‘We live in a fabricated reality where the visible world became nearly meaningless once the screen world became people’s “window on the world.” An electronic nothingness replaced reality as people gleefully embraced digital wraparound apparitions. These days people still move about in the physical world but live in the electronic one. The result is mass hallucination.
This is the fundamental seismic shift of our era. There is a lot of bitching and joking about it, but when all is said and done, it is accepted as inevitable. Digital devices are embraced as phantom lovers. Technological “advances” are accepted as human destiny. We now inhabit a technological nightmare (that seems like a paradise to so many) in which technology and technique – the standardized means for realizing a predetermined end most efficiently – dominate the world.
In such a world, not only does the end justify the means, but to consider such a moral issue is beside the point. We are speeding ahead to nowhere in the most “efficient” way possible. No questioning allowed! Unless you wish to ask your phone.
These days there is much political talk and commentary about fascism, tyranny, a police state, etc., while the totalitarianism of technocracy and technology continues apace. It is not just the ecological (in the human/natural sense) impact of digital technology where one change generates many others in an endless spiral, but the fact that technical efficiency dominates all aspects of life and, as Jacques Ellul wrote long ago, “transforms everything it touches into a machine,” including humans.
For every problem caused by technology, there is always a technological “solution” that creates further technological problems ad infinitum. The goal is always to find the most efficient (power) technique to apply as rapidly as possible to all human problems.
Writing nearly fifty years ago in Medical Nemesis, Ivan Illich, explained how in medical care the human touch was being replaced by this technical mindset. He said,’
Read more: Hovering in Cyberspace