After having an interesting conversation with a friend the other night about technology, I was prompted to consider the subject a little further. My friend was commenting on how he no longer pays attention to where he is going because he relies on his GPS. He then began to talk about how his son is unable to do what he called "mental math", that is, adding, subtracting, multiplication in his head since he has always depended on a calculator to do this work for him. Once we started talking about it, all sorts of examples came to mind. For instance, we no longer have to pay attention to spelling or punctuation when we write, as almost everything is "spell checked" nowadays. Then with Google, we don't really need to "know" anything as we almost always have access to unlimited amounts of information about practically anything. Don't get me wrong, I love and use technology as much as anyone. The question is, now that some of the more "menial" mental tasks are completed automatically for us, how are we using our brains/minds? Are we putting mental effort into more important things? Like what, for example? The other edge to this sword is that with increasingly advanced technology, it takes less time and effort to complete most tasks. Certainly this is good in terms of producing things faster and more efficiently but bad in terms of employment, or should I say unemployment? As just a small example, consider the time and number of people it would take to design and manufacture a machine part now compared to 50 years ago. What might have taken days to finish in a machine shop can now be done in a matter of hours by a couple of people with the right equipment. I'm sure this has been discussed before and is obvious to many people, but I feel that it is an important discussion. Modern technology has made it easier for us to freely exchange ideas and information (eg Survivalistboards) but doesn't it also play a role in our current social and economic problems? Please share your thoughts.