Thursday, February 29, 2024

EDITORIAL: We’re slowly losing control over events


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It may be a sign the times, but two recent developments seem to indicate that we are steadfastly losing control over events as technology and the social media overtake our lives.
Several street protests, called the “occupy movement”, have been sweeping across the globe to protest corporate greed and economic policies being pursued by governments.
In an unprecedented development, it has spread worldwide, tapping into the concerns of millions who empathize with the movement and are in sync with its aims and objectives.
While there are conflicting opinions of the actual objectives that have been clouded by different political and social sector elements jumping in for their vested interests, the crux of the matter is the outrage people feel for those in charge of their countries’ economies.
There is no doubt the economic downturn that has been raging for the past two years has affected the lives of millions, subjecting them to hardship and poverty. The movement clearly accepts the perception of corporate stranglehold on politicians and demand greater accountability.
If the objective is to bridge the gap between rich and poor, in recent days it took a turn that could destroy that bridge. Violence is definitely not the answer, as it only widens the gulf and places the middle class as a wedge in the way of the rage.
Fearing fallout from the Greece debacle, developed economies, especially in the European Union, are struggling to control the situation from unravelling in Italy and Spain. The United States economy is also very depressed with strident calls for government to address the situation urgently.
Unusual as it is, the so-called “occupy movement” is sure to be an eye-opener for governments worldwide. It is time all major countries put their house in order and understand the significance of accountability.
In the case of technology, the recent BlackBerry outage only underscores the massive control that telecommunications now have on the public’s ability to conduct their daily business.
It is indeed an Orwellian fear or versions of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock.
The dependence has been so sudden and sharp that there is no alternative plan. From the simple situation of a computer being down to millions being affected as a result of a system failure, with the world practically coming to a halt, boggles the mind.
With our capacity for doing things manually going by the wayside, the surrender of decision-making to machines assumes an Orwellian aura. It is almost frightening that knowledge is now predicated on the touch of a button, and research without accessing a search engine is an alien concept.
Murphy’s law that if things can go wrong they will has withstood the test of time.


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