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Posted: 12/30/2002 4:34:32 PM EDT
I will start this off by saying, in 1979 a friend of mine worked for IBM. He was on the internet, although it had no name back then, and it was all chacter back then.

When I would tell people, back then, I was playing war games with people in Germany and England they would look at me like I was from another planet.

I will be the first to admit, that back then if you would have told me this thing was going to take off like it has, I would have thought you were nuts!

But with GUI (who knew) any 5 year old can do what we are doing now. (ok, bring on the 5 year old remarks)

Asking a number of people from any range of social sets that question, will return an equally diverse answer. One way to comment on the subject would be an analogy consisting of said topic, and gun control issues.

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. However, the mere fact that they exist make it that much easier for some shmuck to go hose his worst enemy.As for technology, it isn't the technology that's evil, it's what's being done with it that is. The technology itself stands neutral.

For the most part computers are the game of the rich. They aren't cheap, and neither is proper education on the subject. This is a shame for obvious reasons. A tool in the hand of the rich is usually a tool that will be used as a mode of transportation for their almighty dollar.

With that in mind, I'd like to state that I foresee a technological revolution happening before my eyes. Very shortly, almost everything will be attached one way or another to a global network. It's happening very quickly, and shows no signs of slowing down. In coming years, as new technology is introduced, more and more of your life will be dependant on computers. We've seen this happening in recent years with the explosion of the internet.

If you'd uttered a web address 5 years ago, you would've expected to get laughed at.. a lot. A few short years later and capitalism has taken its toll on you. You can't turn on the radio, television (gawd forbid), or drive down the road without getting www.somefuckingwebsite.com jammed down your throat. 4 years ago, my parents thought something was wrong with me staying up until daybreak on the computer. Now my whole family (grandparents included) are online, and addicted. It's not uncommon to get asked your e-mail address in a conversation anymore. The entity of the internet is one of the most powerful and amazing things to surface in recent years.

However, along with power, naturally, comes corruption. As silly as it may sound, I'm telling you that this overwhelming entity will ultimately have the power to strip the humanity from you. That is, if you aren't "in the know" when the shit hits the fan. If you're laughing by now, beware, I'm keeping track of who to give "i-told-ya-so's" to in ten years :)

In less time than you think, everything that can be online will be online. That includes everything from PC's (most of which are already networked one way or another), to your coffee maker, automobile, home security system, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Be reluctant to let this happen. For those of you who don't already know what this amounts to, it's plain and simple: someone, somewhere, 24 hours a day will be able to not only observe every detail of your life, but change your life as they see fit. That includes the government.

Ahh, the government.. set out to own us all. Keeping tabs on everything that goes on everywhere, and keeping the really juicy information for themselves until they dictate it harmless enough to release to the spoon-fed masses. Think about it, with a global network of this scale, you are always being watched. You are never alone. A computer wired to a network of cameras could track and document everything it sees into a private database somewhere. The advantages of this are obvious, albeit endless.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 4:44:23 PM EDT
A few crude examples: Cameras on roadways wired to any system running OCR software could document license plate numbers and keep tabs on who went where, and when. A quick equation would be able to tell the system the exact time it took you to cross two points, resulting in a value that is your miles per hour. If you were over the speed limit, the computer would format a ticket and mail it to you no questions asked. Try contesting that ticket. Toll transponders that are installed in many cars already have the ability to do this (on a much more basic scale).

Microphones (hidden or not) installed in schools, public places, your workplace, your home, etc, could document your voice patterns and flag certain words that may be of interest to law enforcement. (Not to mention that this type of abuse has already taken place for years now al la telecommunications industry hand-in-hand with government agencies). Video grabs of your face from any camera could pull your entire life's profile up in seconds. Voice recognition and biometrics are nothing new. We see this already being used for consumer purposes in ATM machines, security systems, etc.

We constantly hear about innovations such as the 'smart card', propagated as a tool to make your life easier. Things like this to bring up serious privacy issues in my eyes. The day I am forced to tote a device around with me that is actively transmitting a signal, is the day they gun me down, and staple it to my cold dead body. Why not just fast-forward to the ultimate outcome and allow them to implant microchips in our skulls? This list of scenarios goes on and on.

Well, what an amazing concept, right? No, not really. You must figure that if you're hearing this from me, I can guarantee that someone with a bigger paycheck than mine (and maybe a .gov e-mail address) has already thought of it. I could name endless other ways your privacy is/will be exploited. Not to mention that all these technologies working in conjunction is a very, very scary thing. If I can rattle out these few things in a mere couple of minutes, I fear thinking of what the powers that be are brewing up in their offices. Bringing me to this: when this revolution does infact start seriously changing the way I live, I am prepared to do my best to be on the informed side of the game.

I will aspire to learn as much as I can about the systems that I oppose, for the best way to defeat your enemy is to know your enemy. Be afraid of companies like Microsoft. Infact, be afraid of any corporation having enough power and money to directly influence politicians and governments. Support the open-source community, support free speech, and support anyone fighting for the freedom that made the internet what it is thus far. A medium for information to flow and change in real time, unpredictably.

A common ground virtually free of race, gender, and age discrimination. I would hate to see this endless network of information for the people, by the people, become another disgusting pit of rules, regulations, and capitalist media whores. Technology has the potential to grow either way, so long as the people who created it do not let the beast overtake us.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 4:49:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:16:12 PM EDT
For the most part computers are the game of the rich. They aren't cheap, and neither is proper education on the subject. This is a shame for obvious reasons. A tool in the hand of the rich is usually a tool that will be used as a mode of transportation for their almighty dollar.
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My mom and dad are in their 70's and I just bought a 1.8 Mhz computer, 17" monitor, and color printer for $499. That's damn cheap.

Mom can't hardly program a VCR but can surf the internet. The techology has become so friendly that every 70 year old can now surf. They even have classes at senior citizen retirement homes and at the community centers.

My little city of 100,000 has internet computers at the libary that can be used for free. The schools are all wired with a machine per room and a computer lab even at the K-6 level.

You can't hold back the tide ... but I'm not getting my freezer (or gun safe) connected to the Internet anytime soon.
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You are correct. Technoligy is getting cheaper by the day. But then in order for all of these things to take place, we need everyone possible to have access.

Harm not the wine or the oil.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:16:42 PM EDT
Technology, like guns and other tools, is morally neutral.  It's what you do with it that is good or evil.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:20:09 PM EDT
Short answer: Both.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:32:37 PM EDT
technology as an object, an "objective" thing (e.g. hardware): not good or evil.
social use of technology: can be good or evil.

the second masquerading as the first: generally found in the context of predatory behavior - whether that is evil, or [i] just the way things are [/i] is up to you.

you might enjoy a book called american technological sublime by david nye if you're really interested in this stuff.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:34:28 PM EDT
Technology, like guns and other tools, is morally neutral.  It's what you do with it that is good or evil.
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You are absolutely correct. Only man has morals, "things" do not.
Link Posted: 12/30/2002 5:43:17 PM EDT
God created man in His own image.....

This means man creates also.

Link Posted: 12/30/2002 6:13:59 PM EDT
God created man in His own image.....

This means man creates also.

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Ahhh yes, true, so very true. But we can not give them a soul, hence, no morals.
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 5:53:45 AM EDT
someone dropped a cellphone on my weed plant mannn......
Link Posted: 12/31/2002 10:10:57 PM EDT
someone dropped a cellphone on my weed plant mannn......
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Link Posted: 12/31/2002 11:31:34 PM EDT
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