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View Diary: The Next Big Thing (why "all tech, all the time" fails us) (105 comments)

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  •  Kids, nowadays! (15+ / 0-)

    When will they learn to interact like normal people, like pseudonyms on an internet discussion board.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 05:15:45 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  pico made me laugh. OK, it was a picochuckle. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, myboo, glitterscale, koNko, caul

      Say, isn't that one of them sciency like
      measurement words right below milli?

      Still right to the concise and critical point.
      And notice that we are still interacting, for
      the most part, with a human technology
      that disenfranchised those who would or
      could not successfully adopt and wield it.

      I gather this storiest is not ambivalent about
      the benefits and wisdom that can be imparted
      via the magical process of the printed word,
      even if they are rendered in the somewhat suspect
      digital and electronic formats.

      All of this new stuff is coming faster and faster.
      Since the stone age gave way to the bronze age,
      technology has influenced human society,
      and not always for the better. I do think the arc
      of progress, when judged rationally from a
      statistical viewpoint, which carries its own bias,
      bends towards greater justice, liberty, and prosperity.
      See Pinker, or Johnson, or even E O Wilson.

      Unless I am mistaken, one can, if one so chooses,
      adopt a lifestyle, or faith even, that eschews almost
      all of the 19th and 20th centuries advances. Or go
      to live with newly discovered prehistoric indigenous,
      or at least the few that have not already been affected
      by all of our previous efforts of 'discovery' and 'education'.
      Is it because these are seen as not rational choices
      for the majority they are neglected, save for academia?

      My biggest critique of our education system, other than
      its patently unequal financing arrangements, is that it
      totally resembles the factories of the early and mid
      last century, which is only natural as that what was
      needed by those who designed and implemented it.
      It seemed to work out somewhat for quite a few in its day.

      I understand that there are manifold social and probably
      psychological impacts of this brave new world, but I see
      little difference between watching an engaging master
      instructing me personally via video or bits or even in a book.
      Now, will I fully understand and comprehend the
      significance of such dialogues? Can anyone explain the
      "King James" section of Joyce's Ulysses as narrative?
      Do those with poor literacy skills sign legal documents
      they do not fully understand? Are they exploited
      by those who are very aware of and encourage such?

      I think this author missed a great opportunity to help
      mold and shape what certainly will be coming in the
      very near future. It's OK, There are those who will
      see a virtual school or university as necessary and
      hopefully guide its implementation with love and humanity.

      The master/apprentice model is still alive and well, as it
      mimics the basic human relationships found in families,
      tribes, and clans, which were the sole progenitors of
      knowledge, morality, and wisdom, until fairly recently,
      when widespread education in reading became common place.
      Perhaps we can do a 'mash up' of sorts?

      It is difficult to reconcile the past with the present,
      all with an eye for might be coming next.
      I write this as someone who is a product of the very
      industrialized public school system, which I probably
      did not thrive in, for various reasons, who has had
      to become an autodidact, like most, out of necessity.
      Technology has impacted our careers and avocations,
      and our lives so much that it makes me dizzy just to consider it.

      But I then remember that my maternal grandmother, who
      was a young and strong peasant woman and a literal
      beast of burden, somehow found in herself the courage
      and will to leave her home, and immigrate to this land.
      She witnessed the industrial revolution first hand.
      She lived a very long life and had the usual agrarian huge family,
      but she never really, learned to read English so well,
      though I do not doubt of her ability to have done so,
      had the social and economic environments permitted.
      She was a very good person, but there was so much
      of modernity she did not understand or appreciate.
      Going from being an indentured servant hitched to a
      plow to witnessing space travel, this is understandable.

      I welcome the next steps for our young
      in their journeys towards progress and growth.
      I wish them Godspeed when I can join them no longer.

      Thanks for all of your efforts.


    •  touche! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, caul

      Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

      by ubertar on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 05:04:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, pretty much. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan, pico, llywrch

      People have been complaining about "the kids these days" since the cave man era.  If it wasn't iSomethings today, it was transistor radios in the 60's - and pulpy paperbacks in the 1880's.

      C'mon, man.  That's not an arguement, it's an excuse for being out of touch with the young people.  

      No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

      by CrazyHorse on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 05:44:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dont think the use of teenagers ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      myboo, koNko, caul

      in the example was intended as your reply suggests, ie, the youth of today doesnt measure up to us/fingerwag.

      More, to me, like they are a starkly observable example of tech over-saturation and how it lends to isolation and not, often, to depth and breadth of thinking/learning.

      But older people dont escape. Kids are, societally speaking, products of the elders' priorities.

      Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a lame party, or should it drive a lame party to break out? If it cant, should it break out?

      by NYCee on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 06:21:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tech over-saturation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Another Grizzle, caul

        Well, that is certainly a tangent to what I am saying - it is better summed up by a statement from a hockey player last year who had texted Derek Boogaard the night before he committed suicide. He asked Derek how he was doing, "fine" was the response. The texter wondered the next day - after Derek died - I wonder if I had actually seen or spoken to Derek if I could have "seen" or observed the reality of his circimstance and maybe have interceded.

        It's not my main point at all - but social networking, texting, tweeting creates the illusion of social cohesion and meaningful relationships and associations. They isolate in real terms IMO as much as they connect.

        My real point focuses on the Iraq war example I cited. A society awash with cutting edge tech, but deficient in institutional integrity, understanding, wisdom, insight and true global awareness. Kind of like an ape guiding a rocket ship.

        •  What is 'meaningful', though? (1+ / 0-)
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          I wonder if some of this comes from our attempts to what we older people believe about our social context to apply it to a new social context where it may not fit.  Certainly the the types of things we group up considering meaningful may not apply, but are kids today really isolated?  Do they not have meaningful relationships within their own context?  The kids I work with all have their own challenges, but they're well-adjusted and healthy and thoughtful in their own ways.  

          Or to flip it backwards: are these alleged declining values like institutional integrity, understanding, wisdom, insight, and true global awareness any more in evidence in the past, pre- the modern high-tech age?  High tech certainly hasn't solved many of these problems, but I don't see them as any worse.  They may just be unrelated to each other.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 03:16:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do they not have meaningful relationships (0+ / 0-)

            I have kids and have a lot of contact with kids. The tech-connectedness of kids is also a buffer. Why text rather than talk? It's less real, less confrontational of reality - "I think you're a jerk" via text is a much easier thing than "I think you're a jerk" via conversation.

            I cited the young scientists I worked with - they did, generally speaking, lack a certain social/interactive quality - is that why they preferred the virtual learning environment they were constructing? It suited their weakness?

            Not to over simplify, but wasn't the creator of Facebook at Harvard a semi-social dweeb who lacked the ability to look a woman in the face and say he needed and wanted her? So he creates a buffer interface to overcome his weakness.

            Do any of you get frustrated when you feel the NEED to see a person face to face, "read" what's going on with that other person, bring the fullness of yourself to that other person, but an email discussion/meeting is what suffices?

            Much of the social media tech has the effect of favoring  less skilled social human beings and gaining advantage for socially wary or inept. It covers for them. Looking forward, what inherent attributes and personal skills will be favored by this tech arrangement - full throated human beings or tech-savvy dweebs?

            •  Not to over simplify, but (0+ / 0-)

              you're dealing with scientists, so adjust your expectations about social interaction, heh.  Joking, I promise!

              On a more serious note: the problem I have with your argument is that it doesn't seem like there's evidence of young people having 'less meaningful' relationships with each other or being less able to communicate meaningfully... but that you are having less trouble communicating with them.  I think this is a crucial distinction.  Social studies of the impact of tech on communication have an innate problem of confirmation bias, because they're generally written from, and on the expectations of, the experimenter.  Hard to avoid that sort of thing.

              Here's my hypothesis: it doesn't matter, and it was always this way.  Victor Hugo blamed the printing press on the decline in spirituality and the inability of his contemporary Europeans to understand and appreciate the the heft of cultural heritage that proceeded them.  He may have been right as such, but it also created a new context where the old system of beliefs were now somewhat arbitrary.  Put two generations side-by-side, and their values won't overlap, which they (too often) take as a sign of moribund values on the part of the other.

              Same here.  Kids are not only using technology in ways that are still foreign and detached from us, but they're negotiating that world in a far more savvy way, and one that doesn't always click with us, because we come to the conversation with a different set of expectations.  They're setting their own rules, and they're finding (and expressing) their own sense of meaningfulness in their own ways.

              In twenty, thirty years we'll be in retirement homes and they'll be wondering why their own children can't communicate the same way they do.  And on, and on, and on.  

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 12:04:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, what's wrong with them, anyway? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud, pico, Nowhere Man, caul

      And why can they make these thingies work and I can't?


      My kid the gamer, who recently graduated to an iPad, ignoring her mom.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 09:17:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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