Sometimes I wish that technology would slow down. Sometimes I daydream about living in the 1960s or even further back, thousands of years ago. Some people say that technology has made our lives better and easier, that it has connected us with hundreds of people we would never have met otherwise. Well if that’s the case shouldn’t I be feeling totally satisfied? Shouldn’t we all be completely fulfilled? After all we have everything in Western societies that we could ever dream about owning.
We don’t have to worry about living in squalor. Or perhaps I should say many of us don’t have to worry about living that way. With all the technological advancements we have created there shouldn’t be any more poverty or unemployment but there still is. In fact poverty and unemployment are projected to get worse here in the West which is one of the reasons that the Occupy movement has gotten so popular.
Sometimes it feels that technology is out of my control. These companies keep developing new products constantly. New iterations. New Generations. Its like a machine that we created that doesn’t have an off switch. This machine just keeps going and even if we wanted to find a way to turn it off we couldn’t because there are just too many people and organizations behind it. The question is where is the machine going and where is it taking us next?
Today [Feb. 28, 2012] there was a report that IBM Research was one step closer to developing a working quantum computer. One analyst commented that a quantum computer would be so fast that it would be able to discover all possible password combinations within one second and that it would create new problems for computer security professionals. Does this mean that biometrics for authentication are on the horizon as well? Or maybe we’ll get some RFID implants or QR Codes to authenticate us? Now don’t get me wrong I’m all for resolving the issue of having way way too many passwords but what does this really mean when as a society we move in this digital direction?
It means that our society will be tracked more and that our privacy will be a thing of the past. To some people this is a major cause of worry and anxiety but to myself I’m not all that paranoid about losing my privacy as I don’t really have anything all that important to track. Most of the time I’m just babbling about inconsequential ideas and topics anyways. I’m sure the authorities have better things to do than track my boring conversations. For those walking the line of legality however there may be more cause for concern.
I think my concern would be more targeted advertising as a result of consumer tracking. The last thing I want to do is spend my money but the first thing companies want me to do is spend it. Corporations will stop at nothing to get me to part with my hard earned dollars.
Sometimes I dream about a place up north where there’s no technology and no connectivity. A place out of the past where people can be who they want to be without being interrupted by services like Twitter, Facebook and Google and technologies like video games and smartphones. Sometimes I dream about this but only for a while and then realize that in order to make my living which comes from being integrated fully with technology that it can never be.
Image courtesy of SlashGear