Sunday 20 May 2012

It's Digital, Man!

I can't be arsed with all this Greece nonsense. They are going to be enslaved, exiled or invaded and there's nothing any politician really cares about it, so long as they can stay in office by pandering to the uneducated, egocentric wiles of their increasingly dumbfounded electorate and keep telling them what they want to hear. Why change a winning formula?

So, sod the economies and the concerns of Greece, Italy, Spain Ireland and whichever knave in the house of cards is next on the world stage, professing to have the first clue as what is needed. Sod ‘em all and let’s look closer to home. Good old Blighty.

The UK is a pretty affluent country, you know? Of course we got troubles – who don’t, innit? – but Birmingham didn’t seem to think so yesterday. From the teeming masses out on the spend I saw little sign of a country in crisis.

There is nothing – and I mean NOTHING for sale in the Bullring that anybody actually needs. From the bizarre bubble-wrap skin of Selfridges, to the plethora of games and gadget shops, sunglasses huts, coffee emporia, perfumiers, chocolatiers and jewellers, there is sweet F-A that anybody needs to live on. For a country that’s supposedly broke it’s doing a great job of looking like a consumer paradise.

Every other outlet sells mobile phones with enough computing power to get man on the moon, or run an army from exile; the sheer capability of these things is truly awesome. But look who’s really using them and for what purpose.

The digital native, it is said, needs no formal knowledge-based education, for all knowledge is at the fingertips. What use is there in teaching history, geography, the sciences, language and maths when you can carry your brain in your pocket? (Something, incidentally, that men have been doing for millennia.)

Educationalists posit that ‘digital immigrants’ (that’s us crusties, folks) have trouble teaching digital natives because of the proliferation of a new language and new social paradigms. Educationalists, it seems can always come up with another pseudo-scientific reason not to educate. This, however, is a simple case of the tail wagging the dog – who is supposed to be teaching whom?

If the aimless, lardy simpleton waddling along New Street, glazed eyes fixed to a tiny screen, is an example of the digital native (and it certainly is) then you have to ask yourself at which point this genius is going to transform our brave new world.

For every Alpha entrepreneur, using technology in a new and interesting way, you have a million drooling Deltas using the same technology to order pizza. Aldous Huxley’s novel, while not great literature, was nevertheless prescient… and far more stuff needs cleaning than inventing. As long as you keep the drones happy, the world keeps on turning. 

Hmmm, (shudder at the thought) maybe the Eurocrats know what they're doing after all?

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