For Those Still Wondering About the Great Disruption

At the beginning of the Great Disruption, I wrote that it would serve, and was possibly intended, as a “habit breaker.”  It will also serve as a habit maker, since “social distancing” entails snuggling up with the Global Machine.  As the advertisement below says, we have all now had nearly four months to “get comfortable doing things digitally,” so there has never been a better time than now to lock in the new normal and “go completely paperless.”  This is naturally presented as more convenient for me, should I wish to check my retirement account while waiting at a stop light or vacationing in Astrakhan, but the lion’s share of advantage is obviously on the other side.  Companies will be able to cut costs through further automation and spies will no longer have to get out of bed.  As Neil Postman used to argue, technological change always favors those who are most adept in the new technology, which in this case means the early adopters who did not need a Great Disruption push them into the arms of the Global Machine.  When the Great Disruption has done its work, those who needed the push will find that they are cripples limping about in a world that other people made.  I am, for instance, destined to spend my golden years being humiliated by the paperless TIAA system.

5 thoughts on “For Those Still Wondering About the Great Disruption

  1. Pingback: For Those Still Wondering About the Great Disruption | Reaction Times

  2. It is much easier to chuck a digitized past down the memory hole than it is to ferret out and destroy every single hard copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Gone with the Wind.

  3. It is much easier to monitor everyone digitally. It’s so hard to have a CIA agent in every single church, bar, and tea room.

  4. In the early 1980’s, a friend of mine in the DA’s office was issued a pager so she could be contacted on the weekend when she was on search warrant duty. I knew then that the world was going in a direction I was not going to like. But I never imagined it would turn out like this.


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