The introduction of modern technologies is harmful to underdeveloped areas of the world.
Describe a specific situation in which the introduction of modern technologies might not be harmful to an underdeveloped area of the world. Discuss what you think determines whether or not the introduction of modern technologies is harmful to underdeveloped areas of the world.
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In 1996, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer conducted a clinical trial study in Nigeria, where a meningitis epidemic broke out. The conduct of the company in this clinical trial was called into question because of the lack of proper approval and controversial procedure. Some argued that Pfizer neglected the code of ethics and pushed for favorable data in the expense of human lives.
Such stories may not be uncommon. When the gap between the developed and the underdeveloped parts of the world increases, the balance of power, resources, and knowledge becomes increasingly lopsided. The Nigerian people lacked the power to demand a properly approved and supervised treatment because of their desperate poverty, impending disease, and corrupt government. Modern technology, which is almost exclusively created by the developed world, is often used as tools to exploit the underdeveloped areas, or its making exploited these less fortunate people. At the very least, modern technologies which strengthen the developed world in the expense of global resources will inevitably weaken the underdeveloped areas of the world and increase the damning disparity.
However, to blindly attack all modern technologies as harmful to underdeveloped areas of the world is too conservative if not malicious. Billions of dollars are spent on AIDS research, and the Gates Foundation, among many other charitable organizations, aims to bring hope to the African people living through the devastating AIDS pandemic. Researchers funded by the Gates Foundation work diligently to improve the existing antiviral treatment and patient care, and new methods of distribution in the rural areas of the African continent should surely not be regarded as “harmful”.
Modern technologies do not need to carry any inherent favoritism. They are merely newer tools that the developed world create. The world hunger, poverty, and disease crises are caused by how people develop these new, perhaps much more powerful tools, and what people do with them. It may not have been expected that computer would reach Kenya when it was first developed, but through the hands of altruistic visionaries, this modern technology is now connecting many Kenyan children to the rest of the world.