Running thoughts: Animals and plants need not apply

Our jobs are certainly not the only ones being affected by advances in technology.

“Better technology makes more better jobs for horses”

Horses in the past were used for transportation for people and goods. Now their jobs are replaced almost entirely by automobiles in developed cities. Today’s horses in cities usually pull fancy carriages as a tourist attraction or in performances while horse riding appears almost exclusive to the country side. However, even horse carriages in cities may soon be banned as some feel that horses do not belong in cities. It is not that technology has replaced these luxury form of transport but rather it has created a space no longer suited for horses.

Furthermore, better technology has not created any better or new jobs for horses as there is only so much horses can do. Technology has initially made a horse’s life easier and reduced their workload but when technology advances until it trumps horses in every aspect of their jobs, the horses will go unemployed. As said in first video, “Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they are unemployable.”

Robotic companionship

Digital pets are by far much easier to care for than real pets. They do not need real food, taken to a real vet or even require companionship. If you fail in this “game”, the restart button is always available. You could even customize your very own digital pet to your liking. You could argue that a digital pet is just not the same as the real thing as you would lack the physical interactions and even emotional attachment. Well, robotic pets are here. They would provide the physical interaction real pets provide and are easier to maintain and would not misbehave. You could program your perfect pet. The following video also mentioned that we can and have at some instances developed emotional attachment to robots which means it is possible to love your robot pet the same way you love a real one.

Laboratory farming

Lab grown meat technology for now is not yet able to completely replace farmed meat and the concept of it might not that appealing but if technology improves enough to meet the demands of farmed meat and more importantly consumes less resources, it might become possible for lab grown meat to become available and consumed commercially in the future. We would not need to invest so much land and resources to agriculture and farming if we could grow our food in laboratories. Again, many would argue that it simply is not the same as the real thing but as mentioned in the very first video, most of us do not really care. If lab grown meat tastes the same as farmed meat, why not?

Plants, too

Even plants are affected by the advance in technology. Plants with chlorophyll take in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and release oxygen and this amazing and important process has been replicated to some extent using technology. We could ‘plant’ artificial fauna in places they usually do not grow in and these artificial plants would serve the same purpose as the real plants. Interestingly, the effort gone to even make the technology look like plants shows just how much we care about the natural beauty.

Replacing nature 

If we think of nature as a whole, would technology be able to sever our ties with nature? We are already living in controlled environments on a small scale such as an air-conditioned mall. Taking on a blind faith in technology, I would assume that technology with enough time can indeed replace many aspects of nature, allowing us to live almost independent from it. Perhaps this could come in the form of a large dome like those mentioned in science fiction novels.

But this assumption is pretty extreme. Rather than speculating that technology could replace nature in every way, perhaps it would be more realistic to assume that technology could help us adapt to the changes in nature. The difference is that instead of assuming technology could create an artificial world, it would supplement the existing one instead. When anything major happens to nature that has adverse impacts on us, technology could help us overcome these difficulties.

We put an amazing amount of faith in technology to solve our problems and are very dependent on it as it has already invaded most if not all aspects of our lives. What would happen if technology fails us? There is no backup plan, only to put more faith in technology. Technology can conveniently be regarded as a shield and a cure should anything, such as natural disasters, happen. However, nature is extremely complex. The time needed for technology to advance to a stage where it can create or maintain a living environment currently provided by nature might be too great.

I feel that technology should aim to be sustainable and used alongside nature. Nature has been sustaining life for a long time. Cutting our ties with it and putting faith into the unknown would be a risk which I personally find too great to take. However, I do admit that we might not need all of nature to survive and technology would only need to supplement those areas currently at risk but we still do not know exactly which aspects of nature are essential to our survival and how interconnected systems in nature are. Better be safe than sorry.


One thought on “Running thoughts: Animals and plants need not apply

  1. This is your best post to date! I love how you explored the impact of technology on nature and what kind of role technology is playing. And I agree with you that we can never cut all our ties with nature, after all we are members of nature. I also don’t think that it will be likely for technology to completely replace nature, because that would mean you don’t need nature anymore and that would be a really scary thought. Rather, I feel that technology should be used to reduce our impact on nature. Example, technology can be applied to create viable renewable energy sources and to eradicate pollution.


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