NOW! JAKARTA | The Age of Technology

The Age of Technology

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Welcome to 2017, a brand new year and another step in the great advance towards the era of technological dependence.


The Age of Technology

That sounds a bit negative, doesn’t it? After all, these advances in technology are a huge benefit to mankind, are they not? Don’t they greatly enhance our lives, making them more efficient, more worthwhile, somehow just “better”?

Well to be honest, I’m not so sure. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Transport – “the transformation of the ojek”. Incredible use of technology you may say. I say: it’s still the same outmoded, polluting, noisy low-tech motorbike, and the same careless, undisciplined, annoying driver. Until Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki introduce their new technology we have made no advance at all, and until the new tech boys train their drivers, we still have the same idiotic behavior. No change.

  • Communication – “what did I do before the mobile phone?” I’ll tell you. You planned calls, sent letters and emails, had more face-to-face meetings, and wasted far less time on totally time-wasting nonsense forced on us by “friends” who we have never met, telling us things they have done that make no difference at all to our lives. Get out of my handphone you privacy invaders, get off my email you spammers, I don’t want my days dominated by totally useless information. My conclusion: the age of the WA-wolf has turned us into techno-zombies.

  • Shopping – “you can buy anything, anywhere, right now”. Is that really a good thing? We talk about the advance of consumerism as being negative, then hail on-line shopping as a savior. Hmmmm, a bit of a conflict there. I will bet that there are people who are now addicted to online (and TV) shopping and are ruining their lives buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have because it’s right there in their hand.

  • Entertainment – “the whole world on a screen”. The online gaming industry is probably the fastest evolving and (apart from pornography) the most popular thing on the internet. But its astonishing advances (you literally can live in totally created environments) are matched by the obsession of the gamers. The single most popular person on the internet is a Swedish gamer Pew-Die-Pie who has 50,000,000 followers, who look at him playing games. There are wars, massacres, bombs, hurricanes, mind blowing elections which change lives, but the gamers watch Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg. Is that really an advance? My take: reading Harry Potter was actually better for our kids.


So there you are, the dinosaur’s view of the age of technology. The age of Bill Gates not being smart enough to give his money away faster than he makes it. The age when Zuckerberg has more money than most countries in Africa. The age of amazing connectivity when people sit in fine dining restaurants communicating with people they don’t know when their friends are right across the table.

Technology? Where’s my land line? I want to call home.

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair Speirs

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