tiny gods -2

In ‘The Lord of the Rings’,  Gandalf tells Frodo that he would seize the ring to use it for good, but it would end up wielding power through him too great and terrible to imagine.   We could all learn something from this statement with regard to technology. If Gandalf humbly acknowledges his own weakness in the face of power, might we heed this lesson before we go linearly down the path of temptation to master the universe?

To the degree technology is about power there is a great lesson in the eye of Sauron as well.  It is a splendid image of the desire to monitor and control others.  Speaking of that, my son made a very astute observation about the Novel ‘1984’.  On top of the eerie similarity the opinions of the characters in the book to the opinions we heard spoken about the candidates during the last election (we don’t so much choose affirmatively as deselect negatively until there is only one remaining) he also noticed that we are in a ‘1984 state’ more disturbing than the one in the book because “the monitored state we live in” was not imposed, but is being given away freely (bit by bit) as we download applications to our smart phones.  While in this discussion we even heard someone unconsciously quote the Stasi by saying “we ought to have nothing to fear if we have nothing to hide.”  (No Joke!)

Technology is the not the issue, it remains fixed within its nature.   Our willful ignorance of the implications of the uses of technology (ignorance created in part by the distractions we have created using technology) may land us in a world very much like the hell some have imagined:  an existence of misery that we chose freely.

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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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