My wife will readily tell anyone who asks that I can be a bit cynical about my fellow man. Truth be told, I will readily admit that fact as well.
There is a concept known as Disruptive Technology. To oversimplify it for this newsletter, the concept states at different periods in human history a new technology will be developed that has a far-reaching impact on humanity, disrupting the world as it was known at that time.
This disruption brings with it many positive changes. These can include improved quality of life, economic opportunity, new jobs, and other new forms of technology.
The disruption can also bring with it quite a few negative changes. To name a few, specific skill sets are made redundant, forever eliminating those jobs. Society can be drastically altered in ways not foreseen. Families can be ripped apart and lives devastated.
The new technology brings change, change that is disruptive to the way we live and work. That disruption is both good and bad.
Economically priced steel and steam power were the technologies that drove the Industrial Revolution. Undreamed of prosperity came about as did many new inventions that made life easier.
The Industrial Revolution saw a rush of humanity from the countryside to the urban areas to take advantage of the newly created jobs in the new factories. With this shift came the problems related to overcrowding in cities: crime, squalor, inadequate schools, and a host of other social and economic issues.
Factory produced goods created new jobs and revenue streams for many. For others, it eliminated jobs and only offered long hours at low wages in return for others.
As I type this newsletter, we are currently going through another period of Disruptive Technology. This time it is the Digital Age. The combination of personal computers, the internet, and digital technology are producing unimagined changes in society.
With the advent of the tech billionaires, we’ve all seen the problems the new technology has created. Are youth are addicted to their iPhones, Social Media, and seldom read like the youth of the past.
Social Media has its pluses. It also has quite a few minuses.
We now live in the age of trolls. Real, living, breathing trolls. They live on the internet.
Much of the political turmoil and upheaval nations around the world are experiencing are made possible and in part often caused by Social Media.
We seem to have forgotten the wise adage of if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. The internet allows us to unleash our inner troll in the safety of anonymity.
The champions of technology love to claim the latest and greatest technology will make humanity’s life better. That we can eliminate all the ills of the past. Technology will set us free from this or that.
Don’t get me wrong.
I like lots of new types of technology. I have an iPhone. I use the internet. I publish my books in both paperback and ebook format. The paperback does not exist until you order it and then it is printed using a technology called print-on-demand. This newsletter is digital and delivered by e-mail.
But I have to shake my head at those who claim this technology and that technology will set man free. From biblical times to the present day, man has shown he is a sinful, broken beast.
We would be far better served to try to learn from the mistakes of the past and determine effective ways to prevent the same cycle of behavior from repeating. Instead, we look to technology as a cure-all.
It’s not. If we want to clean up the mess known as humanity we have to do something about humanity’s broken nature.
Until we do that, not much is going to change.
There is no technology, no utopian social system, or philosophy that will create the perfect social order for mankind to exist together.
But people don’t want to hear that. I guess hope springs eternal for some.
As cynical as it sounds, I’m convinced man’s not going to change much in the future.
Just ask Sully. 500 years in the future mankind is committing the same sins, breaking the same laws, and possessed of the same flaws.
It’s this very aspect of human nature that creates the life experiences and examples of human behavior that led to the development of the crime noir genre.
At least one good thing has come from all of man’s failings!