The mom and the monk

A friend of mine recently told me an interesting story. It seems this friend’s mom had gone traveling to an exotic place and had met a monk there from an eastern religion.

Their conversation turned at some point to technology. My friend’s mom was bemoaning the way that technology seems to have taken over our modern world, and was impressed by the monk’s ability to live without it.

To her surprise, the monk disagreed. He said that technology is not bad, any more than it is good. It can be very useful. In fact, he said, it is simply what we make of it.

As my friend told me this story I realized that the monk himself relied — by necessity — upon technology. After all, the sacred books that allow words of wisdom to reach future generations are a form of technology.

We rely upon the technology of the written word. Without it, the great ideas of the Ancients might never have been passed down through the ages.

When we speak of technology as a thing apart from ourselves, we are engaged in a fundamental misunderstanding. To be human, in any way that we would find comprehensible, is to be awash in technology.

Given the nature of our species, technology is our birthright. What we do with that birthright is entirely up to us.

2 Responses to “The mom and the monk”

  1. Gabe says:

    You should read “The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling” by Ted Chiang. It’s a short story that builds on some of these same ideas. I think you’ll find it interesting:

  2. admin says:

    Wow, awesome story. Thanks!

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