The World That The Children Made

Happy life with the machines scattered around the room
Look what they made, they made it for me – happy technology
Outside the lions roam feeding on remains
We’ll never leave, look at us now
So in love with the way we are, here

-The Veldt, Deadmau5

I’m not usually one to ramble for rambling-sake, but I feel like the theme of this song is playing out before me every day, and is worth a good ramble.

You can read all about The Veldt on Wikipedia, but the summary is that it plays on Ray Bradbury’s work of the same name. The premise is that parenting is replaced by technology, only to have the children become increasingly detached from their parents (and eventually use the technology to murder mom and dad). Deadmau5 captured the twist by innocuously introducing the horror in line 3 before adding the element of danger sandwiched in the second verse.

What I’m really here to ramble about is not how great the song is, but how I am constantly reminded that technology is forever changing our lives. Perhaps a bit melodramatic, but the “social” Internet may even be changing how we define our humanity. Lately I have noticed subtle concessions – the impact that reading the Bible on a device has on the four sets of eyes watching my every move. Eyes that only know these devices as other-kids-playing-with-toys video boxes. And I have noticed the ever-present erosion of human interaction. To me the lyrics are almost a play-by-play of the rise of technology in the hands of the children of Silicon Valley.

Our throw-away devices constantly provide a new distraction. Nature ravages the rest of the world while we consider our next pocket-computer upgrade. The pitiful self-interest and self-worldview of the generation of children that have never known anything different. The song continues:

Every night they rock us to sleep, digital family
Is it real or is it a dream, can you believe the machines
Outside, the beating sun, can you hear the screams
We’ll never leave, look at us now
So in love with the way we are, here

The world that the children made
The world that the children made, here

Every “smart” device reminds us that we don’t know best and that the algorithm is infallible. Today tech moguls are actively pursuing longevity-enhancing science that will finally dispel the fear of death and render the concept of eternal hope unnecessary. Yet this technology will only be afforded by the few. And what motivation will those eternal giants have to share with the masses?

All these ideas are becoming more real, faster, every day. I have to wonder if we have put children at the helm of our humanity, ignoring wisdom and diving headlong into progress at all cost. Rant over! …for now.

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