Device Envy: Resitance Is Not Futile!

Cyborg-heartA new HTC mobile commercial touts their new Droid as “not just a phone; it’s an extension of you”.

The commercial shows a guy being “cyberneticized” by getting all sorts of cool robotic additions to his body, including (of course) the Droid.

That old “it’s an extension of you” appeal isn’t new; but what concerns me is that so many people seem to be buying into this line of BS, and internalizing it as “truth”, when in fact; it most certainly is not.

The particular device you buy–whatever it may be–is just that; a device. It’s a tool. It’s something you use because it allows you to complete specific tasks in a way that suits your needs. It is not a fashion accessory, or an extension of your body.

For those who think having the latest greatest electronic gizmo is an important fashion statement; I say; save your money and buy a new belt or pair of shoes. Buying any internet-connected device based on pure fashion without regard to whether or not you actually need or will use the functionality it offers is absurd.

In addition; buying into the idea of cybernetic enhancement of the human body as an absolute good or even desirable option is unwise. While many think of these images as pure science fiction; look deeper, and you will find they are not.

They stem from the concept of a coming “technological singularity“, popularized by science fiction writers and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who is now head of Engineering for Google.

Your phone is a tool, and your body is your own. Do not be fooled into believing otherwise by glitzy ads that attempt to make it seem as though you will attain superhero status if you just buy their newest, shiniest object.

The newest technology is only a wonderful tool if you have a reasonable expectation that you actually control it. But the fact is, right now; you do not.

In light of increasing reports of supply chain exploits, state sponsored cyber attacks, political hacktivism, an explosion of malware distributed by cyber criminals , and even the spoofing of digital code-signing (security) certificates; it is folly to allow yourself to be drawn inexorably by advertising and pop culture in general into adopting a world view that advocates the melding of man and machine.

It is hard enough to control yourself when it’s just your own frail human nature calling the shots. Do you really want to cede control to someone–anyone–else?

I think not.

Resistance is not futile. It is absolutely necessary!


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