Sophistication is a two edged sword, on the one hand it has made our lives easier, and on the other it has complicated communication, information and misinformation, to such an extent that we are up to our knees in lies, half-truths, and manipulation. At one end we learn that we can communicate through music with the child in the womb, allegedly to the benefit of the child. At the other end, as a result of high-speed communication, and again manipulation, we find that we are no longer as secure as we had been given to believe. So how has this happened, and is it advancement or regression? The cause is a gigantic change in how some of us view honesty, how flexible the concept is, and if in fact, if we have any responsibility to others, or only to ourselves. Trust has gone out the window, and we are now, to our psychological disadvantage, almost totally sceptical of most information and communications, written or verbal. Today, possibly due to political manipulation, we constantly have change for the sake of change for some unknown advantage, causing disruption, cost and disillusion.
In the 20s and 30s life was nowhere near as soft as it is today, but one advantage was that we had trust, we trusted each other, we trusted those who served us in every field of our existence, and we trusted the prospects of our future. Communication was relatively slow, basic, and simple. It was all we needed, because we were not having to look over our shoulder, and suing or getting sued was not on our horizon. We didn’t have a plethora of advertisers bombarding us with exaggeration and implied half-truths. There was no need for the level of insurance that is offered today, quality was at a high level, products were reliable and repairable. Crime was negligible and the only insurance we generally took out, was a weekly contribution to the Hospital Savings Association, in order to pay the doctor. Today, without deep research, you haven’t a clue who you are insured with for anything. You make a claim, it is rejected because of the small print, so you decide to avoid that insurer, and years later you make another claim and discover that the company you are with, at some point was bought up by the company you eschewed, and that claim is denied in the small print also. This, unfortunately is the pattern in so many of our relationships and communications, even with government departments. The customer is no longer always right.
Today we have reached a level of communication fraud, either electronic, or postal
that is totally based on the easy access of personal information. There are few of us who can say we have never been duped. We get letters, apparently official, informing us of some crisis in our lives, or a vague opportunity, that demands instant attention, and involves cost. The demand holds sufficient personal information as to appear official and legal, and the unwary are sucked in to replying to some accommodation address, owned by someone on another continent, and they lose their money. Some politicians, with incredible influence, are not averse to lying to us, or making promises based on half-truths, sufficient to achieve their personal or political ends. Our homes in a high proportion of cases are barricaded, and the elderly are vulnerable to attack. The products we buy have a designed life in many cases, because we now live in a throwaway society, and it is not only the products we throwaway. This in turn asks another question, where do we go from here, up or down?