Letter to the editor: What we call ‘progress’

To the editor:

At some future time (if there are still humans left on Earth) some historian will conclude that the final fatal blow to the world’s democracies was social media.

Prior to its inception, any individual’s conspiracy theories, unfounded statements or slanders would not ripple out much beyond the narrator’s circle of friends and acquaintances. But those same utterances on social media immediately reach a huge segment of our population. It has become their go-to source of news, when it is anything but reliable journalism.

After World War II, in my Southern California homeland, the oft-chanted slogan became “You can’t stop progress.” That was the reason they gave for bulldozing all of the region’s orange, lemon and avocado groves, precious natural open spaces, homes that were “in the way” of new freeways, and which has brought us climate change.

Not all progress is beneficial, social media being just one example. Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been implemented without any public discourse about its ramifications. For example, how will people earn a living after it has replaced them in their jobs? Hey, you can’t stop progress.

Patrick Shannon,



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