Monday, May 11, 2020

The Human Biohazard—Welcome to Machine World

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and Mike Bloomberg are signed on to bring us a sanitized, dehumanized, no-touch, on-screen dystopia. We are human biohazard.

Anuja Sonalker, CEO of Steer Tech, a Maryland-based company selling self-parking technology, has declared it so. 

Sonalker enthuses that “There has been a distinct warming up to human-less, contactless technology. Humans are biohazards, machines are not.”

I’m not quite sure which social bonfire Anuja found warming, but I detect a chill in the air about a dystopian future a mere four months into a pandemic.

The source of this mind-bending information is an article by Naomi Klein in The Intercept. Klein, you may remember, is the author of The Shock Doctrine and a number of other books that long ago directed our attention to various nefarious social trends.

The lady knows her territory.

And not to say that a self-parking technology CEO can’t lead the way. There’s enough slop in this pig-trough for all the tech companies to share.

Eric Schmidt, for example, since leaving Google has reinvented himself as Schmidt Futures, “a venture facility for public benefit, we help people do more for others by imagining what’s possible, applying advanced science and computing thoughtfully, and working together in networks across fields.”

Eric promises to “strengthen and expand the American middle class in order to increase competitiveness and improve quality of life.” 

I’m not sure how he hopes to accomplish that by throwing vast sums of public money at Silicon Valley—but hey—he’s got a plan and that’s what his website promises.

What’s left of America’s middle class is already as competitive as possible, with mom and dad working multiple jobs, credit-card, college and car loan debt in the $trillions and 63% of Americans unable to raise $500 in an emergency. Schmidt is correct, in that there’s still work to be done in that improving the quality of life part.

But I fail to see how that’s accomplished by isolating us further with 5G online goodies.

Humans are tribal animals, at their best by socializing, supporting one another by one-on-one eye contact, an encouraging arm around the shoulder and a high degree of empathy. If we accept that we are little more than biohazards to be isolated and controlled, Eric has his work cut out for him in improving our quality of life.

The high-tech crowd will no doubt become even more economically bloated and distant from society than is currently the case. But you can damned well bet that Schmidt, Gates, Bloomberg and whoever fills out the remaining twelve seats on Cuomo’s task force will successfully avoid even sniffing-distance from the middle class they claim to champion. 

It's Harvard, Yale and Stanford for their kids and a Tesla for their birthday (let's not forget, they're environmentally sensitive).

Dystopia is The Intercept’s word, not theirs. You will find it nowhere in the advertising copy for their brave new world, nor on their website. 

Defined as a state in which the conditions of life are extremely bad as from deprivation, oppression or terror, it describes your and my portion of society and not theirs.

The scene is best described as watching in slow-motion as the umpires argue, while high-tech steals third base in the game we call American Society.

Ah yes, we’ve come a long way, baby.

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