Was 2013 the Start of our Orwellian Future?

by Matt Klassen on December 30, 2013

As it comes time to close the book on 2013 I find myself looking back on the year that was, contemplating the advances in technology and what they mean for human progress. While many might think technology to be a largely benign influence on our lives, when one considers technology on a philosophical level it becomes clear that the gizmos and gadgets we hold so dear play integral roles in developing and changing what it means to exist and what it means to be human. That’s a lot of power for technology to wield.

Of course that means that companies who create and dictate technological advancement are, by proxy, incredibly powerful, able to change how we communicate, how we relate to each other, and how we relate to the world by what gadgets they put in our hands. So what happens when those companies begin to abuse that power?

If there was one persistent theme that I saw throughout 2013, it was the beginnings of a darkly dystopian tale of our technological future, a veritable Orwellian horror story that saw the emergence of two disconcerting entities, the NSA and Google. Its not that these entities didn’t exist before, but that they both took disturbing turns in 2013, battling it out for the role of Big Brother, seemingly hell bent on using technology to control humanity.

Perhaps I’m being a tad over-dramatic. I mean all we’ve seen Google do is solidify its nefarious web of information collection through its myriad of incredibly useful, and not to mention ‘free,’ services. Beyond the disconcerting amount of information Google has compiled on each and every one is, the search engine giant branched out into robotics as well, announcing its intention to mechanize the remainder of the production industry, ostensibly signing the death warrant for millions of jobs the world over.

In fact, given the company’s duel focus on advancing our robotic future and collecting copious amounts of information, is it a stretch to say we’re seeing the beginnings of a Terminator-esque future, one where the company loses control of its SkyNet robotic creation and…well, you know the rest.

As tech analyst Rob Enderle writes, the impending future of technological advancement will change the world, and “we should likely be prepared to bow to our coming Google masters.”

But amazingly 2013 saw Google get overshadowed by none other than the American government, particularly the NSA and its well-documented PRISM spying and espionage scandal. We learned this year that the NSA has fingers in almost every pie across the globe, as documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed a complex web of illegal information collection that included the American people, most major technology firms, and covert spying on governments across the globe.

It cemented in our minds that while Google is looking to push the envelope of what we consider acceptable when it comes to privacy and information collection, the American government didn’t even stop to consider the envelope at all.

So what does it all mean? As I’ve said many times throughout the year, I’m not terribly optimistic about what lay ahead for us as a technological species, as such advancement seems to be quickly spinning out of control, with governments and companies quickly loosing sight of why we need technology and what purpose it should serve. Technology is a tool for the advancement of humanity, a purpose both Google and the NSA are clearly ignoring, seemingly hell bent on using it to create their own dark future.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: