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Thesis Statement: Technology has always influenced people throughout the ages and as technology evolves, the way people search for happiness can also be influenced. Throughout history, humankind has been on a constant quest to search for ways to make life easier. This is why things like the wheel, the wind/water mill, and cellphones were invented. Each one of these innovations were the newest forms of technology in their day so in order to know how technology influences people it is important to look at how past technologies have affected people and not just look at current ones.
A good place to start is the wheel. Though the wheel is normal and well used throughout this day and age, back when the human race was just starting out it is widely assumed that humankind were very primitive and animal-like, so the invention of the wheel could have been seen as a turning point in civilizing the people of that age. The wheel was not the only innovation that became a helping hand in the dawn of civilization.
There was also fire, stone tools and depending on the region they could have had bows, spear/javelins, slings and other such long ranged weapons.
There is a reason why humans created and needed so many different types of tools and technologies as they began to civilize and evolve, and that is the betterment of life. As Antonia Macaro said in his article, “Aristotle and the Good Life”, “a moderate quantity of material comforts is necessary for our well-being.
” Without these technologies the early humans would live in caves, hunt and forage with their bare hands, and eat raw food including meat. With the technologies though they were capable of making homes, clothes and other simple everyday things that most people take for granted in the modern day. They could also hunt and gather more effectively, eventually learning to farm, and they could cook allowing for better tasting and more healthy food as well as paving the path for pottery and clay allowing for food storage. With these few and simple forms of primitive technology people were able to advance greatly and improve their living standards and there is a good chance that with that progress there was a rise of happiness and morale.
The next phase of human evolution brought about a new set of more advanced technology, one such form was the advancement of their tools from stone to bronze to iron. With better materials they were able to further other advancements in order to better their lives and increase production of work for many of the different occupations that were integral to living in moderate comfort. One of these technologies took the form of a device known as the mill. The mill is a versatile device made in order to harness the power of water or wind to take the place of man or beast. This was used in farming, blacksmithing, and cider making to great success. The mill not only takes the strain off the shoulders of the worker but it was also far superior in power and effectiveness than was ever possible allowing for more of a surplus in the different yields that these various jobs produced. Having this new technology and many others helped the human race to have a more stable way of living with much greater communities.
At this point in history the question of whether technology helped people find happiness becomes a little murky due not only to the diversity in people, but also in the diversity in technology itself. With the evolution of the human species came kingdoms and a hierarchy within them. This was a way of unifying the people but it had its setbacks, one such setback was war. With the advancement of technology came the advancement of weapons and armour. This allowed for certain kingdoms to go out and conquer in the search of more land, riches, and glory. Needless to say while this may have brought prosperity to some, the vast majority of the earth’s population were negatively affected by this.
Another negative effect that technology could have had on people is greed. With the advancement of civilization there came an increase in population soliciting the necessity of leadership, unfortunately there were many times that the leaders abused their power for personal gain. This resulted in an influx of the poor and destitute. Most of these technologies were important for the advancement of humanity but many of them at this point had negative byproducts that resulted from this advancement. So the question becomes, does the good outweigh the bad and was it necessary to continue advancing in order to become happier. This is a question still debated by many philosophers of this age and probably will for some time, but it is important to understand that humankind is where it is at due to these past advancements.
A good place to start is a quote from Matt Valentine’s article 10 “Pieces of Native American Wisdom That Will Inspire the Way You Live Your Life” stating “I do not think the measure of a civilization Is how tall its buildings of concrete are. But rather how well its people have learned to relate To their… fellow man.” In the search for happiness while technology is important in advancing the human race and allows people to have a broader band of things to do, technology does not create happiness.
What creates happiness is how people decide to use that technology in accordance to their neighbors and peers around the world. In the modern age technology has taken on a whole new meaning as the advancements in industry and ease of living take flight like never before. Things like the computer and the cellphone allow for an unlimited amount of possibilities creating a freedom that no one has ever experienced before this time. This freedom can be both an amazing and a scary thing, because while people are free to choose happiness and prosperity many will decide to enslave themselves to the technology. Now that humans have this technology there will never be an end to the advancement of technology so it is important to understand what technology is capable of both the good and bad then use it accordingly.
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