This is nothing new – we became consumers of information with the invention of the printing press – the information being consumed was the printed word. Although people prefered to consider themselves readers. A skill that introduced a class distinction between those who were literate, and those who were not.
This distinction still applies in America. Everyone can read there, but few spend much time at it – preferring to look at their televisions, or their smartphones instead. They prefer active information, such as movies, with their sound – over the written word.
What is the difference between being a consumer and being a predator?
It depends on the technology being used. TV created the passive consumer, and the Computer created the active predator. Many of the predators being computer programs – that ruthlessly process all our data – looking for whatever other people are looking for – terrorists, perhaps – or political opportunities. In a desperate attempt to read other people’s minds.
Each level of the Economy eats the lower one. The Movies, for example, were based on novels – and they were always on the lookout for more, that that could be upgraded into movies – and greatly enrich their writers. The Information Economy (based on Software) eats everything else. Making a few very rich – and making the rest less rich.
This process has been going on for a very long time – and was well documented in the Roman Empire. Where Nero, after killing thousands himself – was forced to kill himself. Human lives, in any age, have seldom been given much importance.
This is still true today. Enormous creativity has been invested in improving the Computer (and its Software) – but little in improving the People themselves.
They are not considered important.