Stanislav Petrov

    This, is an excellent topic, excellent!! I love it.

    We need reflection of technology, of the terms tech talks use to promote themselves and to dwarf others. I have argued before that the so called 弯道超车 is ridiculous and outright disgusting. Period. This implies to take a shortcut to win the race. I understand perfectly technology and new way of doing things can, and should be, if they are actually good, disruptive. But like everything else in life, the majority of all are just mediocre, and even trying-too-hard. The true good ones are always, I believe, always, organic — meaning that the idea comes from rich experience and deep insights, not some outsider dreams of a new way overnight. My favourate these days is the news of vpnhub owned by porthub ← what a wonderful genius idea!!!

    Technology is good, is wonderful, and is hard. I have stated in what does IT system bring that there are three, and only three benefits a technology is going to, and should, produce — information transparency, efficiency, and accountability. The article made a very good point that:

    The word “innovation” has become synonymous with Silicon Valley to the point of absurdity. Indeed, the tech industry's entrepreneurs and "thoughtfluencers" throw it around as casually as a dodgeball in a middle-school P.E. class; what it really means is perpetually unclear and purposefully hazy. It is vague enough to be suitable in nearly any situation where a new product, service or "thing" is advertised as superior to the old — never mind if the so-called "old" thing has some distinct advantages, or if the new thing's superiority is solely that it makes more money than the old thing, or if there are other old things that are actually superior yet which won't make anyone rich. (Consider Apple removing the headphone jack from its new phones to be Exhibit A.)

    Like other buzz words, the word technology, innovation, are becoming a cliche, and are being used freely without clarification nor accountability. Technical solution, especially in the sense of everybody's life, is becoming the new middle man that take a share of the transaction, but downplaying any human element left.

    The thing is, baristas and cashiers aren't things that we are all dying to get rid of; this isn't a comparable situation to the horse-and-buggy days, where cars felt like a serious improvement on using beasts of burden for transit. Silicon Valley is only trying to put baristas and cashiers out of business because human labor costs money; the difference between a $4 coffee from a robot and a $4 coffee from a human is that there are no labor costs in the former purchase, something that makes Silicon Valley go googly-eyed with dollar signs. The tech industry's vision of the future is of a world with less human interaction, less conversation, less humanity; and more surveillance and more monetization of our buying habits. No one wants this, but it's being forced upon us.

    It is very concerning that everyone is hailing for Facebook's downturn, or even its success, because what I'm witnessing the impact on social interaction is darn disturbing — I can not, and refuse to budge, that two young couple sitting at a breakfast in Shanghai will each read their smartphone, but not talking, not holding hands, not making eye contact, and not being social! This, is ridiculous!

    The only argument to defend this is always convenience. But then, convenience isn't the crown jewel of humanity, isn't the goal of life, isn't even necessarily a good thing. I like convenience, but it will never dictate my choice of life, because, after all, there is still, responsibility, duty, integrity.

    Do something truly smart, is good, admirable. But in too many occisions, I only saw pretended smartness, which, I have a word, pretentious.

    — by Feng Xia


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