|photo: I, Tevaprapas|
Modern man lives in a multi-tasking paradise whose existence is fortified by the presence of ever more advanced electronic equipment that seems to have a mind of its own. Your average android will talk back to you with its Siri component while also demonstrating its talents for voice recognition like a precocious adolescent. The internet of everything is the term that’s applied to the interconnected world that awaits your delectation. Of course, there’s always pushback by those who fear that the objects of man’s creation will begin to take the wheel. Driverless cars are not even a novelty anymore. But those who navigate the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan have had a rude awakening. There are no more toll booths and everything is automated which means that the humans manning toll booths who barely noticed anything but the money being proffered have been replaced by high speed sensors which detect not only E-Z passes but everything else about an automobile, including things like unpaid tickets. Patrol cars manned by State Troopers, who formerly never ventured into Manhattan, now are stationed near the site of former toll booths. Big Brother indeed, but that’s no longer the end of the story. Our cars have themselves become living sources of information and the dream of freedom and independence on the open road will even be further lost when vehicles become like planes whose automated arrivals and departures are all run by way of computer, leaving little room for human choice or error. Ironically the hegemony of the data byte will eventually end up with human consciousness occupying the lowest rung of the food chain. So many things will be going on of their own accord that the result will be a cybernetic volitional state that will be as successful in defeating human ego as a Buddha.