Great human conditions needed for advancement of technology

The posted last June 2 a story entitled “Less-advanced countries seen to benefit less from tech gains”. It caught my interest.

The story was based on the Washington study of 29 countries in terms of technological competence in the next 14 years. These countries were categorized as follows:

  1. Advanced: United States, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Israel. Technologies include growing tissue to implant and replace human body parts; real-time surveillance; wearable computers
  2. Proficient: China, India, Russia, Poland. Technologies include improved medical diagnostic and surgical procedures and drug therapies for specific tumors or pathogens.
  3. Developing: Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, South Africa, Chile. Technologies include devices that track flow of products from the factories to the consumers
  4. Lagging: Fiji, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Nepal, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Cameroon, Chad. Barring unfavorable political and infrastructural conditions, technologies may include cheap solar energy and rural wireless communications.

I wonder why the Philippines was not made part of the study. Otherwise, the study’s typology would have been defied by the country’s peculiarity.

The study took particular notice of the technologically proficient countries India and China. If they are to advance, the study was quoted as saying, they need to “continue making progress in financial institutions, legal and policy issues rural infrastructure, environmental protection, research and development investments, rural education and literacy, and governance and stability.”

Here’s my take of the study as reported by the

  1. Technology is not God that will change humanity for the better. Humans are divine creations tasked to keep at bay technological advances that may wreak havoc on Mother Earth. Technology must be community-owned not the other way around.
  2. Great human conditions are the necessary prerequisite for technological advancement, not merely the other way around. These conditions, on the one hand, may only be attained if the political environment is pro-humanity, wherein the State is respecting, fulfilling and protecting the human rights of its citizens. On the other hand, great human conditions call for the citizens’ sense of responsibility towards their own lives as well as their communities.
  3. In any level of technological competency, the human rights perspective must prevail, without which technology may be used to curtail the citizens’ human rights, like the cybercrime law and National ID system proposed by the Philippine government.
  4. Technology must be a product of either an individual with great sense of responsibility or a collective endeavor. Therefore, there must exist State responsibility in providing the conditions for producing responsible persons and productive collaborative efforts.

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