The tongue-in-cheek phrase “There’s an app for that” is symptomatic of a more worrying social trend, says author and critic of philanthropic technology, Evgeny Morozov. We have begun to mistake changeable behavior for problematic behavior which is supported by Silicon Valley’s imperative to innovate and disrupt. LivesOn, for example, is a soon-to-launch Internet service that promises to tweet on your behalf even after you die. “Barriers and constraints—anything that imposes artificial limits on the human condition—are being destroyed with particular gusto.”
What’s the Big Idea?
What Morozov identifies as our solution-based ideology might be better expressed as our tendency to rely on the impulsive individual to solve the world’s crises. Although our institutions may be prone to error, what they can achieve over the long term validates their existence. “Learning to appreciate the many imperfections of our institutions and of our own selves, at a time when the means to fix them are so numerous and glitzy, is one of the toughest tasks facing us today.” Before we lose ourselves in a feel-good blitz of digital charity, we might resort to actual charity in our own analog lives.