It’s easy to argue that ‘innovations’ like websites which allow zealots to hurl abuse at each other are a form of ‘low’ technology, or even ‘wrecknology’, but the argument becomes less easy to make when you start criticising all technologies whose primary aims are in the invokation of “titillation, outrage, and easy pleasure”. Plenty of people, myself included, like easy pleasure.
Mr Haque’s argument starts to veer dangerously towards the sort of “why don’t you go play outside, stop watching TV, you’ll ruin your eyes,” article that contribute more to Peak Guardian than actual sense. It’s a kind of hater eye-candy.
Theodore Sturgeon famously once described all writing as 90% crud, and then went on to experience Sturgeon’s Law become more broadly formulated as 90% of everything is crud. Keeping that concept firmly front-of-mind is the only way not to go mad I believe. And acknowledging that Sturgeon’s Law applies to yourself as much as anything else is one of the many steps to take on the road to true enlightenment.
Essentially Haque is complaining about the fact that Sturgeon’s Law is real. Yes 90% of everything is complete shit. 90% of people can’t even do their own jobs. This is the best argument I know for the automation of everything and for setting a national, or more ambitiously a global unemployment rate target of around 90%. Most people simply work at getting in the way of the 10% who can actually do their jobs. They might not mean to, but they do. A minimum income for all, paid for by special taxes levied against super-profits generated by automation would go a very long way to mitigating the impact that Sturgeon’s Law undeniably has on the world.
Haque concludes by stating “True freedom is the capacity, and then, the ability to make choices that improve your quality of life: to reach, and exceed, your potential.” but is this really true? Surely true freedom also includes the capacity for you to lounge about on a beach, or get high and watch re-runs of Gilligan’s Island, or build model ships out of burned matches, or whatever easy pleasure you indulge in.
Life, being essentially purposeless, is not race; it’s just something to do between voids of nothingness. You are under no obligation to make the world a better place, and, since most people are bascially hopeless at most things, it’s best for all of us that most people don’t even bother. They’d just mess it up anyway and end up making things worse for everyone. Far too many people believe that their ambitions are worthwhile, and that there is something to strive for. There isn’t; for most of us.
Frankly humanity is better off when the trolls are using up their worthless time bickering in comment streams. Wrechnology as honey-pot.