Even as we think that computers are “automatic”, we know (and find reassuring) that they depend on our defining click to perform their duty. Would that make us masters of our domain? It might, but only to the extent of our knowledge of what goes on after that crucial click, and of what went on before. Of course, that this is possible with computers – vaguely, and to a very small group of people – is a testimony of how little we dare to really make them our own. Basically, computer litteracy is certified by comparison – by knowing more than others we fell proud and safe –, not by appointment. In other word, not legitimately. Exams are a proof of allegiance to an ideal (which is not a small thing, by the way), not knowledge. Software engineering is social engineering.
Paradox: if we use computers more actively, they will inherit the purposelessness of our normal lives. They aren’t inherently organized and/or organizing entities, far from it. Orderliness is never a condition, it is always a product of life; that’s why it is so valuable, and that’s why it is so hard. The real danger lies in our attempt to fulfill that dream of orderliness as a condition. It is only possible by restricting further and further our ability to act. And the logical exercise of justifying that stupidity is already in motion, with all the bells, whistles and fireworks that come along.
You can’t find a better symbol of decadence than a hacker that accepts money/power in exchange for freedom. They call themselves successful. They are “professional”, and they may be “accountable”, but they are not responsible. To call them prostitutes would be an offense to prostitutes.
Will computers survive men? Foolishness: computers are humanity. Potence doesn’t need advocates.
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