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ragingloli's avatar

Is the common argument against technology, that you will lose a common and essential skill, actually a valid objection?

Asked by ragingloli (46566points) June 30th, 2019

I do not think it is.
How many people today know how to make fire, build a house with branches and twigs, make a spear and hunt in the forest, or forage in the woods, knowing which plants or mushrooms are edible or poisonous?

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23 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t understand. You state that you don’t believe the premise true, then list examples highlighting its validity. Which is it?

flutherother's avatar

“Living? Our servants will do that for us”.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I am as confused as @stanleybmanly ?
Better explanation is needed.

ragingloli's avatar

The question is clear enough.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

But with the advance of technology people have lost those skills that you pointed out, while most can get by in todays world without those skills,those are still skills lost to technology.

How about this what about people that don’t want to lose skills they have due to the advancement in technology?

Dutchess_lll's avatar

It’s true we lose skills, but we gain new ones.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

@Squeekster.. if a person doesn’t want to lose a skill he needs to hang on to it and practice. It’s on them, no one else.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess it depends on what skills. As for those you listed, I still know how to do all those things. The plants and mushrooms are a bit weak, I’ll admit, but I also know how to test unknowns. But really, technology isn’t impacting those. Advances in building materials and techniques, the advent of electricity, etc have taken care of most of those. But technology today can impact other common, essential, skills. Personal interaction for instance. How many times have you seen a group of people in the same room texting back and forth rather than talking? And the spelling becomes sort of a short-hand and the ability to spell goes away. I’ve seen many, many people that can’t add a column of single digit numbers in their head…they have to have a calculator. Many technological advances are double-edged swords…they have the ability to be very useful, but they also have the ability to become a crutch or almost a dependence.

JLeslie's avatar

I think some skills do get lost, and it varies whether people feel it’s important or not. I think skills seen as drudgery are happily left behind. Skills that are more like an art form we feel some loss. Like a drummer compared to a sound machine of some sort. Or, handmade garments and rugs we still value the handmade, and hope the skill doesn’t completely disappear. I hope so anyway.

With computers the children of today are losing penmanship skills.

Is it a valid argument against technology? My opinion is no. I say bring on the technology, but I hope we still teach some of these things by hand also.

When it comes to technology my concerns have more to do with privacy issues. I’m all for making life easier like washing clothes cleaning house, even growing fruits and veggies. Although, I am worried that society will lag behind in accommodating the technological advances and not be prepared for fewer employment opportunities. That’s another topic though.

seawulf575's avatar

I think the book Future Shock addressed this question back in 1970. It still applies today. With technological advances, there are changes to people and society that we don’t even consider until things have changed.

Zaku's avatar

“How many people today know how to make fire, build a house with branches and twigs, make a spear and hunt in the forest, or forage in the woods, knowing which plants or mushrooms are edible or poisonous?”
Many still do, but the fraction that do, and the average quality of those skills, is vastly lower than before technologies made those things easy.

Many people in the USA have little or no ability with manual automobile transmissions. Many young people are afraid to be without their mobile phones. Many don’t know how to navigate without them. Cashiers in the USA are more and more challenged to make basic change during sales. Many young people are not being taught cursive script, and are becoming less familiar with using pen(cil)/paper for tasks. Etc. Skill degrade in distribution and quality when technology and common practices start to make them less common, even if they don’t degrade entirely.

The organization of infrastructure is another issue. International trade and distribution has moved most manufacturing outside the USA, which will be screwed if/when they lose access to it, or to the means to keep their transportation networks running.

Response moderated
Inspired_2write's avatar

It definitely is a valid objection.
Once the power source is cut off we will have to know how to survive without communication on our phones. Learn to use a compass,how to get safe water,how to keep warm in winter..firewood etc
Basic skills.
Electric cars will not work, so lets hope we still have gas operated ones for awhile?
Everything is too dependent on electricity to run things for us.
First the shock then how to cope, survive.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I know how to make the money to hire the dude who can build the house.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

“How many people today know how to make fire, build a house with branches and twigs, make a spear and hunt in the forest, or forage in the woods, knowing which plants or mushrooms are edible or poisonous”

I can, and technology has made me better at some of this. I only know several mushrooms though.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I wouldn’t have a clue as to which mushroom growing in my yard is edible and which can kill you. How the hell did our ancestors figure it out?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Many of them died learning.

ragingloli's avatar

No one died learning. They just died. Others learned watching them die.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

^^^^ Hahahaha!

Surely, at some point, they gad some non fatal to humans system in place that they could experiment with first? Feed it to the dogs first or something?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Mushroom experts sometimes screw up and die. There are three or four that I’m confident enough to identify, the rest just are not worth the risk.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

There is only one wild mushroom I can safely identify the rest I will just let them be.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I just think they’re cool.

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