When did technology last excite you?
If Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is to be believed, your own excitement ended, simply had to end, after turning 35 years old. Decades ago, at first writing privately and later having those private writings published after his death, Adams had come up with "a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies." They were simple and short:
- Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
- Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
- Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Today, on the Lock and Code podcast with host David Ruiz, we explore why technology seemingly no longer excites us. It could be because every annual product release is now just an iterative improvement from the exact same product release the year prior. It could be because just a handful of companies now control innovation. It could even be because technology is now fatally entangled with the business of money-making, and so, with every one money-making idea, dozens of other companies flock to the same idea, giving us the same product, but with a different veneer—Snapchat recreated endlessly across the social media landscape, cable television subscriptions "disrupted" by so many streaming services that we recreate the same problem we had before.
Or, it could be because, as was first brought up by Shannon Vallor, director of the Centre for Technomoral Futures in the Edinburgh Futures Institute, that the promise of technology is not what it once was, or at least, not what we once thought it was. As Vallor wrote on Twitter in August of this year:
"There’s no longer anything being promised to us by tech companies that we actually need or asked for. Just more monitoring, more nudging, more draining of our data, our time, our joy."
For our first episode of Lock and Code in 2023—and our first episode of our fourth season (how time flies)—we bring back Malwarebytes Labs editor-in-chief Anna Brading and Malwarebytes Labs writer Mark Stockley to ask: Why does technology no longer excite them?
Tune in today.