In the first Anti-Tech Revolutionary book, The Anti-Tech Revolt, Kaczynski outlines the path that we are presently on in our digital millennium. The basic premise behind this work is that technological change inevitably destroys human relationships. The book then describes four related stages of digital destruction. He refers to these as the Digital Absorption, Digital Transmission, Digital Incursion, and the Digital Destruction. In Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, Kaczynski further contends that by understanding what has destroyed us, we can better understand how to prevent and undo the damage that technology does.
We are witnessing the rapid spread of digitalization throughout the world today. Information and communication technologies (IPs) are the backbone of modern civilization, replacing physical means of exchange like barter and money. At the same time, the Internet itself is at risk of being corrupted or destroyed by malware, viruses, and hackers. In Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, Kaczynski presents four theories of digital destruction, each connecting the dots of the digital age.
The first theory of destruction, Digital Absorption, identifies the gradual destruction of computer systems through misuse, hacker attacks, and viruses. In today’s digital environment, computers and other electronic devices are our hearts, minds, and fingers. As computers are used for education, business, and for communicating, they are subject to the erosion inherent in their design. The Digital Absorption hypothesis suggests that the rapid spread of digital information will cause a breakdown of the mental and social structures currently available to people. By using the digital tools we have created, we have developed an intricate system of relationships that we are no longer able to perceive or control.
The second theory of digital destruction highlights the tendency for digital information to be spread rapidly and broadly. The Internet provides access to the entire world; however, unlike the physical world, information is not contained within individual computers or devices. This means that humans can become enmeshed in digital relationships that are beyond their control. Just as individuals can be absorbed into the web of digital media, so can entire nations. Digital Absorption allows the spread of unwanted, harmful, or damaging information because it is not possible to break down a computer system to remove the data.
The final theory of digital destruction considers the potential for a new form of digital technology that would allow people and organizations to communicate digitally. This type of anti-tech movement could occur when new information technology becomes available that exceeds the capabilities of previous technologies. This new technology could allow people to communicate and interact with one another, providing a means of communication unbound by physical space and time. This new form of digital technology might provide an answer to the question, “How do we stop the anti-tech revolution?”
With the rapid spread of information technology, the anti-tech movement must evolve in order to match the pace. Although the ultimate goal of the anti-tech movement may be a technologically pure society, it must resist the spread of digital technologies that could destroy or distract its users. As information continues to spread at an alarming rate, it has become imperative that citizens of the world to remain vigilant against new and potentially threatening technologies. By educating themselves on the dangers of digital misuse, the anti-tech culture will become a vibrant entity.
If you are concerned about the digital environment and are interested in preserving its unique qualities, you can contribute to the preservation of the unique qualities of the digital environment. Digital preservation involves using protective information technology equipment to secure electronic information. Computer and internet security software programs are available that can help to safeguard sensitive information. These programs work by allowing only authorized individuals to gain access to digital content.
As technology continues to push the envelope in both areas of design, education, entertainment, and communications, the anti-tech culture will continue to grow. In order to stop the advance of digital destruction, it is important that we remain vigilant and educate ourselves on new and potentially threatening technologies. This new anti-tech movement is here to stay and is anticipated to grow into a large and vibrant industry. We can all be anti-tech, if we choose to be, because the computer age has arrived.
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