Machines which ape people are tending to encroach on every aspect of people’s lives, and that such machines force people to behave like machines. The new electronic devices do indeed have the power to force people to “communicate” with them and with each other on the terms of the machine. Whatever structurally does not fit the logic of machines is effectively filtered from a culture dominated by their use.
The machine-like behaviour of people chained to electronics constitutes a degradation of their well-being and of their dignity which, for most people in the long run, becomes intolerable. Observations of the sickening effect of programmed environments show that people in them become indolent, impotent, narcissistic and apolitical. The political process breaks down, because people cease to be able to govern themselves; they demand to be managed.
Ivan Illich, 1982
– “And then,” the prophecy said, “in the divided land of corruption, as the economic institutions start to fall, frozen yoghurt shops will begin to rise.”
– “What does it all mean, great master?” asked the young student.
The wise master pondered the question for a minute, and then calmly answered:
– “Remember this, young one; it is truly the one great wisdom I can bestow upon you: fat-free may be a myth, but it is one people believe in; there will be great demand, even in the harshest of times, for food without essence, as it will be believed that such food is superior. But know this, young one, frozen yoghurt is not a healthy alternative, it is merely a tasteless one.”
And that is all the great master had to say, for now the student had become a master himself.