Friday, August 1, 2008

Ontology vs. Technology

Ontology vs. Technology: In Martin Heidegger's essay The Question Concerning Technology (1950), he refers to nature as "The Enframing" whereby a systematic ordering of the landscape by mankind has resulted in a seemingly unrecognizable and irreversible situation that constitutes our present condition in the world. Not being able to recognize and understand the changes brought by technology to the Earth and to the Self holds drastic consequences for the future. Today, mankind can operate a high-definition television or a super-charged automobile without having to comprehend even an inkling about the physics behind their respective operations. And this is precisely where the fields of science and technology have come to supplant the most basic and primal elements of man's being-in-the-world. For example, the above picture is the Sylmar Cascades in Southern California, which serve as the Los Angeles Aqueduct's terminus. Without the Sylmar Cascades, which require vast amounts of energy to pump mass quantities of water through the Newhall Pass, more than ten million people in Los Angeles County would be facing a serious water crisis (not that they already are). And how many Angelenos truly understand the survivalist implications of such a technological apparatus?

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