The Courage to choose Idiocy

The Big Brother is still keeping his surveillance on us . But his mode of watchkeeping has changed. His surveillance is very different from the way it was imagined by George Orwell, in 1984. Although, it works differently, Byug-Chul Han asserts that it is still elegantly totalitarian. Confession that it obtained by force in the past are replaced by so could voluntary self disclosures that are almost done involuntarily. The Big Brother needed electroshock, sleep diprivation, drugs, torture, isolation and propaganda to exercise power. Today all of that is replaced by data available through the Smart Phones. We are enjoying excessive freedom without will power and facing unchecked surveillance. In an age of Big Data, capitalism has broken free from liberalism shrinking the space and autonomy of the individual.

The Smart Phone has substituted torture chambers of the power. Biopower has transformed into psychopolitics. Seduction has become the Order of Things. It allows us to predend that we live in a polite society. Instead of disciplining us with nay saying commandments and bodily punishments, it gives us an appearance of enjoying unlimited freedom only to be trapped into the tunnel of our likings decoded by the Big Data Analytics. It makes us dependent and, therefore, not really free. I am afraid, our Smart Phone has become an tool of our auto-exploition. We desire our own exploitation. Maybe we have to pray. “God protect us from what we want”. This is because our personal Data is constantly comercialized and monetized. Humans for the first time have overcome master/slave dialectics of Hegel and have become both masters and slaves at the same time . Freedom itself has become a coercion as it opens unlimited possibilities for us. Unbound freedom and total surveillance is a deadly combination

We are facing crises of freedom. We give the most intimate information without even knowing how it becomes a weapon that acts against our freedom. Information becomes raw material. When information is for sale, our freedom itself is on sale . Unfortunately, we have come to love our unfreedom. It is out of our freedom of will that we put out the intimate information and squander our freedom and weaken our will power by letting preyed by seductive technologies. We seem to love our chained freedom. We have lost our controll over our will. We have the challenge to fight for the power of our will.

Byung-Chul Hans says that we newd to have the courage to be idiots to resist seduction of the Smart World. We need idiocy of Socrates in order to resist the seduction of the Smart World. Socrates only knew that he knew nothing. This paradoxical self knowledge and awareness can only be our best bet that will enable us to outsmart the lures of Smart World. We do not know what is happening with our Data that we leave on our Smart Phone. But unike Socrates, we also do know that we do not know . We need this idiocy of Socrates to use our Smart Phone smartly. In a world of compulsive self expression, we have the challenge to reclaim the tradition of idiocy and save our freedom of will

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao