WITH reference to Councillor David Pighills (Craven Herald, October 1 and online).

I have considerable sympathy for Cllr Pighills! In the past 20 to 30 years our high tech consumer culture has adopted a most egregious form of “ageism”.

Technologised innovations, usually driven by new sources of profit (look at the scores of high-tech billionaires and corporations) all seeking ever new objects to be consumed - and to sell us: software, hardware, licences, peripherals and extra gigabytes. They have been able to force generations of us trained in earlier, often different skills, to retrain and retool.

Their distractive “improvements” are usually dreamt up by geeks in their 20s and 30s, and imposed by corporate managers in their 40s or 50s.

Every day, particularly given the new rationale of pandemic, new areas of life become “online”; only recently for example opening new bank accounts; so many other transactions, previously open to personal High Street access, telephone or “snail” mail, now require IT skills, passwords and complex log-ins (for “security”) and electronic dependency.

Before I retired from full-time University teaching, I was bombarded by such demands to use “Excel spread sheets”, red-line editing, Microsoft office etc. – all child’s play to the IT generation, but a diversion from generations of traditional academic research methods, and ways of working.

The claim that this is “progress”, was always debatable and every day so many downsides of social media - including surveillance and cyber fraud are revealed.

But worse still, it plays into the hands of tech giants, corporate executives and their vacuous “Business Management” models. The goals are dubious: the aesthetic is often banal and philistine and the methods often personally brutal – involving a demographic that is both bullying, alienating and discriminatory.

I’m sure that Cllr Pighills has far better, more worthwhile, things to do in life than immerse himself in computer training or purchasing new gadgets to subsidise, unaccountable IT tycoons, and I wish him well - and a return to the council.

Nigel Young, Rylstone