“How a half-educated tech elite delivered us into chaos written” by John Naughton.
Have always got time for the Guardian tech writer , or more accurately I did have time. Following on from the recent up to date Lutherian statements on technology he is making some good comments the tech leaders like Mark Zuckerberg are not well placed (specifically educated) to deal with the power they now wield.
It therefore comes as a bit of surprise that I find myself well placed even though I do not have the same profile of Tim Cook and others, nor am I am a confident of the currently POTUS.
This capability to match my technical knowledge with an ever increasing awareness of society and the impact of technology goes back to 1987 and a 1st year module at the Polytechnic of Wales. Given by a lecturer with the moniker of Red Des it was the only part of the course which was more wordy than numbers. Science, Technology and Society explored just that and how prescient it was. It introduced myself and the other course members of a classic book which I still reread on a regular basis.
Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” is to a large extent about quality, and a personal journey from mental illness. However it has a lot to say about how technology (then in the late 1950s) was already impacting how people lived and their reliance and dependency on it.
What was true then is now true 100 fold and the pervasive nature on digital technology has forever changed the way we communicate, received information and live our lives. The launch of a new iPhone or the change of Facebook terms and conditions is a major world event.
Plenty of discussion on how Google and others can track and shape what you do, has highlighted how individual lives are really not that individual anymore. Sign as a Google local guide and you get requests to review specific places you’ve been to each day. Community not more like a managed network of automatons
Technology in its current for is for the group not for the individual and results in consensus behaviour and ‘groupthink. It’s a irresistible power that’s now being wielded for the benefit for the very few.