Will the Progress destroy us?

Recently, one of the most talked about news was the US Navy railgun test. For those who missed the front-pager: railgun is a weapon that rely on electromagnetic forces to achieve a very high kinetic energy of a projectile and exceeds conventionally delivered munitions in range and destructive force.

At the same time, the projectiles, which are just metal ingots, cost much less than the conventional weaponry like rockets or bombs. However, the energy source, that can supply electricity for a small town, is required to provide the necessary power to fire the railgun the.
Once again we can see that Progress may not benefit humanity. It is unlikely that the problem of energy supply would hinder the military - the scientists will surely invent some appropriate innovation. Compact and efficient power plants are needed in many countries of the world today, but the high and mighty could not care less.
Unfortunately, since the invention of a stone axe, we have got used to the fact that progress more often serves the purpose of destruction of human or any other form of life. All that is good for humankind is, rather, an additional option or a side effect of inventions for military purposes. However, the benefits that we get this way, sometimes seems to be questionable.
For example, scientists invented computers and internet, which almost every home has today. However, do we use these to increase our knowledge and develop spiritually? No, most of the internet users play the Battle of Tanks and Farming games or quarrel among themselves on various topics - from the cooking chicken recipes to geopolitical issues.
Many thinkers of the past saw the negative effect of progress and it scared them. There appeared the dystopian genre in the literature describing society as completely brainwashed, weak-willed people, whose existence depends on elite and machines, pills of happiness and other surrogates. Even the founder of cosmonautics Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, an ardent advocate of progress, often doubted its’ benefit according to biographers.

Sometimes one cannot help thinking that the authors of dystopia were right in their predictions that eventually the machines would get clever enough to take over the lazy and weak-willed people.
Thus, the computer programme "Kaissa", made by Soviet scientists in 70ies, has lost its first match against the readers of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper with a score of 1.5: 0.5. However, by 1997, such programmes had been improved to the extent that a computer named Deep Blue was able to beat the World Champion Garry Kasparov.
These days, we create programmes that are not only able to analyse and predict the actions of man, but also to self-improve without telling people about it. Soon computerized self-improving devices will penetrate more deeply into our lives.
However, while we rejoiced at the robot cleaner freeing us from the tiresome duty of keeping our house clean (Rather! The housewives got more free time to watch their favourite TV shows!), the large-scale appearance of computerized cars would cause loss of jobs for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, truck and taxi drivers. Scary, isn’t it?
This does not mean that we should abandon the progress and ban all research and inventions. Had it been so, we would be forced to live like Robinson Crusoe on a desert island, dressed in goatskins and wearing hats made of burdocks. The problem is not in progress as such, but how we relate to it.
There are billions of chocolate and coffee fans in the world. Both are beneficial in reasonable doses: it is proved that chocolate elevates mood, while coffee enhances the performance of brain and normalizes blood pressure in hypotensive patients. Nevertheless, if you try to eat kilograms of chocolate and drink litres of coffee, you will soon find yourself in a big trouble.
Therefore, it is same with technological progress: it is useful to watch TV two or three hours a day to hear the news or enjoy a good movie, but if you watch it for days on end, you will spoil your vision and go mad. Robot vacuum cleaner is a wonderful thing; but if you do not occasionally pick up a mop, you will suffer from lack of exercise.
The same applies to the internet. Social networks and chat rooms were designed as a platform for exchange of ideas; however, today they are dividing people, if not worse. Let us recall the shocking scandal, when so-called "Groups of Death" - the communities promoting suicide cult among teenagers - were found on social network.
Meanwhile, social networks can serve a good cause - the spiritual perfection of man. Therefore, we and like-minded people are going to launch the first Buddhist messenger Kirsan.im soon, which will be different from their counterparts by allowing users to learn more about Buddhism and its traditions.
Incidentally, the idea of its creation came to my mind during the pilgrimage to Tibet. Looking at the crowd of pilgrims – there was more than a million of us - I thought that it would be nice to give to all of these people and along with them to all who are willing to the expanse corresponding to their common interests.
I consider social networks as a vessel that can be filled with anything from nectar to toxic waste.
If a stream that flows into the ocean is clean, then the ocean will be cleaner and all its inhabitants will be thriving - fish, dolphins and ultimately - people. However, if the stream is full of chemical waste, pesticides and other poisons even the vastest ocean will suffer. The same refers to social networks that poison our common aura by spreading negative thoughts, dissention and conflicts.
I am not sure if you noticed that world war rhetoric has been intensified in the West and Russia during recent years. Moreover, it has reached the level, which I do not remember since the time of the arms race. They threaten us with railguns; we frighten them with a hypersonic missile. They launch the Zumwalt sea destroyer, we answer with Armata tank and T-50 fighter. Why do not we brag to each other about invention of new drugs? For example, they would boast about the invention of a drug to cure cancer, and we would boast about the drug to cure strokes and heart attacks.
Instead, we prefer to intimidate each other. All this inevitably entail an increase of tension; our mental environment is being destroyed and perished. As a result, we are left with very little choice: either we would burn in a nuclear apocalypse, and then our planet will start to create a different life, different civilization that would not be human, or we can finally stop and turn to spirituality.
I very much hope that the new messenger would be like an ocean of good thoughts and desires and serve as the mean to help people find answers to all their questions. I hope that it will be a platform where clear ideas and insights are born. It is time to stop being afraid of progress and learn to use it for the benefit of humankind.