Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fear Abounds!

A co-worker described a scene from the workplace recently. A client appeared, looking for an item, for which she had received a notice. In order for the client to claim the item, she had to sign; however, unfortunately, at that moment, the digital display unit on which she was to sign was diabled. When she was informed of this delay, she began to weep! "You don't know how important this is!" she implored the worker.
Is this what we have done to ourselves? By creating an instant gratification expectation, through the application of increasingly sophisticated technology, in a world of global inter-connectedness, in which our privacy is subject to invasion, in which the Pentagon's computers are being assaulted hundreds of thousands a time each day by those we can assume are not friends, in which private militia units are able to train each other by using the technology, in which the gross appetites for money, drugs and guns in the U.S. ignite and inflame conflicts, criminal greed and international instability....have we imposed a level of insecurity never even imagined before?
Now Stephen Hawking is advising us "not to speak to aliens" who may be hovering in the universe.
Benign or malignant...applied to tumors, to business associates, to potential hirees, to every encounter, and yes, even to those seeking public office in all a world impregnated with binary thinking, as part of our defence against the hyper-complexity of cataracts of new information, compiled at a daily rate greater than the sum total of all books in ths Stanford University Library!
Are we reduced to the kind of "choosing" envisioned by Earle Birney in "Billboards" between Krispies and Krumpies, between Christ and Kruschov?
How to balance binary and infinite? How to compose the weeping client, for whom the item "is so very important"? How to generate a curriculum for boys and girls whose world already looks foreign to all their grandparents?
The drug companies are having a bonanza on our fears! And so are the terrorists!

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