VIDEO: GOOGLE I/O 2011
I really loved this video and I want to thank the opportunity to learn from ideas like the ones expressed in the speech by Annalee Newitz.
Technology is portrayed as an independent individual with will. Society is controlled by machines or technological devices and people are conducted to behave in a certain way. And what´s more, technology dictates how people must think creating a global thought, a common mind and a unique way of thinking. Technology in these works is not depicted as a tool for the use of people but as an engine which thinks for you and set the rules of our way of life. And moreover, people is not aware of this fact, so society is depicted as a global being, completely alienated and without control of their own lives.
In Matrix, some characters are aware of this situation but they have to fight “the machine” and they live unhappily as they know the truth, they know that people is being used and controlled, that technology is not a tool anymore and that people are the sustenance of technology instead, they have seen the “backstage” of the virtual world presented to be believed as the real one. The others, on the contrary, live alienated and unconscious, they “sleep” and let technology rule their lives as you can live happily and without preoccupations. This is the way I see society, there are a lot of people who are ignorant, but not in a disrespectful way, but in the sense some do not know, they ignore how the system works and what we mean for the system. I think The Matrix portrays the System, a global machine which controls society as a whole, not as a individuals with needs, a massive economic system, a fixed world political system and how humans are seen by it.
Whenever I use facebook, I realize how quick a piece of information is spread. People do not want to be left behind and most of them share and share the same picture, piece of information or video to feel they form part of a whole. The hive mind is on its way, and even if we are aware of that, we keep on doing it, and we decide that that is the way we live our virtual life, the way we communicate, we learn and we know about reality which, in my opinion, is not responsible. Actions like these foment the collective thought .I think we are part of a massive global mind so these fictional discourses, in their basis, should not be considered fictional but a portray of society nowadays too.
She also talks about privacy on the internet and she states that we do not have any privacy but we can hide the information about ourselves expressed on the internet to those ones we choose. But the core idea is that we do not own any privacy at all. And I think this is quite accurate. We publish details of our lives on the internet every day. Anyone has access to that information, even if we do not know them at all. We are completely exposed to the mercy of control and surveillance.
I would consider these words as dystopian in the sense that what technology offers in these situations is not positive but negative for society and for individuality. I have always thought too that we consider as a real portrayal of the future what some fictional discourses describe. I mean, when we think about the future, as we cannot have an accurate vision of it (it is impossible as it has not happened yet) we take fictional discourses as a reference. So, in a way, we think that is the way our future will be. Let´s take 1984 as a reference. We do have surveillance, control over society is so established that we do not even wonder why, we can see our rulers on the screens and we listen to their speeches on television or pc screens, and many governments are nowadays as totalitarian and repressive as in the novel. So, is it a coincidence? Were these authors such visionaries? I do not think so. Therefore, it is logical to think that we accept technological progress as “natural” and a part of our destiny.