Snippet: How to Be Optimistic About Technology Now ☇

Shared on January 2, 2024

Nick Heer:

As I wrote at the outset, the way I choose to be optimistic is to look at all of the things which are being done to correct the imbalanced and repair injustices. Some of those corrections are being made by businesses big and small; many of them have advertising and marketing budgets celebrating their successes to the point where it is almost unavoidable. But I also look at the improvements made by those working on behalf of the public, like the list above. The main problem I have with most of them is how they have been developed on a case-by-case basis which, while setting precedent, is a fragile process open to frequent changes. […]

People ought to be able to have expectations — for repairs, privacy, security, product reliability, and more. The technology industry today is so far removed from its hackers-in-a-garage lore. Its biggest players are among the most powerful businesses in the world, and should be regulated in that context. That does not necessarily mean a whole bunch of new rules and bureaucratic micromanagement, but we ought to advocate for structures which balance the scales in favour of the public good.

I think it’s really easy to get caught in a doom-loop about tech these days (I have been guilty of that myself), with things feeling greedier, slimier, or dumber. How many things from a year ago that felt like big news are irrelevant now? How many fads took over the tech news zeitgeist and have faded from view? If we step back and look at the important, staying things, there’s a lot to be hopeful and optimistic about.

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