Monday, January 16, 2006
On Martin Luther King Day
I woke up to speeches, by Dr. Martin Luther King on my local NPR station today.
Part of one speech was about revolutions in technology and the social order. King was marveling about how the world is being knitted closer together with technical achievements like the jet engine. I heard him say, it is now possible to travel from Tokyo to Seattle with-in a day.
Due to the international dateline, and the speed of jet travel, someone in Seattle can ask a person arriving from Tokyo when they started their journey. The person from Tokyo can say the journey started "Tomorrow!" Crossing the international dateline can mean starting the trip Monday, Japan time and ending Sunday, US time.
King was discussing how the smaller world created by things like jet travel can also necessitate revolutions in human thinking where the entire world should become more like one brotherhood.
This speech was given many years ago. Now, we even have the Internet.
It was interesting to hear especially the day after Stardust space mission's successful landing with dust from a comet.
As our technology opens up potential for networking the whole world, so can our social thinking be inspired to strive for more of a world wide brotherhood.
I find this thinking more comforting than the idea that technology is evil. Of course, technology is a tool that can be used for either good, or bad, but it can inspire revolutions and changes in human thinking. That was a spirit of optimism which permeated the 1960s.