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(ReadWith) MachineGatekeepers / RejectingPlatformCapitalism

Quora Answer : Why doesn't it scare anyone that technology is gaining more and more control over our lives?

Jun 19, 2018

It scares me.

And I've been a programmer for over 35 years.

I love technology. I write code every day. I'm on a laptop 10 hours a day.

And it scares me like hell.

With one caveat. I recognise that "technology" always has people behind it.

So I'm terrified by the degree we've let technology into our intimate lives and know everything about us. Not because I worry what a machine thinks of me. (It doesn't.) But because I know that somewhere behind that machine are a bunch of people. That I can't really see, don't know anything about, and don't have much reason to trust.

I can't believe the degree to which people share their private lives on Facebook and similar. (I closed my account in 2013). I can't believe people are willing to put always open audio channels like Amazon Echo into their homes to listen to everything they say and relay it back to Jeff Bezos. I, sensibly, have a sticker over my laptop camera and I can't believe that other laptop manufacturers don't do what Asus used to do and have a physical shutter.

I can't believe that, particularly institutions, have been so bad at standardizing on free-software they have control over, and are willing to entrust their entire organization to private proprietary software companies they know nothing about.

I'm, frankly, amazed at how willing we have been to embrace something that so many people are so ignorant about.

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