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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 day!).

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 journalism.

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