The best horror movies are the ones that are based, however tentatively, in reality. Logically you know that the events playing out before you on the screen could not really occur. But fear is one of our most fundamental emotions, and therefore is not always logical.
In the last century or so we have made so many advances in science and technology at such a fast pace that some fear where it will end. A hundred years ago, many of the devices we now take for granted as a part of everyday life would have left people mystified. Constantly, sometimes without realizing it, we use and are surrounded by the things that the great minds who came before us dreamed up and made a reality. It was during the mid-seventies that the first portable computer became available commercially. Now, 40 years later, most people not only have a laptop but also are able to use it for things that would hardly be deemed feasible back then.
Movies like “The Matrix” and “I Robot” paint a dark picture of things that may be to come. We cannot help but wonder if our world will someday be overrun by sentient robots we cannot control. If that day ever arrives, will we have our own Will Smith or Keanu Reeves to jump in and save the day? Is it even possible for something electronic to be sentient? I am not a psychic nor can the laptop I am currently typing this column on look into the future to find out for me, but I honestly don’t think such a thing will happen. Computers are only capable of doing what they are programmed to do. So if one day we are wiped out by an army of cell phones, laptops and self-flushing toilets we would have only ourselves to blame as it would have been a human to tell them how.
I have heard arguments for ceasing the advancement of technology; that we should be satisfied with what we have now. It is mostly fear of the unknown that powers this belief, I think. We know what has come before but not what is ahead and that scares people. Fear, though, is no reason to languish in one place simply because we’re afraid to take the next step forward. The good and the bad will come equally. Who knows? If we want to find the cure for cancer we may have to deal with a few man-eating appliances along the way.
Molly Cahill is a senior pre-journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact
her at [email protected]