Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is technology making us lose our humanity?

I'm a fan of the terminator movies and the hard hitting TV show. The main theme is the war between humanity vs. the machines. The series hits hard about what it means to be humane and how technology, in our lust to preserve our view and our vision of humanity in our society, end up threatening the survival of it. Often a common theme in nearly all Science Fiction shows: the advancement of science and technology having us lose our humanity.
As anyone knows from the series, Skynet, a master, and living computer, from the future, uses time travel and cyborgs to try to terminate John Conner, the man that will rise humanity from the ashes of extinction and eliminate Skynet and win the war. Now those of you that are skeptical about machines becoming alive and taking over the world, I'm with you but that misses the point however. Though I can't believe machines can become alive (wouldn't that make them somewhat humane?) and take over the world, it's how this whole disastrous mess got created that is the point, not really can it happen this way.
Skynet was created by the Cyberdyne corporation for a defense contract with the US military to created a computer that can run the entire defense network and using only machines, we wouldn't have to take another causality in war again. No lose situation. Can't lose the war because you won't take any damage. Only the computer fights back and the humans couldn't pull the plug. We lost control of our own creation and become targeted by our own creation that ended up doing what it was design to do: kill humans. When we create device with the sole purpose of destroying human life, we lose our humanity and become endangered to our own creation.
So, the main point after that antadolal evidence from a sci-fi movie. Lately, I've witnessed so much cruelty, evil, in humaneness from people that I would suspect that without technology, wouldn't dare behave in such inhumane behavior. What do I mean. First, I'll take My Space. There's so much information on these sites that anyone with dishonest intentions will have more than enough information to be able to do damage to such person. I seen children and adult give out information to complete strangers they would never do in person. I often wonder why if they wouldn't do it in person, why they do it online where the information never goes away?
Take chat boards. Not only do people give out information they would never do in person, but often say things they wouldn't in person either. Too many times people go off in a profane tirade using language that would make a sailor blush and to ladies, children, peers, etc. Make harsh, vicious, mean statements. And then there's the perverse and seductive behaviors that goes online. Because of the annyonitomy, people are willing to take risks they would never do in person. Age doesn't seem to matter anymore. Kids seduce adults and vice versa. No morals are off limits online and because we can't see or suffer any immediate consequences, we don't fear doing what we know is wrong because we're not likely to get caught or prosecuted.
Cyber bullying is skyrocketing and getting worse. Too often, because anybody and anyone can open up one of these online social accounts and claim to be anyone, this has created the unintended consequence of people impersonating others and slandering them. Make them out to be something that they're not ruining reputations and doing great deal of emotional, and in some cases, physical hard to the victim. One mother pertended to be a teen boy to give a neighborhood girl who she didn't like to believe she was making a new cyberfriend. In the end she broke it off calling the girl horrible names and two hours later, the girl killed herself. The mother was found out and since this isn't a crime , never suffered any legal consequence for her evil actions. Often at times, when I learn of things like this, I wonder who's worse. The humans are the machines as I use the metaphors from the terminator movie. Or to quote Ripley in Aliens, "I don't which species is worse, Burk. You don't see them screwing each other over a God D*** percentage do you?" Now we don't even need a percentage to screw each other. Just not to like them.
The other that bring this point out: The Nigerian Mail Scam. If a stranger came to you in the street and asked a favor using your bank account because he got millions he needs to get out of the country, but need to use your bank account to smuggle it out, what would you say to him/her? You laugh in their face. I doubt anyone would be even stupid enough to try this in person. With the Internet, you can send millions of these pitches (God knows I get at least one a day) and one or two bites from desperate people and VOILA, money and nobody can even identify you.
Lastly, it's bad enough that these things happen as unintended consequences, but not, there are actual website that ENCOURAGE this behavior now. They're called gossip site, but no information is taken on the those that join. With total anynomousness, anyone can say anything about anyone else. No question asked. Now if this was to happen in a newspaper or TV show, you would be sued for libel or slander, but because of that stupid, 1996 law, since it's the Internet, it's totally LEGAL. Now we're legalizing slander and defamation and rewarding site that do.
How far have we fallen as a people that we allow this to happen? What humanity do we have left when we're ok and encouraging the ruination of our fellow man? How many many more lives need to be ruined, reputation to be destroy, physically harmed, stupidly ripped off, molested, bashed, and treated with such evil before we wake up. Wake up and realize that we've are losing our humanity and becoming like the machines. Then creating Skynet would be seen as a good thing.
QED

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