Earlier this year Augsburg, Germany took a step in the right direction with people using their smart phones. While I don’t think it is the total solution, traffic lights are being installed into city sidewalks so pedestrians don’t have to look up once in awhile to see where traffic signals are at. But, wouldn’t it be better if one looked up once in awhile to take stock of their surroundings? If a driver in a moving vehicle can get a ticket for distracted driving how about a person receiving one for distracted walking?
It really comes down to public safety. Money to install sidewalk traffic lights has to come from somewhere and I don’t think taxpayers should foot the bill for this one. Instead we need better common sense and safety procedures. Just how many times does a person have to walk into something, fall off a curb or get hit by a vehicle or train before they realize it could have been prevented? Maybe Belgium has an idea in that smartphone users have their own sidewalk lane. But then why not just turn off your gadget to see where you are going. This isn’t rocket science, people. There shouldn’t be a problem here as there is more to see in life than a phone screen.
Another concern of mine is who is interested in the information that is posted on the various media sites. All should be entitled to their opinion as long as libel, slander, sexism, racism and excessive swearing is left out of the equation. When I had my radio talk show I let it be known that the five above categories weren’t acceptable along with political correctness. Political correctness is much like shifting sand dunes or the wind in that it changes direction at whim. I’ve started to wonder if the politically correct can form their own opinions at any time on any given subject, or if their supervisors or handlers will allow it.
It seems to me that most information over history is re-edited, controlled and released by one behind the scenes source. They probably make sure that both sides of the story are written up in such a way so it appears that freedom of expression exists. An example I will use is comparing the official sanitized version to the way out there conspiracy theories. In fact it could very well be one group of writers penning both sides to keep us in a confused state of mind so we can’t tell what is true or what illusion is.
I’m worried about how many information gatherers there are that search social media websites to what they can get on who they think the dissenters are. But, it is well past the time to put up with more lies, so we have to start calling things for what they are. I can see a day coming where many of our words are going to be eliminated as a way to cancel out legitimate activism, and so that unpopular opinions can’t be expressed by words no longer in use. Maybe it’s all in the name of ridding all individuals and forcing the rest of us to be little more than a cell in the body of humanity thinking ‘appropriate’ thoughts only.
The marketing behind all this is incredible and highly effective. It involves a lot of extreme peer pressure put on people to conform. Social engineering can be used to fit as many people into a one size fits all mentality. Now I’m all for getting along, but I stop long before mindless unquestioning obedience. A side effect of hand held gadgets is that attention spans, overall intelligence and face to face interaction are on a slippery downward slope. Will we be able to turn things around, or are we so self-absorbed and distracted to the point of no return?
So how much do we have to worry about the data collectors? It remains to be seen how many of us are ‘persons of interest’. Think… if all of us became sanitized versions of what we were or could have been. The sequels to The Stepford Wives may be The Stepford City, followed by The Stepford Global Village. Do we really want to go there?
By Ron Murdock