Thursday, July 07, 2016

From High Chair to I-Chair.

None of this will surprise you if you've read my libertarian drivel before, but safety is going to be the end of us as a free nation.  Well, not the concept of safety, but that power to  demand it arrogated by a corporate oligarchy and the forced paternalism it  profits from.  Teach your kids to cross the street?  That's criminal - just forbid them, to or better: make it impossible.

With all action there is risk so why allow action?  With all freedom there is risk but with absolute isolation from risk there is absolutely no freedom.  The urge to take the steering wheel away from us and by that to take private cars and the new birth of freedom they brought -- to take that away from us continues to increase even as intimations of the failures of such technology begin to appear. Idiot proof technology becomes  the design goal rather than freedom or mobility and the dependent, the timid, the incompetent and unable become the new 21st century Eloi, born to consume and raised only for the profit of others.  It's been coming for a while. Want to reduce this trend to absurdity?  Well you saw the Matrix too.

We need more technology, not less, says Computer World Magazine.  More technology will save more lives and we need to be more aggressive in mandating it. Even if one life is saved, it justifies turning yours and mine into a Kafka story and a very lucrative story for Google and Apple and the rest.  The life you save may not be much of one.

Yes, to a computer expert, all problems need more computers to fix them, but citing an alleged increase in car accidents of late allows them to demand driverless cars as the only solution to a multitude of changing conditions that are affected by things not mentioned.

And so of course highway safety figures suddenly begins to look worse after 50 years of improvements. because they need to look worse to support a growing industry and so they do.  And so as we panic and babble about it being too dangerous to drive: as we begin to see the fear build, we are steered toward the one and only available and necessary solution and that's the Google Car.  Any other approaches are, of course heresy and we will have to think of an appropriate bogeyman to associate you with.  No, actually you can't win and the only solution available to anything will be that of  the hermetic bubble you live in and must remain in for the rest of your life.

Google because we aren't yet all peons and serfs on the Google estate. Of course there  actually has been an apparent increase in distracted driving, what with the 12 second attention span of Millennials who are mostly interested in sitting someplace with WiFi and wall to wall video games where they can text and check dating services and shop and text again and damn if they aren't doing just that already. At least it seems so in the short term. Short term trends always extend indefinitely into the future when needed to scare us.. We know this, or at least I assume we do since we always, always, always act that way, unless things are getting better and we have to deny it because we're selling fear.

But yes, the millennials.  They don't seem to like cars much since they interfere with that great world of online interpersonal relationships and shopping and actually require a measurable attention span. You see them on bicycles and motorcycles and skateboards, sitting at a desk or walking down the street playing with their devices, but that can't be helped. It's not even profitable to make people stop it since childishness is the backbone of sales and Industry needs to cultivate the spending  of the new flock of sheep.  So we can only opt for robot cars or Uber, at least until it's no longer necessary actually to go anywhere after you buy that Google Cubicle and get plugged in to the Google matrix.

"We need more Google and Tesla" say the editors.  I think we need a "Tune Out, Turn Off, Go Outside"  revolution or perhaps we need to revisit a previous revolution having much to do with imposing government without consent.  Were we designed to be a government by safety experts, equipment lobbyists?  If that history doesn't exist, it will soon enough. Meanwhile it's dangerous to walk - buy an i-Chair!

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