Recent advances in technology have given us enormous benefits, albeit with some disadvantages. Here I want to explore those disadvantages, along with their sinister potential.
The “Smart” Phone
We almost all enjoy the use of a mobile phone and it is indeed a welcome alternative to the days when we had to search for a functioning public telephone and carry a pocketful of coins to feed it. Even the humble BT Pager was a welcome innovation for companies employing people out travelling and needing to contact them.
However the ability of newer devices to engage in (probably) pointless chit-chat on social media or playing mindless but addictive games causes problems everywhere for all of us not so inclined. Every time I travel, whether walking in the city or going by train I am obstructed by people using such devices. They will stop without warning in front of me; they are particularly adept at obstructing doorways, escalators and stairways, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. Perhaps thankfully for those around them many now seem to wear earpieces so sparing us the incessant ringing of these devices, although that irritating Nokia tune is still to be heard at times. I wonder if they realise the danger that they might be placing themselves in through a total lack of situational awareness.
All such things are a real nuisance to those of us who choose not to participate but mostly do not seem to present a direct threat to us. However, what if the proliferation of such devices were intended as part of a dark agenda? It is easy to spread false information via such devices with the express intent of producing a particular reaction.
How easy it has become to spread information, good or bad, via social media which seems to have become the new reality for many. So many now choose to publish their life experiences; often it is just trivia such as what they had to eat but other information such as their current whereabouts could easily fall into the hands of those with criminal intent. Amazingly some even allow that current location to be tracked. No doubt they will take comfort in the apparent security measures applied to such devices but there is an army of hackers working to circumvent them, probably including our own governments.
How convenient for Government information distribution. No leaflets to print and distribute, propaganda direct to all just like being bombarded with another unwanted advertisement. The Government would never lie to us would it?
The “Smart” Car
In some jurisdictions the “post-crash notification” software will place an emergency call and immobilise the vehicle. Given that communication is so enabled it is just a small step to enable immobilisation of vehicles remotely for those who have an interest in doing so. The ability of law enforcement to immobilise a stolen vehicle would be welcomed by most people but leaves us open to our vehicles being immobilised on the whim of the government. Do we really trust them to have such control over us?
Of course this potential for interference is taken to a much higher level once driverless cars become common. Imagine being taken to a destination of their choosing, or just being immobilised, whilst locked in the vehicle.
Wiki has a good brief description: “Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system.”
So whoever controls that central system can limit the supply or switch it off at will. Forget to pay your bill on time, have a glitch in your automated payment or even dispute the amount and you could be in darkness and cold. This really does highlight the desirability of becoming a “prepper” and having alternative energy sources available but that would be difficult for most living in an urban environment. It is only one small step for Government to take over from the supplier.
Now we have various options for easy bill payment including contactless methods not requiring a PIN entry. Apparently one guy even has an implant to perform the same function. All of this has lead to calls for the elimination of hard currency from some, perhaps ultimately leading to all of us having to be chipped like a dog. Without hard currency and with a “communication failure” – how do we purchase the necessities?
This, of all the above developments, is perhaps the most sinister. Deprive people of the ability to make purchases and what can they do? No food, no transport; nothing can be obtained legally.
The Real Agenda
What is the real agenda? Do any of the users know what unwanted functionality is embedded in the software of these devices? If they think that they do is the declared purpose the real reason? Isn’t there potentially a great advantage to those who would seek to control us?
Imagine what government could use such devices for:
- Distribution of misinformation and propaganda
- False terrorist alerts to clear areas of towns and cities
- Surveillance cameras everywhere to observe the result
- Cutting supplies to those who oppose them
- Preventing travel to particular areas
Ultimately they could have absolute control in an Orwellian world. In spite of the obvious advantages from such devices and communications – do we really trust Government not to exploit the potential for controlling everything we do?
We have already seen their propensity for misleading propaganda and outright lies in the referendum campaign. Are they now going to implement another campaign to avoid our leaving?
Whatever one chooses to believe about Government’s objectives there is the practical aspect to consider. Many people have become totally reliant on such devices; how would they react if those devices were to become unavailable, even for a short time?
Most who have not experienced life without them do not have the ability to manage by other means, so have become dependent.
Examples might include:
- Inability to read a conventional map, use a compass or estimate direction by other methods, meaning that they are wholly dependent on GPS or Google maps.
- Inability to perform simple mental calculations or more complex ones without using a calculator.
- Reliance on the internet for answers to everything and blind acceptance of information with no consideration of its validity.
- Inability to communicate in the “Queen’s English” (or whatever their native tongue might be).
However there is much more, particularly in regard to our kids, to be concerned about. Many are allowed to spend most of their waking hours playing mindless games on various devices. Often those waking hours extend far into the night with the result that they are left unable to pursue normal day-time activities. What an absolute waste of time – time that could be spent on learning something useful or on physical activities having some benefit.
Recently the phenomenon of Internet Addiction Disorder, which takes over young lives just as effectively as drug addiction, is becoming a common issue. How are the victims ever going to become responsible, knowledgeable people able to work and support their own families?
Little or nothing seems to be done about it, except perhaps in China.
All of the above relate to developments which have been seen as advantageous to people and therefore welcome.
However there might be others who believe in a far more sinister purpose behind their development, or at least looking for their own ways to use them.
We would do well to consider the potential behind continued development of these ”iThingies”, treat them with caution and not be too enthusiastic about throwing away our traditional ways.
By all means take advantage but with great care and be sure that you are always able to survive without them.