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Science vs. Technology

Believe it or not, this is where I want / need to address in a first step toward working out the “digital divide” concept I introduced in “More about Modes and Levels of Literacy>“.

When I was young, I always thought science and technology were aligned, and that engineering was all about this sort of alignment. I guess this may still be true in the ideal case. Yet I also want to talk about the real world here and now.

Ever since the world has become populated by billions of people, government and regulations have become more significant. Centuries ago, I guess people could easily live quite free of governments and laws to govern them, whether deep in the woods, out on the frontiers or sailing out across the high seas to virtually uninhabited new worlds. Such wide open space is now long gone on Earth.

Today, one technology every living person needs to pay attention to is the legal system. In some countries, the legal system can be quite complicated or even downright complex. One of the legal systems which was put into place thanks to our so-called new world order is generally referred to as “intellectual property” (and intellectual property law). Intellectual property laws enable the ownership of ideas (which is, more or less, what the term “intellectual property” refers to).

What does this have to do with literacy? (Remember, in the previous post I sort of promised to explain how a sort of “digital divide” has been created)

Well, today very few people are aware of the way the so-called “technology” they use actually functions. For example, most people apparently do not understand that this “tech” collects data about them. People generally really mainly focus on their own interests at any given moment, so they might look at pictures or maps or maybe “look up” a so-called fact. They are less aware of any economic motives some company might have in presenting them information … or whether they are being manipulated … or whether the so-called facts they are given could be classified as propaganda.

Lets take a step back and consider this from a wider perspective. A few decades ago, there was a lot of controvery because one company “bundled” technologies. Today, most of the hardware technology used bundles lots of technologies, and quite a few companies even collect enormous amounts of information about their users in order to better manipulate them — and almost none of these users are even aware that this is going on. The reason why boils down to literacy.

Today, an infinitesimally small minority of very literate people are aware of propaganda (any many of these people actually make a lot of money in the propaganda industry) and the vast majority of people are basically illiterate … insofar as they do not understand that the technologies they use on a daily (or perhaps hourly or even “constant”) basis are produced by the propaganda industry in order for the “propaganda company” to “make money”. [1]

Companies working in the propaganda industry are generally protected by IP laws (“intellectual property” law). IP laws enable propaganda companies to offer bundles of proprietary hardware with proprietary software — and usually these technology bundles are quite cheap, because the propaganda companies are willing to subsidize the costs in order to thereby be able to collect information about users, and thus to maximize their earnings potential from manipulating these users. Indeed, many argue that the users of such technologies are not the customers per se. Instead, “consumer companies” are the actual customers, insofar as the “consumer companies” are willing to foot the bill for the enormous revenues paid to the propaganda companies in order to advertise the “consumer company” products and services to such “illiterate” users.

[1] see also “Herding Millennials — a new agenda for tech?” [ ] and / or “Us OR Them — Whose Job is it to GTFO?

By New Media Works

I'm just a regular person ;) If you want to know more, pls send me a msg -- thanks! :D

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