What Price? “Kosher” Technology

[The following is an article by Ron Benvenisti, in response to the articl ‘Kosher Technology’] I would feel remiss if I didn’t comment having written about the pros and cons of technology here on TLS many times. Kudos to Dovid for putting it on the front burner again, as a seasonedInternet and Telecommunications pro, his anecdotal insights are well informed.

I’ll get to the point: Nothing about technology is inherently kosher. In general (and I am not an expert in kosher law) things are inherently kosher which can also be rendered non-kosher, there are things that are potentially kosher and must be made fully kosher. Somethings can be made kosher and somethings can never be made kosher.

For Jews, kosher means beneficial to the soul. Non-kosher is detrimental and damaging to the soul.

Unfortunately internet and telecommunications technology, including talking and texting, can not only be detrimental to the soul but physically dangerous and cause serious loss of property and reputation even to the most vigilant users. Those are the facts and the statistics get worse everyday with no practical solution in sight.

There laws about kosher and there are laws about danger.

My experience is in cyber-security and that is where the danger lies. Sadly, as devices become smarter the vulnerability and intrusiveness becomes more dangerous not only spiritually but physically, psychologically and socially on a daily basis. Harmful to ourselves, our children, our national infrastructure and even the entire planet. It is exceedingly difficult to protect oneself and others. As the price of technology gets cheaper the cost to life and liberty is greater.

Is it kosher? It’s like a pig. You can take some parts of it and make it into a football (which is “kosher”). But ironically to play with the football, you have to frantically chase after it, violently pushing and shoving everyone out of the way and as soon as you get it you have to kick it or throw it away hoping you’ll physically make it through the game without winding up in the hospital or worse. Millions of dollars are spent on this and millions more are made off of it. It’s not a bad analogy for the state of technology. But who are the real winners and losers? As technology becomes cheaper what is the real cost? Something to think about.

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  1. While something can be inherently dangerous it can also be beneficial when put to a good use. For example, think of all the benefits we derive from electricity. At the same time people need to be taught how to use it properly. Similarly, a weapon dangerous but can be used to protect someone from harm as well, assuming the person using it is responsible etc.

    I think charactering the internet as evil, albeit a necessary evil is seriously distorted, and is out of touch with the reality.

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