a caveman's look
… at the digital age.
After having spent quite a few hours over the last close to 40 years with computers as main tools for creative work, information gathering, services, and fun, I am getting a little fed up with the entire digital age.
There simply isn't much in the digitized part of the world that a caveman like me can be all that excited about. It is
all just a bunch of ones and zeros lined up to form – for the most part rather vague – illusions that people in control
of the source-code and servers want us to accept as real and adapt to.
Real (digital) money, real (digital) news, real (digital) stories, real (digital) services, etc, etc, etc… Who's fooling who in all of this?
I am of course not blaming digital technology, as variants of the illusory nonsense have been with us from back in the stone age. We are just getting many million times more of everything many million times faster into our homes, work- and leisure-spaces now, than before the digital age took hold back in the 90s.
As technocrat I realize that all solutions, as well as all problems, lies in intelligent use of technology. The caveman understood that too, so what else hasn't changed over the ages?
the floodgates are open
The digitized stream over the Internet – with the World Wide Web and all the various services, subsidiaries, and more or less shady “attachments” – is growing at an increasing rate. Whenever we “open a channel”, we are quite literally flooded with (mainly unsolicited) information, service offers, news, and nonsense – and the occasional computer virus to spice it all up.
Making informed choices about what services to use, which sources and connections to accept, and – most important – what to ignore and/or avoid, can be a real challenge in a cluttered and ever-changing market. Here now, gone tomorrow … is pretty normal both for services and files.
No matter which “set of apps” we choose to help us sort out stuff and guide us through the stream, we can not totally avoid being exploited and controlled. We are constantly being nudged, pushed and/or forced into making choices that are against our interests, and that most often would not even have crossed our minds if we were in control.
Fact is that very few of us are in control of much of anything out here. Humans simply can't evolve, or mutate, fast enough to keep phase with advances in our own technology, and that is taken advantage of by those who have put themselves in control.
The more a stream grows in volume and speed, the more dirt it will rip up and carry along. The digitized stream is no different, and by now it has become pretty muddy and full of debris. Surfers better take care to avoid being swamped. Or worse: become addicted to and participate in the public mudwrestling.
I find it a little hard to understand why anyone can become so upset by something they read, hear, or see out here, that they react by throwing dirt – or worse. Clearly it happens all too often though; a teething problem when people with little experience with active life in the fast lane let go of self-control in social media, maybe?
Whatever the reason behind the unnecessary mudslinging, it is best ignored. It will pass, as most participants will grow up … eventually.
real alternatives – gone
One big flaw with the everspreading digitalization and online services, is that all alternatives are allowed to disappear. Elimination of non-digital competition is often a planned strategy, and one that we have to pay for – now and later.
When digital networks and/or services go down, they often go down on a large scale. Power failures, glitches, nettwork failures, software problems, and hacking – you get the picture. No shortage of factors that can bring digital services we have come to rely on down locally, nationally, or globally, for minutes, hours, days, months…
We can quite literally be thrown back into the pre-digital age in an instance, and most of us are totally lost when
We can't all be preppers and/or cope with living in isolation for very long, so either a functioning non-digital infrastructure is kept in place to take up the slack, or entire societies risk failure.
news and nonsense
The illusory nonsense I have mentioned earlier, is in large part all the half-baked and propaganda-filled stories we
are being served as news over the World Wide Web.
Individual news stories aren't any worse now than when we only had them served on paper, TV and radio, or by mouth. Only that the cascade of nonsensical news stories has multiplied in their new, digitized, forms.
Whether it is “real news” or “fake news” that gets
presented, doesn't really matter. There has always been spread false information, in news media and everywhere else.
It is those “long, wavering, back-and-forth about nothing” talks that are served every time news presenters see a chance, that throws me off. What somebody/anybody thinks about something/anything, is not news.
News stories should be served as clear and unadulterated information,
and be left at that. News as entertainment or entertainment as news, is neither fish nor fowl.
Smalltalk, gossip, slander, proselytizing, propaganda, and other “non-news”, should be marked as such so it can be sorted in or out like many of us do with online advertisements.
When neither confirmed facts nor documentation exists, why serve whatever little else they have as news stories? Is “be the first to report” and “filling quotas”, what serving news is all about?
As it is, I rather indulge myself in purely fictional stories for a few hours, than take time to go through what is served as news. With fiction I do at least know what I get right away. With news I often have no idea until much later – when the facts surface.
caveman's reality check
The practicality and usefulness of digital systems, networks and services, is undeniable – as long as the whole chain works without interference. A broken or temporarily corrupted link in the chain may ruin my day. Shit happens…
Internet as communication channel is useful in so many ways, but only with effective local filters in place – both technology based and mental. That Internet more and more is used for intrusion into private communication and spheres, is the downside we constantly have to counteract.
I oppose censorship, surveillance, lock in, lock out, and discrimination in all forms, everywhere, and will always do what is necessary to protect my interests and privacy matters on my own terms, online as well as offline. Intrusion has consequences.
A broad background in electronics and computer programming, complementing lots of life
experience, allow this caveman/technocrat to make full use of digitalization instead of being
exploited by and through it. At most I get a little irritated over all the nonsense that gets thrown our way in the
name of “progress” – which most of it definitely isn't.
I'll get by fine in the digital age, and hope others do too.
last rev: 17.sep.2018