Stagnated By A Career

Growing old always has caveats we often are not aware of, well until we grow old. Reflection is one each of us never know how it may impact us at a time in our lives we realize, just maybe what we intended to make life better accomplished the opposite of intention.

I lived it and today I constantly ask myself what am I doing what I do for? There was time when I started in technology the frontier was open, information was free and the biggest adventure we could imagine appeared on the horizon with every turn we took. As the internet of information grew we found teenagers talking to professionals in fields of their choice, educating them, pushing them and helping them to learn and expand their knowledge and potential.

During this time we saw many innovations to aid users on their quest for knowledge and what used to be know as real debate where sharing of ideas, concepts both original and controversial; whether we agreed or disagreed everyone walked away knowing more, growing in learning and discovering answers the solved problems for everyone.

We saw innovation with computer software to make jobs and lives easier. Accounting programs, engineering programs, games, research, etc. from all aspects of life grew. Then came corporations that saw a way to corner the market and make money.

I remember the days when Netscape introduced the “blink” tag, every website you went to had something blinking, flashing, or gif moving constantly; to the point those of us who make our living on programming hated that invention.

Suddenly someone thought, wait; let us store information in the “cloud” to allow users to access banking information, let us put some of this information behind pay walls to charge people for better access and quicker searching. Let us create search engines to make searching the web faster. Yet at this time I lived when Yahoo was king, Netscape was the preferred browser and Google wasn’t yet heard of. Yahoo was what we know as a directory. People added sites to their directory manually, you had to specifically submit your website to them for listing.

Along came Google who had a better way by crawling the web to index pages. Then came ads, tracking, selling of your information for profit. Inundated with spammed pages to rank on Google. Paid ads that would bury the best results only for you to go to one that had a massive pay wall waiting for you. Banks went online, all financial went online, then they all jumped to the cloud. More pay walls, more ads to see when you visited websites and searched for information not long ago that was free and openly taught by professionals who wanted to share their skills and knowledge.

Today we have identity protection, constant reports of hacking of information. Everything is in the cloud and being hacked. Yet that wasn’t enough. Next up smart phones so you could have access 24/7 no matter where you were. Yet, your information was there also, hackers were there and every step opened up more access points to your personal data where they could steal your identity and credit.

So at my age today what good did we bring? Blind people that still trust the system and feeling they have privacy rights? People who time and time again allow a company to store their payment information just so they don’t have to enter it again. Then these people are pissed when someone hacks that information and spends their money. The money they gave 15 places the right to store the details needed to use it. Surely they cannot blame themselves.

Stagnated is where my career is today. Every day I wonder why I do what I do. What we did in the past that was good was consumed by corporations, locked up and then given away whereby anyone who can hack simply hacks their way into everything about your life.

Today they collect, track and sell your information at every turn. Yet, I work for a company that puts more information in the cloud giving yet another data entry point to your personal data. And still everyone calls this progress.

I for one reflect. We need to reverse course and fix what everyone seems to think is “improved”. AI needs to stop now, collection and sharing of information has to stop. We were wrong allowing companies to bastardize the good we created.