Random musings…
The ones that got written down.

build it for a reason…. not just because you can

No one knows why the pyramids were really built…. well ok some people will tell you they built the pyramids to protect the pharaohs in the after life…. scratch the surface and that argument will fall off….

 

Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica fallout is a classic case of why one shouldn’t build it just because it can be built. I have always maintained that technology and advancements in computing are running away while real life at best is left gasping and panting running after new advances trying to play catch up. People clamor for the latest and greatest without a thought being spared for what they already have at the moment. We had real friends and a real chance at friendships at some point and what did we jump for? Sell my soul and engage in the vulgar game of “look at my life it is so much more better than yours” on Social Media. Today every person is concerned, every person jumps every time an ad shows up on any site they visit or application they use on the phone, wondering how did this site/app know that I searched for that just a few minutes ago…. and that too in incognito mode?!! Privacy suddenly is everyones top priority.

As a nation we’ve been had, royally and completely screwed over. Earlier by the Mughals, then by the English, later on by the Congress party and finally now by the Hindutva brigade and now we realize all along we were being manipulated. Coz lets be real Cambridge Analytica did not happen in a vacuum, the seed was always there. Heck I myself had been part of the team that built a market sentiment measuring tool, the Image Barometer, back in 2005. Manipulation is a hop skip and small jump from there.

As a people we have been kept busy in a 9-5 existence which is now unfortunately at it’s peak as we follow the sun and no more stop at 5 in he evening going well into the night most of the time. The fleeting chance that we had at making true friends was stolen by an app written by a socially maladjusted 19 year old Harvard Sophomore. We fell for it because yes we always look for instant gratification information at our fingertips and effortless convenience. Who wants to go out and press flesh when all you need to get the adulation and “likes” of friends and friends of friends is an effortless post of your takeaway dinner from the local Delhi Darbar #nostalgia #mughalai #foodie #thegoodlife. Entrepreneurs thrive on laziness of the consumer. They experiment all the time with which other small part of your life could you outsource next. At the rate we’re going the day is not far when humans turn into vegetables and the machines are the ones that live our lives for us. AI is totally capable of getting us there. Already there are people all over the world, grown men and women, who do not know how to write with their hands using a pen. The computers/phones and keyboards/keypads have meant that even at an early age children get their assignments online, submit home work or projects electronically and rarely if ever need to actually write with a pen. So why is it a bad thing you may say. For one writing is not about recording alone, it’s also about getting creativity flowing. I can guarantee that even though most books get written on some sort of machine (typewriters or laptops or whatever) the good authors still make it a point to put pen to paper once in a while just to keep the juices flowing. It’s another matter that today people don’t even read as much because it’s so much more easier to get your information in byte sized forwards on Social Media…. so what’s the point in writing at all one wonders.

Businesses have been salting away information about their clients for forever now, that politicians very early on found out about the benefits of slice and dice was the turning point. Elections became more about polarization and less about issues and their solutions way back in the 60s (for India). “Roti, Kapda aur Makaan” was the slogan then, “Bahut hui mehangaai ki maar abki baar Modi sarkar” it is now. The basic issue has stayed exactly where it was 60 years back. Common man by and large is still poor, there is still no social equality, women are still abused and degraded, children still do not have a good future or safety. The slicing and dicing continues, them and us is alive and kicking. The only difference is that now technology not only identifies the segments it actually aids in creating new and innovative segments, nurturing fissures, deepening divides in society suggesting how to best exploit any random incident in any corner of the country for maximum political mileage. Leaders or so called leaders are the ones who are brazen enough to sacrifice the most at the altar of politics. How many people have you killed? The higher your number the better your chances at enrollment into the political class. How many solutions have you given? The higher the number the lesser your utility to the political class. Who wants solutions? What will we divide people on if problems are solved. It’s no wonder that 70 years after independence we still cry about the same liter of spilled milk in Kashmir and the same fight carries on with China. It’s a conflict that is mutually beneficial for the political class all around, citizens unfortunately have zero time to stop and think about who’s been riding them bare butt all these years. They are busy complying with convoluted rules and abiding by mind boggling laws and I’m not even going to get started with the religious rituals bit. Poor fellows are being brutalized in every way possible and in a strangely sadistic manner they enjoy it. IF you do not believe me then pray explain how is it possible that tax laws are similarly convoluted all over the world, be it the USA which is 175 years ahead of us (having written a constitution for themselves in 1776 as opposed to us in 1949) or Pakistan which has been rewriting it’s constitution forever now (1956, 1962, 1970) or South Sudan which became an independent nation in as recently as 2011. It’s just so that the bumpkin on the street is kept busy while the 1% can continue to suck him dry.

Technology is going ahead at a break neck speed and it is being utilized vulgarly to exploit. Laws, religious beliefs, taboos are for the poor to believe in and practice while the 1% remain forever above reproach. Such is the apathy and brazenness of the technology pundits that they continue to fund and foist a race to the far reaches of the universe yet have no answer to questions on eradication of poverty, hunger, deadly disease. How difficult is it to pour all the funds at our disposal into making life better for those who live an animal existence?! Can technology make the lives of manual scavengers better put an end to manual scavenging? Then what is the point. All we’re racing towards is more emptiness. Emptiness as a civilization. A world populated by 7B people who would rather connect on FB/IG/TW/WA or whatever than make real world connects. We put an electric car in orbit around Mars, wow for technology!!! Where is flight MH370? Some would say that’s why we need more advancements in technology. To them I say no you are missing the point. The technology is enough, it’s already there, what you need is application and optimization. You don’t need to continuously reinvent the wheel or build new wheels. Learn to do amazing stuff with the wheels you already built first. Only when you hit a limitation go in and modify the design. Technology needs to slow down on the innovation bit, humanity needs to catch up on application, knowledge sharing, problem solving, collaborative problem solving and general mastering of the beast. For in the end one has to remember humans built technology as a tool to help themselves, allowing the tool to become the master is a recipe for disaster. Look West, at Trump, and then look East at…. well most of them and you see how the world is going down the potty because we made the tools our masters. So yeah slow down to gain control again.

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