To What End?

Last week Debenhams, the oldest retail store in the UK, became the latest high street victim of technology. Debenhams closed its doors to its customers and staff after more than 240 years.

Centre for retail research reports, between 2008-2019, over 13,000 retails closed their doors to their customers and 205 thousand employees in the UK. The compounded impact of COVID grew these figures, in 2020, to 16,045 store closures impacting over 182 thousand employees.

As a technologist, I often look at proposed technological solutions and wonder, “to what end?”

Initially, technology is used as an innovative ideological power tool. Over time, the intent pollutes, resulting in an unintended long-term impact.

Time and again, short-term excitement and gain blindsight the long-term outcome.

Society’s relationship with technology is at best described as an addiction.

We can’t stay away. Even though we know the current trajectory it is not in our best interest.

Have you ever wondered “to what end”?

Sally M Solaymantash