(…may not be the kind of brave new world we should want to end up with…)

Everyone in the world today seems bent on being fully automated and globally connected and to be part of a never ending frenetic search for the latest means to be so. We’re not so sure that’s a good thing because the reality is it may not be the kind of brave new world we might want to end up with.

For one thing, once one becomes part of that inter-connectivity, we lose much of our individuality becoming just one more lemming-like creature swarming about in that high-tech connected world. Worse yet, we also lose whatever privacy we otherwise had, subject not only to authoritarian scrutiny, but to the unwelcomed chitter-chatter of anyone determined to be connected with us…whether we want to or not…since not all such connections are either benign or worth having.

Another aspect of that global interconnection, particularly in the social media vortex, is what seems to be a world-wide culture of non-critical acceptance of whatever text-bites and insta-visuals we come across. A case of global knee-jerking and dumbing-down, if you will, where whatever is said or shown is taken more or less as “gospel”…simply because it’s on the Net. Our critical thinking and rational evaluating capabilities are thus slowly being eroded by that, to the point where we humans could further regress back to relying solely on our basic instincts of…flight…or fight…to resolve any situation we might confront.

And of course all that technology has now created a mass of mindless app-freaks drooling for the latest means to do (or avoid) almost any conceivable task or function, requiring little or no input effort. The more automated…the better. There seems to be a new “app” for something or other popping up like toadstools every day, with each one launched with braying marketeering hype beyond anything ever known before…so as to stampede a buying frenzy for it…thus creating the ultimate of consumerist mindsets.

The real danger, however, is the way that interconnectedness is making us more and more vulnerable to all sorts of disruptions which, because we’re becoming so dependent upon it, when these do occur, they leave us unable to function. Everything from power failures, to hackers, to glitches of one kind or another have become constants in our daily lives. We are surrounded by…Murphy’s Law on steroids…because whenever such disruptions occur their negative impacts spread throughout multiple levels and dimensions.

Topping all of that is the “fully automated” element which seems to be spreading its own tentacles into every part of this interconnected world of ours, such as…fully automated phone dialing…emailing…home security systems…heating and cooling systems…GPS systems…health monitoring systems…avionics…etc., etc.. Manufacturers of almost anything are rapidly becoming more and more “automated”, thus needing less and less human labor. Even our machines are becoming not only “automated” but “robotic” as well…that is…fully independent of the need for any kind of human control…to function.A good example of that is where drone technology is headed (besides its military applications) …to deliver things…for monitoring and surveillance functions…for remote medical treatment, and so on. Even our personal means of transportation…the car…is rapidly morphing into a self-contained and self-operating drone-like machine which will no longer require human control, because all the sensory needs to operate one will be handled by automated integrated systems imbedded on board.

Thus the day may come when we’ll simply enter into such a machine, sit back, cross our arms, and command…proceed…and its systems…will make it proceed. The only other thing we will have to do is express our desired destination…and all its systems will do the rest to get us there. Just picture it…as you sit back and relax in such a fully automated machine…a pleasant simulated-human voice announces: “Welcome! This is a fully automated car equipped with the finest of control systems in the world. It will take you anywhere you wish to go, quickly, and with absolute safety. These control systems are as fail-proof as can be. Nothing can ever go wrong with them. Thank you, and enjoy the ride. This is a recorded announcement…this is a recorded announcement…this is a recorded announcement…this is a recorded….”

Fortunately there’s still hope for us because there are some opt-out apps a-brewing…such as a gentleman and his associates who’ve hit on the retro idea of producing a cell phone that has…no other features…beyond receiving and sending phone communications…no camera …no texting…no video…nothing…other than…hello…thanks…goodbye. A slim and sleek device…not much larger than a credit card…to be carried in one’s pocket…not the palm of one’s hand…with a battery charge that could last for a whole month…without needing a new infusion of voltage.

Ah, yes, it may be a brave new world out there, but, something like that would be a braver one…indeed.