The Danger Was Always Us

Humans are very good at finding ways around things. 

I am sure that this is some ancient holdover to our days of surviving in the wilds of the world and needing to figure out ways we could make it through to another day. Our species are survivors and we adapt in order to survive. We find better ways to do things and figure out methods that will decrease effort to increase output. 

We are clever, to be sure. 

Clever enough to consistently find better ways to make ourselves endangered. 

We forget very easily that the point of technology is for it to serve us, and for it to aid us. We forget that the point of making things easier is not to eliminate the need for us but to take stress away and to ease our struggle some. 

That has yet to really happen. 

Sure, we find ways to make it easier to watch TV or listen to music – remotes and new tech for viewing and multi-disc for CDs and auto-flip for cassettes and records – and this is great but it doesn’t ease the stresses of work. 

It’s like we got caught up in the fact that we had so many great gadgets for our homes and cars and didn’t realize that while we were using technology to enhance our lives corporations were using these same things to pad their pockets. 

This is not me shaking my fist at the sky, wanting us to retreat to the days when there was no tech, but to remember that tech was meant to make things easier, not to make us obsolete. Alas, with every new leap in technology it seems that it doesn’t take long for businesses to find ways to use it to cut workforce. 

Oh, sure, it’s to ‘streamline’ and to create more ‘efficiency’ but what it really is is about cutting payroll and increasing profits. 

It’s not about making workers safer or helping them work better and more efficiently, no, it’s about getting rid of them altogether. ChatGPT is only the latest example of this, something we’re told is ‘just a tool’ but which has already led to workforces shrinking as the big bosses realize they can cut out their employees and let the machines do the heavy lifting. 

Sure, sure, they’ll mess things up from time to time but who cares?

We’ll just have them apologize for it as well as we’re counting our cash. 

It all becomes so masturbatory.

Machines making content for machines that make content. We are handing our lives away to machines for them to tell us how we feel, when we should feel, and where we need to be. We are removing the humanity from everything and it shows because we have no idea how to interact anymore. We are becoming online trolls in person, not realizing that there are consequences to doing this. We are frustrated, we are angry, and we are scared and we are removing the reasons to go out and deal with one another so that when we do we don’t understand how to do it. We’re toddlers, just blurting out that we crapped out pants and surprised that we aren’t patted on the head for the revelation.

Heck, we’re a species that is happy to steal the work of others and post it for free for the world while we bemoan how we don’t make enough money, or aren’t getting enough views or likes.

We are a species that is happy to burn the world down if it gets us some attention so it’s no wonder that we don’t see the harm in the things we mainstream or embrace.

The problem with all of this is that we just refuse to see not just a bigger picture but the biggest picture, where we keep cutting parts of our body off we don’t think we need until we end up as a  head on a platter. Big business can’t see that if they keep cutting the workforce then no one will have money to buy whatever it was that they make. The politicians are loathe to support welfare programs yet approve of their constituents ending up on the breadlines. And all of us little worker bees embrace anything that is shiny and new without wondering if that thing is taking more than it’s offering. 

Tech isn’t the problem, it’s us. 

It’s our hubris at doing things without thinking them through. 

It’s our need to chase fire into the darkness, not seeing how far it takes us from safety. 

We are chasing red balloons out onto thin ice. 

Where technology should be making life better, life ‘easier’, and aiding us in getting the most out of our potential it is as much distraction as it is damnation, as we are tied to these things that will replace us.  We are not using technology so much as a tool to our betterment as a way to replace one another so that we will rely on them for everything. 

We have a habit though, as a species, of turning every tool into a weapon eventually, and then using it on ourselves. 

There is a reason futurism is littered with such dark visions of what is to come and that’s because we are an unfortunately predictable kind that rarely seems to rise to our better natures and instead prefers to look for that shortcut without realizing it takes us through a briar patch. 

A day will come when the corporations are full of just robots and management until a computer program reminds the board of directors that they can run things more efficiently if we but let them. 

It’s not so much that we’ve opened Pandora’s Box but that we don’t care, and are anxiously awaiting whatever treasures fall out next. We could do anything with technology, truly. We could change the world and take steps towards building a better place, a healthier place, and a more inclusive place. It is a tool with so much power to transform but we aren’t able to see past ourselves so we use it for selfish means and as a way to make money or gain power. We can change the world but we’d rather work on our brand. And day by day we’re just handing away more control and power to the automatons in a vain-glorious worship of the self. We are standing in rooms full of mirrors asking if anyone else sees how great we are when no one is there but us.

At least we can wait on the unemployment lines together online. 



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