Technological civilization is awesome. (Cont’d.)
There is a common notion that the problem with technology, or with a certain technological view of the world, is that it obliterates immediate relationship with the world, and the appreciation of the here and now for its own sake. That instead it constrains us to view the world as a whole, and everything in it, instrumentally, according to our own demands and interests, not as something wonderful in itself but simply as a sort of standing-reserve which is understood, appreciated, and valued only in relation to human uses, and perhaps human tastes.
The wonderful thing about technology is that it allows me not only to wonder at the hummingbird out my window this morning (which is — no doubt about it — a wondrous thing), but also at traveling through the glimmering light of 10,000 distinguishable galaxies in the very infancy of the Universe, 13,000,000,000 years ago. So vastly remote that there is no possible angle, and no possible reason to care. Other than the fact that it is there, shining behind a tiny bit of the black that our unaided eyes could only take to be utterly empty. And yet, with only the right tools to gaze at it, is revealed to be shining with the light of a quadrillion stars.