Technology is an interesting subject to comprehend. Take mobile phone technology for example. If you wanted to achieve a basic understanding as to how two people can engage in a voice conversation over long distance without wires, you would simply read about basic concepts of a few things.
How a coil converts sound into an electrical signal, the quantization which generates digital samples that a computer can process and prepare for transmission. Then a little about how an amplifier works, how a transmitter broadcasts a representation of your voice from the mobile computer into a modulated signal and placed onto its respective carrier, and a little about electromagnetic propagation (specifically microwave) and the difference between circuit switched and IP switched infrastructure, in case you are using VoIP services like VoLTE.
Then how a cell tower works, what a transceiver is, what a digital SigPro does, how the process gets reversed and how the transduction of the receiver on the other end puts that signal on the circuit board to be processed, converted by a another microprocessor and some audio logic and sent to a speaker which is just like a microphone except it takes the electrical signal and produces noise, so you can hear it.
That’s the gist of it. You can get into deeper concepts but components and functions in the process are more than adequate to unveil the PFM behind the process. Knowledge of the science behind tech is great. But that is not what makes it cool. The Science is just that. It does what it does.
The effect of technology on people and how it affects their day-to-day lives is far more impressive than say, the physical science behind electron potential, in my opinion. Technology is based on the characteristics of its applied science. It is predictable, and has an expected result. Technology doesn’t have personality until end-user operation begins. While testing in a lab is somewhat thorough, they can’t be expected to think of everything. And because they can’t, the contingency of acceptable use was invented.
Technology has an agenda for any given scenario. When it is created, tech is usually conceptualized by someone who has the best of intentions. We read about an engineer who wanted to fill a gap in someone else’s life or in his own. A specific objective based on some challenge or difficulty so compelling, that they dedicated years of research, design, testing and failure just to see if there was a solution to develop. Eventually they would decide that this design was the last design needed. Soon the world could benefit from their idea. Augmenting aspects of life that are difficult, boring, or so time-consuming that most people achieve poor results if any at all. Without a little help from the of creative genius many of us will still try to hack our way through what ever it is we do and not quite meet our own expectations, let alone the expectations of others.
This is why we have such a high esteem for something we ironically define with such nebulosity and with such frequency, that no one appreciates it. ‘Tech’ has become the over arching, non-specific description for almost anything that does something in a way that, when compared to the previous method, leaves you wondering why didn’t someone think of this sooner.
It brings people to accomplishment where before there was only ‘failure’. This ‘failure’ was attributed to an ‘impossibility’ and later turned ‘miracle’ when finally overcome. When applied to education, technology helps kids learn when they are challenged. When applied to mobilization, the elderly get to places without help from another person. In communication, it can help 2 people feel closer to one another when they are separated by distance and it can provide an individual with a secure means to express their most personal thoughts…safe from outside world. When deployed in Defense, It makes the warfighter more effective at distance and operate an engagement with ‘less risk’ when compared to a disadvantaged OpFor. In the medical field, autonomous sensors and monitoring solutions allow surgeons to be more successful in a critical operation by spending more attention on the procedure, relying on audible and visual alerts to prompt shifting priority.
More importantly, It gives everyone a much louder voice with a reach so broad that anyone with aspirations to ‘…let the world know what i have to say about it’ has that tangibility. Being focused on the content of the real message, rather than the logistics of delivery is a bigger gift. The efficacy of a purposeful and transparent message will have more impact over time than one that relies solely on creating a perception for an intended effect.
Todays mobile devices have such a profound effect in the every day lives of almost everyone, and it’s impact and permanence as a tool for communication and influence are quickly realized by both those who want to utilize it for their personal interests, and those who want to limit its use by others to conform to their own definition of acceptability. Because of the value of data points, the ease and speed of content creation and delivery, the diversity in modes of communication, proficiency is simply a matter of time. With so many people using so many devices in so many ways, agencies who believe it is their duty to know anything about anyone have a task that involves so much difficulty that the logistics behind information gathering is daunting. So the aspect of security circumvention isn’t something they want to deal with, especially when they are incapable of it.
There are other aspects of how tech can reveal intentions of people or organizations. When we have elected representation from amongst ourselves to lead us as a nation, we expect those people to hold themselves accountable to the same laws that we as individuals are also held.
However, politicians are spending a record number of dollars from their freezer fund to poach private citizens from the tech sector. Higher paying government ‘advisory’ positions are becoming commonplace. Politicians who understand so little of what makes technology great, taking cues from tech sector turncoats put on the main stage of the news, who now validate their opinion on ‘science’. This isn’t a bad thing in itself but I’ll reiterate that while understanding the science can be both interesting and gratifying, it is not what makes technology valuable.
These folks do not care to understand the philosophy that it’s use is based on. How can one properly use any tool if they are not cognizant of what it’s for and how to use it? Still they somehow seem very interested to legislate it. When they can no longer use the guise of law to veil impropriety, they legislate their actions so they cannot be in the wrong. If that isn’t enough, they will attempt to use the courts system as well. When OEM’s responded by excluding themselves from the cryptographic process ensuring they don’t have the ability (just in case they could no longer ‘legally’ refuse) to enable a privacy breach of their users and customers, they are met with public vilification. Our own government using children as a tool for manipulation like a parent with poor judgement.
Some lawmakers have made the claim that technology presents a privacy risk because it has the ability to tell where in space it resides within a few meters. Yet others want to ban the sale of devices that cannot locate itself on remote authority, and be secured against unauthorized use from someone who is not its lawful owner. If you are looking for someone or something to be the authority on any given subject, I would plead that you do not look to these people for any sort of guidance, especially when it comes to the personal technology that you use every day. Like the technology you are using to read this memo.
What it all comes down to is this: Have a look at what technology does for your personal sphere of influence. Look at what it does for you and for your children. How it augments your employees productivity. When you are done with your assessment ask yourself these last questions. Does anyone in Washington DC understand what my technology does for me? Do I want them legislating it?
Thanks for reading.