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We already had smartphones. Smart meters and smart grids are being prepared for us. But the end of the line will be the intel

Smart cities are emerging for our well-being. Namur, the regional capital, is proud to have made this choice of modernity. 

What is it about? I can only advise, for the skeptics or the disbelievers, of which I am one, the reading of the very official magazine of the Public Service of Wallonia, Réactif (n° 75 of summer 2013). I’m not sure you’ll consider yourself informed, but you’ll have a pretty clear idea of what a propaganda piece and perfect brainwashing are. Based on the fact that the urban population has increased significantly in recent decades, the author considers it inevitable that the trend will continue. He concludes that cities, from Singapore to Namur, via Amsterdam, Stockholm and Genk(1), « want to be more and more interconnected and intelligent » in order to manage more complex management problems. 

According to the author, cities are offering more and more services based on so-called « smart » technologies. These technologies, once integrated into urban infrastructures, contribute to increasing the efficiency of services provided at a lower cost. According to the author, generalizing this would make it possible to optimize water and electricity consumption, to manage energy production or to introduce automatic tolls on the roads. In addition to these solutions (!), there are other essential technologies such as high-speed telecommunication networks. 

Finally, the author adds that:  » public organizations intend to rely on the concept of « Smart city » to make their key infrastructures and services more flexible, interactive, efficient … in a word more « intelligent » in a sustainable social and environmental dynamic « .

You will have understood: the church discourse leaves no room for doubt or objection, but explains and justifies nothing. It proclaims that widespread interconnection is the answer to all the problems of urban life. A smart city is a city full of networked sensors where everyone, equipped with their « smart » phone, is permanently informed and can therefore behave according to the requirements of sustainability, as conceived and programmed by the technocratic clergy. 

Interconnection also allows, even if this quality is carefully concealed, to monitor the human herd and to condition it under the pretext of comfort, safety and health. 

The growth of cities, which have fortunately become « intelligent », even if it desertifies the rural environment a little more, does not prevent the countryside from also having access to an « intelligent » future. Experts at the very serious French Research Institute of Science and Technology for the Environment and Agriculture (Irstea) (Le Monde, February 26, 2014) have thought of this. In the near future, we should be able to count on « intelligent » tractors that is to say, interconnected machines without a driver, controlled remotely. These tractors, equipped with measuring, geolocation and image-taking instruments, communicate permanently with the other robots operating in the fields under the supervision of a farmer (sorry, an operator) placed nearby. The farmer will also be able to rely on drones equipped with a camera, infrared sensors and GPS to know more precisely the water needs of his fields and to detect areas infested with weeds. 

Thus, the farmer of the future will be definitively reduced to the role of docile executor of the rules of a supposedly efficient and environmentally friendly « intelligent » agriculture. The cost of this type of practice is obviously not mentioned; intelligence has no price. 

As for the opportunity of a debate on the benefits and possible drawbacks of such a vision of agriculture where a few rare pilots would serve as relays for the injunctions of machines programmed by out-of-ground techno-thinkers, it is not even mentioned. We can only bow down to progress! 

The totalitarian ideology of technoscience is on the march. Like any ideology, it imposes its conception and has no regard for the realities and experiences of the human beings concerned. As to whether it is reasonable and realistic to devote energy and resources to such projects and such hallucinated visions of the future, it is heretical to ask the question. 

Paul Lannoye

Notes et références
  1. Toutes ces villes ont choisi d’être « intelligentes » !

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