Computers have been a wonderful invention, a boon to our society. Yet, in too many respects they have also been a bane to society. As we have learned from ancient Chinese cultures, “for every yin, there is a yang.”

We can put a man on the moon and bring him home safely where he can die of cancer prematurely or get killed on the highway or by a miscreant youth with an illegal handgun or by COVID-19.

Technology for the sake of technology is a fool’s mission. Computers are soulless machines, no better than the humans who manipulate them to their own purposes. Guns are killing machines, but only in the hands of a killer. Jet airplanes are a wonderful means of travel, and to deliver weapons of mass destruction with abominable inhumane payloads of bombs. In the right hands, airplanes serve and protect us. In the wrong hands, they are killing machines. This can be said about almost every technological advancement. The science of COVID-19 is no exception. 

People used to interact with in person conversations and phone calls. They wrote letters and thank you notes to each other, and to their clients, patients and customers. Today, we get emails and texts. Face-to-face conversations are now on electronic devices. Last month I did a court appearance on Zoom. Phone calls are mostly on cell phones that provide a multitude of other electronic communication options, services and entertainment.

Call a business and you get a recording with instructions from a recorded voice. If you want to talk to a human being and can penetrate the phone system, you get another recording while on hold.

People walk in front of cars while texting and talking on their cell phones. Worse yet, they do this while driving cars.

Of course our every electronic move is being monitored by the tech companies that provide these services. This helps them to profile us then sell our information so we can be harassed by endless robocalls. On our computers we are inundated with spam.

We have lost our humanity, our privacy and the dignity conveyed by our personal presence in traditional forms of discourse. In the process, we have become vulnerable to tyranny and its propaganda by electronic means. 

The recent COVID-19 virus pandemic may have pushed us beyond any hope of recovering our humanity. With totalitarian stay at home mandates by some elected leaders, face masks that hide our facial features and social distancing to keep us apart, millions of people have been working at home. Many more, especially the elderly, have been relegated to their own private purgatory in the form of nursing homes and extended care facilities. Many of them have gone into hospices, where these old folks are just waiting to die with no hugs or kisses – and no goodbyes. Our electronic communication devices and TV have replaced our humanity more than ever before. What is social about “social media?” Certainly no handshake or hug, and most certainly not a kiss.

This paperless, brainless and soulless technology has allowed unscrupulous politicians and their unelected bureaucrat minions to rule our lives, or should we say ruin our lives. In the process they have ignored our U.S. Constitutional protections from such tyranny. They closed our churches. But not marijuana stores or liquor stores. They kept our children out of their schools, but not the unruly mobs out of our streets.

Hope remains! People have started to communicate by their public peaceful demonstrations with handmade signs. While most people remain prudent in protecting themselves and others from COVID-19, they are starting to display civil disobedience by ignoring the illegal business closures and church closures. Many are now filing lawsuits to push back at oppressive government leaders in our states and cities. Many law enforcement officials are not enforcing these mandates.

The ultimate push back will come when COVID-19 vaccines have brought us to herd immunity. People will once again begin to act like intelligent beings rather than lemmings of our shameful political and bureaucratic elites – and our BIG TECH oligarchs.

The technocrats used their technology to influence our 2020 elections, and others before that. Our technology has been weaponized by politicians, their bureaucrat “swamp people” and an adoring pliant media. The truth has become hard to find. When will we get our normal lives back? Probably not until a world cyber war has destroyed our infatuation with technology and our survival depends on human beings rather than machines. This needs to start with moral leadership, not technology engineers. Most certainly not with the elected officials who have brought us to this moral crossroads in human development. 

Harold E. Collins
Lawyer, Author and Journalist Provocateur

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Harold E. Collins
Lawyer, Author and Journalist Provocateur