Sincere condolences go out to the victim’s family.
This Bloomberg Businessweek entry is remarkable.
Particularly the way pedestrian is portrayed as acting of their own free will and not as collateral damage in the war on humans.
The car, the company, and the other human who was supposed to be supervising the “autonomous” vehicle are portrayed as passive participants and the pedestrian as an attention seeker.
Not so much a tragedy as business as usual.
Have Uber’s PR team framed this to shift blame onto irrational human beings and safely away from social engineering banks seeking to render all pedestrians obsolete?
I can picture it now:
“Who do they think they are? Those Pesky humans coming over here, barging their way into my profit centre!
Soon you won’t be able to go out on the streets unless you are shielded by your own semi-autonomous vehicle.
Last year I met Manuel Beltran at a Tactical Tech event in London where he presented his organization – the Institute of Human Obsolescence.
He started off by saying that we are all working for Facebook for free and we ought to invoice them for all the data we give them.
But before explaining to us why he was right to suggest that we form a union of data workers, he showed us an example of another species that had gone from being utterly ubiquitous to practically obsolete – the horse.
The once beloved horse became obsolete due to the invention of the motorcar. Manuel argued that we humans are becoming obsolete as we give our labour (which Facebook consider a business input) away for free.
I am quite sure Manuel is a communist and his research projects are inspired by his perspective on social justice.
I also appreciate the debate around communism has died down since the late eighties.
But Central Europe and beyond seem to be falling out of love with globalized open borders in favour of border centric nationalist strongman politicians.
Capitalism, democracy and tech have certainly had better moments.
Either way, there is plenty of evidence that automation feeds populism and technocracy ultimately renders humans obsolete or marginal.
And this incident is like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.
Something had been brewing for a while. We all knew there was tension. But this news report says it all.
You don’t have to be a raging communist to see a problem here.
The deceased is being blamed for causing the disruption.
And the moronic programmed ‘autonomous’ vehicle was just following orders.
What would Milgram and Zimbardo have said about the poor ‘autonomous’ car?
Where does the onus lie in cases where authority figures issue instructions to their (amoral) subordinates?
Blame the Victim
The Derek Bentley case was turned into a film, “Let him have it” in which a young man was hanged for ordering another man to shoot. The legal case turned on one of them being of reduced capacity and therefore somewhat easily led or not to be taken particularly seriously.
Should the car and it’s programmer be quarantined or put down like a dangerous dog?
When and where will this get to court?
Will the victim’s family be offered a settlement or will a precedent be set?
If the case doesn’t get to court then will there be a surge in people shoving problem partners and elderly, unemployed and disabled relatives into oncoming traffic?
And what about that Mel Gibson film, Who Killed the Electric Car?
That’s been flipped on its head.
Forget Snakes on a Plane, now we’re talking Driving Droids – On the Sidewalk.
It appears autonomous military drones are the future of warfare.
So will predictive policing and anti drug and terror legislation lead to an uptick in domestic drone strikes?
I can see it now in trigger happy USA – gunned down by a heat seeking missile for eating dinner in a poor neighborhood.
Digital Oil Spill
Elsewhere in the magazine there are calls for for a digital EPA (environmental protection agency) to help deal with digital oil spills.
The help we may really need may well be on our pavements, our job centres, Health Clinics, Hospitals, schools and any other hubs for potential mind control.
Of course in the U.K. we don’t discuss creating new regulators because we know that the ones we already have have have no teeth.
Just this week four pro EU British politicians poo-pooed the idea of Rupert Murdoch’s News International taking over Sky News because there would be no way of ensuring that it sticks to its promise of continuing to fund Sky News for the next ten years.
One of the MPs, Ken Clark, is the former Home Secretary and Justice Minister – he knows how the law works.
The fact that he doesnt suggest a clause be inserted that would revoke the merger and fine news international millions of pounds if Murdoch reneges on his promise tells you all you need to know.
Clarke has made a career out of lobbying for all corporations to get away with anything.
He is not suddenly going to suggest U.K. authorities are going to do everything they can to clamp down on criminal behaviour.
Have we reached peak technocracy?
Now that we’ve let deregulation upset our taxi drivers, small hotels, newspapers, and our democracy, where will the next scandal emerge from and how easily will it be written off?
An American in Paris once told me that one day they tell they’ve been poisoning your drinking water and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
One day they kill you and your family members in broad daylight and having perfected the art of blaming the victim they tell their investors the occasional compensation payment is the cost of doing business – there are bound to be a few rotten apples in every barrel.