Reliance on Technology and Human Ability to think

As people rely more and more on technology to solve problems, the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate. Doyou agree or disagree with the statement?

I disagree with this argument, primarily because of its use of the word ‘ability’. It is true that humans rely heavily on technology; That is the very reason that technology was created in the first place – to have faster, more efficient and more reliable ways of achieving goals or completing tasks. As has been observed since the Industrial Revolution, the greater efficiency of machines and technology has resulted in a reduction of manpower and an increase of mechanized processes of production. For example, a shoe-making factory in Victorian England would have employed 100 workers, but post Industrial Revolution, the workers would be replaced by a set of 2 or 3 machines that worked much faster than them- with less mistakes, and better results. It has now reached the point, where technology is present in every aspect of our lives – from alarm clocks to wake us, stoves to heat and cook our food, cellphones to communicate with, machines to transport us, and machines to better our health. Technology is so pervasive that it has by necessity become an aid, and for some a crutch. It is therefore not unrealistic to imagine that increased dependency on technology would reduce our ability to think.

The keyword here, however, is imagine. As I mentioned in my thesis, I disagree with the evaluation that we loose our ability to think. In my opinion, ability has nothing to do with reliance on technology. Our ability to think is dictated by the environment we learn in. When that environment has technology in it, by habit, we use the technology to reduce the time and ease the effort we put into our ability. and, however, this does not hinder our ability. For example, in middle school in India, I was not allowed to use a calculator. As a result, I understood all the mathematics I learnt – from simple addition, to complex trigonometry and calculus. This formed my ability to learn mathematics. In high school in the Middle East, I was introduced to calculators, and I quickly found that they did the same work as me in a fourth of the time, and without the careless mistakes I was bound to make. As a result, I began relying on them for all my calculations – even simple ones like 15+7, because it was easy to do so. It has now reached a point, where I have to spend a long time thinking about how to do long division – not because I am incapable or unable to do so, but because I have used a calculator for so long, that I have forgotten the procedure. Loss of memory, however, is not akin to loss of ability. Ability is governed by the brain’s capability to learn, and this is not hampered by dependence on technology. With my example of mathematics, all I need to do is look at a book to remember how the procedure is done, and I will recall the process, because I have the ability to do it. In that way, ability is somewhat like muscle memory – we may forget it temporarily, but we do not loose the capacity to re-learn.

Additionally, the statement seems a little bit of a generalization. It says that the ability of humans to think for themselves will surely deteriorate, thereby arbitrarily placing the entire world of humans in one set. However, not all people are alike. Just because some people might perhaps loose their ability to think because of excessive reliability on technology as a crutch, does not mean that all people will be the same.

In fact, it remains to be mentioned that it is humans are the people who create technology. Technology does not (yet) think for itself – it only does what it is told to do through a complex set of orders and instructions fed into it by its people. When technology fails us, we ‘humans’ are the ones who fix it. Therefore, it seems hasty to jump to the conclusion that humans will loose their ability to think for themselves. For example, when the technology on an airplane fails, the pilots are the ones who think and manually attempt to guide the plane to safety. Technology, when it fails, does not have the ability to think on its feet and come up with out of the box solutions – humans do.

What are your views on the matter? Tell me in the comments below.

p.s.- Yes, this was a practice GRE essay. No, I am not being too lazy to write new posts…well, maybe I am. But you have to agree, questions like this make great points for discussion.

Mesothelioma Awareness

I apologize for not having this up earlier – I wanted to have it up on the 26th which was Mesothelioma Awareness Day, but I got ridiculously busy with some research scholarship applications, homework and GRE stuff. Despite that, I believe today is as good a day as any to spread awareness, so here we have it!

I was approached a few weeks ago by Heather Von St. James with a request for a special blog post.

Eight years ago, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare and preventable cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. She had just given birth to her daughter and was given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, she has made it her life’s mission to spread awareness about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.

Heather and her beautiful family

Heather and her beautiful family

September 26th, 2014 marked the 10th anniversary of Mesothelioma Awareness Day, and has been the driving force behind the movement to bring more attention and funding to this cancer. There is no more innocent victim than a person with mesothelioma, they are sick as a direct result of a product that is NOT banned in the U.S. This disease has a life expectancy of just 18 months after diagnosis, and symptoms may not be evident until 20-35 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Here are some facts you may not have known:

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.28.59 AM

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.29.09 AMScreen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.29.17 AMAre you a blogger interested in spreading the word about Mesothelioma? Feel free to re-blog this post, or read the following pdf file for more information. MADPDFHowWhen

Special Sleep Skill Sets

How’s that title for some alliteration? ;)
[Since everyone's not an English major - Alliteration: (def.) Multiple words starting with the same starting letter/consonant sound placed close to one another.]

Most people with nocturnal habits do relatively ‘normal’ things like sleep walking or sleep talking, but not me. No sir. What do I do? I sleep strip, and sleep laugh.

That’s right. I sleep strip. Don’t worry this isn’t an inappropriate post, although it probably is TMI. Whenever it’s super hot at night (every night in my dorm o_0) I strip in my sleep, and have no memory of it in the morning. The first few times I did it several years ago, I remember freaking out when I woke up with random articles of clothes off me. “Who did that to me?” I used to wonder. But no, it’s always just been me doing it to myself, and to this day it continues to freak me out. Just this morning, I woke up at 6, and it took me a couple moments to realize that my shirt was missing.

Another weird thing I do, (besides the sleep stripping and sleep talking) is sleep laughing. I do that a LOT. I’m not sure why, but hey, at least I know I’m having good happy dreams, right? I’ve had this habit since I was a baby, and it used to worry my parents who were initially never sure if I was laughing or crying. They’d come running into my room at night to see little baby me laughing at some random dream, while still thoroughly asleep. I never used to remember that back then, but nowadays I wake myself up laughing (or talking). One moment I’m asleep, and the next I very awkwardly startle myself awake.

Strange, I know. But then again, that’s me! :)

Love, Adi

Brushing with Shampoo and other stories

It’s been an interesting day.

I was so tired last night (after playing catch up with Once Upon a Time, and watching the season premier of Marvel’s Agents of Shield) that I fell asleep wearing yesterday’s clothes. My hair looks god awful (I’m not kidding!) but here’s a picture of the dress/salwar kameez. I stole it from my mom over summer because it’s one of my favorites (and it no longer fits her). Don’t you love the colors on it?

kameezBrushing with Shampoo

I started my day off by almost brushing my teeth with shampoo. How does that happen? Well, I live in a college apartment with three other girls. We all share counter space etc. So instead of leaving our toothpastes out near our brushes, we have our own caddies and holders in which we place them. Mine is the pink one in the picture below.

pinkcaddy

This morning, I was really sleepy, and while thinking about my next post for this blog, I reached without looking, and picked up the first thing my hand landed on – the Shampoo bottle! I then proceeded to snap open the lid, and absent-mindedly pour an overly generous amount on my toothbrush. When it began to fall off ( the consistency is much more watery than toothpaste! ) my brush, I finally looked at it, and after an initial moment of WTFs, I burst out laughing at myself. If nothing else, it makes a good story for this blog, right? :)

Sketchy Phone Calls

While I was in my Grammar and Language class, finishing up my quiz, my right jacket pocket suddenly started buzzing. In a quiet class, that sound carries and gets severely amplified, so I quickly turned it off. A moment later, I felt another buzzing, and with an exasperated hmph! I cancelled that buzzing as well. Barely five minutes later, I walked out of the exam room, and saw that I’d received a call and a blank voicemail. I decided to call back the number, and lo and behold! An automated voice message informed me that the number I was trying to call “has been disconnected or is no longer in service.”

I got their call at exactly 10:07, and I called back at 10:12. So in 5 minutes, the number had been disconnected/gone out of service?! Super sketchy if you ask me!

Granny Knees

To any grannies reading my blog – no offense meant! My knees are just super achy in rainy weather since they’ve both been operated on. I now have metal screws in both my knees, so whenever there are temperature (and hence pressure) changes in the atmosphere, the metal in my knees expands and shrinks in response, and causes my knees to be achy, and painy.

Sneak Peaks

Here are some of the posts you’ll see over the next few days:

1) Mesothelioma Awareness

I was approached by a lovely blogger/Happy Lifeaholic reader to do an awareness blog on this, and I have some wonderful infographics for you. This one’s coming up in 2 days! (26th September)

2) Dorm Tour!

That’s right. I’m going to put up pictures of my college apartment on this blog. And if that goes down well, I might put up pictures from the dorms I’ve lived in prior to this. Here’s a sneak pic for you guys!

Dorm previewIt’s going to take me two or three days to take all the pictures and edit them a little. Expect this post towards the end of this week, or the beginning of the next. Earlier if I feel like procrastinating sometime before then!

3) More Pictures

Minnesota is a lovely state. I love all the lakes, and the prairie land out here, and I’m going to try and document some of it here. Bear with me though, I left my camera at home (several thousand miles and continents away) so I’m either using my Macbook to take pictures, or borrowing a camera from a friend. I’m determined to make this work somehow! :D