Technology: Misunderstanding Each Other

Has anyone (else) noticed that the proliferation of communications technologies has occurred in direct proportion to the level of misunderstanding and confusion in the world? It is not that we do anything new by misinterpreting each other’s intentions – as people have been doing this for as long as there have been people – we merely do so more rapidly and with an acute sense of urgency and confusion.

This is surely yet another instance of the good side of technology (through facilitated communication and distributed identity or trust) being at least equivalent in consequence to the bad side of technology (in misunderstanding, insecurity, suspicion and fear). I doubt very much whether anyone can win this game – an inevitable and endemic slide into entropy and disorder, while providing the necessary difference and novelty from which creativity and technological insight spring forth, is prone more to catastrophic disassembly than it is to the spontaneous emergence of useful complexity.

Understanding these unsavoury facts might make us all a little less starry-eyed about technological possibilities but it is also true that it is a far better thing to understand the realities as they truly are. There is no other sensible way to face the future.

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