Recently I wrote a piece titled “FOOLS OF OUR TOOLS” which I concluded as follows:
And I am still happy with an “older model” of my mobile phone.
So, have we become the fools of our tools?
Not yet, but it may be a work-in-progress.
Yesterday I saw a post which seems to be very much aligned with the uneasiness which I have been approaching technology over the past number of years – since cars were in fact fitted with odometers that would tell you the exact kph (mph) you were driving – to a decimal place.
By the way one of my friends made her husband get rid of their car since it really made her feel uneasy to drive at 83.9 kph on their way to Sussex inlet.
I have now followed with trepidation something they call “robo- advice” where algorithms (written by whom, and with what input?) will replace financial advisors in an attempt to lower the cost of financial advice. There are several points to notice here:
These “robo-advisors” will not be owned by banks – which I think is a good thing – to a point.
They can spark a sell-sell-sell cycle and as recently seen in the USA can cause a stock exchange blip that can wipe billions of dollars off the market in minutes – off companies that investors rely on for retirement and other finances.
Now here are four instances where Bernd Struben, Managing Editor of The Daily Reckoning (in Australia) feels that we should definitely say NO to technological “advance”….
…. much of which reminds me of George Orwell’s two classics “1984” and “Animal Farm”.
- Road safety
AustRoads – Australia’s top road safety body – has called for alcohol interlocking devices, cameras and finger print recognition devices in cars to stem alcohol-related death on roads.
Whilst I thing drink-driving should be regarded as an extreme offence, so do I think drug-driving should be regarded the same as should be other types of driving.
Question: Why just not take cars away completely? That should stop most road deaths.
But the deeper question is: Why should the 90+% of the drivers be saddled with technological crap so we can stop the “10%” hoons and reckless drivers out there? Let them pay for their mistakes – with more than a slap on the wrist. And I mean make them pay in terms of finances. And if they cannot or will not, then extract it from them in other ways – which may be seen as draconian
but the many should not pay for the stupidity of the few.
Footnote – of course we would all be tracked via GPS.
- 2. Photo sharing
Facebook is busy testing a feature that will share your photos with “friends” – even before you decide to upload them to facebook. They will go through new photos on your phone’s camera and share them with your “friends”.
It is time to really think who your “friends” are.
Of course this will be done “with your permission” but how many of us have actually read all the small print, and keep reading it (as they change this when it suits them) and who knows where to find all the “switches” to “opt out” of what we don’t like? In fact, if you have ever shared a photo with friends via Messenger you might have already given them permission to do this – without you knowing it (“opted in” being the nice word to describe it).
- Fitness tracking devices and Intelligent watches:
The sweetner that they give you is that you will know every one of your vital signs at any point in time. But so will your insurance company AND probably your government.
You strap this device on and it helps you pace your walk, your run, the number of steps you take in a day, your blood pressure, your heartbeat, how many calories you ingest, etc.
And your insurance company will craft you a “better and cheaper” policy based on this.
Question” When last did your insurance go down? They always find “more new technology” to install which makes things more expensive. Not to mention the multi-million dollar bonuses and severance packages they pay themselves.
- Black Boxes for cars
And cars to be installed with more “black box” technology to track how you drive – for the same purpose: to offer you “better and cheaper” insurance.
Question: Same as above.
I think the BIG question to come out of all of this is:
- This is data that I generate. So who owns it?
The answer is simple: I own it.
- And what do they do with it?
Answer: Who knows. You will never get a straight answer out of any of them.
- So, why should I share it and for what benefit to me?
You are being told by these organizations and corporations that it is for you benefit.
Really? When last did you get a royalty cheque in the post for sharing any of this data / information with them? Or lower insurance for that matter? Do they send your child to school?