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  Home > Philosophy > Articles > The Mechanized, Computerized World - What are we Losing?
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  5. Simple Times (an observation)
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  13. Time Travel, Anyone?
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The Mechanized, Computerized World - What are we Losing?
By Regis Auffray   

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An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.

The Mechanized, Computerized World - What are we Losing?

thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara

A garden-variety philosopher asks: what are we losing in our growing love affair with, and growing dependence on, machines and computers?

When young I was mesmerized, fascinated, seduced even, by powerful coal, diesel and gas-fired mechanical monsters; and by radios. Later, it was the transistorized printed circuit and finally, the computer - that latest bit of technological achievement rapidly insinuating itself into every aspect of our lives, into practically every toy, gadget, tool, weapon, or piece of equipment we use.

But in these later years, as my mind moves into more open vistas, most of which are beyond this earth and this 3-D awareness, I find that same mind losing its interest in Earthian (or thought to be Earthian) technology, especially in computers. I find most of it sliding towards the debasing and repugnant.

There is something akin to junk food about computers today. They are creating a generation of zombie-like, dysfunctional and incoherent humanoids lost in cyber-space, perhaps better said, "i-space!" Not a space of their own making, but a very alluring and seductive space controlled by commercial whores. A space where all kinds of immoral activities can be performed by the mind via keyboard, mouse, monitor and sound system. A space where any such activity carries no responsibility... and is not "supposed" to carry side effects away from the computer.

Computers have not opened up a world of great achievement, quite the opposite. They have given the controlling "system" its greatest power over individuals ever. Computers are more than tools; they are becoming mind-probes. When "they" ask your opinion on the internet, for example, it's not a popular vote! They want to know how they can tailor their offerings to basic (and basest) human responses. How to tailor their "infotainment" to the plethora of human emotions, to weaken and bind the human condition ever tighter to the controlling elitist apparatus. All of this so they can lie, oppress, abuse, destroy, enslave, starve and kill with less and less opposition. The more "visible" it is in the world of computers, the less real it becomes to the senses. Computerized de-sensitizing.

I see this trend continuing and expanding. Let's see, how about miniaturized controls implanted under the skin or in arteries to respond to various stimuli on demand. Modulated sounds built into the computers themselves, or into light sources. Magnetic fields generated by switches, security panels and in "surfer gadgets" to alter moods when manipulated "on" or "off". Sensors in the soles of shoes, in collars, in jewellery. The list is endless. Science fiction yesterday, today's reality. I see a growing trend towards bio-technology, cloning, use of mechanical parts on human or other animal bodies -- the creation of cyborgs. The creation of "artificial" life made to emulate the natural, but enhanced, always, to serve the elites, the masters, the controllers.

As the vast majority of Earthian humanity becomes exponentially reliant on its computerized gadgetry, even to life-support systems, and grows correspondingly more complacent about the "human condition" on planet earth, it will voluntarily enslave itself to that which it believed would be its servant. Just as today's people serve the automobile and its derivative markets through exponentially expanding debt load serviced by ever-longer hours of work, tomorrow's humanity will serve it's computers and their endless spawns just for a momentary vicarious touch of "the good life" so-called.

It has been said that the meek shall inherit the earth. Nothing is meeker than a computer. It never complains. It carries out its programmed functions without questions of propriety or conscience. If overloaded or abused it crashes. Not out of anger or fear or rebellion, but of necessity or nature if you will. The meekest servant one can have. The most accepting. And the most dangerous.

Why is it easier to trust computers than humans? Perhaps because we know what other humans are capable of, given trust. Perhaps we feel that computers would be incapable of taking advantage of us that way. But they already are. In everything. Even the great programmers are no longer certain how a computer will behave because of the "wild" aspect in the interaction from endless input sources.

A favourite concept of cold-war movie-makers was that a "computer malfunction" could ignite a nuclear war that would destroy all of life on earth. But compared to what is being done by computers today, that "gross" fear was very primitive. The subsequent proliferation of "weapons of mass destruction" coupled with the phenomenal growth and sophistication of computers has not rendered the destruction of earth and its life less of a possibility, quite the opposite.

What I'm saying is that the Earthian mind/heart complex has not evolved fast enough to counter this new threat. I'm saying it's gone in the opposite direction instead. Can't beat 'em? Join 'em.

In the (paraphrased) words of Frank Herbert: The human mind {trapped} in a deterministic universe has {failed} to give way to mind in an unlimited universe where anything may happen. Creative anarchy is the path of survival in this universe. (from Chapterhouse)

Should computers (and those who serve them) take over and enslave planet earth, will mankind be able to escape into a galactic or universal "Diaspora?" And if their technology did allow for this possibility, where will they go? Will they just blindly "fold space" and whoosh through the trackless void without a destination? A "Scattering" with no goal? What -- or maybe more importantly "Who" will guide them?

Go ahead, tell me I watch too many sci-fi movies, or read too many futuristic novels. And I will tell you that the reason I do is to discover if what I've always suspected (or inner-known) also finds validation in other intelligent probing minds.

Quote: "As a psychologist said, it is not healthy to adjust to a sick society, yet much of psychology attempts to do exactly that rather than diagnose the society and offend the masses."

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