THIS IS PART 2. PART 1 IS HERE.
Extreme transparency cuts both ways. It provides access while undermining leadership. There have always been leaks from within institutions and governments. There have always been secrets to strategize and win conflicts. That’s part of governing. To deny this is idealistic and naÃ¯ve.
The recent US Congress breakdown is a perfect example of being a victim of noise. I’ve heard the dysfunction of Washington is due to technology. I’ve heard that Congress cannot agree on anything due to fact that they mostly telecommute. Representatives who have to come to agreements cannot know each other personally. No one interacts when they used to be forced too. It’s more powerful to disagree to someone’s face than via email. Our decision makers have become flighty. Compromises are attempted and end up in drafts. It all becomes a shallow GROUPTHINK. Individuals don’t actually trust one another’s word.
Transparency has become more feasible because of technology. Examine the recent 10k page Healthcare bill. No one is able to read it. We are bent into submission due to its noise. We elect officials to lead and cut through the noise, not to pander to the noise or corporate influence against that noise. Their flightiness ends up becoming more noise and not accountable decision-making. The sound byte has turned the lowliest politician into the biggest celebrity. We live in a perpetual state of re-election of celebrity not accountable governors.
Thirty years ago the audience for computers and technology were for non-conformists and OCD hobbyists. Now the magic and wizardry of computers has become integrated into our popular culture and is commercially main-stream. Technology which was invented to make our workplace more efficient, like email and cell phones, has crept into our social life. Our stock market is now dependent upon the value of technology. It has also become pervasive in our government and informational structures. We have all become conformists in a sense to an invisible system. We don’t object somehow to the information we give up, nor do we remember what we just clicked on.
Why is it that we live in a society of impossible innovation and purely magical information distribution but our tangible modern society seems to be collapsing. We have given the most novice user the ability to access unparalleled information and points of view but it seems to only distract and create endless arguments over debates. It’s as if people need to prove what they see in the noise around them. One is never fulfilled by noise for long. Would the banking crisis have happened if digital tools and advanced trading systems didn’t exist? A digital spreadsheet makes the concept of money even more abstract. Our medieval brains cannot seem to digitally handle the coercive magic.
There is no doubt in my mind that personal uses of technology were created to avoid personal interaction between local people. You could argue that the telephone also did this. You could say that information technology bridges some kind of gap that can make humans achieve the impossible. I say that both are correct and the area between these two concepts can become unethical and destructive towards society in an instant because of their increasing invisibility and dependence.
So we have gone in a full circle really. We are enmeshed in a DARPA controlled ARPNET only we don’t know it. We’ve unwittingly conformed because of consumerism and noise levels. Like Narcissi we have fallen in love with our own reflection. The idea of sacrificing anything on our own global social graph becomes terrifying. We’ll lose the friends and media we think we have. Corporations think they own our social contacts. Technology has turned all your kids into unfeeling self-centered conforming zombies who’s rebellion is owned by a corporation.
In conclusion, I am NOT surprised that ADHD drugs have spiked since the invention of social networking. The human brain must adapt to consumerism even if it is via pharmaceuticals?! And you cannot tell me that real personal engagement hasn’t been compromised or derailed by the ease and non-commitment of noisy electronic social applications. We are becoming less than human in technology’s bad magic.
In the U.S. we think we are eternally global while being unable to sacrifice simple things to make that globalism realistic. We are truly dedicated to NOTHING TANGIBLE.