One question has been stuck in my brain for the last week or so. One that was not flippantly asked, but asked with conviction and pursuing a real answer. Zac Cichy pressed his guest Rene Richie to see if people at Apple actually think about the changes that their products and services actually make to not only their users, but also society at large.
This sounds like an obvious question, and one that was answered quite honestly by Rene, being that Steve Jobs and to a certain point many people at Apple, have a more positive view point when talking about their products or advancements in technology. With a natural blind spot to all the bad things that these can also cause. For every boost in communication and productivity gain you get a Facebook and Google (his choice of companies not mine, although I would agree with them).
This invention has the power to drastically alter the nature of human existence. I think it could help humanity. But it could also make things even worse. — Ready Player Two
We trust the brands we invest in, with both our money and our attention, to have the best interests of their users in mind when producing their products. Which in the vast majority of cases is well-founded. However, there are companies where it is more obvious their intentions are more nefarious.
In Steven Levy book “Facebook: The Inside Story” he goes into great detail, whilst being led by several people that are familiar with the matter, on Facebooks problems and therefore its users problems. Brought about by its relentless pursuit of growth at all costs. “Chasing growth that hadn’t happened naturally, attempting to crush competitors” and a leader hell-bent on becoming everything that Facebook wasn’t.
One “unintended consequence” after another proves that not all people think about this stuff, or instead are so shortsighted that it doesn’t even register. Undoubtedly, this happens in every single company on the face of the planet at some stage or another. With every great stride forward comes another towards a future of more technology ingress into our lives, something that can be amazingly positive but also end life as we know it!
I hope to god people think about this stuff, but I have my doubts, and if they do I don’t think they do it hard enough.