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湖南师范大学彭培根:The Role of Humanism in a Technologically Advanced World
来源:21世纪英文网    日期: 2012-04-20



Ladies and Gentlemen:

I’d like to begin with some numbers. There are eight people in my dorm and there are eight MP4 players, seven PCs and six smart phones. We are surrounded by technology. In our spare time, we like to use MP4s to watch movies; in the dorm we usually play on-line games with each other and in get-togethers, we exchange cellphones to play different kinds of games. We find ourselves more and more dependent on technology as to say “I can’t live without it!” Technology has crept into every corner of our daily lives. Sometimes I would wonder: are we controlled by technology? Are we separated by it? Will our future be more meaningful with more advanced technology?

Einstein once said: “The care for people should always be the main goal of all technological advancement.” And the care for people is what humanism is all about. So today, I’d like to explore a more meaningful future where humanism plays two different roles.

One of the main roles of humanism is safeguarding technology. Technology is developing faster than ever. However, the more advanced the technology is, the more destructive it will be when being abused. The two World Wars have caused deaths in a number the world has never seen. The nuclear weapons we have today can destroy the planet dozens of times. However, we believe humanism is safeguarding technology from going unbounded. We believe in a future where we cherish beauty, truth and love which are the best parts of humanity and stay away from conflicts and wars. We believe in a future where we use technology to get ourselves more connected than separated. We believe in a future where people regard technology as a good servant rather than a bad master. And that’s what we believe humanism can help people to achieve. It safeguards technology from going unbounded by drawing constantly our attention to ourselves.

Apart from being a safeguard, we also believe that humanism is the soul of a technologically advanced world. Technology is rigid, cold and emotionless. However, with the idea of humanism injected in the technology, it becomes alive, warm and affectionate. Apple is a great example of bringing humanism into the technological products. Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of ifwerantheworld.com said: “Steve Jobs was about humanizing technology in a way that made it extraordinarily easy intuitive and an absolute joy and pleasure to use.” Humanizing technology, what a wonderful phrase! Humanism exemplifies itself in apple’s idea of putting costumers at the center of the experience. And with that idea, Apple gives products a soul that resonates with customers and tells us: “I see you.”

Ladies and gentlemen, in a technologically advanced world, humanism is the safeguard and the soul. So let’s embrace the idea of humanism in our daily lives. Learn about math and science but also read Wordsworth and Keats. Go often to our friend’s house and stop clicking the mouse. Pursue money and wealth but also beauty and truth. Thus, we will have a more meaningful future! Thank you!

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