Too much tech?

This is a slightly expanded version of a post that was first published on the DiY Culture blog. In light of the announcement by Facebook that in collaboration with others, they intend to focus on the metaverse – What is Facebook’s metaverse and why is the social media giant so focused on it? – we think it’s timely to publish it here, along with some added readings at the end. Hopefully, they’ll inform the debate about far far do we allow technology to dominate our lives.

In an ideal world, technology was supposed to make our lives easier, taking care of the drudge while we got on with the important things in life. Just one of the things it was supposed to do was help us communicate more effectively with each other. Instead it has replaced meaningful face to face interactions with screen based ones. We all know how screen based communications can easily be misinterpreted and end up in toxic rows that divide us!

Look, we’re not complete Luddites – this blog is written and published using a laptop. That’s one example of how design and print technology can democratise the way we communicate our ideas. The Net was supposed to have done that but as pretty much everyone who’s an activist can tell you, the unholy alliance of government and the tech corporations are working together to increasingly censor what we want to say online.

It’s legitimate to question who controls technology and who benefits from it. It sure as heck isn’t us! From online censorship and all pervasive surveillance in supposedly public spaces through to digital vaccine passports, digital identity and the acceleration of the move towards a cashless society, technology is being weaponised against us. QR codes were originally devised to make stock control of items in a warehouse more efficient. That’s fine if that’s as far as it goes…

We’re at a point where if we don’t put up a fight, we’ll be obliged to rely on having the right QR code to access colleges, schools, hospitals, supermarkets, sports stadia, entertainment venues, restaurants, pubs…the list goes on. We’ll end up being controlled like items of stock. That’s how the corporations and governments see us – as mere items of stock that can be discarded if we get too difficult. This is the dehumanising future these bastards have in store for us as part of their coveted ‘fourth industrial revolution’ – if we let them that is. We won’t let them though, will we?

Tech: A guide to the politics and philosophy of new technology

A brief introduction to the politics and philosophy of technology – a simple guide to how interacts with society and the world around us.

Technology is everywhere. Its influence on our lives is enormous.

But how does it function?

How does it affect us?

Who does it serve?

Can it support radical social change towards free and equal societies living in harmony with nature?

Are humans fated to wind up as pets for hyper-intelligent robot hamsters?

These are -mainly- important questions. However, the dominant view is that technology is apolitical and inevitable, that it represents human progress, making our lives easier, more fulfilling, or just ‘better’. Let’s dig a little deeper.

We are at a unique moment in human history – an ecological precipice, perhaps a social tipping point. Whatever path we take, unravelling technology and the dilemmas it presents will give us a clearer view of the horizon ahead of us.

This book is a brief introduction to the politics and philosophy of technology – a simple guide to how interacts with society and the world around us. We hope you find it useful.

Further reading

Martine Rothblatt – A Modern Day Ivanovich Selivanov? – Jennifer Bilek | The 11th Hour | October 20, 2021

Are we in the throes of a new techno-religious cult, modern cousin to the Skoptsy, but driven by the almost unimaginable powers of modern technology, sewn to unfettered capitalism? In the hands of men like Martine Rothblatt, Susan Stryker, and Rachel Levine, it seems our humanity won’t have much of a prayer, unless we start praying to a life-giving goddess, instead of a machine god.

The Disturbing Origins of Cybernetics and Transhumanism – Matthew Ehret | Off Guardian | June 26, 2021

This Borg-like deterministic faith in the human-machine synthesis that pervades the thinking of all modern transhumanists is both cultish, creepy and just plain wrong. However, without a proper evaluation into the historic roots of these ideas that threaten to derail global civilization into a dystopian collapse, it is impossible to understand anything fundamental about the past 120 years of human experience, let alone see where the fatal flaws are within the Great Reset/Transhumanist operating system.

The Great Self-Betrayal and the Great Reset – Tessa Lena | Substack | June 8, 2021

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (which, by the way, is an official goal of western governments at the moment, as per many official documents and contracts) is predicated upon our spiritual and physical self-betrayal, and I mean it literally. We are asked to dance along the carrot and the whip of their biosecurity-state-impact-investment-gene-therapy-total-surviellance reform but they don’t tell us how it all ends for us. Nor do they care about minds or bodies.

One comment

  1. Thought you might be interested in this:

    [Translated from here: https://www.francesoir.fr/politique-monde/le-royaume-uni-reconnaissance-faciale-cantine%5D

    In the United Kingdom, nine schools have implemented biometric payment for access to canteen services. A device combined with software scans the children’s faces to verify that the canteen payment is in order. The child is then admitted or rejected from the canteen room! This procedure, which is becoming more and more widespread in the world as a means to pay for public services, has drawn the attention of several associations defending rights and freedoms who consider this system superfluous and dangerous for the protection of personal data.

    A desire of the canteens to make the entrance more hygienic and faster

    According to the schools involved, located in the North Ayrshire region of Scotland, the use of this technology is faster and more hygienic than accepting payments with cards or fingerprint scanners. It “allows for a faster lunch service while eliminating any touching at the point of sale,” says a flyer distributed to parents by the schools. According to David Swanston, CEO of the company responsible for installing the technology, facial recognition would reduce the time it takes to pay per student to an average of five seconds. Parents must give permission for children to use the facial recognition technology and can opt out if they are not interested. According to North Ayrshire Council, as quoted by the British media outlet Financial Times, 97 percent of children or parents have consented to be enrolled. But some parents believe their children’s decision was influenced by peer pressure.

    Unnecessary technology in schools

    For Ella Jakubowska, policy advisor at European Digital Rights, the use of facial recognition in schools is “clearly unnecessary”. Her position is shared by Silkie Carlo of the British campaign group Big Brother Watch. According to her, “this normalizes biometric identity checks for something trivial”. For campaigners, the decision shows how the Brexit is an opportunity for the Kingdom to deviate from the EU’s strict data protection standards. “French and Swedish authorities have banned the use of facial recognition in schools to protect children from more invasive technologies than necessary. Our regulator, the ICO, should do the same,” said Jen Persson, director of Defend Digital Me, a nonprofit organization.

    Should we let machines take responsibility for deciding whether a child should go to the canteen?

    Children are not responsible for their parents’ economic management, and depriving them of meals is too sensitive an issue to let machines decide. However, human decisions are not always better than those of machines. On September 9, a seven-year-old child was taken home by the police in Gironde, because his family owed 800 euros. This was due to the implementation of digital systems for the management of the canteen, which forced parents to face delays of three months after the meals were taken, making the bills more difficult to settle.

    ***

    “What the English call ‘comfort’ [to this we can also add ‘hygiene’ now – T.] is something inexhaustible and illimitable. Others can reveal to you that what you take to be comfort at any stage is discomfort, and these discoveries never come to an end. Hence the need for greater comfort does not exactly arise within you directly; it is suggested to you by those who hope to make a profit from its creation.”

    — G.W.F. Hegel, Philosophy of Right

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s