Biological technology

Why do we admire technology so much? I mean, one device can do so many different things, it constantly keeps updating and getting better, and we use it so much its almost a part of our lives.  What’s funny is that we have a technology that’s actually better than our computers or smartphones. Our own human brains are better than other technologies. You could call it a biological technology.

Computers, smartphones, anything with a hard drive has a limited amount of storage.  You can buy flash drives and SDcards but that will allow you more memory but the fact is it might not ever be enough. I personally hate seeing the warning “insufficient memory, please free memory”. That means you have to go through your device and delete pictures, games, or other files that you might need. Just recently I had to delete temple run and fruit ninja for need for speed on my phone. The human brain has been said to hold up to 10 terabytes of memory. Basically 1024 megabytes is 1Gb, and 1024 gigabytes is 1 terabyte….thats a LOT of memory.

What about thinking on the fly? Well it was just yesterday I picked my friend up to go to the movies.  The GPS feature was wonderful aiding to the right place.  When I was going home though, it told me to make a left. Right in front of me was a ‘no left turn’ sign. My phone told me to disobey the road rule, but not on purpose. Almost automatically I figured I’d go straight and make a U-turn somewhere else. About 30 seconds later my phone said to make a U-turn.. not so helpful. A lot of us have come across that GPS rerouting screen, very annoying. The human brain is more flexible than any computer.

We all praise our smartphones because they are so many things, in one device. But reality is our brain is much much more. It is a calculator, a GPS, a notebook, a calander, a dictionary, and a storage center.  More importantly it regulates our biological needs, controls balance, produces thoughts, allows speech comprehension of it and so much more. All that at no cost and it runs off of nothing but sleep! How efficient!

The day science comes up with technology I can talk to and have it talk back to me is the day I will be impressed.  Oh wait…


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6 Responses to Biological technology

  1. LordanJ says:

    I completely agree that we often forget how complex the ‘technology’ of the human body is. We make decisions every second of the day, but rarely stop to think about the millions of neurons firing in our brain, or the intricate blood system that effectively delivers oxygen to every part of our body. Although the human body isn’t technology in the traditional sense, it’s so complex that scientists are centuries away from understanding all the complex processes the body routinely completes.

    This expanded definition of technology was important to me this year as I chose my major. I came into Pitt wanting to pursue a physics major, but recently I have set my sights on biology. I originally wanted to pursue physics because I have always loved technology and I wanted to learn more and create new technologies. However, when I started to learn about the inner workings of the body I was captivated. As aforementioned there is so much to learn about the ‘technology’ of the body and so much progress to be made.

    It is important, I think, to include ‘biological technology’ in our definition of technology because it equally as relevant to our discussion of technology in this course and on this blog as any cell phone or computer. After all, we’re made of it.

  2. Jordhen says:

    The human mind and body are definitely extraordinary things. I don’t know that I would be able to call it technology though.

    When we were writing our technology logs and coming up with our definitions of technology I highly doubt that any of us really considered our bodies as one of the forms of technology we came in contact with. There are multiple arguments for both sides, however, it seems a little far fetched to call our minds and bodies an aspect of technology.

    Part of me wants to agree with you that our bodies are a form of technology, but then another part of me wants to completely disagree. It is hard to think of my own fleshy body fitting into the same category as my cell phone. It just seems wrong, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that our bodies are a type of technology. Like you said, our brains are calculators, GPS’s, dictionaries, calendars, and so much more. I can store address, names, phone numbers, notes, song lyrics, and basically anything in my brain. I can remember some directions and do some simple math in my head too. So in reality I guess our bodies are a form of technology.

  3. chocolate_drop says:

    I really like your last paragraph LordanJ. I fell in love with anatomy last year because of all the complex processes the human body completes every second. It truly is amazing.

    I see what you are saying Jordhen about us not counting ourselves as technology in our logs but I think it depends on what your definition of technology is. A basic definition of “anything that runs off electricity” would eliminate our bodies from the list. We all have different definitions though. We can remember directions and do some math in our brains, but technology has made devices that do all that stuff for you… a technological advancement to our own technology

  4. usa2014 says:

    I definitely agree with this idea. The human brain is, in my opinion, the most incredible and complex piece of technology ever created. It is able to develop the ideas that create the technologies mentioned in this post and allow people to develop ideas to expand upon those technologies. Without the technology of the brain, the world would not have any of the other technologies that are available today.

    Reading this post made me immediately think of the movie “Limitless”. Ever since I saw the previews for that, eventhough it was only a movie, I wanted that to be real life. I think it would be so cool for humans to be able to use 100% of their brain instead of only 20%. Of course, there would probably be a few dangers resulting in that like people using their brains for evil. But, nonetheless, still a cool idea to think about.

  5. Miss Jackson says:

    You bring up a good point. I never really thought of the human mind as being a form of technology, but like you said in your post, it does a lot of the same things that some of our technological objects do today. It evolves as we grow and mature, as we challenge ourselves to understand new concepts and ideas, and as we experience new things.

    But I think this raises a further a question. Just because an object can do some of the task that technology does, does that automatically make that object a form of technology? Personally, I’m not 100 percent sure what the answer to this question is. However, I do know that it feels a little weird to me to call my brain a piece of technology. I always viewed technology as something that is made by human means and our brain definitely does not fall under this category. Because of this, I’m leaning toward answering this question with a No.

    I think that the human brain, in itself is not a piece of technology, but rather the master behind all technology. It is the tool that allows us to think of and create technological devices, such as smartphones and GPS devices. The brain in itself is not technology, but it is the gift from God that allows humans to take technology to the next level.

  6. tchumphrey says:

    I do agree that the body and brain are amazing with what they can do, but I don’t think they are technologies. They do lots of things like technologies do, but this doesn’t make them a technology in my opinion. In order for something to be a technology, I think that it has to be man-made. If it isn’t, it’s just a natural occurrence in the world-which is exactly what a brain and body are to me.
    Our bodies naturally complete it’s bodily functions and our brain naturally commands our bodies to do these things. With computers, we have to tell computers to create commands or tell robots to do certain functions. Since we had to have knowledge to do these things rather than doing them subconsciously, these computers and robots are technologies.

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