Where the Boundaries Blur: Technology and Politics

With major social media and technology magnates recently appearing before the United States Senate Intelligence Committee (with Google the notable exception), it would seem that 2018 is the year politicos have reached the peak of their interest in the world of tech—aside from when they’re starved for campaign contributions, that is.

What with the necessity of protection from hacking or inquiries related to cryptocurrencies or data theft or what have you, it’s no wonder there’s been such involvement from politicians in the technological arena.

Naturally, the EMPATHY universe is no different. In one of its earliest chapters, in fact, EMPATHY‘s creator, Doctor Wyatt Halman, is confronted by politicos from the North American Union who are bent on gaining access to this brain-computer interface technology in order to weaponize it against foes foreign and domestic.

Doctor Halman, always an NAU detractor, resists their attempts to buy the rights to this emerging technology. It’s not long thereafter, however, that they remind him they were rather lenient in granting him his license to conduct the study in the first place, arguing that his ultimately approved proposal was something short of ethical.

Yeesh. But what about his plan was unethical, and what kind of behind-closed-doors palm-greasing was required to get the final approval?

You’ll have to wait until January 2019 to find out, but the point is this: with art imitating life, might it not be the case that some less scrupulous tech companies have made deals with politicos—either elected or attempting to get elected—to gain an edge in obtaining and maintaining power?

The links provide an obvious answer.

We might be months away from learning how this plays out specifically in the EMPATHY universe, but that’s not especially different from how we’re watching the slow, daily unraveling of the knotty mess originally tied by technocrats, politicos, and entrenched interests in our own world, too.

Just like you, I’ll be curious to see how similarly—or how differently—it plays out in both worlds.


Be prepared when a new day breaks in January 2019. Stay tuned to this blog, my Twitter feed, and my newsletter for more. Thanks for visiting.

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