Zero Sum game for technology advancements or is it?

  My wife has been educating me lately on the evils of high fructose corn syrup and has made me aware of how pervasive that little devil on an ingredient is in the foods that I eat.  So much so that I found myself wondering when I am eating things, “Does this have high fructose corn syrup?”  And I am not kidding you when I say that I honestly ask myself that.  I just did that this morning as I ate cereal for breakfast.  Even the stuff that I considered good for me had high fructose corn syrup high on the list of ingredients. 

  That set me thinking – for all the science and technology advancements that we make do we offset them by other advancements or inventions that zero out the resulting gain?  For example dentistry has come along way from the pin them down and drill days, but we have added extra sugary sugar to everything that we eat and as a result are we any better off (now our mouths are filled with metal teeth instead of no teeth)?  Email, cell phones, and webcams have made staying connected with people so simple yet studies show that Americans are more alone today (have less close friends and family to rely on) than ever.  We have dishwashers, washers, dryers, robo vacs, non wrinkle clothes, and a thousand other conveniences to make life easier, but yet people are as stressed out and busy as ever (and perhaps even more so).  We have BlackBerrys and computers to make work easier, faster, and more convenient yet those have done much to make home an extension of work.  Medicine has made huge improvements in our knowledge on how to treat things, prevent things, and allow people to live longer lives yet Americans are fatter than ever before.  So in the end what is our true gain or is there one?

  Those were interesting things to consider this morning as I headed into work – all stemming from my wife’s commentary on high fructose corn syrup (not to be confused with normal corn syrup or brown sugar syrup which can also be found on your ingredient list).  Deep down I don’t think it is a zero sum game I think life is better off because of the advancements that have been made, but we are likely not as better off as people would have supposed.


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