by Writing Cahors
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“For a long time, the core of the journalist’s profession has been to media but above all to question events and reality. His ambition has been to help the reader formulate a critical viewpoint, step back, and free himself from the tyranny of emotions and rumours. According to the famous definition of the profession given by Arthur Londer, It was so To carry the pen where it hurts. However, it seems that no player in the world of journalism and media is no longer safe from the instantaneous dictatorship and loss of meaning caused by social networks.
To the traditional paper version of newspapers that readers over sixty still want to read quietly and calmly, in an effort to get a clear idea of the world near and far, has now been added a commitment for each newspaper to have a strong digital view of the web. But by having to provide new information before the competition and every two hours at the latest, does the press not run the risk of getting caught up in the logic of flow at the expense of any critical reversal, becoming just a conveyor belt news as in continuous news channels? As journalists we must ask ourselves what our practices lead to. Are we talking to adult readers, who love questions, or to information-hungry consumers who think they know because they compulsively check their cell phone screens ten times an hour? On the contrary, good journalism, by preferring to think and express multiple points of view, can contribute to the awakening of consciences and at times it becomes a real act of resistance in the face of this conformity with speed and immediacy.
XXAnd We have seen a century go from progress in transmission speed to progress in transmission speed. But with the advent of digital, a major historical event occurred: the time machine encountered what the philosopher Paul Virilio called the “human time wall”. Tomorrow, machine time and soon AI will confirm that they are infinitely faster than the time we need to think. The era of “the moment” will be unchallenged. However, we cannot speed up the rate of millions of operations per minute, like a device. So we are in a state of human failure. This acceleration is already leading to the threats of electronic warfare in which speed becomes the basis of strategy. We have created a sixth continent, cyberspace on screens, in networks. So, if, like Paul Virilio, we still believe in reflection rather than reflection, how can we not see in this technological inflation the danger of a new form of human oppression? According to Paul Virilio, we cannot understand universal periods without the development of technologies. For Hitler and Nazism, it was radio and blitzkrieg tanks, for China under Xi Jinping, it was facial recognition and computerized social credit that allowed complete control of the population.
“Excessive computing and its administrative logic are destroying our profession and our social relationships.”
Under these circumstances, are we still talking about progress? Social networks pride themselves on facilitating emotional communication between millions of Internet users. But this communism of influence with likes, not primary likes, this gigantic and impulsive demagoguery encouraged by market forces and gamblers* is done at the expense of reason, intelligence, moderation, critical sense and respect for difference. This could quickly become a new form of tyranny and insidious mass manipulation. And the whole relationship to knowledge is what has changed. The question is no longer just which planet we will leave to our children, but which children, glued to their smartphones, and computer-assisted humans, who prefer the virtual to the real, will we leave for that planet.
Tomorrow, cyberspace, all digital artificial intelligence will make it possible to move from totalitarian oppression with a tyrant, to gentle oppression as totalitarian without a tyrant. The tyranny of the instantaneous with impossible techniques, in the words of the philosopher Andre Gorz. Excessive computing and its administrative logic are destroying our professions and our social relationships. Our monitors allow commercial espionage and tomorrow the seamless surveillance and tracking of citizens, as is already the case in China. The web is not neutral, it has become a tool for weakening power. Its purpose is to think for us, expel us from any initiative to free us from consumerism.
As the Roman historian Marius Opera, cited by Paul Virilio in the second chapter of his Great Accelerator, said: “Communism has not disappeared, it has been privatized.”
So let’s wake up! We are in the midst of a major anthropological boom, no doubt as irreversible as the thaw. But in this world to come, notions of identity and individual risk become relative, risky, and fragmented. The citizen will become the consumer. Is this what we want? What is the price to pay for this renunciation of our humanity?
If these topics interest you, and if you want to better understand what is happening to us collectively with digital technology, I recommend reading a very useful book by the philosopher Gaspar König: end of the individual It was published by the observatory for a book by Hervé Kreve entitled Internet or back to the candle Posted by Resilience.
* An acronym for the giants of the web: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft
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