A brave new world

This isn’t the sort of brave new world Aldous Huxley wrote about. Dystopian, yes. But will our future generations all be born in the laboratory? No more sex, only eugenics? Probably not.

However the earmarks are here for a new era of psychological manipulation. Forget about politics, our current state in bending the public will. Think more of targeted data collection and messaging. Think of organizations like Facebook–a faceless, emotionless machine–gathering your thoughts and selling them to the highest bidder. Is this where we’re heading?

Listening to the Zuckerberg hearings this week, I’m wondering if we have even seen the tip of the iceberg in this brave new world. Mark Zuckerberg himself seems innocuous enough, parrying questions from U.S. Senators old enough to be his grandfather. He is the quintessential “good son/grandson”. Patiently answering their questions and coaching them on how to keep themselves safe online.

As one reporter pointed out, putting the whole thing in perspective, these old legislators oversee a country with a population of 300 million. Mark Zuckerberg  has the hearts and minds of a planet, over 2 billion subscribers in many countries. Who would you bet has the advantage with influencing our preferences and thought patterns?