Monday, April 06, 2020

A different twist on Kurzweil's back to basics ideas only tech industry more prominent rather than less.

A while ago, I noticed a news item where the government was loosening some restrictions on the southern border realizing that many of the people who cross are the people who pick our crops. Food is something we do need. Otherwise American citizens would have to get out into the fields and pick the crops. American citizens doing that in mass is still not a likely prospect.

The whole prospect of US citizens having to go out into the fields to eat does remind me of predictions that have been made by the author Ray Kurzweil who spoke, a few years back, at Village Books here in Bellingham. Related to global warming and the possible break down of economics as we know it. Kurzweil spoke of Americans having to go back to the basics of survival. Give up our frivolity. For instance use our ports more for actual shipping of necessities rather than harbors for fancy hotels and casinos. He was even quite critical of the technology sector. He describes companies, like Google, as being mere toys that will not save us given the harsh times ahead.

I tend to be more of an optimist than that. During this pandemic crisis, internet technology is helping us in this era of face to face distancing. I doubt the foreseeable future is likely to be as stark as Kurzweil predicted, but I do think Americans, in general, could learn a bit of humbleness. Farm work, custodial work and so forth is valid work. Changes we could be making now might be good practice for some of the changes we need to make to address global warming. We need a more nimble and innovative society.

As a custodian, I have used the internet a lot listening to many a podcast. Intellectual stimulation; a good supplement for manual labor tasks. The combination can be meditative.

They've called me a digital janitor.

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