This Should Be Interesting
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Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 12:03:19 MST Print View

What's the point of bemoaning tech advances?

Perhaps the point is that our tech advances currently exceed the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly.

High tech increases the ease of communication, but also lays a curse on the quality of those communications -- and inter-human relationships.

As for returning to horses and carriages, and doing without the wonders of instant distant communication, folks in those "old, old days" interacted exclusively face-to-face, often on a daily basis.

Out of necessity, and lacking high tech gizzamatic aids, they either had to get to know each other well and get along, or else get on their horse and ride for days, weeks, or months to find a new home and acquaintances more to their liking.

Seems likely that a lifetime spent in direct, personal association with others promoted greater personal responsibility for words and actions, which now can be avoided easily with high-tech, faceless, even anonymous, communication.

Edited by JRScruggs on 01/24/2012 12:08:24 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 12:16:01 MST Print View

"Perhaps the point is that our tech advances currently exceed the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly."

Not sure. I hear what you're saying, and agree with the latter part of your post, especially the last sentence, but most humans benefit immensely from technological advances - early warning systems for storms that save lives, medical advances that allow us to treat maladies that would have been sure death not too long ago, transplants, distance surgery, the capability to better understand other cultures by direct electronic interaction (which never would have happened before), etc.

As with most things - both a blessing and a curse. Much like some of the discussions on lightweight gear - technology only gives us tools. Some of us humans aren't so good at using them efficiently and responsibly. Some of us are. Baby. Bathwater. Etc.

Edited by idester on 01/24/2012 12:48:01 MST.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 12:46:15 MST Print View

I think too it has to do with where the society is at as far as their economy. In my mind in the US we are well into the rich/spoiled/lazy end of the spectrum. Our wealth affords us the opportunity to use technology for junky, non intellectual stimulation and entertainment. We are afforded that ability by our wealth and relatively easy living.

Contrast that against a kid in China or Africa who might get their hands on a computer and it opens up a whole new world of educational opportunities and life changing possibilities. Maybe they are downloading free text books and researching career paths.

So the kid in Africa is receiving a very real benefit, life changing and positive whereas the American kid is using it to cut up with friends and monitor every movement of Justin Beiber. Same technology, very different results.

Craig Savage
(tremelo) - F

Locale: San Jacinto Mountains
Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 13:13:39 MST Print View

I've read that the bulk of anon prefers being called coders vs hackers

one implies kids, the other is specific to structure and experience. Not that I'd vest too much in that, it was passed on by a loud/proud btard on a 4chan flame mission

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 13:36:18 MST Print View

Doug, re clarifying: "Perhaps the point is that our tech advances currently exceed the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly."

For sure there are all kinds of benefits being realized from tech advances.

I was thinking of opportunities for additional benefits that are lost, squandered, or abused by so many.

So I suppose my real point in "bemoaning" tech is not that tech reduces quality of life; but rather that people do it to themselves by their choices. Which is what I mean when I posit that tech "exceeds the capacity of most humans to benefit from those advances, and to do so efficiently and responsibly."

As expressed in another context, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

One obvious example is identified by Ty above, although the dichotomy he draws in distinguishing US kids from kids in some other country is not very persuasive to me.

Given free time and "wow-wow" devices, kids will no doubt be kids anywhere in the world. I don't buy the "US bad; non-US good" story line.

People are people. If US kids are seen as somehow "worse" at availing themselves of tech goodies in "wise" ways, perhaps that's due to an abundance of opportunities in the US for exercising free choice.

Free choice means freedom to make unwise choices, and why personal responsibility and personal accountability are important -- to learn from bad decisions.

Edited by JRScruggs on 01/24/2012 13:49:57 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 13:46:18 MST Print View

"People are people."

Agreed, though Ty makes a good point on where people might be on the technological scale.

"So I suppose my real point in "bemoaning" tech is not that tech reduces quality of life; but rather that people do it to themselves by their choices."

We agree completely!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Farflung places on 01/24/2012 14:05:17 MST Print View

>"Living in Japan as a non-Japanese can be very akin to living in Alaska in winter."

Miguel: LOL! I'm as far as you can go without a passport and you're about as far (culturally) as you can go WITH a passport!

I have noticed for myself and more so for 20-year-olds traveling the world nowadays, that it isn't the isolating experience it was 20, 30, 40 years ago. My wife felt very out of place doing research in Bagladesh as one of very few western women, and the only woman who go out unescorted (in a Muslim country). She could send Telexs to her father's California office but that was about it.

So I debate if that makes the world more accessible - I think it does, but does it also remove something from the experience? If she's tweeting and posting your every move and keeping tabs on your friends back home, is your daughter going to notice that cute guy in the Italian cafe checking her out?

We've had a lot of au pairs over the years - from Peru, Slovakia, Thailand, Scotland, Germany, England - and the increased connectivity has made it easier for them to avoid much of the homesickness. Some to excess and they didn't dive into to the local experience and people. Others did it with more balance and to their benefit.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: This Should Be Interesting on 01/24/2012 14:19:42 MST Print View

You never know with Anon if its real or just some lone kid posting vids to troll.
I do not get the reactionary tone on this thread. Connecting to people, sharing info and meeting people is nothing to be afraid of. Man is the technology animal. Its not going anywhere. Whether its good or bad is solely in how its used.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 14:20:44 MST Print View

Doug, re: ". . . though Ty makes a good point on where people might be on the technological scale."

I understood Ty to be staking his point (per below) on a "socio-economic-cultural" scale, not on a "technological" scale.

"In my mind in the US we are well into the rich/spoiled/lazy end of the spectrum. Our wealth affords us the opportunity to use technology for junky, non intellectual stimulation and entertainment. We are afforded that ability by our wealth and relatively easy living."

Which is why I don't go along with his explanation for why potential benefits of tech are not realized by many.

People don't always handle tech wisely; same goes with money and freedom.

Freedom unfettered by personal responsibility and personal accountability for consequences of bad choices leads to wasted tech, wasted money, wasted freedom -- and less time to get it all right for a change.

Edited by JRScruggs on 01/24/2012 14:22:54 MST.

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 14:41:07 MST Print View

>I understood Ty to be staking his point (per below) on a "socio-economic-cultural" scale, not on a "technological" scale.

>Which is why I don't go along with his explanation for why potential benefits of tech are not realized by many.

I'm not sure we are arguing the same point but here is an example of what I mean...

Yesterday I am at my son's gymnastics class ($60 bucks a month), they have bleachers setup so the parents can watch. It was crowded and I noticed about a quarter the people weren't watching their kids, they were staring at a touch screen phone. I noticed that the lady immediately in front of me was playing Words with Friends on a Droid, kid next to me was playing Angry Birds on an iphone, kid next to him had a gameboy or something and was playing a jump around from rock to rock type game, guy next to me was texting back and forth apparently jokes or something funny cause he was laughing, and Dad behind and to my left was reading Facebook.

I don't think if you go to the huge swaths of poor parts of Africa of China and give a kid or family a computer with internet connection their primary use is going to be social networking and gaming. Not to mention if they had $60 bucks a month to spend it wouldn't be for a 4 x 50 minute gymnastics class.

I think we are so wealthy and our lives are so easy that we have time to go to a gymnastics class (a huge luxury) and sit there on our $500 smartphones playing games and farting around.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 15:03:39 MST Print View

Ty, re: "I think we are so wealthy and our lives are so easy that we have time to go to a gymnastics class (a huge luxury) and sit there on our $500 smartphones playing games and farting around."

Guess that's freedom at work. Hope they all have jobs, too, and can afford to spend their income on that stuff, or however they wish.

It's their choice to make as individuals, for better or for worse for them.

I'll stick with my 6 or 7 year-old LG cell phone that I got free for signing a two-year service contract back then, and with free neighborhood walks for exercise.

Am I the only one in America who doesn't have a smartphone? If so, lucky me, and shame on everyone else. On the other hand, it's their life to live.

Not an argument really. Just a different perspective for how to view choices that others make in living their lives.

There are some of those things that I would get all bothered about, like some guy driving down the freeway, weaving side to side, while texting!!!

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Non-waterproof phones. on 01/24/2012 15:11:54 MST Print View

Richard said, "Am I the only one in America who doesn't have a smartphone?"

No, I had a co-worker who was sailing from Victoria to Maui and checked for the deepest spot in the Pacific on the way. 13,000 feet or something like that.

And that's where he threw his phone overboard.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 15:18:27 MST Print View

I find it incredibly ironic that so many in this discussion are dissing "social media" right on a social media site and forum that works much the same as Facebook, the very same people who spend inordinate amounts of time writing very long comments, and who, in spite of their telling others here who like the function of Facebook in their lives that they are "socially dysfunctional", must put a sizable portion of their free time and minds into these discussions.

Reminds me of, "When I was your age, boy, I used to walk ten miles to school! Barefoot!.... Without clothes on!... In the winter, at 20 below!... While eating ice cream!>...With rocks in it!...

Ty Ty
(TylerD)

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 15:26:26 MST Print View

Richard...I completely agree, I really could care less how those people spend their time and I'm sure most if not all of them can afford it no problem. It really just reminded me to watch what is important in life...my son doing something fun and cute (18 month old doing 'gymnastics' is like watching a pack of puppies play with a basket of toys or something :)

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 15:28:14 MST Print View

Besides allowing me to be in contact with my friends and family around the world, social media, especially blogging, has allowed me to meet (online) people I never would have met otherwise, and then actually meet in person after we came to know one another. I never would have gotten to know Glen Van Peski if it wasn't for online social media, and had 14 years of correspondence and a hike with him in 2010. I've met, in person, quite a few of the members here on BPL, too, and have become good friends with them. I once even "met" a moth researcher living in the middle of the Amazon, whom I corresponded with, through my blog, for quite some time. There is no way I would have gotten to know him otherwise.

Edited by butuki on 01/24/2012 15:30:03 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 16:43:00 MST Print View

"Am I the only one in America who doesn't have a smartphone?"

Am I the only one who doesn't even have a cell phone?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 16:44:37 MST Print View

"Am I the only one in America who doesn't have a smartphone?"

"Am I the only one who doesn't even have a cell phone?"

Am I the only one who has a rotary dial telephone?

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 17:07:36 MST Print View

"Am I the only one who has a rotary dial telephone?"

I'll bet Nick does. ;0)

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 17:16:09 MST Print View

"I find it incredibly ironic that so many in this discussion are dissing "social media" right on a social media site and forum that works much the same as Facebook, the very same people who spend inordinate amounts of time writing very long comments, and who, in spite of their telling others here who like the function of Facebook in their lives that they are "socially dysfunctional", must put a sizable portion of their free time and minds into these discussions."


That just about says it all.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: This Should Be Interesting & More Questions on 01/24/2012 17:27:51 MST Print View

"When I was your age, boy, I used to walk ten miles to school! Barefoot!.... Without clothes on!... In the winter, at 20 below!... While eating ice cream!>...With rocks in it!...

Miguel ... you left out in knee deep snow ... uphill both ways ...