It’s funny how we revere technology almost like a god. But we do that largely because it’s way easier to revere that than following an established religion where you often have to give cash gifts to large institutions, especially if you want to host a wedding there. What a racket that is. Weddings, I mean. Oh, and the Trump-eriffic Mueller Report.
Technology, like religion, was created by us humans so that we would have something explain why little Billy was run over by the motorized parade float featuring hairy, fire fighter drag queens at the Gay Pride parade, despite Billy’s utter innocence. Sure, his parents were mightily distracted and in a zombie-like trance watching season 8 of Game of Thrones or playing Fortnite til 3 AM on a caffeine high. But a vengeful technology god took Billy away to teach them a lesson. Or to teach Billy a lesson. I am not sure which one. I haven’t been sleeping well.
Let me be precise here when referring to technology as a god. I am not referring to the Miracle/Curse of CRISPR, the gene-editing technology that may one day alleviate the pain of disease, and help to create healthy populations, or potentially make a bunch of amoral Chinese super soldiers. No, it’s far more mundane than that.
Back to the technology-religion thing for a minute. It’s really simple to worship at the Altar of Bits and Bytes, at the Church of iPad, at the House of the 88-inch OLED Screen with 4K, because, let’s face it, you don’t have to get dressed up and show up at an place of worship on someone else’s schedule, where parking is difficult to come by.
No one asks you to pray or for donations at the Temple of Technology. They just ask for a credit card and a monthly subscription that over time equates to a king’s ransom of a small African nation. Which you are happy to fork over blindly because you get pretty immediate rewards and gratification as opposed to having to wait until the afterlife, which I am told by people who claim to have knowledge of such, is a hard place to find a decent Chinese food restaurant that isn’t overbooked.
Now that technology is our new god, or is at least 85% of the way to replacing most major religions, we have new worries and fears. I think it’s fair to say that humanity’s greatest existential threat is when the WiFi goes down, or your smart phone goes on the fritz. That’s when the technology god wreaks his (yes, I used a masculine pronoun because that bloody profession of techies is about 99.9% male-dominated) revenge and puts you at the mercy of the evil minions who occupy the lower rungs of the Help Desk.
Minion #3,692,134 lords his (or her) power over you after you have waited 73 minutes on hold (a.k.a. purgatory), then gets you to give your most personal details like your blood type and the last time you picked your nose in order to verify your account before he (or she) explains that after “rebooting your device” (that always sounded vaguely sexual to me for some reason), you’re kind of screwed and they have to send a technician to your home, for a small fee. Kind of like buying an indulgence, no?
Yet, despite the ignominy of dealing with the Help Desk Minions, and the associated manager or Level 26 expert you had to wait an hour to get to just to tell you the problem is somehow your fault, once they miraculously re-establish the electronic connection and the flow of electrons and compressed data packets, you are elated to be able to continue streaming pretty much meaningless pictures of your cat or child that no one else wants to see. Unless it’s my cousin’s daughters who are super adorable.
Where does this discussion all lead to? What are you, dear reader, supposed to glean from this shaky piece of writing and ranting as the long weekend of Easter arrives? I don’t know, but I certainly did sucker you into spending more time on your electronic device reading this mess.
May the Technology Gods have mercy on your soul!
Love and sniffles,
Friar Augustino Druker