Essay: Has Digital Technology made today’s politics impossible?

Has digital technologies made today’s politics impossible?

During the eightieth century, the town Crier rang his gathering bell and delivered local news and events to the citizenry within shouting distance.

They were America’s “first responders” the eyes and ears of the thirteen Colonies, day and night, lasted for decades as statehood’s ratified the second Continental Congress Constitution.

The town Crier’s were the beacons of security and safety during the colony growth along the eastern seaboard until news and citizen protection was filled by organized newspapers, policing and fire department brigades.

So where did all of our town Crier “guide-arm-bearers” go that gave us the “bell ringing” unmasked and straight-forward news, and the rattle and whistle (police and/or fire alarm) emergency of day or night?

240 years later the news reporting has gone to propagandized corporate info and fake news; where facts are irrelevant and debatable as he said, she said, opinion!  How did we find ourselves sucked down “Alice’s rabbit hole” peering through the distorted looking-glass where perceptions of our three dimensional world often disguised as multi-layered protoplasmic robot’s zip-gliding the news from “if it bleeds it leads” to an aerial coverage of a police pursuit car chase with an uneventful apprehension?

The answer to this riddle “objects are closer than they appear”, is usually found by following the money and power- however in this scenario, the Silicon Valley geeks and creators of  Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Facebook, and YouTube and hundreds of thousands of iTunes apps has morphed politics into a kaleidoscope of translucent mirrors distorting images and blinding reality with blurred truth; where facts are sliced and diced and the shavings are regurgitated as debatable reminisce rapped in a thin membrane of bit size platitudes not knowing whence the beginning of the process and how it was constructed!

Let’s go back into the annals of political psychosis to answer that riddle!  Peer through the window of nostalgia over 240 years ago when American politics was in its infancy, George Washington a young man, and the united colonies an idea not yet conceptualized, and King George’s Imperial occupation slowly unravelling United Kingdom’s tax revenue, by boot-legging colonist commerce trade along the New England Seaboard.  Jefferson, Adams, and Madison were still law-abiding loyalist to the crown with the belief “law and order” is the societal fabric that would mesh Christian and Deist values embraced by their mother country, Great Britain.

During the age of “enlightenment” King George was the political and media hub for the colony, creating international traffic lanes connecting the old and new world environments: a latter day digital binary portal; transferring constant flow of goods, information, and services, liken to, the Crown’s commercial ships steady cargo inventory delivery in and out of the Boston and Louisiana harbors.

Oh how I yearn for the good old days without the digital impingement encumbered by the computer age!

The mirrored image of the societal difference between the historical Colonial commence and present day’s unique contrast is separated by time and innovation advancements; kinescope technology (TV), digital products, smart Wi-Fi TV and  iPhones, computers, eco-energy,  a vast array of medical devices, interplanetary exploration probes and satellite global surveillance.

Today everybody wants to live in the “here and now”.  What’s new and innovative is name of that game; the “me culture” like a sugar high munching on “Mister Feel Good Bar”!

Instant gratification- what happened a week ago or yesterday is so twitter-dee twitter-dumb; just check out the stock market, it’s in the crapper, than it’s not! Instagram is the new “four barrel” beauty rolling off the production line; the second banana, with its selfie snaps and cool comments that propels the dreary anti-social couch potato grandpa into the 21st Century new world.

Lately political campaigns have amounted to a media sports event counting the super and committed delegates as if our psychological view of the candidates have taken a quantum leap backwards to the dark and violent games of the Roman coliseum, fight to the death, or ask the assembly for a thumbs up or down for the protection of their favorite warrior. The Roman delegation used their vote to sway the governed body with the populous simple up or down delegate vote!

As one of the common gerbil running around the maze of our mundane day to day life one has no clue of the blow-back and destruction orchestrated by Spartan lobbyist shills of Congress. The populous has succumbed to the media hype and its entrapments of slick marketing and bias politics generating billions for the board of directors and captains of industries.

Wall Street’s destructive high risk financial template and well-oiled plan and corrosive concept scheme trickled down into state and federal machinery and slowly turned the economy into putrid sludge and eventually corroded our pride in democracy; once intellectually sound prior to the housing and global meltdowns of 2007-2008.

Thus, ushered in the granddaddy of casino heist perpetrated by the collective world’s financial banking industry too big to fail!

Prior to 2007, greed was good, and all seem swimmingly for the captains of banking industry and Wall Street traders raking in billions of dollars while the real scoundrels were hatching the real tsunami plan and selling the casino scheme to security dealers and subprime lenders actually manufacturing the tainted loans.  You would think during the three years (2005-2007) plutocrats in the loop, while waiting for the financial industry to collapse, somebody, just one capitalist, would have blown the whistle on the heist and expose them as charlatans. The media took a sophomoric stance, “hands on the face”, oh my gosh, how did this happen? This is where the rubber hits the road and politics and media collides with reality by stuffing the pockets of the captains of industry, affiliates, and investors with corporate dollar protection; without regard to our economic circumstance: “these are the best of times and the worst of times”; whether tens of thousands of children will go to bed hungry and whether a Congress person or Senator will grabble over an idea to defund a warm meal subsidy for low income family youths.

Let us harken back to the “New Deal” driven by the leadership of President Franklin Roosevelt captured the fever pulse of the times and media politics with his “fireside” radio chats to millions of American suffering from despair gave him cause to foster intimation tactics of his political legislative adversities to get on the right side of history.

Roosevelt’s use of the radio, the primary tool to communicate his political policies and passion for change to the populous; a better future for the struggling economy, ensured his longevity as 3-term president instrumental in developing domestic programs for the people and with his 30 fireside chats slowly helped removed the laden despair and strife of the  “Great Depression” by promoting and ratifying Social Security (SSI) for Seniors, and Federal Public Works Administration Program, PWA, building rural infrastructure, parks, highways, roads, and buildings.

Years later, Lyndon Johnson found his political media niche, television; our first “eyewitness news” born by the scourge of the 60’s Bull Conner’s tactic; intimating German Sheppard attack dogs, and fire hose humiliation suppression in the “deep South”.  President Johnson’s “Great Society” mandate became minority’s great hope; finally a president fighting for the plight of the African-American’s or commonly reference over five decades ago as the “Negro”!

In 1960, several years prior to the Johnson’s monumental signing of Civil Rights Act, 34 students defiantly took a stand by refusing to leave an all-white segregated dining facility (lunch counter) in downtown Richmond, Virginia, and arrested for trespassing. The Richmond 34 conviction was overturned in 1963 by the Supreme Court – Who knew!  The Supremes’ must have checked the pulse of the country monitored by the primary network’s (NBC, CBS, and ABC) obviously the Justices’ wanted to get on the right side of history; or pacify the progressive left movement, or for the first time in their lives (the fictional character Great Oz hid behind the curtain) and the big lie was exposed to public by abhorrent TV atrocities and suddenly civil rights accountability was on the march!

During the analog and kinescope TV days of the early 20th century through the 90’s, the primary networks and budding newcomers gabbed a thin margin of the media market; Fox, Turner, and CNN during the mid-80s had basic tasks selecting TV programing on a programmer’s office tote board.

The 90’s fledgling digital DSL and high speed fiber optics were triggers for the internet dot com bubble and the subsequent explosion of the 21st Century social media. The new millennium’s chain reaction of the digital era was upon us like a bandit in the night without an equalizer; secure anti-virus protection against cyber malware threads, worms, Trojan horses, ghosts, and hackers- what happen the “bugs”, I guess the invent of the digital mouse got rid of them?

Thanks to the digital media internet hyperlinks articles, blogs, and national and international blogosphere’s; we should all be thankful we can escape postpartum depression from prime time fake news media for another day delaying the urge of being part of the “Prozac Nation”. There’s been an “OK Corral” experience; tongue lashing, promise keeping, lobby seeking and pork delivering for the wrangler voter and rustler congress over 240 years!

The politically swayed slick tongue rustlers are shaking down the local homestead wranglers with smooth talk about making their life on the ranch and range safer, more profitable, and down-right simpler with less red-tape!

The rustlers’ pledge their allegiance to the wranglers if they give them a vote of confidence they will bring back to their township all the beef and pork barrel deals they can rustler-up by “bull-slinging” tin-horn politicians along Washington D.C. Potomac shoreline.

Generally, the wranglers are fundamentally straight-forward “shoot from the hip” intellectually savvy, good upstanding citizens in the belief that hard work, collective bargaining, and compromise within a democratic Republic strengthens democracy, in turn, builds and maintains a strong middle-class while following each other as lock-step zombies climbing up the “switch-back” volcano mountain; sacrificing, peace, tranquility and solitude for a promised piece of the American pie, most of us aspire too and never obtain, instead the wranglers frustration bury themselves with endless hours of instant gratification swiping the pages of online social media to ease the digital age withdraws.

So has the digital world of new technologies been stalled and gaps filled by non-creative rudimentary nonsense boiler plate privacy tags, security certification keys, notification passcodes, and partner hyperlinks road blocks dragging users in and out of rabbit hole portals to purchase new app(s); while, we being the dazed contracted encumbered “social butterfly”, and just a Nano second prior had no interest in another icon download to add to an already cluttered screen!  Did the technology advances in the iPad suit and iPhone numbered S series along with space odyssey Android competitors hit the digital ceiling?  Without new innovation, the dialed in, cool reaction of a new product release not seen since Steve Job’s iPod; and now we are at the business end of the fork, chomping at the bit for new software and hardware compatible concepts; I don’t know, but maybe, a hand held hologram with room projection engulfing all participants in a face to face family fireside chat, it’s possible, isn’t it? But, best rest assured, everything in the digital world will be moved aside for new innovation and the multi-billion dollar app bubble will eventually pop or slowly wain and succumb to basic format of social media platform alternatives: Facebook and Twitter; now humoring billions of subscribers throughout the world with cat pranks, baby crawling, dogs-a-singing, bugs-a-eating, recipes-a-making, and  politician’s-a-lying, will continue to be our primary entertainment neurosis and corporate franchise for Angel investors, risk takers, willing to drill the dry hole, produce 10 million dollar box office bomb, fund experimental life-saving drugs, and push forward a new enlightenment age of Steller concepts for the masses and ad hoc ideas launched by the consumer and blended with social media tweets, tags, hyperlinks, and likes, sending  simplistic reality posts viral.

The Steller age has arrived on political gossamer wings with the remotely uncanny likeliness of a gaggle of republican geese led by the flock billionaire goose that laid the rotten egg of indignation, insults, hyperbolic sarcasm of the handicapped, women, men, candidates, government leaders, heads of states, and protected groups; and still gaffed the hook for the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Has digital technology warped reality and rational opinion with fake news, tens of thousands of opinionates rewriting history in an open forum facts check cyber sphere? Wikipedia had a reputation as the foremost source for collecting national and international facts on any subject: global climate change, patent innovations, digital technologies, world events, history of cultures, and world leaders; one could bet their “pink slip” or homestead deed on the notion the digital online data was rock solid and indestructible until the editor decided to create a forum to enrich the format with new or obsolete changes to the site pages.

Once changes were approved, the new information was interpreted as gospel – but was the new data vetted and by what source; first hand, second hand or by a cabal incubator hell bent on changing political, environmental, and world history archives over the past several decades?   Outside of the political fake news on the blogosphere, cable, and satellite; WikiLeaks, The Guardian, Huffington Posts, Washington Post, and other vetted web sites are the 21st century digital town Criers. But, the question still remains, who will be the guardians of the free press after corporations down-size and merge to fewer media outlets owned by a hand full of billionaires? Will the new Steller age of enlightenment and digital technology and internet neutrality be co-opted by the titans of industry; literally doing a “reach around” and taking control of your key board, mouse, index swipe finger, and voice over internet protocol (VoIP), laptops, computers, on and off-site servers and every conceivable digital electronic device known to man, women and child starting with the good ole US of A? Politics and Internet Neutrality are about to collide and cause a catastrophic deep crater in our already limited bandwidth highway; the Internet Providers (IP) allows mainly United States users leased access to the hardware by a telco carrier for an upstream and downstream speed to our home and commercial computers, laptops, and servers. The owners and corporate boards of the communication conglomerates along with the current FCC policy makers handpicked, if not influenced, by wealthy benefactors have put forward language that would redefine the existing policy of Net-Neutrality; access to the worldwide web should not be impeded or restricted by excessive fees and  bandwidth telecommunication impingements, but rather offer reasonable access fees of the hardware for connective to any web site with the fastest up and downstream speed available to the “stand alone” and multi-network users with competitive and reasonable market driven prices. Instead current pending legislation under review will dismantle existing law by circumventing our right to Net-Neutrality and rebranding access as a privilege by the Internet Providers and discriminately offer outrageous prices for bandwidth and the result economically not feasible for the stand-alone users. Thus, disappearing access to the web to tens of millions of digitally addicted users without a slow phasing-out of two decades plus of instant gratification; the carnage from the withdraw by the populous, not alone by the Titans of digital communications, will be catastrophic in of itself – no cute little furry feline pranks and natures pet laughable oddness, Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram, and thousands upon thousands of mobile phone access to the worldwide web! Billions of dollars will be lost for new technology innovation and the race to the bottom well on its way by the political blockade; policy makers and mega-bucks seized by corporate shareholders that don’t realize, “objects are closer than they appear”, their success is attributed by symbiotic transfer by clasps hands of the masses together for eons; tribal cave dwellers locked arms for warmth, security, and belonging. The collective tribe helped each other succeed and some became more influential by exploring life outside of the safe harbor of the cave; hunters and story tellers were enriched with tribal curiosity and elder acceptance but kept strong community tribal member ties; a knowing, an instinct, that their success of survival and existence was not as an “island”, to fend for themselves, but a society helping each other with a common goal- human exploration of the vast foreseeable future, together!

In the 2017 year of the Gregorian calendar the digital era was inevitable by cross hair pin point accuracy; sort of a free hand graph chart plotting man’s destiny and conceivable future with an endless ascent of protracted Steller age theories, concepts, and working prototypes that would astound the faint-of-heart Silicon Valley incubator team!   The great minds of history, the familiar, and ones not so much, either inadvertently passed over by circumstance or due to the annals of time: Edmund Gunter, first analog device; and Leibniz Wheel, mechanical calculator.


Millions of Americans have hand-held NASA computer software imbedded in their cell phones and iPads with equivalent digital technological advancements for a lunar landing or launching deep space telescopes, surveillance, and weather satellites. By politically dismantling Net-Neutrality and collapsing open and free access to the social network via the worldwide web will most likely stall new Steller digital technology and the next generation of uncharted cyber inventions and innovation discovery’s and possibly  jeopardy of losing Angel investors for future endeavors.

So, what would the great minds of science past say about the evolution of the digital age with a plethora of technological advances in social network global communication, apps, and myriad of political blogospheres, posts,  and worldwide web YouTube videos? The pioneers of innovation of the 19th and 20th century stood on the shoulders; the likes of Newton, De Vincie, Principia, and Napier; the first in succession of the town Criers of the, Enlightenment Age, passed the baton of intellectual curiosity to the next generation of risk takers moving science forward without the impingement and entrapment of political compromise, not to say, Isaac Newton didn’t have political wrangling of his own, but in the purest sense, science is what science does; and in the final analysis, science is only as good as its repeated hypothesis results!

The political and scientific communities have coexisted for hundreds of years, nevertheless, strange events during the 2016 campaign with its devastating rhetoric coupled by triangulation of the blogosphere fake news and retweets picked up by Associated Press, AP, nationally and internationally, as factual articles by reparable news outlets without vetting and sourcing the story as to its legitimacy – Thus creating a hyperbolic confusion, a digitalized social media malaise literally politically dividing the country in half.

A lessor known scientist and inventor, Nikola Tesla, changed the world with a click and switch; remote control, Alternating Current (AC), and the radio, who knew? However, everybody knows the “godfather” of the Digital Age- no its not, IBM; Big Blue, with the release of 86-DOS 1.0 Disk Operation System DOS during the 80’s, developed by Seattle Computer Products; the granddaddy and backbone of the digital research for several decades, until 2007! Steve Jobs reinvented social networking with iPhone 2G and now armed with 7 Plus and upgradeable iCloud storage up to 256 GB’s has placed the most technological advanced mobile phone in the hands of political neophytes with a hair-pin trigger finger ready to shoot from the hip with an Oz-like power of intimidation: tweets, texts, fake news, blogs, hacks, YouTube videos, hyperlinks, and downloads without any apparent consequences;  although, it is our 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech!  What would the ghost of science past, town Crier; our first Colonial responders, and for that matter, the godfather of the digital age conclude about the flagrant abuses of the technologies with self-granulation of the bearer’s sophisticated device?

They would probably recite in unison “we have been waiting nine months for iPhone 8-S and now it is available”!