THE RISE OF TRUTH AND THE DEATH OF HUMANITY
We try to live in secret. We hope to spend a good portion of our life with the general public not knowing what we are doing or where and when we are doing it. Until we become fully involved with a social site on the internet, we don’t truly understand what it is to be ‘discovered’ at a particular place in time, even if the geographic location can still be a bit sketchy. Most people ‘out there’ don’t know where we are or what we are doing unless they have the help of technology. The invention of the telephone changed began a shift, initially, as all phones were tied to certain specific geographic locations, and to calls made at specific times. Then came answering machines and the pay phone. Technology was at work to reveal everything, although we came to be able to manage our secrecy around them as time went by.
Now we have social sites on the internet. Those of us who join and actively participate in the addictive pleasures of knowing people from all over the world whom we’d never have met, reading the strange things they can write and then having our own words reverberate out there to more places than we can even imagine, are also submitting to a new technology that pins us in time.
People who access our social sites can read what we write and then see when we write it. They can time the periods between entries and make judgments. The judgments they make have everything to do with the secrecy we might be seeking to promote and protect.
They can also read and interpret our entries to determine if we are writing from home, the road or from wherever. Communication using other means can then become quite discomforting. For example, if you are not contacting someone for some reason or other (or no reason at all), or if you are not responding to what they think are critical calls or messages, they can know what you are doing with some of your time instead of contacting them! And they can bring this to your attention as a powerful guilt-inducing device.
Imagine this conversation. I don’t have to imagine it, as I’ve had it: “You were home all morning, and you didn’t call me back. I know you were home. You made fifteen entries on Facebook between nine and noon. You let the cat out and back in. But you didn’t bother to call me back.” I was pinned in time and located in space. I became a victim of the truth. And truth in our culture is the most damaging communications product of our (or any) time. As with other technological marvels, social sites on the internet are going to have to be dealt with or those of us who participate will find ourselves alone and broke. This does not even consider the potential of face recognition hard and software and Artificial Intelligence.
For all of humanity to be constantly observed, reported on, catalogued, and followed has humanity become something other than what it is. Those things once considered essential to the species will disappear, and likely the species as we all know it with them. Creativity will be gone. Art will disappear. Work will be never-ending without meaning. Education will become superfluous along with science and adventure. Our willingness to explore or try new things will disappear. We, you and I, and the rest of the species are sitting on the edge of a razor blade called the truth. It does not cut both ways. It simply cuts straight through us if left to become the required and exposed behavior of the future. Think of yourself having the horrid constant attention paid to famous people, but without wealth or perks or even public recognition. The truth will reveal everything and that will leave nothing. It’s hard to write this but that ‘nothing’ is a whole lot of what makes us human beings. The very worst thing is that much like global warming and the declining birth rate, there seems to be little that anyone can or will do anything to stop it.
If anyone reading this article has any ideas on how to stop this transition to a completely informed but null state, then please let the rest of us know.