The Company is a Machine

The biggest event in the last two hundred years, has been the rise of the Machine – and the Companies that arrived with it – that have become machines themselves. This is a shocking situation, because it has forced people to become machines also. A role they are not well-suited to.

I am not saying anything new here – this has been said, many times, by people more intelligent and talented than me. But since the advent of the Computer (the latest machine) – this problem needs to be reexamined.

I grew up in the Industrial Midwest, that right after WWII – manufactured most of the world’s products. It is now the Rust Belt that manufactures almost nothing. This should have taught us to be cautious in the large-scale adoption of the Machine. But we learned nothing.

We had no understanding of what we were like – animals with a highly developed (but unstable) brain – or mind. We were not machines, and we can never be like them.

Allow me to repeat that – we are not machines, and we can never be like them. And trying to be like them has been an unmitigated disaster.

This also applies to the Computer – we should note that we are nothing like it – and should be careful in how we use it. But we have not.

Computer software has developed a clever interface that makes it seem human. Just this morning, for example, I ordered a bicycle inner tube from Amazon. It will be shipped to Miami, and flown to Costa Rica – all under the direction of some computers on the Internet. Very handy!

But at the same time, I am learning computer programming – and learning this has forced me to see how strange it is. The analogy with the automobile is apt – some clever stuff is going on under the hood – but then a person gets behind the wheel, and takes control of it (if it has some gas in the tank).

Doing this with the Computer is not so easy – because it is distributed everywhere! This should not be a problem – because our minds, in the form of Software, are distributed also. But our political minds are firmly stuck in the past.

We have the strange situation where part of us is advanced – and part of us is retarded. And we are determined to not notice this.


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