Explorers Verses Inventors


This is a response to the one-word prompt “Explore” by “The Daily Post.”

What was one your favorite activities to do as a child growing up? For me it was the make-believe/pretend. The playing soldier and running through the backyard and the trees behind the house. Whether it is the childhood pretend games or the exploration of space and/or the ocean to making any kind of scientific/new discovery as an adult we as humans have a deep inner need to explore our surroundings

If we are confronted with something that we do not know, eventually we will be driven to confront it, to find out just what that thing is. Oh, it may not happen right away, and we may be frightened into staying away form that something for a time, but eventually we will confront it; our curriortsity will be too much for us to handle.

Yet, our deeply inner need to explore and find out new things and ideas is becoming a problem for society’s development when it comes to technology development and how that effects said society. In order to see why, lets look at the two fundamental motivations of “#explorers/scientists” and “#inventors.” Explorers are driven by the need for discovery for discoveries sake. They are in it for the knowledge that they gain. The inventor on the other hand while may take the knowledge gained from the explorer/scientist’s discoveries, is primary motivated on applying that knowledge to solve a problem or provide a need for both the individual and society at large.

The problem arrises or can arise when the jobs of “scientist/explorer” and the “inventor” become entwined. For when the explorer is doing both the “discovering” and applying of new ideas, he is not concerned with “is this needed” but only “in can this be done.” Jeff Goldblum’s character Ian Malcom from the first Jurassic Park movie said it best in the line “Yah, but your scientists where so focused on ‘can we could do this,’ but never asked themselves ‘should we do this.'”

Now there, the question is more on the moral need of society and advancement, but still is needed in answering the question of a perceived need or benefit to society by a new discovery/invention. I am not one to take away from all the technology breakthroughs in the last decade or so, nor the ones just coming around the “corner in a few years ( in fact I am quite excited ); but I do think with the rapid advancement of said technology, we are having the problem of only trying to figure out if “something can be done” and not truly “asking should it be done, is it needed.”

We as humans are driven to explore and find out how “this or that works” and we are also driven to come up with better ways of doing things and making our lives easier. When the two natures are balanced and while connected still in their proper spheres of influence, human society benefits. The trick is to find that balance, to be able to discover to our hearts contents, yet still be able to ask the question “is this truly necessary; should it be done?” That is the unending conflict between “explorers and inventors.”

What are your thoughts and viewpoints? Please do share them, all are welcomed and wanted.

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