You may be wondering after Covid-19—a virus that was potentially made in a lab and terrorized humanity for over two years—if technology is necessarily good for humanity, and the world. Technology, in the form of nuclear weaponry, also threatens to end the world if Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin can’t come to terms over some place most Americans have never been to or heard of called the Donbas. In The Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler gives his opinion of technology and its effects on humanity, writing:
Lockdowns were a huge policy mistake. I blame Silicon Valley. I know, I know, the real blame resides with ill-informed technocrats who instituted the draconian and non-Jeffersonian lockdowns: the Trump and Biden administrations, blue-state governors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the rest of the alphabet soup of head-nodding agencies. Yet policy makers implemented lockdowns only because they could—because Silicon Valley provided the tools to lock people in their homes without completely imploding the economy.
Think about it. You couldn’t force lockdowns without laptops, Zoom, Amazon deliveries, cloud computing, Slack, QR codes or Netflix. Without them, lockdowns would have lasted two, maybe three weeks tops before the utter destruction of the economy forced everyone back to the workplace. Instead, we took the Faucian bargain of technology-enabled yearlong lockdowns because it was doable. Silicon Valley’s tools became shackles.
Lockdowns came with huge costs: job losses, increased crime, stunted learning, delayed medical treatments, violent protests, government spending blowouts, supply-chain disruptions, inflation, mental-health issues—all avoidable. Like bad air days, I fear bad carbon days will soon invoke climate-emergency lockdowns to keep people from driving.
Technology giveth and technology taketh away. The latest example is the plan to install cameras on every New York City subway car to limit crime. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “You think Big Brother is watching you on the subways? You’re absolutely right. That is our intent.” Privacy advocates, such as the New York Civil Liberties Union, are naturally up in arms. Its statement reads, “Living in a sweeping surveillance state shouldn’t be the price we pay to be safe.”
You know how Your Survival Guy feels about virtual Panopticons. Watching over the people from the comforts of Albany, NY? How about backing the blue so the thugs can be met with equal force on the spot?
Action Line: You may also wonder about the benefits of technology when you’re navigating through a big financial company’s phone tree trying to get a person with a pulse to talk to you. You won’t hear that type of thing when you call my office. You also won’t be encouraged to hand over your investment decisions to an artificial intelligence that sees you only as a collection of numbers to be processed. If you want to talk to a real person, let’s get in touch. Your retirement is too important to spend talking to robots. In the meantime, click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, and you’ll learn more about me and how I help American families improve their personal and financial security.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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