We are starting a new interview series where we ask few questions to people who are making a difference, it can be big, it can be small it doesn’t matter what matters is their contribution to our society. It can be anyone from any walks of life and from any country. Please, do send us suggestions of people whom you think we should interview for this series.
Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. http://markantonyrossi.jigsy.com
- Tell us something about yourself?
I am a United States Air Force intelligence veteran and writer for the past 30 years mostly focusing on technology ethics and futurism. I have 15 book titles out and a number of my short plays are produced. I reside in the United States, married with 2 young sons.
- You often write about the ethical implications of technology and governments around the world spend most of the money on weapons and new ways to kill, hurt or maim, where do you think this is going?
It’s going in places no one originally predicted. Huxley and Orwell thought technology concentrated in government hands would be abused and their citizens hounded, hunted or enslaved. They never dreamt that the potential for abuse is more likely by private corporations (gene manipulation or human cloning) or through average individuals destroying privacy (camcorders, cell phones, internet viruses) all events I predicted in the late 1990s in my first technology book “The Intruder Bulletins: The Dark Side of Technology.” This is not to say governments haven’t used or abused technology it’s just they are not the only game in town any longer. And when a threat arrives or a negative action taken, it might be your neighbor or your corporate competitor
- A country’s leadership often plays a major role in encouraging and fostering the technical innovation, there will be a new president in white house this year, what are your expectations from him or her in the field of science and technology?
If Hillary is elected President I am expecting the same failed policies of false promise green movement energy fantasies that the previous President engaged in. Until nuclear energy is taken more seriously and until an electric car battery can do 500 miles before a recharge, Oil is king and its price can and should shape global economies. Trump wants to restore clean coal refinery and that is important to the United States whom still uses it. He is open to more nuclear plant construction and more research on practical solar and electric car battery usage. Technology like anything else in life cannot solve problems if used in a poor manner, if used out of intended context or if simply ignored because it doesn’t fit a preconceived narrative.
- Technology is becoming an inseparable part of our day to day lives, be it social media, smart phones or electric cars, do you see this as progress or a warning sign?
It is progress if it doesn’t become all-consuming or abusive. But I am worried when smart phones are smarter than people whom use them. When they become excuses to not interact with people or when they are used believing communication through cell phone is a form of human interaction. But it is not and this is where techno-progress turns into social regress. If you can’t have tea with your aunt or lunch with your mother and think a few calls, texts and tele-flowers will do the trick — you are on the wrong path and will one day wake up with a list of strangers on the phone. Social media sounds so alluring but when it is used to hurt, harm or harass people into depression and suicide it starts becoming an intolerant tool in the hands of intolerant fools. Even on the positive side how many kid photos, cute bumper slogans and traffic complaints can one read before wanting to opt out entirely? I can get this at the bridge club for free! Technology like whiskey should be used in moderation for then it becomes fun, friendly and useful.
- How did you get into play writing?
I was thrilled with the notion of seeing other people speak my words on stage. And now with the internet I can see the performance in a video and don’t have to fly out to England or Germany. I also liked the freedom on writing about certain topics like race, religion, technology, elderly life, ethics, etc., and noticed few were writing about these matters. I thought it might allow me to gain faster productions than most and it did but topical issues do not last long and people will remember a love or comedy play more than a play about factory born children or extreme animal rights.
- What are the themes of your plays and your motivation behind it?
My first writing forays were for the theatre. I wrote a series of futuristic plays “Bytes of Burden” that were produced and nominated for a Kennedy Playwriting Award. A few of plays about race and religion were produced Off Broadway in New York. My themes are often about the ethics of circumstances where people are pushed to go beyond societal norms. The elderly man holding a mayor hostage because of his maltreatment, the hunter imprisoned for eating an animal, the college kids trying to camp without technology, the criminal preyed upon by a more sinister criminal, the spy whom tries to seduce an ex-flame. These are but a few of themes that I think are important to explore and normally not investigated. Sadly, American Theatre defers to American Cinema and you are more likely to see a better film than an inventive play.
- Your message for our readers?
Don’t go with the flow. The flow is usually wrong because it is filled with morally lazy people whom are incapable of saying no to stupidity. Don’t waste time “knowing” your enemy, just spend time learning to know yourself. This knowledge will lead you to pick a better job, spouse and house. Three things that will set the course of most of your adult life. Be willing to fight for what is right. You will be surprised how much you win without much of a fight. Most fighting merely involves speaking up for yourself. Be willing to walk away from a person, place or thing that is inherently negative. It’s not quitting when you exhaust every avenue. And finally you don’t need to be a brave on any given day, but you do need to insure fear is not making the decision.