It isn’t easy for most people to understand the entanglement of technology and unintentional outcomes. They only see the benefits to their lives that technology brings, and they don’t think about anything beyond that.

To get from technological concept to a profitable outcome is a complicated step-by-step engineering process. In each step there can be unintentional occurrences that create disastrous results. I have seen this happen personally, and have been severely affected as a result.

If technology is tediously applied in a thoughtful way, with stringent safeguards applied by dedicated people, it can be miraculous. However, when greed and profit become more important than safeguards, then disaster will be the unintentional outcome.

When I do something stupid that I know I shouldn’t do for the sake of saving time and money, and the result is disastrous, do I accept my stupidity and learn from it, or do I make excuses, blame someone else, and lie to cover up my actions, regardless who may have been hurt?

Too many times in recent years this is exactly what has happened, with disastrous results to our civilization. I can list a number of disasters — like the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles, the consequences of the Chernobyl explosion, which nearly turned Europe into an uninhabitable zone, the opioid crisis, the Boeing 737 Max, or now the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are supposed to have a functioning government to monitor this. But they are too wrapped up in constant political bickering to do their job.

Lawrence Everett, West Paris

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