• Valentina Poletti

We don’t need a new technology, we need a change of heart


Honestly, in the past decades we have seen tremendous advances in technology. From the internet to smartphones, from artificial intelligence to blockchain, from medical research to the transportation industry. Our world has advanced so much, right?

Stop for a moment, and think about this carefully. How much have these advances truly improved the quality of our life. And when I say ‘our’, I don’t mean of the richest, most privileged people only, I mean of all people and creatures in the world.

How much is the pollution created by this technology improving our lives? How much have smartphones and the internet really improved our social life, and how much have they encouraged our social isolation? How much have advances in the medical world reduced cancer rates and degenerative disease rates? How much has obesity decreased? How much have the lives of other animals improved?

How much have mental illnesses decreased.

Think.

If you think that any of these factors of life quality have overall improved, you might have been buying the hype that the tech world is trying to sell us, in order to keep funding what at this point I see as a compensation for an generally insecure masculine energy in the world. And I chose this word phrasing for a very specific reason. You see, I was a scientist in major cutting edge technology fields, till not long ago.

In fact I grew up with brilliant results in mathematics and the sciences since childhood. I had several opportunities to work and learn about all these technologies that the media hypes so much about, from a very close perspective.

Since people, recently, have started filling the media with talk about blockchain, I actually understand, deeply what it means and how it works, because I have the tools to really understand it. To me it is not some mysterious and incredible technology, it is a tool, just like any other tool, that can be used in many different ways: some rather unethical.

And to me we are going in circles. We have used institutions to compensate for our lack of trust for each other, thus nurturing and feeding our lack of trust, so now we no longer trust our institutions. Now we are running after the next compensation, a trust-guaranteeing technology, to fill this void.

And so we go around with all this hype, from A.I. (which supposedly will solve all our problems, and be our new god, but for the moment is controlling the information we are fed through our browsers), to medical advancements. We escaped the control of colossal media using Facebook and other democratic social media, only to find we're freely giving away our most personal information to colossal companies, such as Facebook, for their use.

The truth is, we are not progressing. We are escaping. Technology has specifically become the escape of masculine shadow. When I worked in high-tech, its misogynistic and patriarchal hierarchical culture was tangible to me like the air I breathed. It was a mirror reflection of the highly insecure masculine figure that I grew up with, and that dominated me and suppressed me with psychological, mental and physical violence, including the suppression of my intelligence and creativity.

I found a reflection of that masculine shadow in the tech world, and a very accurate one.

And the solution isn't’ simply to draw more women to this world, one way or another, the solution is to start seeing honestly what it is really all about. To read beyond the full-of-hype titles of the next shiny tech gadget, and to see the truth about what new kind of addiction we are really creating, or rather, what we are escaping from.

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