The machines are on the march. But not in the way Hollywood has portrayed. Robots are not marching over the hill in their droves, firing frickin’ laser beams at us. If anything, they’re turning out to be a bit lame.
The real machines you need to fear are the massive servers housed at Google, Facebook and other social-focused companies.
These servers are so numerous and the space they require so vast they’ve been termed ‘server farms’, as if they’re a field of corn or a shed full of cows. As whimsical as it may be, think about it for a moment. It’s not the machinery that’s in the farm: it’s our data – it’s you and me.
Our data sits in those farms, being harvested into produce that the big tech companies then take to market and sell – and they get an incredible price for it too.
But eventually the price falls. Not only does the market get bored of the same types of data showing up time and again, but it also gets flooded with others who have followed the innovations of the likes of Google and Facebook. The big tech companies must now bring fresh data to market.
The way they do this is by fully utilising the one thing that computers can handle – predictable behaviour. The more predictable we become, the more the computers can predict what we’re going to do next. Everything from social trends, purchase intentions and even voting intent is up for grabs.
Predictability feeds the machines. It makes them stronger, and the stronger they get, the worse it is for all of us eventually as they move closer to a full takeover.
I’m using dramatic language, especially as ‘the takeover’ won’t actually be that dramatic. Indeed, it may have already happened.
The takeover simply means the point at which we have become so predictable that everything we now consume and do is a result was predicted by the machines. It’s a cycle and best described using the metaphor of a car engine and exhaust.
As we go through our lives we put out so much data about ourselves from our ‘digital exhaust’. We are literally spewing data everywhere. The genius lies in getting all of those exhaust fumes and feeding them back into the car – eventually making the car run off its own fumes. That is what is happening right now in terms of humanity and the machines – they are feeding us more and more of our own exhaust fumes, and we’re gobbling them up. Eventually, humanity at large will be run on its own fumes – if it’s not already.
There’s a simple solution however: Be random.
Machines simply cannot handle random behaviour. It’s the one thing that we can use time and again to beat the machines. By which I mean it’s the one thing we can use to stop the big technology companies using our data to feed us our future.
All you have to do is be random. Some examples:
- Every now and again go on to Google and search for things that you would not normally search for.
- Not got a patio? Search for patio furniture.
- Really would not go on holiday to Turkey? Search for holidays to Turkey.
- Scared of heights? Search for tickets to to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
- Search for random kitchen appliances.
- Search YouTube for artists you never normally listen to.
- Check-in on Facebook to somewhere you never go – you don’t need to go there, just check-in there.
- Never go to the library? Check-in there.
- Vegetarian? Check in at a burger bar.
Get it? Just be as random and opposite as you can. Think of wacky and crazy things and share them in the comments.
Unleash your randomness – set yourself free.