The Intersection of Time and Technological Progress: Exploring the Essence of Civilization

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Oct 13, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Time and Technological Progress: Exploring the Essence of Civilization


Time and technological progress are two fundamental aspects that shape the development of civilizations. The question arises: Can we truly experience time? Similarly, does the value of a civilization lie solely in the advancement of its technology? In this article, we will delve into these intriguing topics and explore their commonalities and implications for human existence.

1. The Experience of Time:

The concept of time is deeply intertwined with our consciousness. It can be divided into subjective and objective dimensions. Subjectively, time is the flow of our thoughts and experiences, while objectively, it is a measure of the movement and change in the world around us.

Saint Augustine argued that time is elusive and incomprehensible, as it is the condition that allows us to experience something. Time, akin to space, is not an object but a form that enables us to perceive objects in the world. Therefore, we cannot directly experience time itself, but rather, we experience the passage of time through our consciousness.

2. The Essence of Technological Progress:

Technological progress is often considered a sign of a civilization's advancement and power. Through the mastery of nature, civilizations aim to improve human life by satisfying material needs and realizing grand dreams. The ability to efficiently control and manipulate the environment leads to a more comfortable and prosperous existence.

Moreover, the possession of advanced technology grants economic and political dominance, allowing states to impose their rules on others. It is tempting to rank civilizations based on their technological achievements, viewing each as a step in an evolving process that propels humanity towards increasingly technologically advanced societies.

3. The Relativity of Values:

However, it is crucial to recognize the relativity of values when assessing the worth of a civilization. Ethnocentrism often leads to the disregard and underappreciation of cultures that differ from our own. Each civilization has its unique set of values, and there is no universal model for hierarchizing these values.

Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss argued that fear of the unknown and dissimilarities between civilizations fuel this tendency. It is erroneous to consider technological progress as the sole criterion for evaluating civilizations. Other factors, such as adaptability to hostile environments, may hold equal or greater significance.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Cultural Diversity: Instead of succumbing to ethnocentrism, we should celebrate and appreciate the richness of diverse civilizations. Recognize that different cultures possess distinct values and contributions, and that no single model can encapsulate the essence of civilization.
  • 2. Foster Holistic Development: While technological progress has undeniable benefits, it should not overshadow other aspects of human existence. Encourage the pursuit of knowledge, arts, spirituality, and environmental sustainability alongside technological advancements to ensure a well-rounded and balanced civilization.
  • 3. Reflect on the Essence of Time: While we cannot directly experience time, we can contemplate its significance in our lives. Take moments to reflect on the passing of time, appreciate the present, and draw wisdom from past experiences. Embracing the ephemeral nature of time can lead to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.


The experience of time and the development of technology are intertwined in the human narrative. While we cannot fully grasp the essence of time, its influence on our consciousness and experiences is undeniable. Similarly, the value of a civilization cannot be solely determined by its technological progress, as cultural diversity and other factors contribute to its essence. By embracing diversity, fostering holistic development, and reflecting on the nature of time, we can navigate the complex tapestry of human existence and strive for a more harmonious and enlightened civilization.

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