The first thing one has to look at as to where we are now, is how we’ve arrived here. The frenzied pace of news, information, research, gaming, and other bytes funneling down the fibers at the speed of light are a culmination of technologies past, and those technologies were the result of human desire for expansion of our awareness, need for better survival and lifestyle upgrades as well as a longer life. We seem to have reached a plateau of human ability to use these tools to further our personal “awareness” and technology is now on a global path that further enhances the differences between countries that will survive the depletion of traditional resources, of natural disasters, and of various other history-altering circumstances such as war, surprise obliterations, and the like. Oh, you say, “but we’ve achieved such high standards of communication now, through our growth of technology.” One should never confuse education with knowledge. If you really want to know what it is like to be human, look at how we have taken incredible advances to kill each other will the most proficiency in human history. In fact, technology is indeed linked directly with human history, from the first stoning to laser-tracked smart bombs. Look at how we are now able to track anything or anyone on the planet, except those who have the power to not be tracked. Our education system is in shambles brought down by the common denominator of “grading curves” so none be left behind. We’ve completely allowed our institutions to promote and hand diplomas to those who cannot read or write, much less know what year our country was founded. We have allowed this nation to be run by squawking heads of know-it-alls; political parties that care nothing but self-survival; bellowing blowhards that take themselves so seriously while proporting to be harmless. These are the “shards of intellect” of spun sound bytes that people support like their favorite football teams. And finally, we have mindless fools with their hands on the big red button.
So, to get back on track somewhat- we have pocket cell phones that dial us in (funny how that term still exists even though I haven’t seen a dial phone in 25 years) to the world of information. Phones that allow us to see each other, talk across the world with instant access. And what is the biggest feature that our aware, educated kids use? Texting. Why? There is no personal contact, just what looks like apparent secretive communication, because safety exists in the shadows. Now, think about the big picture. Forget kids and cell phones, think big kids with super-secret encoding devices and war machines that can annihilate at a moment’s notice. The messages stay the same throughout history. Humans do not become more emotionally mature from generation to generation, they do not learn to rationalize any easier or quicker than their forebearers. The difference is that the rapid technology leaves less time to ponder and balance thoughts before acting and now with digitization of those emotions, those thoughts and actions can be cloned in nano-seconds (Think about that email you sent that you wished you hadn’t). Now, do we all feel safer in this world? Combine this with the mass-educational standards at an all time low and you have a time bomb ticking. Can you hear it as well as I? The one solace is that struggling is part of the human condition, so as the strong survive, we may eventually get back to that Darwinian standard through no choice of our own. That road may have us speaking a new mixture of languages as the victor counts the spoils, a lesson we let go by the wayside by funding our own enemies with the dollars of old technology allowing them the access to the big red button. No one wants to think about it really. They care not of our sense of fair play (at least the cultural principles that we say we have) and have grudges to settle and have been waiting patiently thousands of years. Note I’m not singling out any particular country, you can pick your own over-reacting one from a long list.
The end result is always good for some-bad for others and inevitably, it is what it will be. Everyone is magnanimous until their lives are drasticallly affected. Answers are not readily available and the high seas are fraught with danger. There’s more booty than movies and music to be pirated.
I’m sure there is some quasi-goverment think-tank for understanding and promoting the positive global effects of these lightning-quick responses due to digitization and the responsibility that comes with it. Hopefully, it does more that build a “War Games” WOPR super-computer to minimize the outcome. It affects much more than just copyrights.
Next-The Copyright and Arts Issues