(Translated and adapted from the original post in Spanish at the author’s blog by Amelia Burke / Fabricants de Futur, and reviewed by Steven Johnson and the author.)
We do not need 5G technology. We need 7G ethics, a way of life and way of making decisions collectively which takes into account the seventh generation after ours (at least).
In 2021 we do not need to be able to download the one thousandth film we will see in our lives at one thousandth of a second. The decent thing to do would be to make sure that a child in 2201 would still have access to a basic type of computer in which they could play a documentary about the beaches which disappeared during the 21st Century, watch a digital copy of My Neighbor Totoro, listen to recordings of Sesame Street songs… We do not need to squander an irreplaceable part of the last remaining minerals necessary for IT in order to facilitate the running of a driverless car, at a time in history when there are thousands of unemployed human drivers capable of doing it without 5G and without even needing a mobile phone in their pockets. It would be much better for the grandchildren of the grandchildren of our grandchildren to have a simple but robust long distance communication system available at a few kilobytes per second. In what way could they benefit by the supposed benefits of the massive installation of new antennae, new devices, and new servers?
Our frivolities of today —objectively superfluous and dispensable, which nobody except the companies which profit from them have asked for— are constructed at the expense of today’s basic needs, but above all, the needs of tomorrow. Our luxuries are stolen from our descendants. Our supposed progress is the ruin of posterity. Our always more will be their less than ever. The non-renewable energy which we burn today does not only mean that they will not have it tomorrow, but that it will leave them a devastated planet (climate chaos, nuclear waste…). Our fanatical worship of anything modern just because it’s modern, the more digital the better, our megalomania, our analogical-phobia, our pathological need to accumulate-use-throw away, our allergy to just enough, to moderation, to caution, and to conservation —will all fuel the eternal reproach of the generations to come.
“Damn your 5G and all you thieves who are behind it!”, shout the voices of those yet to be born, the voices whose tomorrow we are plundering, drunk on hubris.
All we can do is resist, for their sakes and ours, as disobedient conscientious objectors to the 5G technology and in defence of 7G ethics.