People wondering what is true. What is true is eating food, using a toilet, breathing. The basics. Of course we work up from there and need to build the basics of society before we can look at a 20K Super-Ultra-Uber-Brillopad-Mega Pixel television but still need to focus on the priorities, the basics. What use is a super duper television or phone if you have no electricity? What is the point of being able to live to the age of 120 if there is nobody to help you do so? What happens when the basics are forgotten by those who can afford not to rely on them?
Financial experts are finally beginning to talk about how businesses and governments automating functions and wasting fortunes on technology have been at the root of destroying global economies, rather than countries adopting cheaper labour from abroad or from global instability/fighting terrorism.
These same countries’ military forces have spent 40 years developing weapons specifically to wound and disable enemies simply because it causes more distress and suffering than simply killing. Hmm, cause suffering for millions of people around the world and be surprised when there is a violent reaction to the countries whose names are on the bomb fragments? Does an Afghani grandmother care her son was killed by a Russian bomb and her grandson a British one? We are reaching a point where individuals will start to ally with the ‘terrorists’ simply due to the way in which their governments distort the truth and ignore simple and effective solutions to the problems they have created. Not of course the simple solutions of wiping out a generation of impoverished youths to engender the next with even more hate, as the Philippine president has so moronically chosen.
In the UK, a major producer of weapons of mass suffering, where around 1,250,000 violent crimes are recorded in a single year, a single disillusioned and probably poorly educated youth pulls a knife on a police officer and is branded a ‘terrorist’ because that suits the fear it spreads when plastered across front pages of all media outlets. Massively overemphasising what happens a thousand times each day, all over the country, for the pure effect of creating a false concept of fear pervading every aspect of daily life. “Islamist attacks”, “Muslim killers”, no, simple criminals at worst, in need of care at the least, not terrorists as they are not spreading the terror, the media is in the approach and terminology being applied. Why is racism allowed when used in reference to those you are thus denoting as your enemies? Do we see the religion of all killers or violent criminals when portrayed in the media? “Billy, a Presbyterian, robbed a bank today”… Keeps people from asking why, with all this supposedly incredible technology, many are worse off than ever before and have little hope of public services continuing to exist, let alone provide services.
Knives and cars. The weaponry of an organised, determined, well-funded and trained global military force?
Anything to keep the focus away from businesses draining money from countries reserves. Thus individuals and small businesses are squeezed by ‘fairness’ legislation that larger organisations can simply avoid by automating processes and removing people. Try and find one piece of legislation that provides protection for smaller businesses from larger ones, or for companies selling off staff like assets. Again, in the UK, there is actually a debate underway as to whether a supermarket chain purchasing the supplier of almost all of its smaller competitors would be detrimental for the thousands of smaller businesses (these are the same supermarket chains that have already been allowed by government to purchase smaller sites next to the same small businesses to squeeze them out). A child could explain why it is entirely wrong but our government will spend our money debating it.
Common sense and consumers can be ignored as long as one is dealing in billions. Recent tax scandals have demonstrated how ‘globalisation’ allows organisations to syphon even more money away from circulation and beneficial use.
It isn’t about redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, it is about diverting the flow of money out of the bank accounts and investment portfolios of large organisations, back to countries’ essential services. What happens if there is no money left to run a country? You can’t outsource citizens to another country, charity can’t cope today with the services being demanded by local councils. Old age, health, transport, social and national defence, education. How many of those are profitable? Remember the core principle of all business, if it is not profitable, it isn’t worth doing. What’s more important, buying a new phone every six months or having a hospital, ambulance or firefighter available when YOU need it?
The threat when change is offered. “All the talent and big businesses will leave” Hmm, well to the talent who will supposedly abandon the UK in such a case, “Fuck off and do let the door hit you on the way out.” Businesses? Well, we know that no big business is going to want billions of pounds in revenue so they’ll definitely leave won’t they? Oh dear, even without a those positive changes, the businesses are leaving, the British government has managed to do what we were threatened fair governing would create, an unstable economy and future. A bit like proportional representation resulting in repeated hung parliaments… … hang on didn’t we get that without adopting PR?!
Nationalists thus have a valid point, liberals no different, all the media focus is on compartmentalising and creating opposition between all factions. Does this not display how maintaining the current practices are at the root of all the divisions in our societies today? Making enemies of friends by casting blame on those not responsible, to distract from the true causes.
It really is as simple as this. Technology, touted as the saviour of humanity since the 1950s, has achieved two things. Fewer skilled jobs for people and increased costs to businesses and governments attempting to keep up with the pace of change, in a world where most people do not need ANY of the ‘improvements’ software and hardware vendors force people to use. Yes force. The largest technology companies actively pursue a policy of ensuring any of their old technology DOES NOT WORK after a set period of time by actively creating systems that block the use of older technology. This isn’t some paranoid fantasy, it is a documented and demonstrable fact. So you, the consumer, are made to throw away perfectly useful tools as they will not generate profits after purchase.
As we approach 2020 it takes longer to turn on and start working on the average computer than it did in the early 1990s. Not so if you can afford the best, but that is not the norm, nor was it what most businesses demanded back in the 1990s, before software and hardware vendors were so wealthy as to be able to dictate to the market. Remember when governments tried to stop anti-competitive practices by taking the likes of Microsoft to court? Another drain from citizens, directly battling technology companies and today we can see clearly who won. Microsoft now tells you when you will upgrade with no choice and you will continue to pay your monthly fee to ensure you can still use your computer.
The maxim “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, that engineers and architects used to build the world we marvel at (no, really, it wasn’t consumer capitalism that built the world), should never have been abandoned. Would you accept returning to your car dealership every year to pay for new functions to be added under threat of your car no longer working if you don’t? If it doesn’t make sense in any other field of engineering (as that is all technology is) it shouldn’t be allowed by the most affluent organisations in the world. Since a massive proportion of money wasted on technology is so that people can have a regular supply of new toys that may be infinitesimally better than what they already had, once again the real demand for technological advance is clouded.
And if you need further proof, how many of the banking scandals were made possible by regulators and authorities not being able to keep up with the technology being adopted by the richest of organisations? How much was blamed on out of control traders? Why were they ‘out of control’? Because the organisations were able to use technology to obfuscate the truth. Today, technical specialists still know how to make data invisible to IT forensics, even if we don’t share that knowledge for similar reasons to an EOD specialist not publishing bomb making information.
Are computers really that great in any case? I’ve played around with them and earned a very good living by fixing some of the largest organisations’ systems for around 35 years, so I should be able to give some indicator. I also learned to type on a manual typewriter and watched both parents running their businesses so have some basis for comparison to efficient methods available in the pre-computer world.
The answer is simple, as with any tool, when used to fill a need that couldn’t be otherwise filled, yes. When crowbarred into being used for everything, creating costs that organisations and individuals had previously never had to incur, the answer is a definite, no.
Why? Simple. Humans can still do just as well, if not better than a computer for the functions that computers are deemed essential for today. Humans also need a purpose, unlike computers and if they don’t have one, nor see any future for their life, they may do things that impact negatively on those around them. Sound familiar?
If we replace humans with computers for tasks that humans can do, what do we do with the surplus humans? Recycle them? Brand them drug dealers and kill them? Call them terrorists and kill them?
Some examples then.
I recently designed an underfloor heating system using paper, pencil and rulers. I have very limited drawing skills and had no previous knowledge regarding underfloor heating. The idea was to provide a rough diagram that the heating manufacturer could feed into their expensive design computer to create the most efficient layout. The result? My hand drawn design could not be improved upon by the computer. So the only benefit of using a computer was that the heating manufacturer could employ fewer, if any, designers, as all that would be required is to feed numbers into a computer.
Not convinced? A recent advert claims a financial investment computer system was able to make a return of 400% over a period of eight years. On a first dabble at investing a few thousand pounds, I managed 500% over 6 years (during a ‘global recession’). Who cares if some stockbrokers are left unemployed? Well, if they enter into the work market competing for lower paid roles, it just adds fuel to the fire. It is still acknowledged that financial computer systems cannot factor in human interactions when making investment calculations. What happens when that algorithm is added? No need for any financial industry staff at all.
I may have a more than average intelligence but am certainly no genius, so these two examples help demonstrate the simple fact that the end result of trusting to computers to undertake tasks that humans could undertake, will only lead to an increase in fewer people reaping the rewards of industry and more people being forced into unskilled work to survive. One could see how it becomes easier to extrapolate forwards a few decades, reaching a point where all fundamental jobs are undertaken by machines because humans are too expensive, so all that is left is for service industry staff and those they service. Sound a bit like masters and slaves?
A final, fundamental consideration. Look back thirty years, consider a business budget then compared to now. What is the big difference? The budget for technology. Something that didn’t exist previously, creating a new demand for funding which must be paid for somewhere (Yes I know equipment was still needed but you didn’t have to pay £15 per month to keep a typewriter running and replace it every year or so and nor do you for computers when not tied into manufacturers false constructs). Did it save money considering most organisations have to invest in fault tolerant systems to save the collapse of the entire organisation if a main system fails, pay for support of all the services, maintenance contracts, back handers to and from suppliers(just thinking public sector mainly there)?
How many children played with £500-1,000 toys even 20 years ago? (Consider the Microsoft advert displaying a clean, sanitised £2,000 tablet that a child ‘virtually’ paints with, instead of real paper and paints) Then again, there wasn’t a Warner Bros. licenced plastic imitation stick available back then either, children had to go outside and find a free wooden one to play with as a magic wand.
We have been taught that we deserve pointless frivolities every day for all we have to cope and deal with in working, being a parent, or just dealing with the pressures of our luxurious and safe lives. How many adverts portray exactly that fallacy? “Go on, you deserve our product after all you’ve had to deal with!” We are far above that silly old survival, so can ignore it or pay another monthly DD to salve our conciences can’t we? If you donate £3 per month to a charity, you can feel justified in purchasing a £2,000 television as you’ve ‘deprived’ yourself of £36 that year to help others. It is so clear to see how well those donations have improved the lives of everyone in the world these past 50 years isn’t it? Charities can now afford to lose millions when banks fail yet still continue unaffected. Nearly as good a scam as religion.
One thing I noticed when briefly working in Japan, everyone is made to feel they serve a purpose, rich or poor, there is some form of industriousness that one can engage in. May not seem like much, but without purpose, where would you be?