THE resurfacing of public interest in the Titanic, due to discovery of the liner on the ocean floor, has spotlighted more than the extraordinary craft and its sinking 73 years ago on its maiden voyage. It has again thrown attention on the issue of technological progress and safety. The Titanic sank when it struck an iceberg while steaming unwisely at a full speed of some 25 miles an hour through an area combed with icebergs; it was aiming for a transatlantic speed record, in part as an indicator of the progress in shipbuilding that the liner represented.
But nowhere in human endeavor, whether in ocean voyaging or space travel, should progress be equated with heedless speed, as if technological progress were an end in itself.
Mankind does not serve technology, rushing headlong to prove some new equipment's capacities. It is the other way around: Technological advance is but one means by which man and woman's dominion is proven.