Column: From Enlightment to Aggravation

There are more of us here now than ever before. We are tearing down national borders and language barriers; information, knowledge and ideas are now stored forever. We live to be older, maybe even wiser, and thanks to social media, we can be part of it from a very young age on: nobody needs to hold your hand any more before you’re allowed and able to have all the world at your feet.

The more intelligent we become, the better we know what questions to ask, the more meticulously we phrase them, and the more complex the answers become. And the more objections can be raised about them. This is how discussion has stopped being a means and has become the final stage of more and more evolutionary processes, resulting in stagnation.

That’s why more and more often, we miss things, failing to notice them. All the easier it becomes to shoot down plans and ideas, because today’s knowledge is always an argument against the future, even though there was once a time when knowledge was there to get the world of tomorrow to mesh with the world of the days before.

For a long time, ICT seemed to be the solution to this increasing complexity of the world, to the increasing complexity of the questions and that of the answers, the yearly increase by 100% of information on the internet; ring binders and address books were replaced by digital systems, and without any definite expectations, we were surprised every time by the possible results of our innovations.

But there’s no such thing as magic wands.

Where ICT used to be a way to make the world simpler and more manageable, all of those systems are starting to get a life of their own. People are less in charge of their own lives, and more a slave to the constant flow of information and knowledge, and we do what we are told is best for us. More and more often, the systems know more about us than we know about the systems.

That’s the way ICT is used more and more often these days. Not as a tool, not for support, but to replace people, to check on people and to manage people. Essentially, the roles have been reversed: systems used to do what we wanted them to do, but now they’re telling us how to live our lives. It’s just like the economy.

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