Moving forward to the Past???
I think most of us would agree with the fact that US has been pioneers in adopting new technologies. I have been living in the US for the last 3 years and from what I have observed, there is just too much of technological advancement in some areas that we are now seeing reversal. People want to go back to older, conventional methods. As a matter of fact they are willing to pay a premium to actually adopt the conventional methods.
One thing that strikes me every time when I go to buy groceries is the additional price that I pay for Organic Items. Organic food simply means that the produce is made without adding any synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides. We have organic juice (fruits made organically) with no artificial flavors, organic milk (live stock not are not given hormone boost), organic vegetables, organic fruits, etc. The organic items are easily 20% to 25% more than the normal items. Doesn’t this sound funny?? It did to me…
Am sure when synthetic chemical technology was introduced in food production (way back – I think beginning of 20th century), the farmers who were doing it organically were finding to tough to cope with the guys who adopted the new technology. Farmers who adopted new technology in producing food using chemicals and other artificial ingredient must have seen more profits. People who continued to do it using the traditional methods (organically) must have incurred losses, gone out of business, broke, etc. But if you see now, the guys who stuck to their old methods stood the test of time and are now able to get a premium for their produce. As a matter of fact they are able to create more niche demand to which they can cater for a longer period.
I just feel that the speed at which are having technological advancements in certain areas of is a little bit of overdose and hence bound to get back to the old methods. As sited earlier, food industry (in the US particularly) is one area which I think has see too much of technological advancement. One thing that freaks me out in particular is the kind of ingredients that are added in a packed food. If you are a vegetarian it is even worse. There are so many items that are added in a small packed food and most of them are called with some kind of technical chemical names you don’t even know what you are eating. There are some scientific reports that also suggest that some in-organic food with artificial chemicals result in birth defects.
I saw an advertisement from one of the planet earth conservatory group which says that an average American consumes twice as much as energy consumed by any other person from around the world. Two primary reasons for excessive energy consumption is cooling in summer and heating in winter. They say that we can do a couple of simple things to reduce the energy consumption – It is really rudimentary and conventional – Keep the windows open during summer and wear warm clothes even at home during winter. Just doing these two which is a no brainer and is conventional wisdom can reduce energy consumption. But guess what not many people do that…
Health care industry in particular the pharmaceutical industry is another where we have seen way too much advancement… In some cases the technological advancement is purely done keeping in mind the profits and not necessarily see if that is the right thing to do. We have pill for almost anything in the US. Pharmaceutical commercials cover almost 30% of all the commercials you see in any popular channel. There is a pill for getting up, there is a pill for walking and doing daily work, there pills for sleeping, there are pills for our any daily routine… We see another 30% of commercials from law firms that say that people consuming this medicine could have that problem and hence eligible for compensation. In fact the disclaimers on each of the pharmaceutical ads just scares the hell out of you. Despite such different kinds of potential serious damages to our body, I wonder why people would still want to consume that.
Please note that am really not against technological advancement in all the medical areas. Certain medicines could be truly life saving. But for basic things like waking up on time, going to sleep on time, etc… etc.. .Which are regular routine and there are natural ways to treat such disorder, I don’t think we need pharmaceutical medicines. I think there are a group of people who agree to that and that is why we have the herbal and natural treatments picking up. But guess what these days that comes at a premium. As against the organic food products, the natural/herbal treatment cost almost twice as much as the pharmaceutical medicines… Its funny though, how we have got to a level where we are willing to pay a premium for things that were naturally available.
While we have Hi-Tech equipments these days for keep you fit (So called fit), my question is do we really need such equipments to keep us fit… don’t we have natural ways of keeping ourselves fit? Am sure there is… If we can do a lot of our home related activities ourselves and do a little bit of walking when ever possible, that’s almost the best recipe for a healthy living. Yoga has picked up quite well in the western countries. I know people who come all the way from India and learn Yoga from an American and pay a premium for that. Basic things like Pranayama (breathing exercise) can help lead a healthy life. Although those lessons were available free for us sometime back (still available for free in most part of India), we tend to pay a premium for keeping fit in the conventionally way.
I think we can go on and on about the various areas where we are going to the past and conventional wisdom.
In fact I think we are becoming so energy and electricity dependent in all walks of life, that one day when we run out of energy and power, a large part of the population will simply extinguish… We simply just do not know how to live without power. At that time I think people who live in the tribes/forest in the conventional way are the ones who will really survive and save humanity. In fact they will know how to make food naturally, how to make clothes natural way and how to build house natural way… In fact they can still make fire the natural way…
So lets move forward to the past and use our conventional wisdom and live healthy… 🙂