Followers of this blogspace, doubtlessly, are familiar with our long-standing antipathy to the use of cell phones for the purpose of personal communication. We have consistently maintained that the practice of transmission and receipt of data-like symbols on a small lighted screen, is a scant substitute, for spoken conversation. Our feelings are based upon the implicit loss of subjective phenomena that make for social intimacy, such as voice recognition of the speaker’s personal nuance, the timely relevance of questions and answers, the comforting realization of mutual contact, and the spontaneous exchange of unplanned remarks. In essence, it has been our view that the precious reassurance of continuity of relationship, and the spontaneous flow of momentarily expressed thought, are tragically sacrificed on the ephemeral altar of digital speed. Our prime concern, again, is centered on the loss of the many vital benefits of personal interaction by reason of their substitution by these facile and attractive devices.
It is apparent to us that our often expressed, views on this subject, are not shared by society at large, as empirically demonstrated by the prevailing use of cell phone conversation. In our view, the Nation and the World have foolhardily, persisted in their election of speed and robotic efficiency, over irreplaceable humanism. We fear that humanity is so besotted with the easy press of keyboards, as to entirely fail to consider the potential, societally dystopic, ultimate outcome of such witless lifestyle. Mechanical encounters present roadblocks to mankind’s natural affirming identification with other human beings. This is a consequence of their empirical derivation of needed personal contact and the exchange of expressive and reactive emotions; such as empathy, the pleasure of jointly accomplished problem solving, meaningful conveyance of feelings and perhaps most impactfully, individualized spontaneity.
The admitted futility of our concerns has been evident and irrefutably demonstrated by an ongoing stream of new robotic capabilities, enthusiastically sought, utilized, and immediately incorporated into our increasing, contemporaneous, and frighteningly impersonal, culture of automation. With reference to our automobiles, alone, there presently exist, route directional robotics, an automatic parking robotic, robotic emergency braking, and hands-free driving. At home, in addition to his ubiquitous “smartphones,” mankind utilizes “echo technologies” to operate our robotic vacuum cleaners, locate and play selected music, lock, and unlock doors, provide household security, cook our meals, calculate, and pay our taxes, deposit checks, pay our debts and taxes, monitor our health and room temperature, raise and lower garage doors, make coffee, bake bread, perform necessary calculations, and take photos. It might be more legally appropriate to have a new residential apartment lease, fully, and appropriately, executed by both, the tenant, and his computer service, as cotenant.
There is to us, a measure of risible irony, when one considers the widespread preference for labor-saving computer-driven items, purposed to free the resident householder from physical labor, in order that he or she, can go to the local gym for some much-needed vigorous exercise.
In their military application, computer-driven functions are no less than nightmarish. Unmanned drones, i.e., robotic airplanes, and computer driven rockets, lend ultimate, mechanical precision to the anonymous practice of homicidal warfare. The specter of unmanned, drones dropping bombs and raining hellfire on towns and cities seems pathologically suitable, as themes for traumatizing nightmares. Bloody warfare has now been relegated to killer-efficient computerized, keyboard warriors.
It has been our view, that the potential for creative ingenuity, given to man by evolution, and necessary for his successful survival and societal advancement, has been inappropriately, and immorally misapplied. It has been witlessly utilized to proceed in diametrically reverse direction and an ultimately disastrous course, leading to an extensive robotization and the consequent elimination of expression of mankind’s sensitivities, social awareness, and shared interactive life and worldview.
When we were children, crime movies stereotypically portrayed, an initial prolonged and extensive search for the responsible criminal, the solution, the exciting chase, then physical combat, and, finally, h apprehension. Today, the assigned detective, upon being notified of the crime, does not, as traditionally, rush out to his car, or immediately pick up his desk phone; he opens his laptop and feverishly begins to type on the keyboard. Like the deployed military, the stereotype of the modern detective is not the cinematic, tough guy, but a super-keyboard warrior. As a show of societal consistency, the current stereotype of the bank robber has kept timely pace; in lieu of a John Dillinger with mask and gun, robbing a bank, the modern movie industry presents us with a skinny, goateed geek, armed with his ubiquitously menacing computer; the concluding chase is keyboard warrior against keyboard warrior.