Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Pace of Change

We are inundated with messaging urging our understanding that change is accelerating, that change is unprecedented and that this is something very new and related to technology. There is supposed to be an information explosion. If it weren't all so scary, it might be exciting.

In fact we have had our collective feet on the brakes for about a hundred years, and the brakes are burning out. We've had our feet on the brakes since the automobile came on the scene is the way it looks and feels to me. We like it here and would like to keep it this way, even to the point of extraordinary self-driving measures just so that we can keep the car.

There are so very many clever ways to rationalize this. That the self driving car is a reversion to the horse, which also largely drove itself. That the intelligence will move into the packet as it should, getting rid of circuit-switched driving which is just a road as track, when really the road should be ethernetted segments with look-ahead for virtual collisions to set an actual course for completion.

I remember during my brief life-span when food tasted natural and good, and I therefore retain the ability to tell the difference from the gamed food which we eat now. All the same genetic strain, all produced to survive transit, and all contributing to my incredibly expanding middle. Foul smells come from down below, and I suppose it will be an actual blessing when I lose the facility to tell.

On highways now as drivers jockey to impose the proper cruise-control speed with some benighted fool always hogging the left lane and really you want to pull in front and then slow way down just to force the issue. These are fundamentally murderous feelings, a rehearsal of our impatience to get moving again. To get off the road and into life.

It's the information technologies which will force this. Now that drones can catalog the earth in real-time on demand and now that this is seen as unequivocally better as though there were some natural imperative to see everything, know everything, do everything, all the time. Now that we all have keyboards at our desk, and no-one questions the improvements to productivity even though there is no time actually to talk with someone. To have a conversation. Those conversations are so damnably efficient at aligning minds and solving problems. No wonder we need keyboards and screens to keep us from them, promising equivalence with our friends and family on other continents. It never materializes.

What will happen when the brakes give out? Will nuclear weapons be loosed upon the instant? Is that what this is all about? Doctor Henry thinks so, maybe, that information technologies have finally destroyed national boundaries as those definers for balance of powers, and that now our states are fragmented and internalized to where it's the distributed cosmopolitan classes against the rest of us. Even toward death, Kissinger wants to stake his flag in the power center.

Me, I want a family. Too late though, am I right? I do enjoy my life alone too much.  I could never trust getting along with someone else in anything approaching a state of constancy. I don't mean fidelity - that ship has sailed. We would tire of one another, and I've blown my chances.

Maybe there really is such a thing as a death wish. Without position, how can I pander myself as one worth knowing? In position, I am behind another car hogging the passing lane. There is almost no point in trying to get around, to get by, to deal. The deals are all sewn up by the cosmopolitan power-elite, and bringing them down is proving to be lots of trouble.

But I do suppose that in the end the drones and drones of drones and all of our droning on and on will do it because there will be fools enough to expose the dirty dealings of those in charge. The dealings of those dirty dudes in charge. Dealers in charge. Deal me out.