Technology that Makes Us Human Again

We deal a lot with cutting-edge business and consumer technology here at Maark, and the innovations in those spaces over the past couple of decades have been amazing, even if the results have yielded devices so mind-staggering that we forget about them and accidentally leave them in our jean pockets during laundry day. Louis C.K. has a great bit about these “mundane” wonders.

But it can be dehumanizing, as well. Like when we use phrases like “consumer technology,” for instance. Or when it sterilizes our interactions with those around us. Or when we realize that we’re getting excited about the latest tablet specs or smartwatch rumor.

That’s why it’s refreshing to witness the results of technology that does the opposite, that gives us perspective, that makes us human again. Like last night’s Curiosity landing on Mars. You know, where we lowered a robot the size of a car from a “sky crane” into a hundred-mile-long crater on a planet 154 million miles from the nearest human being.

The technological accomplishment here is awe-inspiring, certainly, but the more fascinating thing about it is that the achievement doesn’t so much make us obsess about the technology itself. Instead, it causes us to look at ourselves as a species, seeing what such a breakthrough could mean for our future as a whole.

When phrased like that, it sounds like I’m talking about our best literature or art, but the promise is inherent in technological achievement, too…even if it’s easy to miss because we’re too busy comparing smartphones.