Stories in this issue about cell phones in schools and robot lawn mowers underline the ever-changing world we live in, thanks to the technological revolution. Perhaps every generation speculated what impact of the latest communication technology—whether it was radio, then television and now the Internet—would ultimately make on our daily lives. The advantage a generation ago was that we had time to get used to “the latest thing” before it became old news. Today, “the latest thing” is almost a meaningless concept because change now races ahead at sprint speed.
If there’s a common thread that runs through the ages it’s that human nature has not changed. As a result, technological advances will always be used for good and for bad. It will aid and abuse, it will add and subtract to our quality of life because of the inherent strengths and weakness in the humans who sit at the controls.
Perhaps the question to consider more thoughtfully is not what we do with technology, but what technology does with us simply because of the time it absorbs from us. As a commodity, time never changes. Once invested, it can never be retrieved. —DR.