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Even young children can sense that we live in an age in which literally none of the information available is reliable or believable. Information on a global scale is subject to Gresham’s Law: low-quality information spreads everywhere and the truth is hoarded by the few.
What went wrong, and why?
In a sense, the original sin was the confusion of science, the philosophical pursuit of the truth by means of confirmation of accuracy through systematic experiments, with technology, the tools, and the systems based on tools, that serve to create an effect, or to complete a task.
Technology is not science. The Internet, and the supercomputers that lurk behind it, are employed by the rich and powerful to create a virtual reality for us with the intention of convincing us that the images and the effects generated by technology have some relationship to the truth, to science. They want to reassure us that everything is fine when it is not.
If we want to find our way out of this nightmare, we must first recognize that technology today has become the complete opposite of science: a distraction, or a weapon employed to render us passive and ignorant.
As Paul Goodman wrote, “Whether or not it draws on new scientific research, technology is a branch of moral philosophy, not of science.” It is the moral aspect of technology that should be foremost in our minds, and not the gaudy special effects that enchant, that pretend to be science.
Before we develop a smartphone, a satellite system or a supercomputer, we must first employ the scientific method to determine what the impact of that technology will be over the long term on the Earth and on humanity. Such a combination of science and technology literally never happens.
Today, thousands of supercomputers calculate the worth of derivatives as part of a money game for the super-rich, a fixed round of poker. Few super computers are calculating how the use of massive amounts of electricity to power the next generation of AI will impact the climate over the next fifty years,