“To Boldly Go …”

Are you a techno-optimist, or a techno-pessimist?

“Star Fleet” symbol. Illustration: Jesper Hansen. Source: Wikimedia

People have always been both captivated and challenged by technology. Like many, I grew up watching Star Trek on television, thrilling as Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise explored “strange new worlds.” Science fiction allows us to imagine the potential gifts of new knowledge: faster-than-light travel, teleporting, food-synthesis. The possibilities are endless.

But there are always problems. Fire burns. Klingons declare war on humans. There’s trouble with tribbles. In the late 19th century, displaced workers threw their wooden shoes, sabots, into machinery to stop it. They were the first “saboteurs.” In our day, we give up our privacy to get new smart-phone apps, and self-driving vehicles could put drivers out of work.

An extreme example of these fears is concern over a “singularity,” the point where computers may become self-aware and super-intelligent, radically changing civilization. There’s even a “Singularity Summit” every year to discuss the implications. Some think a singularity is possible in just a few years.

Source: Max Pixel. CC0.

Technology’s problems are everyone’s problems. Tools that help us gather food can also be used as weapons. “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards,” the book of Job says. But there’s always something new. Our minds are infinite in their capacity to imagine. Our ideas must always be tempered, though, by our core human values: freedom, justice, respect, and love.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Charter Trust Company

“The Best Trust Company in New England”

By |2019-04-03T06:31:52-04:00April 3rd, 2019|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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