The old human flaws in their shiny, new guise

David Bosworth in The Hedgehog Review:

That we often are not the masters of our own machines, and can even become their witless lackeys, is a cautionary claim as old as the Hebrew prophet Isaiah and as urgent as the latest bogus newsfeed on Dr. Fauci’s evil ways. (Instead of saving lives, he’s been busy, don’t you know, torturing puppies, rendering impotent our patriotic men, and implanting surveillance chips in our brains: accusations all conveyed via apps relentlessly surveilled by Facebook, Apple, Google, and their like.) As a species gifted with inventive minds and opposable thumbs, we are ever about the business of generating new tools and techniques that will, we are certain, better our lives. Time after time, though, those new methods and machines also prove to change our public spaces and private selves in radical ways we fail to foresee and come to regret.

The pace of such progress, with its hidden discontents, increased exponentially in the twentieth century. Take radio as an example.

More here.