Indian villages, the television sets are on all the time. They fiddle with the channels to snow up the screen, and it creates light! They don't have electric light by which to see in the evenings, so they can then sit around and talk by the light of the flashing television set! It's wonderful! [laughter] You see, we don't have the wisdom to use all of that stuff. We're still children playing around in Pandora's box. That is not the growth point.

Barbara: Well, we certainly can't stay at this level of technology, which might, as you say, be destructive. But it's just an early form. I believe that technology is natural. There is a technological aspect to everything on the material plane. And there is an evolving continuum of technologies throughout the evolutionary transcendence -- tools that will produce a quantum leap -- as the genetic code technology produced a quantum leap from the large molecules.

Technologies like astronautics, cybernetics, genetics, and so on, will make it possible for humans to transcend the mammalian condition physically--brutalizing work, certain kinds of disease, planet-boundness. We are at an early phase of human technological development, but not of technology itself. That has been going on since the origin of the physical universe. I believe that as we begin to understand synergy and whole systems both on Earth and in space our technologies will improve enormously. They will be ephemeralized, as Bucky Fuller says -- more biological than mechanical.

Hazel: Yes, of course, I didn't mean to make a blanket statement. There are many technologies that are already appropriate -- tape recorders are a very appropriate sort of technology; they're individual; they allow personal control. A typewriter is a very appropriate technology, a sewing machine, power tools . . .

Jean: But here we have to ask: Appropriate to what? If we begin to define the emerging image of what it means to be human, and the larger notion of life and its capacities, then you begin to discover those technologies that are appropriate.

Hazel: Well, what I mean, I think, is those technologies that are appropriate to our level of wisdom.

Jean: Yes! But if you can extend that level of wisdom--

Hazel: Then you can do all of these other things.

Jean: Not necessarily.

Hazel: You may not want to!

Jean: You may not want to; you may have a totally different kind of technology.

(Reprinted with permission from The Power of Yin).

(Note to editor: We have permission from the three co-authors, Hazel Henderson, Jean Houston and Barbara Marx Hubbard, to run excerpts from their book with the byline The Power of Yin - they are all referenced in the about the author box).
About the Author
The Power of Yin by evolutionary economist Hazel Henderson; Human Potential Movement founder Jean Houston; and social innovator Barbara Marx Hubbard, is an empowering invitation to help evolve the human community. Visit The Power of Yin
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