In the 21st century it is nearly impossible to escape the watchful eyes of technology, the net and the world, a private dinner cannot be assumed to be truly private nor can a casual “off the cuff remark”. There are no more private places or private spaces. Those in political office and those that seek political power can no longer shape their messages to appeal to a particular audience in a world where nearly everything politicians say and do is on the record. Moments like this represent an important moment in history demonstrating both the power and influence of technology and the value of truth, honesty and transparency.
It’s pretty disappointing that TED allowed this talk to ever occur, it’s the classic “you better fear technology or else” hogwash that we have all heard before. Of course our technology is a doubled edged sword, it can be used for both good or ill but that has been the case since the first tools mankind ever used. The wooden club, chipped flint and fire can be used for defense against predators, hunting and cooking food or it can be used to pillage the camp down river. This presenters perspective on technology really exemplifies the problem with modern law enforcement in that it perceives any and every new technological innovation as a possible threat. From this perspective such threats can only be mitigated by limitations on technology, its development and proliferation throughout modern society. This talk comes off as a kind of propaganda, there is no original thinking going on here it is merely fear mongering. Here is a sample of some of the speakers more ridiculous quotes;
“We are at the dawn of a technological arms race, an arms race between people who are using technology for good and those who are using it for ill.”
This arms race started long ago with stone tools it’s not the “dawn” of anything. An axe and hammer can be used to build a shelter or kill a man so this is not news.
“A search engine can determine who shall live and who shall die.”
Really? and how precisely are we to remedy that? Monitor all searches, limit what people can search for? Limit who they can search for and when?
“If you’re expecting the people who built airport security to protect you from the coming robopocalypse, you may want to have a backup plan.”
One would think that any TED presenter worth his salt would stay away from “Bad Robot” insinuations but guess not. The assumption here is that the advent of a “robopocalypse” as he calls it is an inevitability. Either intelligent autonomous robots will turn on humans or some crafty human will turn robots on the rest of humanity. Perhaps this was the presenters attempt at humor.
It’s too bad the presenter did not use his opportunity to speak at TED to explore a problem much more relevant given his background and that is the militarization of local law enforcement agencies which also seeks to leverage modern high technology for their own purposes. Those of us interested in technology and innovation expect more from TED.
The soon to be released “The Last Of Us” from Naughty Dog looks quite simply amazing. Judging from the trailer that was shown at E3 2012 we don’t know if it was a pandemic plague, a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion, or the fulfillment of Mayan prophesy but something happened to transform this world into a post apocalyptic wasteland fit only for the cleaver, crafty and strong willed to survive. In our post nine eleven reality it seems (in US at least) we are absolutely obsessed with the idea of the collapse of American civilization, which is often what makes games in this genre so popular. On one level the fall of civilization is greatly feared and there is a great anxiety built up around the notion that if we don’t “change course” somehow a post apocalyptic future awaits us. We seem to be unable or unwilling to actually do the necessary thing (whatever it is) to avoid it. Strangely apocalyptic fantasy continues to occupy a kind of dark fantasy someplace deep within the psyche of the western mind. Perhaps games like this serve as a kind of psychological release valve for the ever increasing anxiety many feel when they try to think on what the future may hold.
Visit the official The Last of Us website at: http://www.thelastofus.com/
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Apple fans worldwide eagerly await the debut of the next iPad. Rumors are everywhere about what it will be named, what it will have, what it may have, what it won’t have and when you can get one. Bottom-line if you love them or loathe them you have to admit the iPad is the ultimate reigning world champion of the tablet world. The big event kicks off March 7 2012 at 10am PST. For all the latest and greatest iPad news head on over to our friends at LTG for everything tech and pure awesome.