I put this passage in my quote file:
But technology is not neutral – and neither is code nor numbers. There are human, subjective judgments lurking behind the apparent objectivity offered by algorithms and the “user-friendly” operating systems. These technologies perform almost magically, while at the same time enabling all sorts of organizations to easily collect information about us, something that makes it that bit easier to usher in new forms of surveillance and control.
You can read the context for the passage in “Our Love of Technology Risks Becoming a Quiet Conspiracy against Ourselves.” I am not sure the Sillycon Valley crowd will agree completely.
ROBERT STEELE: Technology has displaced thinking. There are varied reasons, but among them I single out the profitability of corruption for the few who control government budget (along with the obsessive ideological refusal to value humans, leading to the view that borrowing to buy technology is better than adding affordable humans to the payroll).
Humans are inexpensive, infinitely agile, and accountable. Technology is extremely expensive, largely retarded, and not accountable. This means that the corrupt make vastly more money assigning money to technology projects than to human projects. The US Department of Defense and the US secret intelligence community are world-leaders in this kind of wasteful misdirection.
The “true cost” of our technical misdirection — and the idiocy of “government by algorithm” — are simply not understood by most, including many academics cowed by the threat that they will be disenfranchised if they question the prevailing techno-industrial paradigm that is desperately in need of replacement by the ecologism paradgim Charles Bednar discusses in his book Transforming the Dream, and as rooted in the ecological economics of Herman Daly, among others.
The antidote is a culture that embraces holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering. Sadly, we are coming off 50 years in which we not only elevated investment in technology without consideration of true cost, but also dumbed down the public to make them unthinking subservient sheep. While there are signs of growing public consciousness and resistance, lacking right now is a focal point — including the Nordics and BENELUX, the smartest under the old paradgim but not at all into the new paradigm — for a global revolution of the mind.
I have posted some relevant documents at the top of robertdavidsteele.com.