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Technology Population and Behaviour; Connecting the Dots

By Sean Hurley

Our species has come a long way since early human history; we have left behind the life of the hunter gather and learned to manipulate our environment to our benefit. We have continually enhanced our ability to create to such a point that it is now having detrimental impacts on our tiny planet. Where once the horizon appeared to be a far-off place, the world an expanse beyond our comprehension, and our desire to explore and learn has revealed just how confined we are on this rock hurtling through space. While we have learned to dominate our surroundings, we failed to consider the damage our actions are having on our life support systems.

As we come to understand the harm we have inflicted upon our global home, we have still found it difficult to question the fundamental social systems which have encouraged that behaviour. Instead, we can tend to blame technology for certain undesirable social outcomes or blame overpopulation for our inability to provide for each other.

We appear to be predisposed to maintaining the system whatever the cost, and we find anything else we can to point at as we try to find reasons for poverty, unemployment, climate change and species extinctions to name a few. However, we show a deep reluctance to question the fundamentals of advanced human society. How are we behaving and what drives that behaviour? What is driving the numerous global declines we are experiencing in the 21st century: technology, overpopulation or is there something else behind it? Something we don’t want to see.



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  1. townsvilleblog

    The human race is slowly destroying itself by destroying its planet, even the 1% who own 50%+ of the global economy won’t be able to escape Earth before all of its resources are used up, business ignores Climate Change yes we can be flown a pizza but in most big cities of the world it is becoming harder to breathe. As the old american Indian saying goes, not til the last tree falls…….will mankind discover that money is NOT eatable.

  2. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Lovely interpretation Sean.

    The heard instinct lives on our search for simple solutions which become the hegemony of common sense as described by Antonio Gramsci in the 1930s when Italy was under the spell of fascism.

    This hegemony was broken by defeat in war and the imposition of modernist values from the USA as the new mainstream for Italy. The CIA worked assiduously to win the 1948 national elections for the Christian Democrats.

    Working for change is a big challenge. Progressive networks must be careful that they have not taken up major aspects of the old hegemony in their alternative strategies: Inclusive and democratic solutions are required to prevent the emergence of a new set of calculating elites. .

    I did not particularly like poetry as taught in my own senior high school as a teenager. But I do sometimes think of the political relevance of
    Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1818). His ideas predated Gramsci by more than a century.

    Years later I was impressed by an English Department co-ordinator who involved students in working for change by de-constructing movies and documentaries, making videos, writing their own short stories and poems to present great outcomes.

    Mankind has to change creatively or face the consequences of more alienation, social problems and war.

    Having a LNP government in Canberra is not helping. Some of its leaders are articulate but steadfast apologists for global capitalism.

    Keep working on your ideas, Sean.

  3. paulwalter

    The oligarchic mentality has no place for humane, constructive leadership. What people don’t realise is, we never truly left feudalism behind or understood the real relation of capitalism as an outgrowth. The myth of our era has us beyond it and we have soaked it up, because we have television!

    In the hands of the system, technology is the new means of (reactionary?) postmodernist colonisation, conquering minds; from the inside out, not distant lands and the sleepy Dreaming is coming to an end sooner than most think.

    What a shame Technos fell into the hands of apes before evolution had finished its work.

  4. Johno

    I wonder if there are civilisations out there dumber than us. If there is we could make dumb and dumber 4.

  5. wam

    beauty DB i LOVED SHELLEY and his little 1811 pamphlet has the key to Mr Hurley’s screwed society

  6. king1394

    Great video worth the time to watch and to share with everyone.

  7. cartoonmick

    Great item. I reckon it could be summed up with the question; . . .”should we rely on technology to solve our problems, or should we stop creating problems?”

    Yep, greed is a major force in mankind’s self-destruction.

    We have to start changing our behaviour, and do it now, not leave it for a future generation.

    Our greed pollutes – our pollution will starve and poison us – end of story – say goodnight !!

    We elect and give authority to politicians. They are the ones who should initiate change, but they won’t.

    They are a major part of the problem.

    They’ll do no more than talk about it.

    My cartoon on it , , , , https://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-205


  8. Harquebus

    Population reduction would be the easiest and cheapest solution should the powers that be ever see sense and abandon their growth ideology. No need for expensive energy guzzling infrastructure, no need for large scale implementation of technology, also energy guzzling to manufacture and no need for new nor retrofitted buildings. It is the simplest solution and the one that never gets mentioned.

    “Life is really simple but, we insist on making it complicated.” — Confucius


  9. Sean Hurley

    Great cartoon Mick.

    Harquebus, maybe watch the video and consider what is being said. Thanks.

  10. Pat H.

    Another though-provoking article………. and also some recent research that estimates the “technosphere” (all the structures that humans have constructed to support them on this planet) now amounts to some 30 trillion tonnes…..that is more than the weight of all the ice on the planet….Antarctic, Arctic…glaciers….the lot!


  11. win jeavons

    Why is mankind obsessed with killing and destruction? While I agree that population growth is part of the problem, there is no quick fix that is not death on an unparalleled scale. We need a fast answer, without billions of deaths, just lopping off the greedy ones would help?

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