Sunday, October 20, 2013

Into the Borg

Industrial man—a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement. -- Aldous Huxley
We are analog beings swimming against a digital deluge. Is technology to blame for an increase in “Zero Tolerance” policies and black-or-white thinking?

The Law is an Ass

This headline from the Daily Mail caught my eye:
Boy, 15, kills himself after 'facing expulsion and being put on sex offender registry' for streaking prank at high school football game
A school should punish a student for running across the field naked during a sporting event, but expulsion and placement on a sex offender registry? Common sense has flown the coop. Elvis has left the building.

An Abortion of Justice

Our laws are failing us. Three strikes and you’re out for stealing a pizza destroys far more lives than it saves. Same for draconian punishments for petty offenses like drug use, possession of small amounts of illegal substances, or violating school district boundaries in an attempt to give your child a better education.

More insidious, is how our “justice” system classifies as a sex offender anyone caught with their wiener or boobs hanging out. An underage girl or boy sends a naked selfie, and he or she and everyone involved get branded for life as child pornographers. How does that help anyone or advance society? This is not a miscarriage of justice; it is a purposeful abortion of it. Such kids need some instant punishment that teaches them a lesson, not an indelible brand that marks them for life.

Definitional Abuse Harms Society

This is also a definitional abuse that harms society. It is a collective madness to stupidly place misdemeanor violations in the same category as rapists and real child pornographers who do indeed merit harsh punishment for violating the body and humanity of another. How do we look at a sex offender registry and separate the streakers, boob flashers, and those caught pissing in the bushes from the pedophiles and the rapists?

If simple nudity is pornography, why aren’t art galleries shut down? What about artists who have painted their daughters in the nude? Are nudist retreats pornographic? Of course not, but the ever-expanding body of laws and rules fly in the face of common sense and reason as they obtrude upon our lives and crowd out common sense. Is it any wonder prudence is practically a lost virtue?

Where do I End and You Begin?

I think we are being pushed into a digital world where binary logic is inexorably replacing analog modes of thinking like common sense and reason. We are building our own prison--A homogenized world where our very selves are being subsumed into the collective. The result is that many of us retreat into our own little cultural corners, ideological niches and private worlds in a desperate struggle to hold on to our I’s, our selves, our core being, who we truly are and what makes us unique.

Technology is dehumanizing.  Is it taking over our mode of thinking?

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