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I *like* living in the 21st century!

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  • I *like* living in the 21st century!

    Isn't it great? Just off the top of my head, we can:

    --hang out online with people we'd never have been able to meet until recently,
    --hear music and see entertainment of all sorts with almost perfect reproduction values that won't wear out,
    --medical marvels keep us alive and productive much longer than ever
    --access almost any knowledge just by clicking a few keys (critical thinking, of course, isn't quite so easy),
    --travel almost anywhere in the world in a matter of hours,
    --get safe, fresh foods from all over the world at our local supermarket

    ...and many other things. What are your favorite modern wonders?

    Jan
    feeling a bit giddy this morning...
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    21st century sucks!!! im still waiting for the flying cars they promised us in Back to the Future
    Sleeping in Light-----Darnit! Shut the Window.

    Comment


    • #3
      ... There's a Japanese author and philosopher named Natsume Soseki who wrote an excellent essay on technology and how it affects our lives. I'm sorry that I cannot recall the title of the essay, as I'm sure it must be available on-line someplace.
      ... Soseki wrote that in very ancient times (1000's BC), folks worked an average of about 3 to 5 hours a day. In fact studies have been done on primeval cultures, and that is about right - to hunt for one day's food supply, or to gather berries, nuts or whatever, takes very little time.
      ... He compared this to the conditions that existed during the time of his own life, the early 1900's, when new technologies were flooding into Japan from other nations. He argued that technological advancement, though in many ways made life more convenient, also made people much busier than they once were, and increased the stresses in their lives, creating instability in households and in the culture nationwide. (Though I think farmers have had long days since the beginning of time, personally).
      ... Think about it. We are continuously connected. The prodigious use of the cell phone is a recent occurrence. 9 years ago, when I left the US, I had only ever seen one. Now I know no one without a cell phone. E-mail and messaging on our home computers, though we use it for our own enjoyment also ties us, binds us in many ways... and as for Americans, I recall reading a report recently issued by the government stating that people in the US work more hours and longer weeks than they ever have in the past. Connections can be drawn between these two things.

      ... I've a friend who made a surprisingly observant comment a few months ago. He said, "No more are the generations that are born and die in the same world." He meant that technology is advancing at such a pace that the world we will die in will be nothing at all like the one we were born into. I think he's probably right. Before the Industrial Revolution, by and large, this was not the case. And now the "IT Revolution" . . .

      ... For all that, I enjoy watching technology move so far and so fast. At the same time it can be quite intimidating. It is difficult to keep up. I see people everywhere throwing around words and phrases related to new tech, like it's all common knowledge... and it's like they're speaking Greek.

      ... Well, as for the good stuff - I live 12,000 miles from my family, so E-mail and live video messaging wins for me, as does the IP telephone thing - no idea how it works, but it's great!

      ... Speaking of technology advancement within the 21st Century, there's a very interesting piece I found - NPR broadcast about where the experts believe it's going . . . It's actually quite spooky. Give it a listen.

      http://www.onpointradio.org/shows/20...230_a_main.asp

      ... I'm with Ranger 1 on the Flying Cars thing. I wish they'd get a move on and start cranking them out!

      "I think I'll pass on the tuna, thanks."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Puzzled Pak'Ma'Ra
        ... There's a Japanese author and philosopher named Natsume Soseki who wrote an excellent essay on technology and how it affects our lives. I'm sorry that I cannot recall the title of the essay, as I'm sure it must be available on-line someplace.
        ... Soseki wrote that in very ancient times (1000's BC), folks worked an average of about 3 to 5 hours a day. In fact studies have been done on primeval cultures, and that is about right - to hunt for one day's food supply, or to gather berries, nuts or whatever, takes very little time.
        ... He compared this to the conditions that existed during the time of his own life, the early 1900's, when new technologies were flooding into Japan from other nations. He argued that technological advancement, though in many ways made life more convenient, also made people much busier than they once were, and increased the stresses in their lives, creating instability in households and in the culture nationwide. (Though I think farmers have had long days since the beginning of time, personally).
        I agree with your thinking, TPPM, and would add that that 3-5 hour day would only apply *if* one was lucky enough to live where hunting and gathering was convenient year-round. I'm afraid that scenario is much too simplistic for real comparison with later centuries.

        ... Think about it. We are continuously connected. The prodigious use of the cell phone is a recent occurrence. 9 years ago, when I left the US, I had only ever seen one. Now I know no one without a cell phone. E-mail and messaging on our home computers, though we use it for our own enjoyment also ties us, binds us in many ways...
        Ties us, yes, but only binds us if we allow it. I raise eyebrows because when people ask for my cell phone number I won't give it. That phone is for *my* convenience, not theirs.
        and as for Americans, I recall reading a report recently issued by the government stating that people in the US work more hours and longer weeks than they ever have in the past. Connections can be drawn between these two things.
        Again, I'm not certain that comparisons can be made without knowing what variables are being considered. If the conditions I've read about pre-union and labor laws is true, then I'd say that the report *must* be flawed.

        ... I've a friend who made a surprisingly observant comment a few months ago. He said, "No more are the generations that are born and die in the same world." He meant that technology is advancing at such a pace that the world we will die in will be nothing at all like the one we were born into. I think he's probably right. Before the Industrial Revolution, by and large, this was not the case. And now the "IT Revolution" . . .
        True enough. But then, people used to die of old age at half the age we do now. Nor it that anything new. My grandmother lived through extraordinary changes in her lifetime, too.

        ... For all that, I enjoy watching technology move so far and so fast. At the same time it can be quite intimidating. It is difficult to keep up.
        I never even try to keep up. I adopt what I like and let the rest go by.

        ... Well, as for the good stuff - I live 12,000 miles from my family, so E-mail and live video messaging wins for me, as does the IP telephone thing - no idea how it works, but it's great!
        Exactly. The best technology is designed to work almost invisibly.
        ... I'm with Ranger 1 on the Flying Cars thing. I wish they'd get a move on and start cranking them out!
        Ah, to heck with the cars. A personal flying belt will do just fine unless I'm bringing groceries home or something. Or a transporter. Yeah, I think that's what I want, a transporter.

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

        Comment


        • #5
          The flying car would be nice and the other day I watched a program on cars. There is a proto type of a car that can turn into a boat in a matter of seconds and is able to pull a skier. There is also another one a 4 wheel drive jeep type/hummer and it goes onto rivers and the speed is crazy. Mind you the prototype car will cost about $100,000. so will be very much out of my reach. Would love to have one of those though. Since I live next to a rather long narrow lake. As a matter of fact for work I travel beside this lake and 3 more during a day so one of these cars would be ideal for me.
          Joan

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          • #6
            I'm getting to be in my mid 50s, and am starting to let some of the new-gadget-technology stuff pass me by. I don't need it or want it. Video games, maps in your cars that tell you where to turn, constantly being in touch with people that only want some of your time (cell phones/work). I'm sure it's an age related thing .. I'm starting to get old I guess.

            And I think back to when I was growing up, in the late 50s and the 60s. Things were much simpler then, and I yearn for them too. No electronic toys, and other toys not so much available. When you played as a kid, you went outside and found a friend and figured out or made up something .. anything .. to do. Dug "forts/foxholes" in the empty lots across the street, built clubhouses with scraps of lumber you found or parents had around the house, played a lot of acting-out-roll-playing games like soldiers, cops and robbers, whatever. Fingers worked as well for guns as a toy gun did. We were dirt poor, more than average meals of beans and cornbread, but still the best meal I can think of and would eat that same average if it wasn't so much easier to drive down the road a bit and get a taco or burger than to cook it.

            Technology .. I'll call it that, or simply "change" of the times .. has taken most of that away. As I said, I yearn for those simplier times .. but I'll be darn if I want to turn my DVD & VCR, my computer and internet, my trips to Las Vegas, and my TV with upteen channels, back in to make it happen permanently! I guess just thinking about those simpler times gives me enough satisfaction.

            One thing I do see of the times that is *sort of* a detriment is: who we chose to make our friends. Back in the 50s & 60s it was "neighbors". A family pretty well stayed close to home, and didn't move so much. In the 70s and 80s and some of the 90s it turned into "who you worked with". Whole families becoming more mobile, changing jobs and moving to a new town, divorce and 2nd marriages starting to become the norm and forcing a person to relocate. The lifelong neighbor friends weren't around anymore, and it was easier to meet acquantenances at work .. for as long as you worked there. And through the 90s and up through today, it's turning more-and-more to online friends of whom you have never-ever met. Imagine that .. some of my best friends now are people that I've never met personally; only in words.

            That's not right, but I'm very (mostly) content with that happening of it. Some of the technology we have now makes it too easy to slip into that mode, rather than getting out and meeting new people which will become your friends in-the-flesh.

            I don't know how much of the above pertains to anybody else .. maybe I'm just a hermit, and the technology of today is just a means to help me reach that goal easily.
            Last edited by Nacho; 01-07-2006, 12:08 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nacho
              I'm getting to be in my mid 50s, and am starting to let some of the new-gadget-technology stuff pass me by. I don't need it or want it. Video games, maps in your cars that tell you where to turn, constantly being in touch with people that only want some of your time (cell phones/work). I'm sure it's an age related thing .. I'm starting to get old I guess.
              I'm only a little younger and some new gadgets I love and others I ignore. It's a matter of taste, too, though. I've been unmoved by the iPod but I just found a little audio book chip reader I'm in love with!

              And I think back to when I was growing up, in the late 50s and the 60s. Things were much simpler then, and I yearn for them too.
              Well, there's always a nostalgia for what we knew as kids. But just because things were different then, they weren't necessarily better. At least, I keep telling myself that as I see little teeny kids in 'Pre-Kindergarted' coming home with homework. At 4 years old?!?!

              Technology .. I'll call it that, or simply "change" of the times .. has taken most of that away. As I said, I yearn for those simplier times .. but I'll be darn if I want to turn my DVD & VCR, my computer and internet, my trips to Las Vegas, and my TV with upteen channels, back in to make it happen permanently! I guess just thinking about those simpler times gives me enough satisfaction.
              I theorized once that what caused adults to end up all sour was having to keep track of their keys. Now they have so much more to keep track of/worry about.

              One thing I do see of the times that is *sort of* a detriment is: who we chose to make our friends. Back in the 50s & 60s it was "neighbors". A family pretty well stayed close to home, and didn't move so much. In the 70s and 80s and some of the 90s it turned into "who you worked with". Whole families becoming more mobile, changing jobs and moving to a new town, divorce and 2nd marriages starting to become the norm and forcing a person to relocate. The lifelong neighbor friends weren't around anymore, and it was easier to meet acquantenances at work .. for as long as you worked there. And through the 90s and up through today, it's turning more-and-more to online friends of whom you have never-ever met. Imagine that .. some of my best friends now are people that I've never met personally; only in words.
              Ah, now here I think you have a point. Back then, people didn't have any choice but to interact with the people nearby and it may have been a good thing. You might not have *liked* Mrs. Grundy down the street but she was your neighbor and part of your community. These days we don't really have to interact with anybody but those whith whom we have things in common and that's bound to have an effect on our social skills. But I really have made some good friends online, too, and not been disappointed in the ones I've ended up meeting in person.

              I don't know how much of the above pertains to anybody else .. maybe I'm just a hermit, and the technology of today is just a means to help me reach that goal easily.
              It's difficult, I admit. These days it's simply often easier to bypass human interaction at all. I think there needs to be a swing in the other direction soon because rudeness and me-ness is so very prevalent. I think that technology can help that. While I'm not thrilled at my 'marketing preferences' being transmitted and analysed by advertisers, I don't have any problem with my favorite restaurant knowing when I sit down what I'd like to drink. Much the same data, used different ways. And my favorite restaurant already does it the old fashioned way. The less-transient staff let the new folks know that 'the prime rib lady' likes and I seldom have to order it myself. Now if I ever decide to *change* that, I'll probably have to start signalling from the parking lot!

              Jan
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ranger1
                21st century sucks!!! im still waiting for the flying cars they promised us in Back to the Future
                Oh god no. New York is lethal enough from harried moms with the attention span of a gnat driving SUVs. If they fly we'll have ballistic missle warnings and air raid sirens every 15 minutes.

                Although.... hrm... Darwin would win wouldn't he.... *evil grin*

                Originally posted by The Puzzled PakMaRa
                Soseki wrote that in very ancient times (1000's BC), folks worked an average of about 3 to 5 hours a day.
                They also jumped at their own shadows and died of old age at 30 (shamelessly ripped from someone with a far better sense of humor than me).

                Originally posted by PPMRs Friend
                No more are the generations that are born and die in the same world.
                This I call a good thing, and I wouldn't even limit that statement and my reaction to technology.

                Originally posted by Jan
                Isn't it great?
                I like it, myself. I'm writing this while working hard at my job, using a dynamic network web that didn't exist when I grew up, to people I'd never have met let alone heard of or appreciated, traveling via electron and copper, from my mind to your eyes.... and that kinda magic tickles my fancy.

                I'm not even really a gadget guy. Last person in my extended family to own a cell phone. 90% of all my toys are gifts from people who think I need that kinda thing. But damn if I don't love my computer just a little, and just a bit of a TV junkie.

                Yeah, it goes too fast and frentic sometimes, chances are half my music and movie collection will be upgraded 3 formats past my tolerance this lifetime, and unplugging is a lesson I need to learn and relearn again and again. But I rather like it that way. Beats the hell outta the other way around.
                Last edited by Radhil; 01-07-2006, 05:11 PM. Reason: *mutters about tags*
                Radhil Trebors
                Persona Under Construction

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                • #9
                  I'll also argue that the amount of ACTUAL work we do nowadays would not likely be appreciably more than 3 or so hours. While we're AT work for hours and hours, the amount of actual labor is significantly less than your on-the-clock time.

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