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The benefits of technology versus the costs

Jul 23, 2009   #1
Do the benefits of technology always outweigh the costs?

We are now in the modernized and industrialized world, an ideal place for technology to develop. Technology has many benefits indeed, and those benefits may outweigh the costs. However, this depends largely on the effective utilize of each person, the way to use technology in daily life.

Technology changes the world, makes it a better place for us to live. Many achievements are made to serve our needs. For instance, in the past, weaving fabric was a difficult, time-consuming job. Since James Watt, a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, invented a steam machine in 1784, weaving fabric became much easily. Many fabrics were made for the consumer market, and it did not need much human physical strength. Now we no more do everything by hands, because machines are created to help us. Therefore, labor efficiency changes remarkably. In medicine and pharmacy, technology also plays an important role. For example, Charles Drew, Chair of Surgery at Howard University, discovered a way to preserve blood. This invention made a great progress to history of medicine. Blood Bank, the storing of blood plasma system, helps to store, preserve, and reconstitute blood for a later use. Technological equipment, in weather forecast, help save more lives and predict natural disasters. In the past, when a storm comes, most of us do not realize the danger. Now we can forecast the weather and even more and more correctly.

Technology can widen our knowledge. For example, television, with many channels, contains many different kinds of knowledge from all over the world. It can not only entertain us but also show us everything. More specifically, the Discovery, a scientific channel, contains much information about science and technology. The Planet Animal comprises many events about the environment. Besides television, the Internet is extremely useful and important. We can read newspapers and magazines online for new information. We may study or find some useful things on the Internet for learning by Google, for example. We can even discuss with each other about something on forums to understand it clearly.

In addition, the costs of technology seem to come from the wrong use of people. For example, television has a lot of channels, so it is easily affect people leading to addiction. Moreover, people can watch television to relax, but too much would do harm to the eyes. For another example, some people use Internet for bad things like to deceive, steal information, or account of other people. Maybe they use it for depraved things on many bad websites. More dangerous thing is that Internet is used for terrorization. It could lead to wars, and the world-wide peace would be destroyed. Therefore, people must use technology judiciously.

In conclusion, technology is monumentally beneficial. It creates a better world and enrich the knowledge of people. Nevertheless, the wisdom of using technology is absolutely necessary and important to avoid the costs.

Jul 23, 2009   #2
Your essay is off to a good start, but you need to tighten up the logic a bit more. You list a series of benefits from random technologies, then list a few of the disadvantages. However, you provide no sense of how the benefits and the drawbacks should be measured or weighed, nor do you explain why the benefits should be greater than the drawbacks. Your notion that the drawbacks shouldn't count because they come from people misusing them is interesting, but needs elaboration.
Jul 23, 2009   #3
Your notion that the drawbacks shouldn't count because they come from people misusing them is interesting, but needs elaboration.

Right, it seems that your thesis is that technology is all good, and only turns bad when people misuse it. If so, you can and should elaborate that idea, which is more sophisticated than the simplistic "technology is monumentally beneficial."
Jul 23, 2009   #4
your thesis is that technology is all good, and only turns bad when people misuse it.

Specifically, you are arguing (or should be) that technology is good overall because it expands the range of our capabilities as a species, but that these benefits are sometimes overshadowed by the choices made by certain individuals who use technology for misguided or evil ends.
Jul 29, 2009   #5
Thank you very much!!!
I did listed the advantages of technology, but do you think I listed too many? I think my essay is quite long, isn't it?
Jul 29, 2009   #6
Your problem isn't that you have too many, its that they aren't really connected by anything except being benefits. We all know about the benefits and drawbacks to specific technologies. What you need to do is to come up with some way of judging whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Otherwise, you aren't answering the question.
Jul 29, 2009   #7
I did listed the advantages of technology, but do you think I listed too many? I think my essay is quite long, isn't it?

I think you've not understood our critiques. The question you were to address was not "What are some benefits of technology?" but, rather, "Do the benefits of technology always outweigh the costs?" This required you to not only list but assess both benefits and costs.
Jul 29, 2009   #8
Thank you! I understand now. I'll try to fix it.
But there is one thing I'd like to ask. You can see the first sentence of my essay. My teacher told me that it was quite illogical. She also said," Does in "the modernized and industrialized world" technology develop or technology develops which makes our world to become modern and ideal?" What do you think about that?
Jul 29, 2009   #9
What your teacher is saying is that you are asserting facts not in evidence or, perhaps, confusing causation.

You seem to be saying that modernization and industrialization prepare the way for technology to develop. Most people consider modernization and industrialization to be the results of technology. Of course, you could argue that the modernization and industrialization that have resulted from previous technology create a perfect atmosphere for the further development of technology, but that is not exactly what you said.

My sense is that you wrote out one of those introductory sentences that doesn't really say anything just as a way to get yourself going on the essay. But your teacher is right: That sentence is very weak.
Jul 30, 2009   #10
You might even ask yourself what drives technological innovation. In other words, why do we develop technology? The answer you come up with might in turn point to a way of answering the prompt . . .

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