Technology is a double-edged sword. Like anything it can be used for good or evil. Nuclear material can build weapons or power plants. Lasers can kill or cure. Recently I had some retina tears that were fixed with a laser. Cataracts are also being remedied with lasers.
We’re all concerned about chemicals being sprayed on food for pest and weed control. A non-chemical solution is coming.
Farmers interested in a fast, accurate way to rid their fields of weeds have a new option in the AI space. Carbon Robotics is now shipping its LaserWeeder to farms around the United States; the machine uses the power of lasers and robotics to rid fields of weeds.
Weeds are one of the most “tedious, time-consuming and challenging” elements of farming, Carbon Robotics told Fox Business via email.
The LaserWeeder can eliminate over 200,000 weeds per hour and offer up to 80% cost savings in weed control.
We shouldn’t shun technology because some of it will be used for evil purposes. Let’s face it, advances in technology have made our lives easier. We are more productive, live longer, and live better. It some cases it’s made us physically and mentally soft. “Google it” is a standard phrase. No need to memorize anything when you can just look it up or until the power goes out.
Thinking Straight in a Crooked World
The nursery rhyme "There Was a Crooked Man" is an appropriate description of how sin affects us and our world. We live in a crooked world of ideas evaluated by crooked people. Left to our crooked nature, we can never fully understand what God has planned for us and His world. God has not left us without a corrective solution. He has given us a reliable reference point in the Bible so we can identify the crookedness and straighten it.Buy Now
I remember cutting my grandparents’ grass with a hand reel push lawnmower. You couldn’t let the grass get too long. It was great exercise. It kept people thin because it was hard work and the grass had to be cut more often. Maybe our oversized and more expensive houses are partially the result of gas-powered lawnmowers. We can have bigger and more luxurious lawns needing more chemicals to feed and weed.
The LaserWeeder reminds me of Robert Sheckley’s 1955 short story Watchbird (Robert Sheckley, “Watchbird,” Untouched by Human Hands (London: Michael Joseph, 1955), 116-146.) where winged metal protectors—drones—patrol the sky looking for the warning signs of a possible homicide and swoop in to stop the murder before it can take place. Sounds great until the Watchbirds view every act of aggression as a violation of its programmed directive, including farmers who could not cut hay or harvest grain to feed their cattle, because such acts were deemed to be “murder.” The starvation that followed “didn’t concern the watchbirds, since it was an act of omission.”
You can listen to an audio version here.
The story was turned into a short film starring Sean Astin. Here’s part of the dialog when the government wanted to add domestic surveillance to its operational parameters.
Randolph Ludwin: Charlie, the President wants to bring the Bird home.
Charlie Kramer (Astin): I don’t understand. Has something happened? I thought everyone was pretty happy with the program.
Jack Valentine: We are, Charlie. In fact, we’re so pleased with the program that we’d like to extend the security that Watchbird provides to all Americans. And not just our troops.
Randolph Ludwin: [Cheerfully] Homeland Security wants to deploy the Watchbird on the home front.
Charlie Kramer : [shocked, but being diplomatic] Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds. With all due respect.
Jack Valentine: We’re not talking about sea to shining sea, Charlie. We envision ten or twelve metropolitan areas. To begin with. And Seattle, of course, would be included.
[the setting of the story is Seattle]
Bradley Tanner: [He hands a folder to Charlie] It’s all detailed in this brief.
Charlie Kramer: [Charlie takes the folder and politely flips through a few pages] Yeah. See, the thing about Watchbird is, I mean, the whole idea behind Watchbird is that it was designed for a battle-field environment. [the bureaucrats look at each other]
Jack Valentine: The war we’re fighting, Charlie, the big war? It doesn’t respect borders. We’re fighting an enemy that thinks nothing of killing innocent civilians.
Randolph Ludwin: Watchbird is the most effective tactical weapon in our arsenal, Charlie. We have the opportunity to bring it where the need is greatest. Right here, at home.
Of course, Charlie is horrified at the prospect that things could go wrong, and they do. Horribly wrong.
Who would determine what constituted an act of aggression? Hate crimes and thought and speech crimes are in vogue today. Don’t you dare “mis-gender” someone. A person standing outside an abortuary praying could be considered an aggressive act while the killing going on inside would be protected from an assault by bureaucratic programming of the Watchbird. Exemptions could be applied for determined by our nation’s unregulated alphabet agencies. The Watchbirds might not kill you, but they could electronically shut you out of your bank, investments, and even your own home! It’s become all too real as this story shows:
Amazon shut off a man’s smart home devices for a week after a delivery driver falsely accused the customer of hurling a racial slur via a doorbell intercom, the tech giant confirmed Thursday.
Brandon Jackson, who is black, said he found himself digitally exiled by the company on May 25 — less than 24 hours after an Amazon delivery driver dropped off a package at his home and reported him for being racist.
The homeowner, who detailed the saga in a Medium post, said he was informed of the unwarranted lockout after contacting Amazon when he realized he couldn’t interact with his smart home devices.
“I was told that the driver who had delivered my package reported receiving racist remarks from my ‘Ring doorbell’,” Jackson said.
The scary part is that the technology is already here and operating, and it’s not only governments applying it. For kicks, you might want to read about Delta’s “end to end digital experience” on their website. (source)
Worldview 101: A Biblical View of the World
Worldview 101 is an in-depth course utilizing audio, video, and printed material. Worldview 101 will equip the student with the tools necessary to "think God's thoughts" about the world and the created order. It will reveal and re-direct the humanistic thought patterns that exist in each of us. The Enlightenment promised freedom, but brought slavery to man's ideas instead. Worldview 101 points the way forward to true freedom of thought in Christ.Buy Now