This week, Flora and Naomii become NFTs
If you said to us, “Let’s meet on Zoom!” in 2019, our responses to you would’ve been, “What is that?” and “Doesn’t ‘zoom’ mean going really fast?”
It’s crazy how much technology has advanced in the last few decades. Hell, it’s crazy how much technology has advanced in the last couple of years. We’ve gone from running around on campus from class to class, to jumping from one Zoom link to another. Performers have moved from doing their shows on stages to online. Dating has changed from meetcutes in person, to people sending creepy DMs and messages on dating apps. Buying art has shifted from getting the physical copy to getting… the digital receipts??? (We still haven’t figured out what the fuck NFTs are.) Even our language has adapted to these advancements. A lot of technologies have just become verbs (“Email when you have time!”).
This all begs the question: how did we get here so fast? Well, technological developments tend to go into turbo-mode during times of conflict. We can thank WWI nurses for disposable sanitary pads, planes as we know them now wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for WWII, and China wouldn’t be rushing to advance their AI technology if it weren’t for their feud with the US. As much as people like to think that we’re in the Long Peace, it’s evidently not true. We’ve also had wars through the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s—and like essentially every decade since World War II until now.
Of course, that’s not to say technology itself is bad—far from it. Every couple of years you hear someone important say, “Just you wait and see! The machines will overtake everything!” and yet it still hasn’t happened. Technology has replaced a whole bunch of services, that’s for sure, but it’s also created a whole bunch of new jobs—and new degrees!—for people to do. As much as the ‘tech bros’ unfortunately end up being the butt of many jokes, we literally would not be here without them (shoutout to the CompSci majors out there).
Technology has the ability to do wonderful things, like mitigate climate change, improve safety systems, and improve learning outcomes. But even technology isn’t immune from those pesky human biases. More often than not, that’s where technology fails. People like blaming technology for their problems. But technology itself doesn’t have a moral alignment. The people that make it do. And with an increasingly diverse workforce and opportunities (#MinoritiesInSTEM), there’s no reason we can’t move toward a future where tech serves all of us.
As with any system, there can be major flaws. And it takes scrutiny and discussion to make progress in those flaws. Everyone has an inner tech bro, and everyone is affected by modern tech in some way or another, so everyone should have a say. That’s why we’re proud to bring you this edition of Craccum; we hope you love it as much as we do.
Flora Xie (she/her) and Naomii Seah (she/her).
Note: Last week’s editorial contained a print mistake. Most of the team works less than 10 hours a week, which means <10 rather than >10. Sorry, we’re not good at Year Three maths.