Despite being released way back in 1992, Neil Postman’s Technopoly has accurately and chillingly predicted the dire effects of mismanaged influx of information brought about by the exponential growth of technology.
While tech has paved the way for people to realize that the world can and should be better, it has become totalitarian due to its lack of management and regulation. It has invisibly taken over our lives, altering what used to be true in religion, politics, art, history — basically in all facets of culture.
Humans have become too dependent on technology that we’ve come to lose our trust in ourselves. All information, theories, and philosophies brought about by centuries of technological development have made us believe that we are imperfect and fallible – the exact opposite of what tech is, which is dependable, predictable, and measurable.
Tech is designed to continuously unearth myriads of information that will overwhelm us, while humans are trying to catch up in comprehending the purpose of these data. The book asserts that information, without regulation, can be lethal. Until governments and institutions find effective and lightning-fast ways to come up with these policies, it is up to us as individuals to be more discerning and critical of information made available to us.
Human intelligence, unlike AI, is multidimensional and nontransferable. We have a unique, biologically-rooted, and intangible mental life that machines can never duplicate as these are driven by feelings and ideas. This unique facet is what drives creativity, judgment, and connection.
Schools of the future should be centered on ideas and coherence in order to develop the soft skills that will enable humans to sift through and make sense of data downloaded to them. In doing so, we are able to transcend our weaknesses by using tech and all the information we consume to address higher order, existential needs.
This book is a must read if you enjoyed the Netflix documentary, ‘The Social Dilemma’.