can't help but wonder
… what the future brings.
Allowing an old technocrat to turn even the slightest philosophical, can be more than a little dangerous. Something to handle with great care even if it is “all in the mind”.
Well, nothing to gain in life by avoiding all potential complications, so may as well let the monster loose and see where it leads. Am hopeful that it can be reined in before it disappears beyond the horizon.
Today I will mainly look at what what I personally regard as misuse of technology, has in store for mankind.
Spoiler alert … intelligent beings won't find any huge surprises in the following. What others may find is unclear…
wondrous new choices?
They can have it in any color they like, as long as it's black. — Henry Ford (referring to the Model-T)
That was then, and the above is mainly seen as an old joke. Now, a hundred years later, things have of course improved
Everyone can do whatever they want, as long as they stay in line with the dominating business model, and conforms to all rules and regulations applied to them. — (guess who said that)
Last time I checked, the road of impeccable conformance with regard to any set of rules and
regulations designed for and aimed at common citizens, was pretty narrow, in reality all but impassable.
That is, unless one manages to climb above it all to a level where rules and regulations don't count, or knows how to cheat the system and get away with it … mainly a question of status and economy.
The dominating business model is … well … “interesting” to say the least…
The only thing that makes sense to big business is to maximize their profit by exploiting everything within reach, and to keep on widening their reach. All losses created in the process must of course be left to others to cope with, as otherwise it will hurt big business and that is not acceptable to them.
What a joyous new world of endless choices we are being allowed to live in…
improving technology, for what?
As I am all for introducing improved technology in all areas, it hurts to see how technology all too often is improved and applied for the sole purpose of allowing small groups to gain better control over fellow humans. Something smells very rotten…
Technological improvements are most often presented as innovations that will make life easier for us all, and in some very limited
areas that is true. Technology can indeed be used to create quite useful options.
However, as we are forced to spend more and more of our lives within those technologically defined limitations, mainly because all alternatives are being deliberately blocked or eliminated, are we still autonomous living beings with free will, or are the majority of us being reduced to organic appendixes to technology?
Example: computers, cellphones and creditcards, can be quite practical and useful items in day to day life. When connected to networks they are also easily tracked, monitored and manipulated, and they systematically are.
Trackers – both institutional and more shady ones – register our activities and whereabouts, and affect our choices, through our more and more technologically advanced devices. Thus, we have become involuntarily appended to modern technology, and we cannot escape being tracked and eavesdropped on unless we give up most, or all, usefulness of same technology.
technology reaching too far?
How long into the future will it be before it won't be technically possible to turn off our tracked devices, or not even being allowed to be without one? And, if we happen to stray outside our dedicated “zones”, will alarms go off and we be hunted down and returned to “safe” areas?
Reality already is that with surveillance systems found almost everywhere, we do not even have to stay connected in order to be tracked, observed and algorithmically and heuristically sorted and controlled. The hardware and software is at that point now, and what it can be used for is only limited by imagination.
Protection of privacy? What's that? Another service with no guarantees, offered to us at the highest possible price?
Or will “privacy” be just another antiquated word really old people mention now and then in passing while they reminisch about old times, from long before our inborn organic memory was made redundant by technological advances?
Cannot help but wonder…
Well, maybe I am a little paranoid, but it is extremely well founded.
The main difference my musings into our technology dependency makes for my public and private life, is that I do not look only at what technology can do for me, but also the harm it can help others do to me.
Advances in technology isn't a problem, unscrupulous people's use of increasingly advanced technology is.
Any connection to the outside world that is not physically blocked, can be regarded as an open access point into my private sphere. It can be guarded, but not made entirely secure.
As I cannot fix or convert unscrupulous people, I stay alert and try to minimize the potential problems they pose. I am the one who analyze and define my personal privacy concerns, and, yes, there is plenty personal stuff I prefer not to be open about.
To be perfectly clear: there are no secure ways to communicate today, and no parties to trust when it comes to keeping secrets. What I share with anyone – online or otherwise – is by my definition “no longer private or secure”.
This goes a little further than what most people like to think of when it comes to privacy issues and life in general, but at least there are no holes created by ignorance in my personal “privacy shield”.
the broader picture
Look at how “clever sales-pitches”, “baseless promises”, and widespread
belief in how “technological advances will save the day”, continue to cloud up our vision and makes us
lower our ethics-based shields to the ground.
Without ethics to control the use of technology, we become totally defenceless as the power of technology more and more gets used against us instead of to serve us.
If we do not introduce some serious changes to our attitude and push back against this unnatural and very narrow-minded devolution, in not too long there won't be anything left of us for us to guard. What we will be left with, including any and all forms for technology, isn't worth guarding.
What little “democracy” we have left now, will end up as nothing but pretty words used to cover up lies as individual freedom and human rights get crushed by dictates from above, and crime-infected from the top down. Think of it as “chaos by design”.
Conclusion: lowering ethics while advancing technology in all areas, turns our societies into pseudo-technocracies controlled by unscrupulous people – a recipe for destruction of mankind.
What is worse is that this is happening now, not something that may happen sometime in the future.
As human being, and technocrat, I find this completely unacceptable.
07.sep.2017 - light editing
08.sep.2017 - added links
last rev: 08.sep.2017