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The Financial Express

A CLOSE LOOK

Beyond digitised development

Nilratan Halder | Published: January 31, 2020 20:36:10 | Updated: February 07, 2020 20:42:45


Beyond digitised development

At a time when digitisation has become a buzz word even in countries not known for much scientific and technological advancement, there is hardly any quest for the missing link. The missing link here is the knowledge gap arising out of the paradox between the way of life and ultra-tech facilities. A community or a nation develops some sets of moral or ethical values, social norms, economic equations and cultural mores and prerogatives to live a life as peaceful as possible always looking forward to advancing its causes. Thus races and nations have sought to be powerful mostly in order to accumulate and plunder wealth from all possible corners of the planet either through commerce or by force.

It is no secret that money plundered from lands rich in natural resources has fuelled the initial drives for scientific invention and discovery in Great Britain and even in the United States of America. What began as a modest industrial revolution in Britain with wealth exploited from the Indian sub-continent in the 18th century, has seen an exponential burst of inventive minds throughout the next two centuries. The world has transformed in terms of convenience and comfort beyond recognition. Human civilisation has flourished as never before thanks to the progress of science and technology. Life has become easier but at the same time the journey of the human race has not been even and rational everywhere.

In the past war exploits enriched the individual lockers of kings, warriors and the privileged classes, now big businesses rule the roost. So subtle is the exploitation by such multinational entities that nations in the Third World find themselves entangled in a cobweb of unavoidable interests. They have to surrender their resources at the disposal of foreign sharks which just leave a pittance for the host countries. In this process the near one-way traffic of wealth transfer continues unabated to fuel further experiment, research and innovation in the rich world.

It is exactly at this point, underdeveloped, colonial and scientifically backward countries get more disadvantaged than the rich and developed nations. In the absence of a scientific research base, they either have to rely on foreign assistance or, if lucky, some extraordinary talented individuals marking their footprints on the field of science and technology in laboratories abroad return home to build a base from the scratch. Still the legacy of ancient civilisations such as the one of modern China and that of India can serve the purpose better.

All the great inventions of the past now seem to have been dwarfed by chips and nanotechnology. The silicon chips have catapulted human civilisation with a sudden pull to an awe-inspiring stage. Together with nanotechnology, it may cause breakthrough on all fronts of human needs. From health to exoplanet, their combined contribution can usher in an era unthinkable in terms of human capabilities.

Elon Musk has been experimenting with private trip to the moon. But such journeys are forbiddingly costly for even many of the rich people. But do people need such outrageous expenditure on machines and means to the neglect of this until now proven most suitable habitat for man? Instead of taking care of this planet, some extraordinarily rich people are on a mission of colonising the moon or mars. Whether those planet and satellite will be at all habitable is uncertain yet.

Is not it better to keep the Earth in good health? Why spend billions of dollars on war machines and bombs or ballistic missiles? Money spend on those wasteful armour could be spent to not only narrow the gap between nations but also the yawning gulf between rich and poor individuals. If creativity is a basic trait, self-annihilation is also an inherent instinct in man. But man was born to be civilised and enlightened. It has, sadly, not happened. All the humanity's marvellous achievements will count nothing if the brilliant minds cannot prevail over warmongers and people adamant to destroy the environment by not heeding to the warning issued by scientists and environmentalists.

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