Tech­nol­ogy that puts prof­its be­fore peo­ple

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

Broadly speak­ing, tech­nol­ogy has had two main pur­poses: to make life eas­ier for peo­ple – or to kill them. It was ever thus, from the wheel to the bow and arrow.

Lately, how­ever, tech­nol­ogy seems to do rather less for the in­di­vid­ual and more for the cor­po­ra­tions. I was re­minded of this when I saw peo­ple queu­ing for the self-ser­vice tills in the su­per­mar­ket the other day. The pur­pose of such tills is, ul­ti­mately, to re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple re­quired to run the show; fewer peo­ple op­er­at­ing check­outs in­evitably leads to fewer jobs and re­duced wages bud­gets.

I con­fess to be­ing an old stick in the mud when it comes to shop­ping.

I would rather shop in an in­de­pen­dent store (even though prices may be a few pence higher) and to be served by a hu­man be­ing, not stick money in a slot when told to do so by a ma­chine.

For­give me, but this whole tech­nol­ogy thing has be­come rather a bug­bear of mine. Banks and other busi­ness tell us how easy and safe it is to do ev­ery­thing online. Then we hear that this or that com­puter has been hacked and mil­lions of peo­ples’ de­tails have been ac­cessed by unau­tho­rised sources.

I could go on but there are more cheer­ful things to think about.

The for­mer Or­anges pub un­der­went a num­ber of changes be­fore turn­ing into the Mem­phis Bar with a very per­son­able Chi­nese gent singing Elvis Pres­ley songs to a karaoke ma­chine.

Sadly, he lost far too much money and has moved out of the area. Now the venue is en­ter­ing into a new phase of its life, and is un­der­go­ing con­ver­sion to a Nepalese res­tau­rant.

I sin­cerely wish the new peo­ple the best of luck with their ven­ture. It would be good to see the place thriv­ing again.

‘I con­fess to be­ing an old stick in the mud when it comes to shop­ping’

Mrs B tells me that Ash­ford is of­fi­cially to of­fer sanc­tu­ary to a num­ber of young refugees. I have of­ten pointed out things I have per­ceived as short­com­ings of the coun­cil, but this is most def­i­nitely a de­vel­op­ment to be ap­plauded.

De­spite the xeno­pho­bic rant­ing and mis­lead­ing ‘sta­tis­tics’ pre­sented by one or two of the more pop­u­lar right-wing tabloids, it ap­pears that immigration has proved, over­all, to be of great ben­e­fit to our na­tional econ­omy and cul­tural di­ver­sity.

Let us hope the peo­ple of Ash­ford will welcome the new­com­ers into our com­mu­nity with open arms.

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