Posts Tagged With: technology

Why Do We Settle?

In the documentary, Ultimate Mars Challenge, we learn of the cutting edge engineering that went into designing the Curiosity Mars rover. This shows us what we can accomplish, so why do we so often settle for less?

Why do we settle for archaic, inefficient combustion engines in our cars? Why do we accept claims that fusion energy is always fifty years away? I remember many years ago plans were made for humans to explore Mars in 2019, which seemed a long way in the future, and yet here we are. We brag about how much computing power we carry in our pockets, but what do we really use it for?

Why do we settle?

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Do You Trust Your Tech Too Much?

Computer technology has become so ubiquitous, millions of us pay little attention to what its creators — and those who would abuse it — are doing with that tech.

Gabriel Weinberg, founder of the DuckDuckGo search engine stated:

The American people are tired of being watched everywhere they go online. They are fed up with all the intended and unintended consequences this online tracking creates, including data breaches, invasive ads, identity theft, discrimination, and manipulation. Have you ever searched for something, only to see an ad for that very thing pop up in a mobile app, or on a different website? Our privacy policy is straightforward and doesn’t require a law degree to decipher: We simply do not collect or share any personal information at all.

DuckDuckGo was created in response to the invasive data gathering that many tech companies undertake on consumers. This is part of the premise behind the new documentary The Creepy Line, which digs deeper finding intentional manipulation. I wrote a few weeks ago:

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Revolt Against Captivity

I have occasionally examined the appeal of speculative fiction such as sci-fi and fantasy. Here is what astronomer Fred Hoyle, in the Introduction to the 1963 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, wrote on the subject:

…the potentiality for the highest form of writing lies also in science fiction…When most men had little chance to travel, distant lands on Earth still gave a setting for stories that could be exotic, mysterious and exciting. Nowadays our lives resemble one another perhaps too much…Man as a person has never materially had it so good. Yet the technical world that makes us affluent also holds us captive. Our existence is ruled by the clocks, whose ticks subdivide the days into dull monotony. We revolt against this pattern of existence. The storyteller is here, and those who listen escape to new horizons.

So now, 53 years later, has our captivity decreased, or exponentially multiplied?

Fiction reminds us to wake up before it’s too late.

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