Trust the Tech

Believing we have all the technology we’ll ever need, we seek to draw attention to its destructive side effects. This seems foolish…

—Neal Stephenson, <a href="" title="Read Stephenson's article on the World Policy Institute's website">Innovation Starvation</a>

It is the first day of a new month. Does that mean anything? Not really, but it’s a convenient thing to kick me in to writing again.

Can we imagine things, and then have them come to be? Should we do so? I mean, should one set out with some grand plan, a vision of something (presumably) desirable, and work doggedly towards it? Is the confidence of this, fundamentally, a good thing? To throw aside doubt, charge forward with a grin, and do something! To aim to get what we think is good?

Or is the doubt that stops this, useful; does it help?

Obviously, the premise of that second stance is that, indeed, the doubt must be listened to! For otherwise, why ask? Why acknowledge that there is any doubt, if the better thing to do is to push through it?

Forgive me, I’m not making much sense. Blame the beer (and I’ve heard some advise against writing publicly in this condition… bah!). All I’m getting at is the seemingly inexhaustable bloody optimism of the tech industry…

Everywhere I turn, in my job as a coder and in my general skiving around the web, there is a pervading sense that all this tech — all these screens, these images, this communication ad adnauseam — is good. Of course that’s the prevailing mood, within the tech; it has to be. No doubt that there’s tomes of discourse, paper tomes, swapped between those who disagree with the tech-is-good premise; but they’re not on the web, and I don’t see them.

And I don’t really want to! I’m so very much on the verge of giving in to the doubt, that I really don’t need any encouragement! Where’d I be, if I listened to the posibility that the very foundations of my daily work are not to be trusted?! A gibbering wreck of anxiety, or bean-hoeing luddite; one or the other. Maybe both.

So I’m going forth with optimism (which may be blindness); grabbing the (possibly fake, or at least poorly-built) handrail of geeky progression; and climbing the hill (or decending into the pit) of joyous digital liberation.

Or something.