Trapped in the Net: What They Don’t Tell You About the Internet & Social Media
Technological progress is carrying us to inevitable disaster.” ~Theodore J. Kaczynski (a.k.a. ‘The Unabomber’)
Flawed, to a depth unlike any other beast in the animal kingdom, human beings rapaciously despoil their own environment and continue to conduct activities that appear to threaten the very existence of the biosphere – our home, planet Earth.
Through the latter half of the 20th century an insatiable technological race to develop weapons of mass annihilation resulted in nuclear standoff among a handful of belligerent nations and an incongruous co-operative policy of Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.). That dire policy still stands today, a shadow cast unthinkingly over all human endeavour and indeed life itself.
The very idea that humanity willingly chose to pursue a scientific course that delivered the capacity to destroy the world many times over should be breathtakingly troubling, yet inspires relatively little comment. From the very same tumultuous technological crucible that produced the enduring madness of nuclear weaponry came a more recent development – the Internet. The online world promises an ‘abundance of riches’ (as its techno-evangelists constantly assure) but it also has a profound (and profoundly under acknowledged) dark side.
Birthed from the Pentagon’s desire to be able to maintain communications through the early stages of a nuclear assault (by spreading the electronic and telephonic communications load over a labyrinth of interconnected routes and servers), what we today call the Internet (which at one point was called ARPANET) was shepherded into existence by D.A.R.P.A. (the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in partnership with the scientific, academic and corporate communities.