Week 5: Progression or Reduction?

This week’s reading brought up a lot of important notions about ethics, ideas, and practices of current scientific studies. Somethings that we talked about in discussion that come up very often in scientific research are ethics and financial incentives. I would love to believe that one day the human race would unite productively and unanimously work towards a positive future progression. It’s obvious that we have a huge impact on the earth but that impact is more harmful to us than it is the earth. The earth will continue on without us but the way in which we currently live depletes our future existence in this world. I personally believe that in order to stop most of the problems we face, such as overpopulation and resource consumption, we would have to completely revert back to thriving in nature. I think instead of trying to come up with ways in which we can be more environmentally friendly we will have to give up material possessions completely. I think no matter how eco-friendly a person or family tries to be, we will still reach a halting end-point because we consume so much and create so much waste. The human species would need to give up career, artistic, and other goals and live off of the land. We consume so much and at such a staggering pace that we will use up all of the resources we need to keep the amount of people alive. It may get to a point where it happens inevitably and we revert back to natural living because of a huge self-created disaster forces us too. I think some of us realize the impact we have on our earth but it’s not enough. The materialistic downfall of humans is causing this perpetual forward motion towards self destruction.

This week’s reading shed light on trying to make things stronger, lighter, or faster by way of nanotechnology, rapid prototyping, and materials science.  But at what cost is this constance search and development going to be? Will we ever get to a point where we reach some type of harmony with technology, production, and nature? And what about space exploration? I myself am fascinated with astronomy and the possible discovery of other worlds and life forms, but again the the question of “at what cost” arises. Let’s say we were able to travel through space at great distances (further than we already have gone of course), then what? Will it be because we need the resources on other planets? Will it be because of overpopulation? Should we try to practice being content? I agree this is a very hard idea to discuss because it’s in our make-up to learn and grow and move forward and for most of us the thought of stopping and giving up whatever a progressive future would bring us is hard to swallow.

I struggle with the notion of giving up everything and focussing on being content because I am so fascinated with technology. As a musician I am constantly interested in new instruments, computers, software, etc., but with the knowledge that we consume at an astonishing rate eats away at my conscience. But I ask myself, “Could I give up my love for music for the future of our species?” Will we get to a point where we all have to ask ourselves that question or will we progress with technology in a positive and harmonious way that allows us to continue as we are but also keeps nature in balance?

I will get away from these slightly depressing thoughts and move onto a few artists that gave me some hope. I really found there work inspiring and beautiful.

One team of artists, Peter Richards and George Gonzales, created a work called Wave Organ which is installed near the water and uses PVC pipes to amplify and deliver the sound of the flowing tide to viewers. I love that it’s a permanent installation that uses nature and sound to make something interesting and beautiful.

Paul DeMarinis created RainDance/Musica Acuatica which uses water droplets that fall at musical frequencies onto a surface, like an umbrella, and play a song. I really like this piece in regard my quandary of loving music and technology but not wanting to be such a consumer. Here DeMarinis talks about how you do not need a loudspeaker to play sounds and music. To me he really opens up ideas into non-conventional yet more natural ways to think about and enjoy music.

– Chad Goss


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