The Mind Thieves

I was listening to a couple of techno-whizzes on the radio recently. They were thrilled with all the new apps available for the iPad and recommended most of these programs wholeheartedly. Are they so lost in the synapse of their gigabytes that they can’t see the idiocy of it all?

Look, I’m writing on a computer so obviously I realize the benefits that all of this has brought to our lives. But we are rapidly approaching a kind of critical mass dumb-down point, beyond which I’m not sure there’s any turning back.

Do you need a computer application that tells you when your steak is cooked properly? How about one that eliminates all the guess-work out of timing the correct moment to open a bottle of wine? Are we just going to give it all over to the machines and let them do all of our thinking for us? Hell, there’s an entire generation being weaned on GPS right now that pretty soon won’t know how to read a map. They’ll be okay until their batteries fail and then they’ll wander off and be eaten by wolves…the wolves having established themselves on the food chain as a species still capable of independent , instinctive thought. The wolves will say, ‘ These guys still taste pretty good but I remember when they used to be a lot brighter ! ‘

a mindless sheep

The pundits for progress will argue that anything that makes life a little easier, if not faster, is a good thing. I would argue that it’s turning us all into a bunch of mindless sheep. I want to think for myself. I still take some measure of pride in weighing the facts, trusting my instincts and making a correct decision. If I let a computer tell me how long to cook a steak what’s the point of learning any skills in the kitchen?

I can’t win this fight, of course. This is now the undeniable, irreversible way of the world. But it doesn’t have to be the overwhelming way of my world. I can still choose to let as much technology through the door as I want. And I’m being very careful about what I surrender. Everyone can use a little help in life but what I don’t need is any techno-pop, candy floss, gotta-have-it gizmo designed to simultaneously separate me from my money and make me more digitally dependent.

So that’s my two-bits. If you’re looking for me I’ll be out back sharpening an axe by the campfire…keeping the wolves at bay.

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One Response to “The Mind Thieves”

  1. Russ Byth Says:

    I recently made the huge technological move to an iPhone. My nephew can’t believe I haven’t BOUGHT a single app for it yet! (Though I did download the free one where you time yourself pouring a glass of beer)

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