Balacing lessons from history against technological convenience

By | January 3, 2012
There's a generation gap here: people who have survived WWII rebuilding, and people born after that. Having introduced people in the former group to social media has been a learning experience: these are people who echo Richard Stallman-type concerns, and understandably so: they remember what it meant back in the day, and what the right to data privacy means. The younger generation doesn't (except for a few dinosaurs and 'overly concerned freaks'). Respecting this and helping them to understand how social media benefits them, as well as helping them to find a middle ground on what to go public with and what to 'be careful' about, certainly puts them more at ease with technology.

This protection, however, is slowly being eroded now – in the US a lot faster than in Germany, likely because the US doesn't have so many people with bad memories of the times with totalitarian rule – and mostly because as the older generation dies off, the younger generation fails to see the importance of what their forefathers worked hard to establish in light of the convenience that technology brings. The national health networks that have established themselves as beneficial in various countries (like Canada, China) is greeted with significant controversy in the current roll-out in Germany – likely for the same reason. And history gets another chance to repeat itself – resulting in the theory of cyclical government form evolution, from totalitarism to democracy to demogogue and then back to totalitarism again.

So where is the fine line? Perhaps the answer lies even deeper – if we change our thought paradigm from competitive materialism (by that I mean profit-hunger as well as our arguably artificial passion for material goods over emotional goods) to one of collaborative evolution ( by this I mean focusing on innovating by stimulating transparent collaboration between competitors, a la finnish education equity model, and teaching ethics not as an alternative to religion but as natural social interaction expectation ), perhaps it would be possible to invoke another enlightenment period and do purselves a favor. We need to get better at adapting to our own constructions, not just at adapting to changing natural phenomena.

/via +Charles A. Anaman

Embedded Link

Richard Stallman Was Right All Along
OSNews is Exploring the Future of Computing with news on desktop, server, mobile, and specialty operating systems and new computing technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.