So, after leaving a crappy web 1.0 html page here for far too long, I’ve decided to revamp things a bit. I’ll be posting some hopefully-thought-provoking medium-form content here, with a focus on technology of course, since that’s what I spend a lot of time doing (turns out after 20 years in this field I have some opinions).
I have a kind of a strange and skeptical view towards high technology these days. While some technological innovation has been absolutely transformative:
- smartphones and the access to information and resources they provide, especially for people in poorer countries
- the growth of Linux and high quality open source software
…some technological changes have been more dubious:
- Facebook and the movement of social interactions to platforms whose primary drivers are to capture ad revenue at any cost to user happiness
- Uber and the movement from transit infrastructure as a human right to transit infrastructure as a commercial enterprise
- The use of surveillance technology to spy on and track people, either by governments (China) or by companies (Google)
(These are just examples; the list goes on.)
What we’ve seen is that while many technological changes are good for humanity, not all are. In fact nothing inherent in the creation of new technologies guarantees that they will be good ideas or forward progress. As both individuals and a society it’s left to us to answer the question of what is good or bad, what do we want to adopt and what do we want to avoid or change. I’m hoping to explore some of that here, to help both myself and others be more conscientious of what technologies we use, what those technologies enable for us, and what they take away.
Remember, the purpose of technology isn’t to have fancy gadgets or do something in a cool way that’s never been done before; the purpose is to make our lives better.