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Time Capsule Letter: Technology

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If you are reading this in 2067, the odds are that technology has become much more advanced than it is now. Currently, technology is changing the way people live and work at a very fast rate. Technology, especially computer technology, is one of the greatest achievements in the history of our civilization, but it also presents our society with serious downsides, such as the lack of privacy, and a quickened pace of living, which adds stress.

Technology has helped humanity in so many ways. For example, medical science and technology has helped cure many infectious diseases which once plagued humanity – diseases such as tuberculosis, smallpox, AIDS, hepatitis, and many sexually transmitted diseases. Even a disease known as cancer has many treatments which can help the disease go into remission. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, and other drugs. Medical technology has even discovered gene therapy, and have cured illness that used to be incurable. Furthermore, stem cell therapy promises to be a treatment for strokes and other types of common illnesses. Thus, medical advances have helped humans live longer, better lives.

However, medicine also has its problems. Although its pioneering advances promise to improve the human condition and help people live longer, people are then able to reproduce and contribute to over-population on our planet. By the time you read this, planet earth may have a global population of 10 billion or more people. Part of the problem with over-population is that more people require more resources, and the by-products of these resources, such as fossil fuels, contribute to the greenhouse effect and overall climate change – which threatens the survival of the human species. Perhaps, by the time you read this, New York City will no longer exist, and will be underwater. In addition, animal species such as lions, elephants, tigers, and rhinoceroses may become extinct. These animals may be extinct in your era, and your children may never get to see another beautiful big cat – except in zoos. Over-population also causes plastics pollution. Often, many ocean creatures, such as whales, ingest huge amounts of plastics which are detrimental to their survival. By the way, I hope the future generations have learned more about our oceans. Currently, they account for about 70% of the planet’s surface area, and host much of the dietary intake of many nations. Moreover, very little is known about the depths of our oceans, which may have sea creatures that no one has ever imagined before. I hope more is learned about these creatures of the deep over the next 50 years.

Unfortunately, the same technology which has helped power our planet – nuclear energy – also threatens to destroy it, at this moment. Nuclear fission is the chemical reaction that happens in nuclear power plants, a reaction that ultimately generates electricity for people to use. However, meltdowns have occurred which have threatened humanity’s existence. For example, the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima is still leaking deadly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. Hopefully, your generations will not be too adversely affected by this catastrophe. Sadly, nuclear energy is what enables nuclear warheads to destroy people. Two nuclear bombs were dropped on Japan, an act of aggression which ended World War II but also killed thousands of people. I truly hope the people 50 years from now have figured out how to use nuclear energy responsibly, and no longer feel threatened by the possibility of an all-out nuclear war.

A great thing about technology is space travel. Thus far, we have sent men to the moon, and we have sent unmanned missions to Mars – which have explored its surface and even found sources of water. These missions might lead to manned missions – and even colonization in the future. Our generation – and maybe our children – will one day live in colonies on the moon and/or Mars – and perhaps even other planets farther away. This is very exciting, and promises to better humanity 50 years from now – unless we destroy ourselves first.

One of the greatest advances in technology so far has been personal computing, and the internet. At the touch of a few buttons, once can find out anything about any subject. Such advances as Google, artificial intelligence, robotics, and GPS have helped improve the standard of living among all of us. Social media helps us communicate with friends and relatives who may live far away. However, social media such as Facebook has its dark side as well. For example, all our communications are monitored by the NSA, are subject to hacking, and this can result in a lack of privacy. Sadly, “cyber bullying” has become common, and many younger people have committed suicide when they have been bullied on the internet. Some of my friends have been bullied on the internet. Hopefully, fifty years from now, people will get along better. This has been one of the problems of technology. Although people’s lives are improving, in general, many people still feel alone and isolated. Cellphones are a great invention because the y have the speed and power of much larger computers. However, even with all the technology we have now, people are still not living in peace and contentment. I sincerely hope that people will get along much better in your world.

Thus, technology has been responsible for many positive changes that have permanently affected the progress of our species. There are problems that technology has created, however – problems that include pollution, over-population, and the constant threat of a catastrophic war. Nevertheless, the human species is very resilient, and I hope that it will be around long enough for you to be reading this time capsule letter. Hopefully, you may be reading this letter on a beautiful planet that we all know and love – earth.