Technology is a liberating thing

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek MartinJPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
There is no doubt about it, technology is a liberating thing. Culturally we are interconnected with billions of people from around the world. Mobile technology and the rise of the internet has made it is easy to share news, ideas and opinions. With just a few clicks or the touch of a button, we can suddenly be transported to a moment in history on the other side of the planet.

This does come at a price, but it might not be one you have really considered before. The news in the past few weeks week has focused a lot on injunctions. Now you may be familiar with the world’s worst kept secret and if you have spent any time on Twitter you will know exactly what I am talking about. I however, cannot tell you who is involved, because we aren’t allowed to do that in England and Wales just yet.

That is the problem right there. Our laws haven’t kept pace with technology or our new globally aware existence and it is making them look a bit - well - silly.

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It’s a similar story with the other laws or attempts at making new laws from around the globe. I refer to the FBI vs Apple case, which although only of interest to a few for a specific case in the USA, threatened the security of millions of iPhone users worldwide.

The finance industry is being turned on its head by the invention of the BitCoin, an open source monetary system.

Then there is the oft mentioned right to be forgotten, that has influenced search results the world over, even in the USA which is outside the EU. Yes, search results cannot be said to be impartial or uncensored. The ruling was spawned by one local case in, oh I forget where. The point is, it doesn’t really matter about the who, it matters that the scope of the decisions made by a small group (small in the global sense) of players is astounding and frightening and ludicrous all at the same time.

It is the same in other areas of technology as well. One country on its own cannot possibly cope with the far reaching effects caused by pollution and global warming for example and so a consensus must be reached. Which is why there is currently a landmark event going on, where the majority of countries around the world are signing an agreement over global warming and how to tackle it.

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Think about that for a moment. Nations working together to tackle global issues. What else can we achieve if we work together?

To put it simply, the problems we face do not respect borders and that means the solutions cannot respect borders either. To quote a certain political slogan, ‘We are all in this together.’ How true is that eh? Technology is tearing down borders by bringing us closer together culturally than we have ever been before. Heck, I speak more regularly to people in America, Australia and all the places in between than I do to people in the next town!

Perhaps in some utopian future we will look back on 2016 and wonder how we ever managed to survive alone.