There’s an article in the Financial Times suggesting we should be prepared for chip wars. This is in addition to all of our other wars. Actual wars, either where we’re directly involved or via proxy. The war on climate change, one where we’re losing badly. The war on poverty. Also losing badly. Been to San Francisco lately?
But we are doing well in other wars. The war on women and brown skinned people is going well for Republicans thanks to two big weapons. Stacking the judiciary and gerrymandering are the atom bombs of modern political science.
As a nature lover first and a technologist second, I’m not naive about technology. There’s a vast amount of evidence that clearly proves it’s not benign. In fact it’s often harmful. Exhibit A is atomic weaponry. Exhibit B is the combustion engine. Exhibit C is the wrongheaded belief that technology will solve our climate issues. I suppose that one is still not completely known, but Vegas has planetary destruction at -30 points. For non-betting types, that means our failure is assured.
And now we have a chip war. I will admit that technology is what makes it possible for me to create a blog post critical of technology. This screed was typed on a lovely Apple Mac, sending bytes of information into the cloud and therefore into a big datacenter somewhere that uses prodigious amounts of energy. What this new war is really all about is profit. U.S. companies wanting larger margins and more control. That’s what companies do. But I still find having the word “war” interdigitated with “profit” a troubling thing. It usually means we’re willing to do things that will harm other people or nations in order to make more money. That’s what “Christian” nations do and the more wars the merrier.
“Greed, the profit motive, is the ugliest thing in America, the closest we’ve got to pure evil; even the nuke bomb, SDI, the arms race, are based essentially on greed-greed for money, greed for power.”-Edward Abbey