Going beyond the machine

Using machines in moderation is desirable.

The bike is a machine I like because it balances out the need for speed to get to places with health of cycling.

The bike is a machine I like because it balances out the need for speed to get to places with health of cycling.

The machine has become king in this world, but it is desirable that the human is king, the machine is the servant.  How sad that the human is the slave to the machine.  Do I hate machines? No, I hate the slavery of humans to machines.  I love machines for their making our lives easier and in certain ways healthier.  Machines are a tool, used intelligently and with wisdom, the machine is beneficial.

I visited my bank manager this week to discuss credit to expand my business.  I spent four days frantically preparing business plans and accounts for the meeting with the bank manager, he never asked to see them.  The bank manager sat in front of a computer, a robot, unable to make his own decisions, following prompts on the computer screen in processing me.  Both I and the bank manager were no more than impersonal objects enslaved to the dictates of a computer, which made the decisions and asked the questions.

The Bank no longer trusted its own human bank managers to make the decisions and deal with customers as human beings with their own unique situations and needs; most business interactions with the Bank today in the UK is a sales pitch and a relationship with a central computer; the staff and customer depersonalised slaves to machines.

My dealings with the UK taxation authorities is the same as the Bank; automated with all the local tax offices that used to deal directly with the public now closed in favour of a centralised call centre.

I love to walk and cycle everywhere, but most people are dependent upon the car, which whilst convenient, denies the individual exercise and a robust mind due to environmental experiences such as walking in the cold and rain.  Cell phones are a great tool of communication, but when your cell phone dictates your actions every hour of every day in every situation, you have a problem.  The bank manager I was speaking to was coughing his lungs out because of the technology of his bank air conditioning system.

There is a need for moderation, finding a balance where the machine becomes a tool of beneficial liberty rather than an enslaving harmful monster. The choice always is the individuals on how they like to live their life in relation to machines, the choice is king or slave, the choice is always yours.


19 responses to “Going beyond the machine

  1. yes, you’ve really caught the point where machines instead of enhance us, diminish us.

  2. This is so true of many things, Alex, where our tools become our masters. As you say, machines, certainly, but also money–and even the reasoning mind, which is a powerful servant and a tyrannical master. As you have done in this essay, we have to do more thinking and less reasoning.

    • Wisdom dies in this current machine-dominated society, it is a return to wisdom relative to how we use our tools such as machines that I would love to see happen.

  3. As an illustration of our, as in Jean and me, changed relationship with tools, when we arrived in Oregon two years ago, the first tool we purchased was a tractor and two ‘tools’ we eschewed were television and cell/mobile phones.

  4. Machines, be it technology or mathematic algorithms, cannot and will not replace the value and significance in human connection and the relationships that grow out of connection. I hear and appreciate your alignment of machines with “slavery,” Alex. It’s sadly true, especially when one considers the shallow dependence that is becoming increasingly evident. Good post!

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