James Dean accident.
STOCKHOLM / ROM, January 6th (IPS) –
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I have to make up for it. I’ve worked hard all my life, no help from my friends. So, Lord, won’t you buy a Mercedes Benz for me? . Janis Joplin, 1970
COVID-19 has alerted some of us to the frailty of our bodies, the certainty of death, and precious health, companionship, and compassion. Such insights are not uncommon in poor societies where the most important and perhaps only benefit a person has is their body and what they can do with their hands. However, wealthy and privileged people are surrounded, dependent on, and even incorporated into increasingly sophisticated technology that increasingly separates us, for better or for worse, from what human existence has been for thousands of years.
James Dean accident. Once technology made its entry into the human sphere; From fire and wheels to printing machines, trains, radio, airplanes, television, the intranet to sophisticated weapons and … automobiles, the lives of everyone, including the non-privileged, have changed to an extent that is difficult to fathom. For example, cars were invented as an effective and comfortable means of transportation, but they soon became so much more.
Our cities, the entire landscape, have been fundamentally changed to accommodate motor vehicles. An ongoing change that has not yet been achieved. I was caught in endless traffic jams in places as different as Kinshasa and Bangkok. Traveling around Europe by car has become a nightmare. Hordes of huge trucks clog traffic everywhere, threatening the lives and bodies of other road users whose lives are already endangered by the behavior of ruthless drivers. Around 1.35 million people are killed on roads around the world each year, meaning more than 3,700 people are killed in collisions with cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles and trucks every day. Traffic accidents are currently the leading cause of death for children and adolescents aged 5 to 29 years. Without the millions of people who are badly mutilated for life. Motor vehicles fill the atmosphere with smog, carbon monoxide and other toxins, which is especially worrying, in addition to the damage that has destroyed the entire biosphere, as this toxic air leaves tailpipes on the street level where people and animals get the polluted air directly into theirs Inhale lungs.
Don’t get me wrong – I own a car and it has given me unprecedented freedom, taking me to places and experiences where I would neither have the time nor the ability to get to without my car. However, age and the COVID-19 pandemic, which I believe are caused in large measure by our manipulated natural environment and advanced means of communication, have reminded me of how amazingly fast, mind-changing and even dangerous technological change has become is.
When I was young, a phone was a device with a round dial button attached to switchboards over the landline. Making a country call can be both cumbersome and expensive. Nowadays a phone combines cellular and cellular computers into one small unit that takes photos, shows the person you are talking to, stores and provides a wealth of information, tells you where you are, and in a second and at a low cost. connects you with people all over the world. How could I dream about it when I first came across a cell phone in the nineties?
It all started in 1957 when an Egyptian engineer named Mohamed Atalla proposed a metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) process based on the use of silicon. In 1983, the first commercially available handheld cell phone was introduced, and by 2014, global cell phone subscriptions had grown to over seven billion. enough to provide one for every human on earth. In 2019, most of the smartphones released have more than one camera, are waterproof, and are unlocked using facial recognition or fingerprint scanners. I have a much simpler device, but it has become an integral part of my life. Friends and family get upset when I don’t have it with me.
It took the car longer to become what it is now, about a hundred years. However, like the smartphone, it has become an integral part of a person’s life and personality in many parts of the world. When visiting a relative in Miami more than twenty years ago, I discovered that there were no sidewalks and how I felt during my morning walks, their neighbors suspiciously watching me, brooding behind their curtains, or mowing their relentless lawns. A pedestrian! It has to be a seedy character, even if he’s reasonably well dressed.
A friend of mine who lives in the United States once told me that he would invest his hard-earned money in a new, luxurious car even if he couldn’t afford one. When I asked why he made such a stupid investment, he replied, “I need to be able to look my children straight in the eyes. I don’t want you to be ashamed of having a loser as a father. A bastard who can’t even afford a real car. ”
It cannot be avoided that the car has become part of the “western mentality”. Pixar animation studios have made very successful films, Cars 1, 2 and 3Stephen King has written several compelling novels about demon cars that their owners own. British author J.G. Ballard wrote a disgusting novel crash, Over Symphorophilia, a form of pathological car crash fetishism in which people and cars are inseparable.
A comfortable, beautiful car can envelop us in soothing comfort and a sense of wellbeing and confidence, as is the case with Bruce Springsteen Pink Cadillac::
I love you for your pink Cadillac. Crushed velvet seats. Riding behind, seeping down the street. Wave to the girls, feel out of sight. Spend all my money on a Saturday night.
A number of American songs pay homage to the freedom of Open Higwaysrides into the wilderness and freedom of the unknown. However, this does not prevent such journeys from being mistaken for fear and perhaps even fear. Springsteen again – Stolen car::
And I drive a stolen car on a pitch black night And I tell myself that I’ll be fine. But I drive at night and travel in fear. In this darkness I’ll disappear
Accordingly, for many, cars have become incarnations of more or less hidden desires as well as part of their personality. The main technological substitute and an easy way to get life-affirming adrenaline rushes and endorphin kicks could be driving a car, preferably in luxury vehicles and at high speed. A pleasure that has often been associated with sex for commercial reasons. s and popular culture tell us that luxury vehicles attract sexual partners and increase our personal prestige.
Almost 92 million motor vehicles were produced worldwide in 2019, with China, Japan and Germany being the largest manufacturers of private and commercial vehicles. An estimated 1.4 billion cars and trucks are currently on the world’s roads, consuming more than a thousand billion liters of fossil fuel every year.
However, a paradigm shift could lie ahead. Self-driving and electric cars will most likely take over the roads, and consumers may be inclined to choose more environmentally friendly modes of transport than expensive and prestigious luxury cars. European automakers have seen a trend among young consumers that suggests that some of them are happy to buy small, environmentally friendly vehicles or prefer to use shared transportation rather than owning their own car.
However, this does not mean that humanity will be freed from its potentially deadly reliance on technology. In order to survive, we must be aware of the dangers this mentality poses for the survival of our biosphere and therefore human life. If we had been better intellectually equipped and morally minded, we could possibly have used our sophisticated technology for better purposes. Now, instead, it seems to threaten us, as if we were stuck in a car while driving at high speed towards a definitive crash, an accident. A dangerous and incomprehensible world.
Jan Lundius has a doctorate. on the history of religion at Lund University and was a development expert, researcher and advisor at SIDA, UNESCO, FAO and other international organizations.
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