Catlu – Manifesto

One tenet of the manifesto I found interesting was tenet number 1. The tenet basically says that every piece of technology we depend on must be considered both a “challenge and a threat.” Because we depend on these objects, it is imperative that we know them inside and out, all their workings, so we can rise to challenges that may arise due to our dependency on them, perhaps even shake ourselves from their shackles, and also to be prepared for the event of their failure or effects. This should be done with all technology regardless of “ownership or legal provision.” To me, this tenet is extremely important as we continue in the technological era. Technology exists so much around us that it’s not something a lot of us think too much about anymore. We assume that all our commodities will continue working forever. This dependency combined with our mindlessness could end in catastrophe. Therefore I agree that it’s true that a critical engineer must not only think about the great effects that a new or old invention may have if it exists, but also the negative effects of its existence along with the effects of its absence after a prolonged period. If when the internet, a year after it was first invented suddenly crashed and disappeared, it would maybe have been inconvenient, but if the internet crashed tomorrow, there would be a global crisis. Panic would spread as information would be lost, communication down, and a massive amount of commodities the internet provides that we simply don’t know how to live without. I know some people that can’t even get around without Google Maps. For this perhaps eventual crisis, I don’t know if we have a backup. I don’t know what the damage could be, and that is terrifying. In order to be able to bring in new technology, we have to first be the critical engineer, and look further than the technology itself so we can gauge the cost of dependency and the perhaps unexpected costs of its existence.

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