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Sunday, April 22, 2007

The silicon overlords

Now that the computers have taken over the world, the human pawns kill each other. Science fiction? Not according to today's O:

In a world in which many children have their own TV and cell phone, and anyone with ear buds can dive into the solitariness of his iPod, the lack of human connection is increasing. Public spaces are becoming private aggregations of solitary individuals. Add to that the isolation born of postwar mobility, and you have a toxic stew for people who are mentally unstable and vulnerable....

Technology offers comforts but then makes it easy for newcomers to avoid forming relationships. Instead of going to the trouble of making new friends, we can turn on the TV and watch "Lost."

FWIW, the whole thing is here.

Comments (6)

Today is Earth Day.....unplug everyone and go outside and L-I-S-T-E-N to the world.

I think the increasing isolation has more to do with mobility than technology. People move around frequently due to switching jobs, getting divorced, etc. Also, it seems like people are busier than ever - working long hours or two jobs to make ends meet. Building close relationships takes time, and people don't have the time to invest in that. I have lived in my neighborhood for 13 years, but don't have any close friends here. The neighbors on either side of me don't speak much english, and I don't speak their languagues (japanese & mandarin) The house across the street has been vacant for over a year. The one family we knew the best has split up - and my kids' playmates went with the parent who moved out. There are many rentals also, and the turnover is pretty high. I love my neighborhood, but I feel like a stranger here.

This all begs the question "What did Charles Whitman have in his iPod?"

There have always been crazies in society. Just as there's always been a need for meaning and understanding. Everyone is looking for a "lesson" in the Va Tech shootings where none exists. The fact is there's evil on the planet and it's going to bubble to the surface with or without the assistance of a digital existence. The kid had a tremendous network of family and acquaintances he could have fallen back on. He just wasn't wired that way.

I remember reading a short story back in high school about a completely automated dystopian future. People had lived without any "need" for work or human contact for so long that they forgot to breed. Finally, there were only two [fertile] humans left, both being young adults, living on opposite sides of the earth, and communicating via internet. When they learned the human race was going to become extinct unless they met up in person, they both had to leave the comfort and safety of their estate and adventure all over the world to meet up.

It turns out that most technology, including the internet, was invented by a environmentalist conspiracy group who thought the human race was "unworthy" of the earth and would eventually die off from pure laziness.

Hostility is everywhere today. Go to grocery store and clerks are surly and checkers can't wait to get rid of you. Driving is an art of dodging the crazies.Drive the speed limit and horns blow and the bird is the sign language of the "A type personality". The work place is a hostile environment and the push for more work and less compensation is the norm. School is being taught by the lazy or insolent who care not about anything more than " when will I get my 20 years in for my retirement". Politicians cringe that they might have to listen, or worse, come into contact with constituents. There is no " One " reason for this but Corporate Amerika has to be a big contender for the break-down of civility. While the sentiment of Earth Day may be good, in reality it is just more bulls**t to dupe the weak-minded. Same as Green Energy..'cept you pay a bigger light bill and for utilities That is a good thing.

Whee- while at the coast today I paid attention to the world and saw my first whales on the Oregon coast! Wow- two baby whales and at least one adult whale further out- they all were quite visible with spouting and visible tail action.
All of us lucky enough to be in that spot were in awe of such a marvelous sight.
I will take that any day over being cranky about grouchy grocery clerks-relax-at least you aren't having to do their job!

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