Can we manage our future?

samurai.jpgI once read an account, probably mostly mythical, concerning rejection of unwelcome technology. As I remember, it went like this:

Portuguese traders brought primitive firearms to sixteenth century Japan. A firearm industry sprang up there; gunmakers mastered their trade. Japanese guns were used in battles between armies of Japanese warlords, but guns were unwelcome–a peasant with a gun could kill a noble knight. The knights who made up the nobility–the ruling class–didn’t like that much. According to the story, firearms were rejected, and the firearm industry died out. Reportedly, when Admiral Perry arrived with his warships centuries later, the Japanese had no guns save a few ancient cannons–no match for Perry’s warships even if they could have been fired.

While this story may be mythical, it is a fact that there are few if any guns in private hands in Japan today. Evidently, the Japanese people like it that way.

Today, I am not thinking of banning guns, however desirable that might be, but cell phones. Reportedly, they may be banned from the Pentagon for security reasons. Some say they are not good for our children who may be obsessed with them. It is more and more frequent to see them at restaurants, in TV advertising, at work. They may be a leading cause of automobile accidents–although illegal, it isn’t unusual to see a driver using one. In the public interest could they be banned from society or perhaps limited to making and receiving telephone calls? We might be better off if they could.

Those who enjoy Japanese films, might like akira kurosawa’s Stray Dog.






About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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1 Response to Can we manage our future?

  1. Rynstone says:

    Harrisburg, PA can’t


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