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Technology: friend or foe?


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#1    pantodragon

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 02:09 PM

I’ve seen a few good horror films in my time but nothing, NOTHING, to compare with the horror I heard during a radio question and answer (Q&A) session.  My hair stood on end; my stomach tensed and knotted; my heart rate increased; my mouth went dry --- all symptoms of extreme stress.  The reason?  For 5 minutes I relived the horrors, the REAL LIFE horrors, of working/living with technology.  It was ghastly.  Even as I write this, more than 24 hours later, I can feel the symptoms starting again.

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;” (WB Yeats)

The Q&A session involved reading out listeners’ e-mails describing problems they were experiencing with their technology.  These were “solved” by a guest expert.  So, one person was experiencing problems with Outlook (e-mail) at her work.  She dreaded the knock-on effects of being forced to use different e-mail software e.g. changing her e-mail address, archiving old Outlook e-mails etc, etc.  The expert blithely tells her it’s a software incompatibility problem; upgrade this, that or the other part of your OS and that should do the trick.  But be careful to take a copy of all your files or you may loose them during the upgrade.  Q: My mobile phone has a very quiet ring tone. A: Most phones have a quiet ring tone, there’s nothing you can do about this. Q: My mobile phone is downloading apps to the wrong place and it’s a real hassle moving them to the right place.  A: Try downloading software YYYY.  It should improve things but it doesn’t work all the time so you’ll still have some hassle, but not as much hassle as before.  Q: I’m having difficulty XXX with my Mac OS (version: Snow Leopard or was it the Pink Panther??!!).  A: You’ll need to down grade to an earlier Mac OS.  But if you do that, remember that Mac only supports older operating systems for a few years so you won’t get technical support for much longer.  Oh, and before you downgrade, back-up all your files because they will be lost otherwise.  Q: I’ve got problems transferring files between my Mac and a computer running the latest Windows OS.  A: Go to this website and download that software, then go to another website and download this, then go to a third website and get this software and install them on whichever machine and then that should work……but make sure you back up all your files before doing anything or you could loose the lot.  Q: I’m having problem ZZZZ with my wireless broadband.  A: Looks like you’re going to have to phone the technical support helpdesk of your provider for a solution (memories of “helpdesks” started my palms sweating) ……………………. And so it went on for a few more hair-raising minutes.

“Surely some revelation is at hand.”

Working with technology used to be my job.  I HAD to deal with the sorts of problems described above and much, much more besides.  I knew THEN that working with technology was a short cut to a heart attack --- and worse, much worse.  I knew THEN that working with technology was like trying to drive an out-of-control stage-coach careering along behind a team of panic stricken, galloping horses.  But even though I knew THEN that technology was unmanageable, I didn’t appreciate the full horror --- until now.  It’s only after a period of a few years living a low-tech life that the full force of the terrors, the stresses, of working with technology really hit me.  And what’s more, that’s what ANYONE who works with technology is experiencing, did they but know it.  One does not work with technology and come out unscathed; one is, in fact, unlikely to come out alive.

I am perfectly aware that people extol the wonders of technology; “You wouldn’t be using this discussion forum without it.” etc, etc. However, as my reactions demonstrate, I am not so easily fooled by the advertising.

“A shape with a lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.”

The internet, the technology we experience most and now are dependant on is like Gollum --- that “gangly” creature;  “He has an ill-favoured look”.  The creature Gollum is bound to you, and you are bound to him.  He is your guide; he is taking you to Mordor.  But Gollum is treacherous.  There is nothing in him but “lies and deceit”.  He wants you.  He wants what you have.  He wants your power.  He will do ANYTHING to steal it from you.  He will lead you to Shelob’s lair, where SHE will do it.  What is it he wants HER to do?  Ensnare you in her web.  Poison you.  When you are “as limp as a boned fish”, eat you.  That’s the only way Gollum can take from you what he wants.

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

Technology: friend or foe?


#2    Jessem

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:00 PM

To answer your original posted question. It's a double edged sword...

The secret of life is'nt trying to figure out the secret, its about living it.

#3    pantodragon

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

View PostJessem, on 27 June 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

To answer your original posted question. It's a double edged sword...

Well, a sword is an offensive weapon, whether it's got two edges or one.


#4    Jessem

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 03:32 PM

View Postpantodragon, on 27 June 2013 - 03:05 PM, said:

Well, a sword is an offensive weapon, whether it's got two edges or one.

Ahh young dragon, if the sword is used correctly, it is also be a defensive weapon ;) . To me swords are tools to stay alive in battle. You never use one unless you are about to be killed. Even then you never strike unless you know why and what the strike of the sword will do. The internet/technology can either help, or it can destroy.

Edited by Jessem, 27 June 2013 - 03:44 PM.

The secret of life is'nt trying to figure out the secret, its about living it.

#5    sepulchrave

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:37 AM

I think you are veering a little towards hyperbole here... but I actually agree with your position.

We don't let just anyone get behind the wheel of a car; people have to pass a test in order to drive.

We typically don't try to re-wire our houses ourselves; we usually hire a certified electrician.

(etc.)

A lot of people use computers with absolutely no idea how they work or how to use them properly.

And while I don't find your examples that frightening personally, I am actually scared by the scale of business that uses a proprietary spreadsheet (like Excel) for critical accounting or (even worse) as an ad-hoc database, and the degree to which banks, businesses, and scientific projects rely on ancient programs that nobody really understands anymore.

(Not to mention the stuff in this article. I used to think I had reasonably secure passwords.)


#6    Cherrypress

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:22 PM

Friend AND foe!! It can be double edge sword.. Remember the humble pencil was groundbreaking technology once upon a time!


#7    rashore

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:02 PM

Neither friend or foe. Technology is a tool, it does not have the mental or emotional capacity to be friend or foe. Humans can be friendly or foes in their use of the tools of technology.


#8    Calle

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:15 AM

technology is either friend or foe, its how we use it, and just incase it becomes self aware, Destroy it while you can :)


#9    pantodragon

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:27 PM

I think you VASTLY underestimate the influence of the internet, especially when you ignore the motivations and ambitions of those who design it and control it.  It is DESIGNED to be addictive.  Video games are DESIGNED to be addictive.  With video games the situation is relatively simple: designers design games to be compulsive, a challenge that you can't put down until you have won, or they have some other emotional appeal which draws people back equally strongly.  The designers bring out their games in a carefully controlled sequence such that no sooner has one game been completed by players, than a new one is to hand i.e. they do not allow players to free their minds from the grip of the game they have been playing and develop a hunger for another brand of game.  The internet plays the same game: it is designed to hold, to be addictive.

If the internet was a healthy activity, it would build up a hunger in users to go out and explore the world, to expand their tastes and experience.  It does not do this.  It does the opposite.  People become ensnared and loose interest in other things.  As one person said: "The internet is wonderful.  It brings the world into my living room instead of my having to go out into the world."  Something that makes people feel like this is a dangerous drug.  And somebody is making millions out of it, and getting a high on their ability to control others.  Like any herion addict, it is because you are addicted that you put up with the horrors, become inured, in fact, to them.


#10    Cherrypress

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:43 PM

View Postpantodragon, on 29 June 2013 - 02:27 PM, said:

I think you VASTLY underestimate the influence of the internet, especially when you ignore the motivations and ambitions of those who design it and control it.  It is DESIGNED to be addictive.  Video games are DESIGNED to be addictive.  With video games the situation is relatively simple: designers design games to be compulsive, a challenge that you can't put down until you have won, or they have some other emotional appeal which draws people back equally strongly.  The designers bring out their games in a carefully controlled sequence such that no sooner has one game been completed by players, than a new one is to hand i.e. they do not allow players to free their minds from the grip of the game they have been playing and develop a hunger for another brand of game.  The internet plays the same game: it is designed to hold, to be addictive.

If the internet was a healthy activity, it would build up a hunger in users to go out and explore the world, to expand their tastes and experience.  It does not do this.  It does the opposite.  People become ensnared and loose interest in other things.  As one person said: "The internet is wonderful.  It brings the world into my living room instead of my having to go out into the world."  Something that makes people feel like this is a dangerous drug.  And somebody is making millions out of it, and getting a high on their ability to control others.  Like any herion addict, it is because you are addicted that you put up with the horrors, become inured, in fact, to them.

The Internet is DESIGNED to be addictive????!!!!! Do you seriously think Pete burns or anyone else has sat their plotting to to create something to make us slaves??? Games are firstly designed to be enjoyable as are most products... Secondly yes certain numbers of people will find that particular enjoyable stimuli something they wish to indulge in regularly...

The Internet is no more addictive then anything else that one finds enjoyable and thus naturally is then drawn to pursue and indulge in further...
In all due respect am I right to assume your a Christian? Or subscribe to some other belief system.. This reliance on "faith" tends to breed these fears and insecurities in some people. :-)


#11    Jessem

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:13 PM

View PostCherrypress, on 30 June 2013 - 04:43 PM, said:

The Internet is DESIGNED to be addictive????!!!!! Do you seriously think Pete burns or anyone else has sat their plotting to to create something to make us slaves??? Games are firstly designed to be enjoyable as are most products... Secondly yes certain numbers of people will find that particular enjoyable stimuli something they wish to indulge in regularly...

The Internet is no more addictive then anything else that one finds enjoyable and thus naturally is then drawn to pursue and indulge in further...
In all due respect am I right to assume your a Christian? Or subscribe to some other belief system.. This reliance on "faith" tends to breed these fears and insecurities in some people. :-)

Cherrypress, please excuse me, but are you living in the same era as we are :blink: ? All it takes is a bit of observation to see around us, the interenet and many devices which are connected to it are very addictive. Can I say it was first designed to be that way? No I can't. But I can say that it is VERY MUCH SO now. I am a Christian, but you know what, who cares what I believe in. I subscribe to the same world your living in as well, unfortunately. If you want to pretend that there isn't a problem, thats cool, but please leave people's beliefs out of it.

The secret of life is'nt trying to figure out the secret, its about living it.

#12    rashore

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:34 PM

Um, the internet was designed to share information electronically, much like the printing press was designed to share information physically.


#13    Cherrypress

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:07 PM

View PostJessem, on 30 June 2013 - 05:13 PM, said:



Cherrypress, please excuse me, but are you living in the same era as we are :blink: ? All it takes is a bit of observation to see around us, the interenet and many devices which are connected to it are very addictive. Can I say it was first designed to be that way? No I can't. But I can say that it is VERY MUCH SO now. I am a Christian, but you know what, who cares what I believe in. I subscribe to the same world your living in as well, unfortunately. If you want to pretend that there isn't a problem, thats cool, but please leave people's beliefs out of it.

I have no issue with what you choose to believe in.. (As long as it doesn't harm and devalue others) I'm merely observing a correlation between insular beliefs built on absolutely no fact and the correlation of a predisposition to instantly prejudge things and make inaccurate statements about them.. Also completely absent of imperial fact.

Anything that an individual finds enjoyable, in the absence of self reflection and control will inevitably find that particular action addictive.
We are hard wired to pursue the things we label "fun" "nice" enjoyable ect... Perfectly shown in our natural taste and drive to find and enjoy old with high saturated fats.. It's our consciences that after time using information and experience we have acquired then interviens and gives us the ability to decide to apply control..  There will always be people that that little voice of reason won't be apparently strong.. They become addicts.. Many of us are in some form or another...

The ironic thing is that this very information that we use to advance and even spread the "the good word" :-[ is now available (thanks to the internet) instantly to the hands of nearly all.. That overall in my opinion can be only a good thing.


#14    Jessem

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 02:57 AM

View PostCherrypress, on 30 June 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

I have no issue with what you choose to believe in.. (As long as it doesn't harm and devalue others) I'm merely observing a correlation between insular beliefs built on absolutely no fact and the correlation of a predisposition to instantly prejudge things and make inaccurate statements about them.. Also completely absent of imperial fact.

Anything that an individual finds enjoyable, in the absence of self reflection and control will inevitably find that particular action addictive.
We are hard wired to pursue the things we label "fun" "nice" enjoyable ect... Perfectly shown in our natural taste and drive to find and enjoy old with high saturated fats.. It's our consciences that after time using information and experience we have acquired then interviens and gives us the ability to decide to apply control..  There will always be people that that little voice of reason won't be apparently strong.. They become addicts.. Many of us are in some form or another...

The ironic thing is that this very information that we use to advance and even spread the "the good word" :-[ is now available (thanks to the internet) instantly to the hands of nearly all.. That overall in my opinion can be only a good thing.

Wow buddy, just wow :no:
You brought in my faith to the discussion. There was no point for it at all, I don't believe the way most do :). Your pre-judgment towards me cancels out your whole argument sir :tu:. The internet is a tool yes, but it is also WAY OVERUSED, Overcharged, and addictive. Like I said before if you want to pretend otherwise go ahead. Thats my opinion and what I know is the truth. Go ahead and try to stay off of it for 24 hours straight. When you do, we atleast would be rid of some un-needed comments on this thread for a day :clap: :clap: :clap:. But of course you can't.

Oh and just to add, you agreed with me in your earlier post? Why now are you changing your answer? It is a double edged sword :)

Edited by Jessem, 01 July 2013 - 03:01 AM.

The secret of life is'nt trying to figure out the secret, its about living it.

#15    pantodragon

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 03:56 PM

View PostCherrypress, on 30 June 2013 - 04:43 PM, said:

The Internet is DESIGNED to be addictive????!!!!! Do you seriously think Pete burns or anyone else has sat their plotting to to create something to make us slaves??? Games are firstly designed to be enjoyable as are most products... Secondly yes certain numbers of people will find that particular enjoyable stimuli something they wish to indulge in regularly...

The Internet is no more addictive then anything else that one finds enjoyable and thus naturally is then drawn to pursue and indulge in further...
In all due respect am I right to assume your a Christian? Or subscribe to some other belief system.. This reliance on "faith" tends to breed these fears and insecurities in some people. :-)

Don't take my word for it.  Talk to the designers of Final Fantasy --- they are quite up-front about it seeing as how they see nothing wrong with it.

And no, I am not a Christian.  And I have to ask, have you actually read any of my posts?  I mean, there is just a teensy-weensy little bit of a difference between my expressed morality and that of Christians.  Biggest first one: I don't believe in self-sacrifice.  Crucifixion is not an option, and is not admirable in others!  Nor is something that sells itself, by saying: after all I've done for you --- the same sort of coercionas is  used by bad parents.  So please, sir, do not insult me by asking if I am a Christian!





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