Trapped in the web

Mankind has seen incredible progress in science and technology in the last few centuries. From bullock carts to Concorde planes, from pigeon messengers to i-phones, from palm leaves to laptop computers, from herbal medicines to IC Units, and from swords and spears to atom bombs and guided missiles. But has it really liberated us, or have we become even more enmeshed in a web of complexity?

Lose your mobile phone or experience a hard disk failure on your laptop, and life grinds to a standstill. It feels like being disconnected from reality. Day-to-day survival becomes a challenge. The latest standstill in international flights has underlined this phenomenon. Gadgets, inventions and modern technologies have become such an integrated part of daily life that we can’t live without them!They say life was much simpler when apples and blackberries were just fruits.

We may try to conquer nature through technological discovery, feeling a sense of victory as we transcend the boundaries of time and space and make unthinkable things achievable. This often leads to a kind of atheistic outlook where man sees himself as the master of all he surveys. “Acts of God” like the recent volcanic ash, however, remind us that although we may try to become masters of nature, we are not actually in control. We may try to become free of natural laws through technology, but then we become subservient and dependent upon that same technology. Mother Nature is more powerful that any invention. She ultimately reigns supreme, and we are forced to comply with her workings. It’s a humbling experience to realise that there is a higher power beyond our control.

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