Wired to another Planet
Wired has been accused by many of being all flash
and little substance, but they have taken it to new heights with the 5th
Anniversary issue. Rather than reading like a magazine for the technically
savvy, this issue reads like a kid's super hero comic, (Here we are to save
The folks here at Heartless Bitches are seriously
wondering HOW much those rose-colored glasses cost, because they
MUST be making use of some new nano-brain technology, or perhaps
the editors have taken some new reality-shifting bio-engineered brain-stultifier.
The whole "technology will save the world / we are on the verge of
a new utopia" tripe is full of delusional self-aggrandizement. (clearly
the editors of Wired see themselves at the forefront of the new world-saving
technocracy.) Whilst reading it I had visions of various editors, layout
artists, and copy writers, virtually arm-in-arm via a video-linked net
conference, singing "We are the World", (or perhaps it should
have been "We are the Chosen Ones") and feeling Oh-So-Good about
themselves and the world they believe they are shaping... Of course, it's
on a totally different planet...
While I don't take exception to the overall premise
that "Change is Good", and will concede that the content of *some*
of the articles is actually factual and relevant, the blind optimism of
statements like "whatever can be done, will be done", "time
is the only truly scarce commodity", and "we stand on the verge
of an era of peace, freedom, prosperity and environmental harmony"
just make me want to hurl. Environmental harmony? The current rate
of extinction exceeds the rate at which species were destroyed during the
fall of the dinosaurs (when 60% of all species on the planet disappeared).
Peace? While the Baltic replublics, Algerians, and other Africans
slaughter each other, and there are places in North American cities where
even the police refuse to enter? Freedom? I guess what is happening
in places like Afgahnistan, Sierra Leone, China, and Central America (to
name but a few), are insignificant or perhaps outside the statistical realm
of relevance? Prosperity? While incomes are climbing around the
world, the fact (according to the UN Report on world poverty) is that less
than 400 people control over 45% of the world's monetary wealth, and the
gap between rich and poor is widening.
Yes, there have been many improvements in the world
- more people are getting access to education and medical facilities, and
technology is making significant changes to people's lives - sometimes
for the better. However, Wired's distorted presentation of one segment
of the facts is nothing but a journalistic demonstration of spectrum-challenged
myopia, rife with pompous statements like "The progress we've made
is irreversible", and "we may never be able to comprehend it,
anymore than a caterpillar can comprehend turning into a butterfly".
Aside from the fact that this is nothing more than pretentious romanticising,
my stomach wants to "turn" every time I hear that hackneyed cliché.
Is this a technology journal or a romance magazine?
While many of us are working hard to change the
world, save the environment, and make a better place for ALL people to
live, this kind of over-simplified credulity and specious commentary does
nothing more than trigger this Heartless Bitch's gag reflex.
And of course, to back up their proselytizing,
they infer that one must buy into their purblind optimism because to do
otherwise is to work towards the demise of the planet. Bleah. Hooey.
I believe we can actively work towards a good and equitable future without
having to sugar-coat the facts by writing an issue that reads more like
a feel-good pep-rally for junior technocrats, than responsible technical