IEET > Rights > Economic > GlobalDemocracySecurity > Vision > Staff > Marcelo Rinesi > Technoprogressivism > Cyber
Against a cyborg, 99-to-1 are awful odds
Marcelo Rinesi   Nov 29, 2011  

This is how simple you are: computers can predict what you are looking for, and what to offer you, with spare cycles to run a search engine on top that.

This is how simple you are: you spend hours online “liking” things, posting pictures, and playing games so mechanical they would bore laboratory rats. All to give information to improve other people’s ads.

This is how utterly simple you are: hardly a cent of your investments or your medical expenses is decided or routed by you; their net effect is to enrich tightly coupled oligopolies with as much meaningful internal competition as the political system they are symbiotic with.

And this is why: you want things to be cognitively easy for you. And so when computers came, you took them as magical magazines, and let companies use them as data processing engines. Do you wonder that corporate profits have risen, that inequality has grown, that you feel hemmed in, outmaneuvered, and outgunned?

It’s not that some have computers and some don’t. It’s not even that some know computers and some don’t. It’s that some (pay people to) use them systematically to access and process data that pertains to their financial, social, and political well-being and goals… and some don’t.

The street is where the cameras are. But where do you think power lies?

It was never a computer revolution. It was a computing one, and it’s been hijacked. If you aren’t having fun living in a 21st century polity with a 20th century toolbox, you are going to want to take it back.

 

 

 

Marcelo Rinesi is the IEET's Chief Technology Officer, and former Assistant Director. He is also a freelance Data Intelligence Analyst.



COMMENTS

And this is precisely why social media, the global online collective and internet data trending is so important, and the key to aspire to both sociocultural and socioeconomic change?

Computers are arguably the natural extension of human evolution? They logically process and data crunch, store and memorise information, and even run software language as strings, and think in terms of binary, to give the illusion of true multitasking. It’s no accident that these super fast machines process information and arithmetic like we do?

And what is their most widespread use to date? Accounting! We have utilised man’s greatest techno-logical innovation to sort and squeeze every possible last penny and cent from every transaction, so there is no longer any room for manoeuvre?

Yet there is no limit to capital “growth”, only the danger of stagnation?

Internet data trending is “our” opportunity to drive and extend globalization and the free market, to incite global change and ethical evolution?

“Cow Clicker” was an ultimate satire on mindless games, and sadly it became one of the most popular games ever.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow_Clicker

All Things Considered interview with video game designer Ian Bogost, creator of Cow Clicker:
http://www.npr.org/2011/11/18/142518949/cow-clicker-founder-if-you-cant-ruin-it-destroy-it 

Helping people to acquire technical skills and knowledge and learning empirically-validated methods for how to *innovate* products and services is the only effective way for socially concerned people to “take back” the 21st century in the long run. With competitive economic value (and sometimes wealth) comes power to change the world for the better. Social start-ups and financially well-networked non-profits offer a better ROI than most other approaches, particularly for agendas not represented or considered much in the political mainstream. Without a transformation of agendas, solutions, and investments by idealistic OWS sympathizers, such expressions of dissatisfaction won’t accomplish much at all (though I suspect that the Tea Party folks will enjoy successes in large party because sources of concentrated wealth and political influence back some of their agendas). In most areas, I think government will shrink over time, so I wouldn’t place my hopes in government.

Great commentary on the reality of our modern world. Any suggestions, other than retiring to the back woods, on what we should do about it?

Fortunately for those who are simple, advance computing may slow down once issue of providing sufficient power sources and cooling systems for more powerful computers come into play.

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