05
Jan
17

The “Smart” Future Looks Dumb and Bleak

*****
I only have to see five minutes of recent news headlines to get nightmares and palpitations.  If I had been asleep for some time and awoke to find this on TV, I’d likely go back to sleep or die on the spot.

One cause of palpitations:  Trump.  I think I’ll leave him at that.  But, I will say I see some of my worst aspects in him and too many faulty promises, like the parent that tells his/her kids too often they will do something for/with the child but never do.  And, seeing myself in him, I know I would not want to be president.  I’d rather be an advisor/assistant.

The other big mozza ball that chills me to the bone:  Rapidly advancing technology.  People are in such a rush to create artificially intelligent machines and way too many cameras.  So much talk about convenience and “smart” technology.

When I was a kid, I was told I was smart.  People still tell me I am when I doubt it.  But, there are different levels of smart.  And, I learned this the hardest way in my teens, entering high school and finding people who could do the same work in a fraction of the time.  Yes, people, not machines.  But, many of these smart people were from wealthy families that didn’t seem to care about anything; they just wanted to have it all and keep advancing without knowing what “it all” is or was before the next phase of advancement.  These were locomotives of intelligence going nowhere I could see.  For all my smarts, I was just getting trampled under their wheels.  Maybe their smarts were paid for with the highest approval for production while mine were scraped and taped together like the kid who makes his own toys instead of buying the expensive new spectacles.

If I have learned anything in the past 15 years–that may be longer than some who breast-feed off this stuff have been alive–it’s that technology that’s hot today could just as easily be pointless in ten years.  So, why invest in any of it?  Fools buy this stuff.  The smart people are the ones sitting back, buying and selling stock as the fools do all the salivating and tossing of money out windows.  But, even that comes and goes like the seasons.  It’s faulty gambling.

But, unlike some of the goofy gadgets that have come and gone, others that were only touching the tips of our fingers twenty or thirty years ago–again, perhaps beyond the age range of many who pack this stuff in their school lunch bags–are making steady and potentially hazardous progress.  Namely cameras that invade and robots, the stuff of the science fiction films I’ve been talking about for years, now.

And, where is the hot spot for showing this stuff off?  Not L.A.  Not “silicon valley.”  Not New York.  No.  It’s Las Vegas, the sleazy, I’ll-keep-every-one-of-your-immoral-secrets capital of the netherworld.  Can we say Nightmare on Earth Street?  I knew you could.

In the five minutes of a morning show I caught during breakfast, a guy is doing one of those crappy, quick displays of “feature products” at this electronics show.  And, one just happens to be a drone the size of a small pallet…you know…a shipping pallet…the sort you might see at an AMAZON.COM warehouse.  Yeah.  That marketing monster.  Skynet.  Darth Vader torn between the dark side and the light, but leaning toward the dark.

He’s talking about this drone like he approves of it at the same time he is spelling out in words plain as day that the thing is invasive and terrifying.  Companies sell this stuff to the masses as commercial entertainment.  The gadgets are the hit of every wealthy person’s social gala.  But, for every small investment in the flash-in-the-pan crazes, there’s one global step closer to these gadgets being sent out in masses to do other things we did not think were intended when we found them quaint.  Just as when the internet was ushered in as the grand means of bridging the global communication shortage, so began the madness of hackers, internet perverts and online crimes.

And, don’t get me started on all the push for online banking and “convenient” grocery shopping.  Let’s face it people, some majority taking action while the rest of you sit on your asses and let gadgets work for you–or do whatever you consider work for some tyran–er, tycoon–are taking advantage of your laziness.  And, if we go along with this madness, there will be nothing safe, secure or sacred left in this world.  You will be eliminated.  You will be replaced.  And, resistance may end up futile…or the movie you saw forty years ago but thought was just a silly bit of fiction.

Ugh!  I just have to let it out.  Wake up, Harold Cricks.  This is scary shit, people.

And, if we don’t get smart…I mean, really smart–not depend-upon-some-talking-gadget-to-answer-all-of-life’s-problems smart–you’re lives will be pointless.  Everything you think you are investing in or chasing will be a total waste of time, emotion, energy, etc.  You’ll just be a footnote in some robot empire, the slaves that built the “smart pyramids.”  If you want your lives to be worth more than the shit in your toilets…if you even bother to read these emphatic words written in a tiny hole of the internet like some message in a bottle…you’ll turn your backs to convenience and things that talk back and get your answers from people who were not built by Amazon or one of its ugly cousins.

Use your brains.  Show your work.  Stay off the grid.  Delete your Fbook pages.  Look up when passing others.  And, stay healthy.  For the sake of humanity, an investment that should be embraced and patched up when it falters, not discarded and replaced with robots.

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