Updated: Oct 9, 2020
I wrote Homo Technica before the pandemic-related lockdowns of 2020 began. The erosion of civil liberties, government-sponsored disinformation, the claim of an external force that threatens us all, panic headlines, concern over the role of China, small-scale protests, and manipulation of the press: all these elements are in the story.
I would like to claim this was prescient. However, most of those ideas originated from studying World War II history. In particular, the skillful way that the Nazi party used propaganda to gain both public acceptance and public support for what were, in their case, shockingly abhorrent policies.
My story is not about a virus and its questionable deadliness, of course. It is instead about the threat posed by biotech implants which, connected directly to our brains, give users unexpected abilities such as accessing the thoughts of others, and manipulating them. These implants are under development currently: they are being tested on pigs and look likely to be commercially available before the end of the decade.
The assumption in the story is that they are first used for medical purposes, then very quickly misused. A panic ensues, very similar to the recent reaction to the covid-19 panic. Although I do not use the term, a ‘lockdown’ ensues. I was unconcerned when writing the story over the long-term impact of the actual lockdown: I assumed life would return to normal if the devices were banned, which I deemed unlikely, or to a different normal once they were available to all. What concerns about the present reaction to the pandemic is that Governments seem to have become used to using these powers and see little wrong with them. If they see the exercise of such powers as routine, then our lives will be forever changed, wither without the biotech implants! Time will tell but in future we may even see these events as the beginning of the end for traditional liberal values of individual rights and freedoms, overtaken by ever more assertive and powerful states that see nothing wrong with using propaganda tools to further their objectives.
My concerns when writing the story were:
(a) To make it accessible to all, by avoiding technical jargon and by focusing on the impact and roles of individuals rather than a grandiose picture. My intellectual model for that was very twentieth century: Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, which focused almost exclusively on the impact on Tom Cruise’s family,
(b) To make people aware of the development of these devices and their possible impact, both on our lives and on our civil liberties, and
(c) To make people aware of and to consider an alternative, ‘spiritual’ approach to human development.
I am not the only writer to have touched on these subjects, but I am not aware of any before that have linked them in the same way. If you would like to read the book, it is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=homo+technica&crid=1EPE06MHG0AAO&sprefix=homo+technica%2Caps%2C141&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_13
I hope you enjoy reading it and, if you have any questions or comments to make on its contents, please feel free to contact me here or on one of my social media channels.