Like blowing sand in the desert winds, with erosion, floods and drought, time leaves it's mark on this world of ours. Wrinkles on our face just like rings on a tree stump; they mark the slow, steady continuation of our existence... Well it used to be slow and steady.
Sometimes I feel like a caveman being dragged kicking and fighting into this modern, digital, electronic world. I don't really belong here. This environment is advancing far too fast.
The world of my childhood was that of horse and cart, bicycles and manual labor in an agrarian society. That was not such a long time ago. Technology has gone a bit haywire in my lifetime and speeded way up. The pace of life is supposed to advance or decline gradually through the ages and certainly not shift into hyper drive as it has in my personal experience.
But here I am, something like a bigfoot ancestor trying to adapt to modern society. Its a world of electricity, indoor plumbing, climate control and all those computers.
Just as I was getting used to looking others in the eye and talking in a peaceful manner, why most people around me are now using exterior electronic brains to communicate, store their memory and do all their thinking and computing.
I hate to say it but it appears to me as though they are morphing into programed electronic units.
We humans used to be personally and emotionally involved in our own lives and the lives of others. But if everything is being done for us automatically by machines and robots, well then what's the point of being in this game? Are we just spectators? If everything is being recorded and stored on video and available for review when needed, well what is the use of our human minds?
Life today sometimes appears to me as a science fiction movie where the machines are taking over. They seem very useful at first making our lives easier and more comfortable.
But when it comes to having artificial parts implanted in our bodies, when everything is pre programmed and run remotely, well that's when it gets scary. You wonder who is really running the show and who is in control?
Down through the ages old guys have sat around and moaned how the world today is going to hell in a handbasket. They would complain things are way different now and nothing like they used to be back in the day. So I guess my theme here is quite similar. But I swear I truly have a point! This time the difference is radical, marked and significant.
Throughout history there have been many great gains, but almost always followed by declines in our human advancement and struggle to survive. This particular cycle we are going through is the greatest, longest and most successful attempt so far for man to conquer and tame his physical environment. How much longer will this cycle continue?
Driverless cars, robotic surgery and virtual reality; don't these ideas frighten you?
There are some remote areas of the world where yfi and electronic control have not yet reached and taken over. But those areas are shrinking by the day. Our ever increasing planetary population has enthusiastically accepted this technology like kids go for candy and ice cream.
My big fear is that suddenly one day the internet, computers and all programs that run and depend on this system, such as utilities and traffic control, will shut down. Out of the blue everything will come to a halt.
There are many ways this could come about. Cities, business, governments, transportation, etc. would all be left high and dry. Collectively we have all forgotten and forsaken our independent and self-sufficient methods of survival that served us so well for thousands of years.
Paranoid thoughts nag at me. Are we being set up to become cyborgs? Even worse; are we slated to become extinct as a human species?
I feel like a fish hooked and suddenly yanked out of the water into an alien world. But in a hypocritical twist, I now rap this dissertation up and send it off to you electronically!
Dan O'Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org