Episode 118 - What Price Slavery?
Episode 118 - What Price Slavery?
The Thursday Thesis - 27/09/2018
If someone offered you the chance to buy yourself a job as a slave, to be on-duty 24/7, required to respond to the pettiest of things without delay, to never have a day off or to leave the office; to be tracked, followed and recorded everywhere you went, records kept of everyone you spoke to, and everything you wrote or read, what would you say?
You wouldn’t take that job, would you?
I jumped at the chance, myself – as most people have.
For me, it began with brick-sized Orbitel mobile phone, back in the early 90’s. A couple of years later it was The Internet and the speed of a roaring 14K dial-up connection.
As a relatively early adopter I even thought I was treading boldly into the future!
Over time the technology has improved: faster data speeds, mobile apps, GPS and a host of other gizmos.
Analogue phones have given way to digital networks, second-generation, 3G, 4G, soon we’ll have 5G networks promising better connectivity and coverage, faster speeds and lower cost.
And it’s gradually dawned on me – as it has for others – that I am little more than a slave to my devices. A slave who pays to be enslaved, because every month EE take money from my bank account - they have written permission from me to do exactly that.
And every time I use my phone or my laptop I provide data to EE, BT, Google, Mozilla, Microsoft and just about everybody else, it seems. My data – and yours – is used to develop algorithms that are supposed to make things better for us.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t make things better – it makes things worse, because all the harvested data is used to develop insight into us, our thoughts, our beliefs, relationships. Where we go, how we move, and what we say is used to develop better programming for artificial intelligence – AI – that learns and evolves faster than organic life-forms can.
The Big Brother state of Orwell’s 1984 has nothing on the current state of affairs. Orwell’s horrors were the Telescreens, which watched and listened from their place on the walls: ours do it from our pockets and handbags.
Personally, I have a ton of issues with mobile phones, here are a few of them:
We slaves pay out masters with our taxes and our monthly direct debits.
We are slaves who worship our masters
Slaves who are anxious when parted from our masters.
Slaves who crave the sound of our masters’ voices.
Slaves who willingly pay to be enslaved.
If you thought that your mobile phone would set you free of the need to be in the office, or would mean you never had to wait in for that special person to call, then I can guarantee you won’t have seen it coming.
So, here’s a challenge – I call it the Freedom Day Challenge - can you go for one day, just 24 hours, without your phone, PC, Mac or tablet?
If this got under your skin, made you smile or pissed you right off – hit the like button to Share it with your friends, family, and anyone else.
Email me at Neil@cowtownguitars.net
I would love to go back to the 70’s when we arranged to meet people by having a conversation. When the tv channels only stayed on until 11pm. When making a call involved going to a phone box. Technology has its place but the balance has shifted too far in one direction. It’s a relief when you go on holiday and don’t have to answer emails and messages. Perhaps we should all just be more disciplined and turn everything off at least once a week! 😁
I agree with a lot of this but the ability to reach people I care about and keep in touch with them regularly far outweighs the downside. I turn off notifications when I don't want to be disturbed...haven't mastered the leave it behind aspect yet because I love the camera on my phone. My Google pixel has a fantastic camera and so much lighter than my old Olympus which I could carry with me daily.
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