Friday, June 14, 2013

Techie Big Brother

Before we begin this post, I'd just like to shout out to my brothers and sisters at the NSA. You guys are doing a helluva job. At getting the US Government sued (with and for my tax dollars). Way to go.
Okay. Okay. The government brought the lawsuits upon themselves, deservedly so in my opinion. It is still your money and mine going to argue whether the whole mess violates the constitution.
The whole 'your government is spying on you' thing is, at its core, a technology issue. Until very, very recently, governments couldn't data mine their citizens except during census years. Then, cellphones. With more computing power in them than NASA had for the first few Apollo missions. And GPS. Glorious, potentially life-saving tech. Until some nitwit perks up and says, "Hey! This may be totally illegal AND immoral, but you know what we could do?"
All of which makes me sound anti-tech. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love the tech - so much promise. So many possibilities. Cool (outdated) techie stuff got us to the moon and back. It lets us look at video and photos of Mars. We peer into the center of our universe looking for clues to how we all got here to talk about technology in the first place.
Spain is using a solar tower to power thousands of homes with sunlight. No pollution. No CO2.
Watch the documentary Connections, available for free viewing online. It traces technology through history in a really compelling way. And like James Burke says near the end of the series, "We can't put the genie back in the bottle." Nor do I want to. Not even cell phones - or the chips I expect will end up imbedded directly in use at some point - chips that will carry our IDs, driver's license, bank account info, and a locator designed ostensibly for use by emergency responders.
See, I'm pretty convinced that technology isn't our problem. We're our problem. Power grabs, especially those veiled by 'just trying to help' excuses, seem to be human nature. Tech only aids and abets. It is also, then, human nature to resist that power grab. Usually with technology. And maybe a few well placed class action lawsuits.

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