The Way We Live Now

The New York Times has an article by Christine Rosen:

Today’s personal technologies, particularly the cellphone and the digital video recorder…are marvels of individual choice, convenience and innovation; they represent the democratization of the power of the machine. Our technologies are more intuitive, more facile and more responsive than ever before. In a rebuke to Marx, we have not become the alienated slaves of the machine; we have made the machines more like us and in the process toppled decades of criticism about the dangerous and potentially enervating effects of our technologies.

The near future promises even more of these ego-casting technologies, which offer us greater control and encourage the individualized pursuit of personal taste. Soon we’ll carry cellphones that double as credit cards, toll passes, televisions and personal video cameras. At home, we’ll merge the functions of these many technologies into a single streamlined machine that will respond to the sound of our voice, like the multimodal browser being developed by I.B.M. and Opera. This expansion of choice and control will foster the already prevalent expectation that we can and should be able to have anything we want on demand.

Rather than turning on, tuning in and dropping out, we might perhaps do better, individually and socially, to occasionally simply turn our machines off.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.