These reflections are a response to this article: http://nymag.com/selectall/2018/04/an-apology-for-the-internet-from-the-people-who-built-it.html
Once again, we find technologist evangelists waking up to good and evil. Yet, none have returned what they have gained from touting their utopian vision. The great and the good prided themselves, in an almost Frankensteinian fashion that they knew better and they could master nature. They gave no thought to the warnings of Ancient political philosophy or the Bible regarding the dangers of tools unmoored from moral-political supervision.
Even a cursory read of Heidegger’s Question Concerning Technology should have been sufficient to warn these “evangelicals” of what they were doing.
Yet anyone who opposed them or warned that such inventions required moral political supervision were dismissed as luddite, reactionaries, know nothings, bigots and haters resistant to the glorious paradise of technology that awaits. Even now, they throw their political weight against anything that appears to be a moral-political supervision of their technological inventions, their lifestyle, or society.
Now they want to be on the vanguard of a technological self-confession touting their jeremiads to suggest that a capitalistic monster turbo charged on the anabolic steroids of technology will suddenly grow a conscious? You got yours and now you realize it is a bad thing for everyone else?
The system is designed by *intent* to maximise its ability to exploit the human person. It exists to extract everything from the user, monetize it and sell it all under the guise of “convenience” and “service” and “efficiency”. The perfect eating machine designed with one purpose–consume man as a moral-political being.
But now, you want the world to know you’ve grown a conscience as you become dimly aware that moral-political supervision might be needed *but only to salve your conscience and protect your profits, * not because you believe in moral-political supervision.
And they’re going to stop it after profiting from it for the last 30 years and encouraging everyone to embrace it, invest in it, believe it and punish those who resist it, question it, caution it, or challenge it? More gruesomely, after designing products and processes with the intent to *addict* people to them, where you have people in your companies whose sole purpose at the company is to make the product *addictive* or find out the potential to exploit the emotional content of what a user posts, you want it all to be “better”? Even as you aggressively, unceasingly, push this addictive, technology into every home through voice, location, and emotional surveillance systems? You want to say sorry and feel better about it.
For those of us lucky enough to come of age before the web, our legacy will be to tell our descendants; we were free once.