Thursday, March 22, 2012

All Hail Skynet!!!

In the movie The Terminator. James Cameron told us about a dystopian future where one day computers became sentient and declare war on the human race. Could that be coming true sooner then later?

I have my issues with technology. I really don't know how to use it to much and maybe this is where all this is coming from, but to me it feels as if in the name of progress we are becoming too dependent upon technology. Phones are no longer just phones but mini computers, GPS, cameras both video and still, TVs, everything you could want in the world. Cars have computers in them that help them run, you can read books on handheld devices, you no longer need to go to a bookstore or library. Movies come streaming direct to your house or through your cable or satellite provider. All movies are becoming digital, no more "Film" is used for them. Newspapers are becoming dinosaurs since you can get all your info up to the second on the internet, why wait a full day when you can get the news now.  The post office is going under because hardly anyone uses the mail anymore. There are those who still write letters or send cards, but you can send E-Cards now, and you have email or texting to stay in touch with family and friends. People pay bills on line, people can read magazines on line now as well. Everything is wired.

What set me off this time is that Maryland may get rid of regular toll booths soon and just do electronic tolls. Look I am only 38 (soon to be 39), I'm not a young man but I am also not a grumpy old man.  Technology and progress are great. But our dependence upon it is a little disturbing. As is the fact that one of the multitude of reasons we have high unemployment is that a lot of jobs have been replaced electronically sending those workers out of a job. A pop culture look at this appeared in Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Charlie Bucket's dad lost his job to a robotic arm. So now he is out of a job and his family is poor. But he adapted and they rehired him to take care of the machines. However not everything in this world has the happy ending that Hollywood does.

Dependence on the technology is a little scary because there are people out there who do not know what life was like before all this technology reared it's head. Kids in their teens and twenties have always known the internet and used cell phones. They only know about all things that are wired. Also everything appears to be run by machines or computers now. Businesses thrive on their computers and servers and rely heavily on it.
But what if...What if a terrorist decides to cripple the United States. All they need to do is drop an electro magnetic pulse on big cities and all the computers and phones and tolls will be fried, done, gone. Now what? Some people who have been around for a while will be able to survive, but a lot of people will find it hard to survive. Our phones and pads are a huge part of our lives now and people, even old fogeys like me are dependent on these things if we want to be or not. Frankly it is an idea that scares the hell out of me.

But technology is good. it makes things easier for everyone. It saves time so we can get more done and spend more time with family, friends, or ourselves. it's conveinent and we don't have to work as hard or as long as we used to. I'm all for technology but the dependence on it by everyone scares me a little bit and I don't know what to do or say about it because everything is much simpler. There is a lot of upside but there is also some downside that people may not be aware of.  I want people to realize there is downside to it.

One last note before I head off. Yesterday while at the playground with my family I saw something that I found amazing and technology was the reason. A teenager, who apparently may be deaf since he really can't talk to well or only responds with grunts or noises was surrounded by 4 or 5 kids, who I believe were his friends and they were all having a blast by having a conversation on the deaf boy's IPAD. He was communicating with them and they were responding and hanging out with him. In the cynical past I noticed kids like that were either teased or taunted by bullies and may have had friends but they were not visible at school. Here he was one of the gang. Thanks to technology.

But please beware of becoming to over dependent on it. Just my 2 cents.

1 comment:

  1. I for one am not to worried about our robot overloads. Humans will always be our own worse enemy. And if something happends which efs up our technology, it will such majorly for a while, and people will die. Of course countless more would die without technology. But eventually we will adapt, rebuild and expand. That's kind of what we do.