The automobile solved some very important problems for most people, but in doing so, poisoned our air, choked our cities with traffic, and contributed toward the destruction of some of the beauty of our natural landscape. Antibiotics certainly solved some significant problems for almost all people, but in doing so, resulted in the weakening of what we call our immune systems. Television solved several important problems, but in solving them, changed the nature of political discourse, led to a serious decline in literacy, and quite possibly made the traditional process of socializing children impossible.
It is doubtful that one can think of a single technology that did not generate new problems as a result of its having solved an old problem. Of course, it is sometimes very difficult to know what new problems will arise as a result of a technological solution. Benedictine monks invented the mechanical clock in the thirteenth century in order to be more precise in performing their canonical prayers, which they needed to do seven times a day. Had they known that the mechanical clock would eventually be used by merchants as a means of establishing a standardized workday and then a standardized product – that is, that the clock would be used as an instrument for making money instead of serving God – the monks might have decided that their sundials and water clocks were quite sufficient. Had Gutenberg foreseen that his printing press with movable type would lead to the breakup of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, he surely would have used his old wine press to make wine but not books. In the thirteenth century perhaps it didn’t matter so much if people lacked technological vision; perhaps not even in the fifteenth century. But in the twenty-first century, we can no longer afford to move into the future with our eyes tightly closed. 【題組】77.The first clock in history was invented to ________. (A) decorate a church (B) keep time (C) make money (D) play music