- The technological chronology of my life is basically as follows: pagers (mostly for drug dealers) –> car phones (mostly for yuppies and drug dealers) –> brick & bag phones –> analog phones. Computers that only ran DOS –> computers without modems –> external modems –> the great excitement of a 28.8 dps connection –> starting up aohell, fixing breakfast as the modem groaned only to come back to a message saying it was busy and to try again or that it had timed out –> dsl (godsend for the impatient) –> cell phones far more advanced than most of the computers I had earlier owned (and that is not even getting into smart phones).
- For the most part, I find there to be amazing things about modern technology. The idea that I can find out almost anything withing about three minutes and two clicks… being able to keep in touch with friends that have scattered across the globe… the speed in which information can be disseminated.
- That said, I am not sure that there is not more harm than good. No one communicates anymore. People post on Facebook instead of picking up the phone. Conversations become fights with people who are not even involved saying things that they would never say to a person’s face. Rather than a rumor at school or work spreading to a few people – the whole world knows within seconds. Journalism is nearly dead and people without education or ethics are taken as journalists and even quoted by supposedly credible news sources while the editorial quality of news print dies. We all have cell phones that are always on and always on us – giving us no free time from work, family, friends… there is an assumption that if you call someone, you should be able to get a hold of them and if you can’t, anger and frustration results. Privacy is a thing of the past. Google and other services use how fast we drive, where we go, what is in our emails, what web pages we visit, and a host of other things in order to refine their advertisements and products – but this information is also used for such things as putting together terrorist watch lists that are so accurate that they have no idea when someone is going to … oh I don’t know … bomb the Boston Marathon. Worse… this is increasing exponentially.
- There is a proven theory that says that technology doubled in a ten year span. It will double again in half the time (five years) only to double again in half the time (2.5 years) only to double again in half the time… etc. The science fiction of yesterday becomes the technology of today. Well watch something like Continuum for a very realistic yet horrifying notion of the technology currently being developed
- The idea of all of this is that it makes information and connectivity quicker, more efficient, and better. It is supposed to bring us closer to our fellow man and improve upon the human condition. I challenge that idea. It is keeping us apart and creating a sense of isolation. This only gets worse as people depend on FaceBook for communication. Language deteriorates as children do not learn unique handwriting for personal expression because they are too busy texting in netspeak. Our most profound ideas are now expected to fit into Twiter;s 160 character limit. Most of what is on the internet is rubbish and what passes for “news” is false. Without skilled editors, people are just flooding their minds with bits of this and that with no real understanding of what is going on in the world which is harmful to our political systems.
- So I opt out of the social networking world… clearly not. Yes… I am aware of the irony of criticising the social newtorking aspect of the internet on a public blog. Worse, I was telling a friend the other day how I didn’t really do social networking. “I just have a wordpress, and a twitter, and instagram, and spotify, and even the dreaded FaceBook because the Internet has made it as difficult to do anything without a FB log in as it is to live without a credit card. So yes – I am guilty as charged, but at least I can say that I actually give some thought to what I put where.
- I have long said that the Constitution is a dead document because the founding fathers did not intend this country to become what it has. They were not able to anticipate it. Furthermore – the second we refused to allow the south to succeed from the Union, we basically used it as toilet paper. It is nothing but a bunch of high minded ideals that do not work on any kind of pragmatic level. Yet one of the founding fathers had the right idea – and idea that has stood the test of time. Alexander Hamilton said;
The masses are the asses.
- Well – the masses have been given the means to bray like donkeys and become the loudest voice heard. Education and intelligence is frowned upon while we look at stupid pictures of cats. I weep for the future and long for the past.