Saturday, March 27, 2010

Innovation crippling innovation

I travelled back from work one Friday by train since I had to send my car for a quick interior re-upholstery. As usual, the train was jam-packed and I was sardined in between many other commuters. Throughout the journey, I was probably the only person without any earphones on, whilst others were either listening to their ipod, speaking on the phone, listening to music on their mobile phones or just asleep. This is the effect of having enabling technologies. Technologies are great. They are enablers, but at the same time they are disablers. They enable us to reconnect with the far aways, but disable connections with the ones closer. Technological breakthrough in ICT brings us closer but at the same time pushes us away. They allow us to be closer to those far away, but push those close to us making them feel far away. It is amazing that people would talk so loud on the phone about things that are so personal, but yet they would never even consider whispering to a stranger about those personal stuffs. Technologies break boundaries. But technologies also erect new walls. Modern societies are already showing symptoms of technology overdose. People don't communicate as well as the older generations. We don't appreciate a decent conversation in a social setting. We don't read as much as we should as we now lack the patience for delayed gratification. We don't think as much as we ought to, as we need instant gratification. Innovative technologies are crippling innovation in our modern culture. We rely too much on technologies to solve our problems, but we don't depend on our ability for creative solutions. We Google for answers every time we face problems, but we never put in enough effort to devise a solution. We plagiarize innovative solutions when we should be innovating ourselves. We talk on the phone using Bluetooth while driving, we listen to ipod while going for a run, we have the TV on, music blasting out loud whilst writing our thoughts down for our end of year thesis on a high end laptop. We think we are thinking, but are we really? We claim to be able to multitask, but multitasking means that you are able to partition your thoughts so that you can do a few things simultaneously. But wouldn't that mean that we are reducing the efficiencies of our thinking process? Where are we heading with all these technologies? Perhaps someday Google will come up with technologies that would do the thinking for us. Maybe it is time for me to embrace technological change and get myself an iphone.


  1. Perhaps you would like to delete the two SPAM comments above. Google translate has helped me - who can't read Chinese characters - to figure out that those two comments contain bad language and may link to pornographic materials (I havent clicked on the links).

    Then again, if we insist on criticizing people like me who depend too much on technology - to help translate foreign languages, to entertain myself with music, to search for knowledge and facts, to communicate with my best friends - then don't bother to use Google Translate. For a better hands-on social experience, might I suggest you to visit someone who can read Chinese characters to translate those comments for you - just make sure that they are trustworthy.


  2. Amir selalu pegi spa full of chinese dolls ke?

  3. K,
    i will start by saying that this is in no way a criticism and its a shame if i left you with that impression. The fact that i rely on my laptop and internet connection to blog as opposed to using a journal, and the fact that i am fully dependent on my car to travel around, is a clear sign that I, just like everyone else in the world, benefit tremendously from technology and innovation. But just like everything else, technology too has its own bane and boon, and herewith i am merely summarising the obvious drawbacks of technology that i recently observed.

    p.s. i am aware of the comments in Chinese...i just have never been bothered to find time to do housekeeping...but u may find pleasure in knowing that it is now deleted :)