The problem with Technology

Actually there is no problem with technology itself. The problem lies in the human psychology at work in the use of technology.

Now technology is what ? I use the term to describe all the mechanical artefacts of human beings. From smart phones and computers to cars and household gadgets like washing machines.

Now, I do not propose a return to a primitive and archaic lifestyle by abandoning all these “advances” in the application of science. Nor, indeed, do I advocate any form of objection to the enquiry and study of our natural, physical environment.

What I suggest is that we don’t know how to manage technical gadgets to our true benefit. We tend to abuse them, and so abuse ourselves. And in doing that, we begin to reconform ourselves according to an environment framed by humans, and not by God.

But is that really a problem ? Yes, it is. Because God understands what we are and what we need. Whereas human beings are prone to exploit to their own advantage.

Look at our children today. They are overwhelmed by gadgets. How many families today have witnessed the phenomenon of a child at the meal table preoccupied with their smart phone, ignoring social interaction ? How many children today have a computer and computer games in their own room without any parental oversight ? How many parents know the agonising struggle of trying to ween their children off such obsessions ?

Why do/should parents bother ? Answer:  because many parents recognise the harm being done to developing minds. The habits being formed are reactive, not responsible. The machine dictates to the child, not the other way round. And it dictates because the child does not appreciate being manipulated according to the presumptions and paradigm programmed into the machine.

Now, we all have to adjust our behaviour to be able to make use of gadgets. We have to learn what we need to do to operate them.

But gradually those gadgets are determining how we think about the world and how we react. The social media phenomenon which began at the start of this century is a good example.

The algorithms are designed to serve the purpose for which the machine is set. Those algorithms are designed to facilitate communications. But human attitudes are not all that they should be. While algorithms can make no moral judgements, there are yet philosophical and moral assumptions made by those who design the algorithms.

Algorithms which identify your interests and can suggest related topics can be useful. But they can also influence your thinking to choose certain products and ignore or reject others. Certain products and services are too often suggested because the promoters pay to put them there. Those promoters finance the corporate concerns which supply your internet connections and platforms. The provider finds that payments to corporate promoters are vital to their operation.

The consumer is lulled into allowing their choices and reactions to be limited to what others have decided to offer. Few people trouble themselves to ask all the relevant questions and look at all the alternatives which may be available – both of which are necessary in order to make responsible choices for yourself.

We are surrendering both our independent and rational way of thinking and our range of choices to someone, and something else. In fact our consent is being engineered to correspond to someone else’s agenda. Corporate interests have been doing this for decades via television advertising, indeed via the choice and nature of programmes sponsored and available on traditional terrestrial television. The internet has reinforced that process in a very powerful way.

But whereas with television, the offer was simply put out there; there was no immediate means to determine who and why people watched or bought. But the internet has changed all that. Corporate concerns seek to guarantee their sales and thereby income for themselves and their investors. The internet enables them to identify who is watching and why.  They build up psychological profiles of every person watching, and they can immediately pitch a product or service to them at the very point at which people are open to watch or buy.

This is revolutionary. It means that corporate interests and agendas can exploit our instincts and predilections immediately – at the most opportune time. It means that unless we take conscious control of this process, all the time, and identify the ways in which they do this, and consciously counteract it, then they will have control by default.

This manipulative and controlling psychology has penetrated and corrupted politics. We are now accustomed to political parties conducting focus groups in order to tailor their output and appeal in order to gain votes. They make promises expressly in order to get votes, but they are prepared to retract that promise once elected. It’s as if we pay for product before taking delivery, and then find ourselves obliged to take the shoddy or broken item which is subsequently delivered to our door. It is too late to send it back, and the decent goods are not actually there to send to us anyway !

Right now, politicians want to oblige everyone to be vaccinated against Covid 19 – regardless of the questions and evidence to the contrary. They have adopted the crude and insulting methods of “engineering consent” espoused by Edward Bernays. The French and the British governments both set up teams to devise and implement publicity programmes designed to solicit acquiescence and unquestioning obedience.

Intellectual debate plays no part in this one way process. We are to receive as Gospel Truth what the government says and therefore obey unquestioningly. It is tantamount to rule by diktat dressed up to make it look as though the required response is our own free choice.

In reality it is the imposition of the evil idea that they have the right to dictate our thinking and our reactions. It is the triumph of Man as god.  The civilised mindset of life being God centred and God dependent is eradicated.