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Welcome to Cacotopia … “Technology is the answer – but what is the question?”
Who’s your drone?
“Those who choose to have their opinions installed or reinforced by people who can’t even get basic facts about the physical world correct probably aren’t interested in adapting their views to objective reality.“
Our technological efforts to manage the world of living things are not really working out too well. At first they may seem magically successful, but then comes their “revenge effect”, which at best transforms acute problems into chronic ones, at worst gives rise to all sorts of new problems, often more serious or catastrophic than whatever problem was targeted in the first place.
Technology undoubtedly provides a means of doing all sorts of very impressive things, but it is not clear what real human problem this really solves. Even the most ardent admirer of our technological prowess must admit that if we were to draw up a list of the problems that confronted us since we first began to live on this planet, not being able to log on to our Smartphones or Facebook would be pretty low down on the list.
The real problems that confront us today are due to the disruption of natural systems such as the family, the community and the ecosystem, and that for these problems there is no technological solutions. One reason is that our technological intrusions into the workings of the living world are unnecessarily crude when compared with the highly sophisticated and even brilliantly intelligent way in which the non-technological world is capable of responding.
— Edward Goldsmith, Technology – a false religion (Edited)
See Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences by Edward Tenner
The image above looks like concept art for a new dystopian sci-fi film. A billionaire superman with a rictus grin, striding straight past human drones, tethered to machines and blinded to reality by blinking plastic masks. Golden light shines down on the man as he strides past his subjects, cast in gloom, toward a stage where he will accept their adulation. Later that night, he will pore across his vast network and read their praise, heaped upon him in superlatives, as he drives what remains of humanity forward to his singular vision.Except it’s not from a sci-fi movie — it’s from Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, and the man is Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg. The picture trips all of our “horrible cyberpunk future” alarms, carefully put in place by everything from The Matrix to Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent. The former uses evil squid-bodied robots, the latter privileged human elites, but both works see humanity too distracted and preoccupied — by a full-scale replica of late-90s reality, or just sports on TV — to even be aware of the actions of those in charge. Zuckerberg’s picture acts this out: MWC attendees plugged into Samsung’s Gear VR headset literally can’t see the Facebook boss as he breezes past them.
is this picture an allegory of our future ? the people in a virtual reality with our leaders walking by us. pic.twitter.com/ntTaTN3SdR
— Nicolas Debock (@ndebock) February 21, 2016
What’s perhaps scarier is that Mark Zuckerberg chose to share that image himself, figuring it to be a good look. It appeared on his own Facebook page yesterday, quickly giving rise to a number of comedy copies as people spotted its inherent creepiness, and combined it with movies, dinosaurs, and that iconic Apple ad set in a similar-looking dystopian future. Mark Zuckerberg might have stolen the show at Samsung’s MWC conference, but in this unfortunate picture at least, it looks more like he’s planning to steal our brains.
— drew olanoff (@drew) February 22, 2016
[Byline Rich McCormick] via The Verge
A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them; A person who is excessively dependent upon or controlled by something; An ant captured in its pupal state by an ant of another species, for which it becomes a worker. (Constitutional implied consent) – Oxford English Dictionary