“Are you going to feel happy after visiting this village?”
This question posed by Bhawana Singh towards Jake Abrahamson in his article, “Waiting for Light,” echoes deeply throughout the field of science and, one could argue, the world in general. It brings up an intricate point concerning to what extent science has in the creation of happiness and purpose for those who select to engage in the multitudes of benefits science has to offer. For some, science has created purpose, for others reason, and for everyone relative ease and a facilitation of general life. Science has raised many above the socio-economic standards imposed on them by previous occurrences or set standards. This same science that has raised so many from poverty has, also, worked to bring goods and services from all around the world to be conveniently accessed by almost all. Science was quite literally responsible for the global transformation in the economic system that saw the price of commodities systematically fall while living standards for all rose dramatically and access to cleaner, more reliable sources of food, water, fuel, shelter, and more became completely normal.
“We love to study. We love to do embroidery.”
This same science which has uncovered the boundless bounties of the earth has, however, left many in want as the rapidly streamlining and demanding requests of technology set in deeper and deeper, often on a cultural level as tradition and generational practice must give way to the global demands of a global market. I have always been of the opinion that there can be a solution as seen in the quote above where a unique balance can be obtained between the global and the local. It is through this quote which depicts a balance between the demands of globalization with what is held culturally sacred by a people that the true nature of science can be seen by means of improving life while allowing us to retain uniqueness and identity. But the question remains: is science responsible for giving us identity?
Feel free to read Jake Abrahamson’s article for more information: http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2014-5-september-october/feature/waiting-light.