The video above is a very picturesque story of two Peruvian villages that get together every year for three days to build a bridge across the river separating them.
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The bridge is made of woven grass that is twisted into huge rope cables and then pulled across the river while smaller grass ropes are attached to make a long rope bridge with its own distinct character. The three-day affair is evidently more than just a building project; it is a cultural event celebrated with a festival and folk dancing. The villagers are very proud of their bridge since it costs nothing save the fruit of their hands and the grass on the land.
Replacing this bridge would be a fairly simple project for modern engineers. A grant from the central Peruvian government could supply the money to bring in laborers and cement trucks and build a permanent yet unattractive modern structure to replace the charming rope bridge spanning the river. The villagers would then no longer have to exert themselves in making the bridge and dedicate themselves to more productive projects.
But wouldn’t something be lost if this were done? Should technology be only concerned with efficiency? Or should technology be imbued with other moral and social values that add a human touch to things and provide unity to communities?
Questions to readers: What should be done in this case? Do you build the modern bridge?