Fear no tech

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

From the new Pew Survey on future of the internet:

A low-cost global network will be thriving and creating new opportunities in a “flattening” world.

Humans will remain in charge of technology, even as more activity is automated and “smart agents” proliferate. However, a significant 42% of survey respondents were pessimistic about humans’ ability to control the technology in the future. This significant majority agreed that dangers and dependencies will grow beyond our ability to stay in charge of technology. This was one of the major surprises in the survey.

Virtual reality will be compelling enough to enhance worker productivity and also spawn new addiction problems.

Tech “refuseniks” will emerge as a cultural group characterized by their choice to live off the network. Some will do this as a benign way to limit information overload, while others will commit acts of violence and terror against technology-inspired change.

People will wittingly and unwittingly disclose more about themselves, gaining some benefits in the process even as they lose some privacy.

This is a bizarre hodge podge of scenarios.

The last item already exists, but the idea of terrorists going around bombing out routers to prevent change is too Unibomber for words. As for the key item: maintaining control of technology that’s advancing in such leaps and bounds, we must remember that the hot new thing now, Ajax, is based on ten year old technologies.

Reading the report, most of the ad-hoc responses were the same flowery, empty phrases we’ve had for years now. The so-called ‘experts’ were ones the report says …have been online since 1993. Wow, that long? Half were online before, half after 1993.

This survey is based on packaged scenarios built on pre-defined assumptions and validated by hand-picked respondents. It’s flawed, almost beyond belief.

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