Why We Shouldn’t Worship Technology(Journal Entry)
Thoughts on Techno-Capitalism and the Future of Virtual Reality
A few days ago I watched Mark Zuckerberg give a speech where he declared Facebook wants to put 1 Billion people into virtual reality. His flowery rhetoric of connectivity and enhancing human potential successfully veiled his true motivations. I am not sure what his motivations are, nor do I assume him to be of evil intention. I do believe however, believe that he is of the philosophy of Techno-Utopianism — that he worships innovation.
This is a philosophy which I myself was enticed to believe for quite some time.
However, it is a naïve assumption that technology will rid the world of evil, greed, or exploitation. With every technological advancement in human history has come new and improved systems of control — a transformation of exploitation and oppression. I would be a fool to think this time is any different. I admittingly experience cognitive dissonance, as I too am excited by the potentials of technology; VR/AR, blockchain, healthcare tech, it all makes me feel as though what lies ahead is better than the world we live in now.
But I know I must reject this utopian fantasy, as seductive as it might be.
A lady just boarded the train and said “good morning” as she sat in the seat next to me.
I was surprised by this, the fact that it now seems to be an unusual act, it is a reminder to me of how isolated we humans have become. The human connection that we have lost in our transaction with technology.
This is what lies ahead. In our effort to be more connected we are drifting further apart.
I see now why Foer has written A World Without Mind, the title is already beginning to make more sense, particularly when I look around the train to see everyone hooked into their electronic devices.
Soon there will be no idle moments and moments like this, people will spend in the confines of their own private realities.
I now see what Zuckerberg’s intention is;
First it was a race to capitalize and exploit profit,
Then it was a race to create engaging content, to addict us to our mobile devices and hold a grip on our attention,
Now it is a race to engulf our entire reality — to commodify our very consciousness.
That is the aim of VR and AR in the hands of the Techno-Capitalists. A daunting vision this is, yet it too seems inexorable.
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