Friday, 27 April 2012
░▒▓█ A Good Ride Home.
Having flagged a taxi in the seeming middle of nowhere, I hopped on and stated my destination. We had a good talk about international soccer and Olympics - especially on the dark aspects from what we heard from the media and suchlike sources, before we went on to technology. What he said made me stare at him, when he uttered that computers are used to control people, which rhymed with what I had brought to the attention of people a few years ago that "the purpose of technology is control", with the radio-frequency identification microchip as the end game guideline. He quoted a simple example of one of those automatic teller machines, where you input your details in order to withdraw money, and that as more and more personal information are being stored in the computer, it is for sure that you can't run away. I then shared with him about the development in the West where a microchip would be injected into a person's hand where his finances and information are all connected and known to a center, where I jokingly said he has totally no means of escape. He laughed. He revealed that he is a computer idiot of the older generation, and he mentioned his difficulty in seeing the small words on the screen and he could even barely read the bigger numbers that meant the fare on the computer system in the taxi, depending mostly on visual guesswork. I laughed. I responded how ironic it was that computers are theoretically meant to lessen if not solve the problems of mankind would actually be very complicated in make especially when it comes to troubleshooting, that is on par with that of the human body or even the human brain. The human brain is good, he said, but one good thing about the computer is its resilience, as you could scold, shout at, or even hit it, but when that's all said and done it would still be silent and be in ready-service mode, unlike human workers where you give them too much orders or work and they would howl and protest and swear. I laughed. The computer, while a dead thing, has the capacity to store more, whereas the human brain, while also memory-based, could only do so much. And I noted that the computer has the ability to recall its stored bits of memory and information in a way that is based on perfection. After a brief thought, he agreed. He said nowadays he sees young people type those small letters into their laptops and other devices, and while he feels a sense of envy on one hand he also feels a sense of, as I said rightly pity, on the other. Their lives have become such that the computer is now their friend. They do everything with it, and they have things like facebook where they talk about something, and they get comments rolling in, together with the same when it comes to asking for advice on things. They prefer getting answers that way, and they no are longer keen to listen to their own parents' advice. While he revealed that computers require a fixed set of instructions to be followed in order to get what you want - or risk not getting it in the form of errors - he also revealed his great respect for those who could come up with these things, write programmes, and more importantly those who could decipher and alter them. Hackers. He mused, how could these people all be so smart when they live in the same house, eat the same food, have the same father as a taxi driver, etc. Drawing on his observation that we are under the control of the computer where he also meant the programme writers I remarked that there is this one thing that has remained the same from ancient times - ego and the struggle for power. Fame, he added. He talked about how Yahoo, Google and others would vie for control with the fight for advertiser clients, and said that you need fame in order to achieve power. I disagreed, telling him of the likelihood of the existence of those hidden ones behind the thrones who manipulated the Kings and governments, and not to underestimate their power even if we don't know their names and who they are. He thought for a moment, and conceded that as a possibility, and he went on to say the usual that in this country you would need money to have authority and power over others. Like if he as a taxi driver have lots of money he would hire a chauffeur to drive him, and he would be the one in the back seat instead. He would be giving him orders, as he has the power to and has power over him. Money while not being totally capable, is still pretty capable of doing many things. So saying, he let me go haha. He said that if fate permits, we will meet again, and by that time he would waive the extra overnight charges and grant me a 50% discount. I wanted to ask for his contact number so I could help make his promise come true, but I felt I should decide against that, and so I bade him farewell. It often happens that taxi drivers I talk to would continue our conversation long after the destination is reached, be it day or night, I just don't know why.