My friend Autumn recently posted this quote on Facebook:
“I wonder if I’m helping you build a future I wouldn’t want to live in.”
-Ian McDonald, Dervish House
I’m not familiar with the quote or its source, but the concept has been rolling around in my brain in the wake of Snowden’s leak.
I’ve worked in technology all my life and I take pride in the fact that we are advancing our capabilities as a species and overcoming our limitations, potentially moving toward a Star Trek-like future where our technologies are used in the service of our peaceful well-being.
But we are already much closer to a Firefly-like future, where the technology is used in the service of those with power at the expense of those without, all the while paying lip service to higher ideals.
The conclusion I’ve come to is that I have no choice but to continue on this path, because those in power will build that future with or without me, and only through my participation can I hope to find some small opportunity to mitigate the damage or steer things in a more positive direction.