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More Technical People Recognise the Importance of Being Offline Sometimes (and the Covert Dangers of Technology)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Hardware at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 63f768f69464807407eeb1d90d67bda4
Staying Offline When Away From Keyboard
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: There’s growing recognition that “high-tech” isn’t this Utopian thing that improves lives in perpetuity and there’s more to life than being online and getting “likes” from strangers (or people not seen in person for many years); in fact, a lot of technology has gradually been warped and turned against the users (because exercising control over them can be seductive and even profitable)

THE most resistance (or antagonism) to supposedly "modern" technology tends to come not from people who fail to understand it but from people who understand it the most or grasp it best. That’s why many Facebook employees outright refuse to allow their kids to use Facebook. They know the ‘sausage factory’ all too well; they see the gore and hear the screams. They also see the bad ingredients going into finished and well-presented “products”.

It would be wise to refrain from “Luddite” analogies because the motivations of Luddites were vastly different and inherently based on productivity/distribution, not “ethics”; a lot of people like yours truly oppose voting machines because those aren’t trustworthy and we’ve seen ample evidence of how they can be tampered, ruining democracy by just flipping a few bits here and there. Speaking of democracy, the next video (after this) will discuss Social Control Media, which is all about manipulation and increasingly about control. See this new article by Manuel Matuzović.

“Technology stopped improving a long time ago, maybe decades ago.”My wife and I decided a long time ago not to have mobile phones and certainly none of those “Smart” gadgets for the home, including “spy meters” that the energy suppliers already sent us about 30 nags/reminders about, in turn charging us extra (de facto penalties) for not having these. Technology needs to have limits/boundaries and we need to look back at how we lived before we had 24/7/365-connected machines at all corners of lots of “modern” homes. They like to tell us this digitalisation makes “green” (less paper), conveniently omitted the cost of producing gadgets and keeping them charged. In a lot of ways we have not progressed. “Dumb” homes (or “dumb” cities) were OK. Stress levels were lower, it was harder for the boss the bother the employee, and dignity of people (or their family) could be preserved rather easily. Looking back at my childhood, firstly the PC was always local and not portable (1980s, no spying/”telemetry”), then the PC became temporarily connected, i.e. online over dial-up (surveillance becomes possible). When I started university and we had Ethernet my PC was almost always connected (before surveillance capitalism flourished) but sometimes turned off. In the past decade we saw more and more of these “Smart” phones, i.e. always-on always-connected spies in the pocket. Never do that last one. Don’t accept fashionable consumerism, even if there’s peer pressure or a ‘gift’ from the employer.

The video above, recorded before writing this text, talked about Luke’s video from yesterday (borrowed from IRC). He basically suggests people stay offline, and don’t mistake him for a technophobe; he’s very tech-literate.

“Technology is like medicine; in moderation it is beneficial, but don’t turn it into a religion.”Technology stopped improving a long time ago, maybe decades ago. Any recent “developments” are mostly superficial or based around renaming for hype’s fake (like “Hey Hi” and/or clown computing, in effect trying to use up the available CPU capacity… ‘crypto’ ‘coins’ have shown us how desperate people are to waste this ‘untapped power’; CPU scaling works better than constant churn).

30 years ago computers got a lot of things done, as many tasks were even 100% comparable to what we do today. IRC was probably the first thing I used when I got a connection at home (browsers were very, very primitive at the time… the type that fits onto a single floppy disk… akin to some Gemini clients). I still use IRC and it’s more or less the same as in the 1990s (even fully compatible).

Technology is like medicine; in moderation it is beneficial, but don’t turn it into a religion. Don’t live inside a sleeping bag in the church (to feel closer to a deity), not even if you pursue a lifetime as a nun.

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