Now that we are actually living in the time envisioned by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World and George Orwell in 1984, we find that as well as being increasingly harmful to individual freedom and creativity, it is also filled with unspeakable rudeness. Tech Rudeness.
If we went into a restaurant for a festive outing, and no sooner than we sit down to order a pleasant meal, out of nowhere, a group of well-to-do people sit down with us and begin ordering and telling us what we should be ordering, then after partaking of the meal while talking loudly all through it, the uninvited guests leave informing us we need to cover the tab. We would be outraged beyond belief and, needless to say, we wouldn’t let this happen twice.
And yet we are now spending our money on products that do just that and worse. Products that will interrupt us while we are writing notes, checking on weather, reading news stories. Just about everything we do. They leave their prompts on the screen and wait with baited antenna to see which we will use. They tell us what to think, and that we should think it. These intrusive apps on our phones, computers, televisions and soon to be attached to our heads behave in a way an eight year old school child of years past would have been ashamed to admit to.
So much of this rudeness is delivered in an elaborate and showy form, which in fact, adds further insult to injury. We are constantly told how we are soon to be the happy recipients of the latest, ( to approximate the language) “Innovative solutions, proving that disruption brings order to the entire infrastructure through total data connectivity..” etc. etc. And shouldn’t we be glad.. (and we have no choice anyway because this is relentless tech progress.)
Who are we poor peons to question such elaborate, scholarly sounding jargon as this as it is constantly foisted upon us?
It reminds me of the showy CGI displays on black holes and what they are of a few years back. We are encouraged to sit speechless before these impressive productions, such a dramatic presentation must hold ultimate truth we humbly think. Until, of course, Stephen Hawking changes his mind, as he did recently. Then, wow, back to the old CGI drawing board. Oops.
The Wizard of OZ was a good guy when he hid behind the curtain and used his august image to help endow his friends with more faith in themselves and their individual gifts.
The modern wizards hide behind curtains too, but for no such good purpose. In fact their purpose is pretty much the exact opposite. They are self serving business people who seek to standardize the mass of us into non-thinking workers and customers. While they portray their products as being streamlined space age innovations, the products actually represent the greedy mercenary anxiousness of their creators. Just as stuffed sausage often looks good on the outside but as we know when we think about it, the inside is made palatable largely by its high seasoning not quality of content. They are so anxious for quick sales that they are clumsily giving their agendas away on an almost daily basis. And for that, I am most glad.
Without bothering to ask us, these hucksters also insinuated themselves into our educational systems, thinking most likely to increase control over our thinking at the youngest most impressionable ages. Fortunately this first covert attempt failed. Now these same folks plan to create entire tech cities where they, and their products, can rule and be worshipped. However, as we have always seen, wrongful human systems and creations ultimately crumble. Thousands of years of our history have taught us this. We still have our free will, and we will use it one more time to restore the balance. The dumbing down hasn’t worked yet.
I never tire of quoting Ray Bradbury’s poem, “The Machines beyond Shylock” where he made it clear the machines were just what they are programmed to be, “stuff right, get right, stuff rot, get rot.” Our present machines have been and are being used to spy on us, politically influence us, condition us, and rob us. You can judge for yourself what they are stuffed with.