‘We’re Toast’: How today’s children are being trained to be tomorrow’s serfs

Man, this Corona pandemic is a real headache. Who’d have thought a year ago we’d all be working from home, trying to get our kids to attend class via Zoom, huh? Crazy world we live in. I sure hope it’s over soon. It will be when everyone’s vaccinated.

In the meantime, while we wait, here’s a funny, cutesy video to watch about the time a teacher ‘accidentally’ dropped off the Zoom call in the middle of class and all the kids start to chatter, before one of them notices the session is being recorded. “We’re toast.” another observes. Kids do say the darnedest things.

Aww so cute. You can tell it’s cute because the music is jaunty.

Except, that kid is right. The next generation is toast. This isn’t a funny video of kids being sweet, it’s social engineering in action. This is how you create a serf generation: you sit them down in front of the computer for hours every day, then condition them to believe that they’re being watched at all times, even when there’s apparently no one around.

This is actually pretty terrifying. When I was at school you could, if quick and clever enough, get up to quite a lot behind teacher’s back. I once read a whole John Grisham novel during a series of classes, under the table. But these kids are being taught not only that they can be watched, but that they should expect to be recorded, meaning the teacher can not only catch them in the act of misbehaving – or even simply not paying attention – at leisure after the event, but hold evidence to prove it. Think about that.

There are already programs available to employers who want to monitor their employees while they work from home. Indeed, the home-working revolution that has been brought about by this, ahem, “pandemic” has hyperdriven both home working and the rate at which spying technologies are being rolled out.

Russell Brand made a neat little video about it last month that lays some of this out:

But today’s employee, used to being able to daydream a little, or perhaps take ten minutes to chat on Facebook or buy clothes online, is likely to baulk at having a screenshot and photo of themselves taken every five seconds. No-one can work continuously for eight hours a day. Many employees may decide the job just isn’t worth it.

Not so tomorrow’s workers. They are being trained to be monitored continuously. And it won’t stop when the work day is over. Given the ease with which their school day can already be recorded and stored (why is that teacher recording that session, by the way?!), they will expect the same after work too.

Already there are televisions which record viewers reactions, monitoring where on the screen they are looking, for how long, whether their expression indicates attention, happiness, apathy and so on.

When they leave their homes too, it will be second nature to have their movements tracked – indeed, ours already are via CCTV. They’ll expect to have Big Brother watching wherever they go.

Those of us who have grown up in relative freedom find this uncomfortable, alarming. These kids won’t, and that video above is why. But sure, play cutesy music over it. There’s nothing cuter than raising kids to be digital slaves, right?