Technology. Evolution or Regression?

With technology having grown to be as widely-used and widely-recognized as it is now, its emergence was bound to have profound effects on human life.

The Internet, for example, has given us access to news from around the world, new mediums of entertainment, social networking, etc. It has, to some extent, given human beings the power to transcend their current societies and create new societies online. With such a great power, is there a responsibility attached?

Marshall McLuhan taught us all that the emergence of new mediums would have to, by definition, render some previous method obsolete. What happens when the method being rendered obsolete is something that is foundational to human beings?

As an example let's briefly look at communication as a medium for a brief moment. Can you imagine a future where people speak without voices? Imagine a more efficient method of speech, perhaps if advancements in technology render speech in its current form obsolete, will we tend to see our naturally created faculty being rendered obsolete by a subsequent human creation? Over a period of time, just as bats have a reduced faculty of eyesight that has been caused by their environment, will human beings then lose the ability to speak in the ways we utilize speech presently?

Certainly civilization in its present form would seem strange if showed to someone from a vastly different time. There are electronic wheelchair machines which assist in the movement of people with a challenged physical faculty, and do so in a manner that would probably be considered more efficient than the organic method of walking or running. Why then do human beings choose to walk?

An assumption I'm willing to make is that if there were to exist, for example, a technology that would bathe and dress us in the mornings with increased efficiency, we would gladly utilize such. Furthermore and progressively I assume that other methods that increase efficiency would be adopted as well, eventually leading to a redefinition of all our natural organic faculties.

Such a world may be almost impossible to imagine, a world in which human beings have replaced all that nature has given them with better, created systems. My question to you is whether or not it is as impossible, for example, as the concept of the Internet would have seemed in the late 1800's.

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