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Is technology doing a great favor to humanity

by vbo Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 06:47:54 AM EST

Really? I have received this e mail today and I will use it to start discussion about inevitable technology taking over our lives. Now I know that there are sides of technology that are really improving our lives tremendously (like in science, communication and information etc. fields) but look at these photos...because they are sooo true. Now government here wants more people to work from home and soon , in the future all students ( including primary and high school) I suppose will be educated from home, we are buying stuff from home, people today even have sex (incredibly)  trough internet etc. Looks like there will be time when we are not going to leave our homes at all...and when we leave it we will be alone missing all those friends from school yard, university, work etc. Picture is really gloomy in my eyes...I can see my 11 years old granddaughter ,who is not even in mobile phones yet, being taken by computer and all those portable games, a lot of her free time ( at our home, at the car, just not yet when we are out and about , but it will come with her interest in mobile phone pretty soon). What your opinion on this is and what would be the way for humans not to become "idiots"?
Here it goes:

Boy, isn't this the truth.......

The day that Albert Einstein feared may have finally arrived.

Having coffee with friends.


A day at the beach.


Cheering on your team.


Having dinner out with your friends.


Out on an intimate date.


Having a conversation with your BFF


A visit to the museum


Enjoying the sights

And...

     


Display:


I hope the author will allow me this shameful linking, as I already bought all his books... If not, please comment here, and I'll remove the pics.

The link to this (excellent) comic author is this one.

The pitch: Carrot top and moustache-man are in the subway. Moustache-man goes into a rant about the two lovers communicating by text-messenging. Carrot top gets a reminiscence of a time when he and his girlfriend were doing the same, and actually joking about the guys in front of them nad their peculiar sense of clothing. Curious parallels emerge...

My commentary: behind the technology, there is often another human whith whom we communicate. The problem is more the availabity we consent to the people actually being at the same place as us.

A free fox in a free henhouse!

by Xavier in Paris on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 08:26:10 AM EST
Nerds should have a chance now.
by das monde on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 09:15:04 AM EST
TV has already fulfilled Einstein's prediction. the internet may well be the rope out of the hole TV has narcotized so many to fall into, as it encourages feedback and interaction.

i would also blame advertising for a lot of the infantilisation, as most of the cloying, crooning babytalk mode of communication adopted by two generations now has its roots in the industry's pandering to the lowest intellectual denominator, like wise the taste for mindless repetition of moronic, meaningless catchphrases.

consumerism in general creates empty human beings, tech itself is not to blame, cell phones just another tool to communicate, garbage in garbage out.

the tantrics say the way up is the same as the way down, but in reverse. if somehow we could have skipped TV and skipped directly to the internet we may have had two more generations less zombiefied, too late now, there's a lot of brain cells to regenerate!

much work to do in this regard, luckily it's fun.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 10:12:44 AM EST
As undoubtedly you yourdself experienced on ET and elsewhere, people can make each other smile, laugh, remember, befriend, desire, anger, hate and get depressed on-line – in that, the electronic media is just another media after copper-wire telephone and letters, and doesn't yet make people idiots.

Problems I do see:

  • It is much easier to bully someone.
  • It is much easier for debates to derail.
  • After the one-way communication of TV, public discourse now fragments into several isolated communities of like-minded people who build develop their own biased worldviews.
  • The inward-looking tendency of society is enhanced (people look at the world and only see humans in it).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 10:36:36 AM EST
the electronic media is just another media after copper-wire telephone and letters, and doesn't yet make people idiots.

In a way it does...being at the museum and texting instead of enjoying art is kind of idiotic, just for example...Point is not that texting is wrong but what is wrong is that especially young people are totally dependent and "hypnotized" to the point that they are absent from real word.

After the one-way communication of TV, public discourse now fragments into several isolated communities of like-minded people who build develop their own biased worldviews.

Yeah...like here on ET, haha...where very often different opinions are castigated by marking them "conservative" and there for not worthy...
Problems you see are all real...

by vbo on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 10:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do you know people aren't enjoying art online?

With Wikipedia, Etsy, DeviantArt, Folksy, RedBubble, and many, many more, there's a lot more art and art history online than in any physical museum or gallery.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 07:13:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do not know but hey this is a real thing in front of your eyes and you turn your back to it and go on line...
by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 07:36:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wish the people going to the Louvre would spend their time texting, instead of looking at the art briefly and then photographing it with their flash cameras.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 07:46:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was a disturbing photo, but I can't tell you how many times (because I love to visit art museums and other kinds, too) I've seen people following their parents or teachers or friends or WHOMEVER through a museum with a total lack of interest.  I'd like to pretend to myself that those gals were checking links to the next museum they were going to visit to get directions, times, prices, etc.

Over half the visitors to our home this year have been people we've met through the internet and would not have otherwise met. That fact simply floors me.

P.S. When are YOU comin' for visit, vbo? We'd love to meet you in person. And thanks again for all your photos.


'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:06:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When are YOU comin' for visit, vbo? We'd love to meet you in person. And thanks again for all your photos.
 

Thank you for inviting me and I would love to meet in person but I come to Europe every few years and I usually wonder a bit around western Europe prior to coming to Serbia or on my way back to Australia. This year I have been there but I did not have enough time to wonder and my flight was for the first time direct Dubai - Belgrade , so I ended up visiting just Serbia.
I will remember your invitation next time I come to Europe. Thank you again.

by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 06:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
texting instead of enjoying art is kind of idiotic

But the prior standard teen behaviour at a museum: being there against one's will and playing bored, or, worse, disturbing other visitors by talking with friends is no less idiotic; and, to get back into context, enjoying art isn't normal human interaction (as per the Einstein quote). This is more a reflection of the inward-looking tendency of society I spoke about (well art as a medium between artist and viewer is part of that, too, but less direct). However, I can certainly see a tendency of people communicating experiences over taking that experience in, in particular when recording is involved. For example, it's weird when the front rows of a concert are filled with people so busy taking a video with their phones for the friends that they won't... dance.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 12:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I always found it interesting that museums didn't appear as public spaces until the secular revolution started to threaten churches.

But modern reality is that digital culture is ubiquitous and history of any kind is a minority interest.

Then again it probably always was, except for a small minority of curious dilettantes and future empire builders.

Although it's easy to find teens who have no idea who the Beatles were, it's more astounding to me that the culture of the lates 60s to late 90s has been so persistent, and is still being rediscovered and enjoyed.

The decades before that don't seem to have been either as popular or historically sticky, and the only teens who know anything at all about pre-20th century history and culture are the small minority who are rich and pampered or have parents who are aggressively aspirational and middle class.

At the same time there's a new code culture with teens and students making their own art with tools like Processing, Scratch, PureData, and others - and when they grow up they move into mobile development and/or web design.

Some of them build real stuff out of real hardware too.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:55:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thesis for discussion:

The lives of women, at least, are categorically better because of technology. In fact, technology has proved to be a necessary condition for the advancement of women's functionings in society.  Technologies such as the washing machine and vacuum cleaners freed up enormous time allotments for women, allowing women to organize socially and politically outside of the heretofore domestic constraints of traditional society.  And communications and information technologies today allow women a more equal space with men in both economic activities as well as political roles.  Then, of course, reproductive medical technologies have provided greater control over the timing of fertility with obvious advantages.  And all of these, plus other technologies, are part of the "great force" of urbanization -- specifically capitalist urbanization -- that began only a few hundred years ago.

by santiago on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 12:43:45 PM EST
All true...but there are some "but"s in it.

Then, of course, reproductive medical technologies have provided greater control over the timing of fertility with obvious advantages.

As much as I congratulate new medical technologies in reproductive field I also see negative side of it to the point that people prolong or in the end simply abound having kids and making families. Few days ago here on TV they told us how they developed procedure to make ovaries of 45 year old woman working like she is 25. Having one daughter in here mid 30s and still single, unmarried and childless I applauded this, but on broader picture this will now make women too prolonging even more their search for the "right man" and in the age of 45 they are not going to find him ( being "too smart" at that age). I am afraid this will only make more people (man and woman) lonely and childless at their old age. But from past discussions I remember that a lot of you here find having kids not all that important...  I find it very important and not just because of survival of human race (let's just not go in to discussion how there are more than enough humans on Earth) but more like because of the happiness and fulfilment that kids bring in to people's life ...Look at Japan...look at Italy and their ghost towns and villages with no kids...Our population is aging and becoming more sad...
by vbo on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 10:38:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
People will make their choices based on the available information and technology and may make what you consider to be the wrong choice - but one that is right for them. Or even one that is wrong for them, with it being possible they would have made bad choices for themselves even absent technology. Bad choices aren't something that started happening only with the advent of technology.

Lots of people are NOT made happy by children and do not make the children happy, either. Some people are simply wild about Broadway musicals while others would gladly pay to get out of having to attend one.  No-one could possibly REALLY enjoy american professional wrestling, and it still baffles me why those millions of people still watch and attend it, but there you go.

I just don't see the downside to technology as it has affected MY life thus far. I wouldn't even be able to take part this discussion without it.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:13:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the problem is there's a nostalgic hankering for a community and culture that never really existed.

Working class solidarity was a real thing for a while because everyone lived physically close.

But many of those 'happy families' were seething with alcoholism, physical and emotional child abuse, sexual abuse, violence, and other not so happy things. And things weren't any better in the other classes.

It wasn't that long ago that living in someone was still known as 'living in sin' by the religious nutters who owned public morality. The pressures to keep private transgressions behind a public mask were immense, and not very fun to live with.

If the Internet has done nothing else it has lifted the lid on relationships and experiences that would previously have remained hidden, and helped tolerance of real diversity.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:27:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
Working class solidarity was a real thing for a while because everyone lived physically close.

the upper class (best educated) had the solidarity of that, the lower class had the solidarity of the desperate, the brute strength of the docker or farmworker, but least education.

the middle class has the least solidarity, imo, as they are balanced between the other two, co-dependent on both.

in the last half-century education has become more universal, and children of all classes are seeing images and hearing the stories of the rest of the world, so have more global empathy.

that's why we see so much squeeze on the middle class now, they squeal louder than the poor who have often become sullenly accepting of their lot. the middle class had their expectations raised and now are looking down and seeing how far it is to fall.

watching footage of spain and seeing the unions lumbering to their feet here in italy too, rumblings in france and portugal, greece on its knees, the mix out on the street is from all classes other than the 1%, and the numbers are only going to go up as the cuts bite deeper.

a new solidarity of the 99% may be the best bet, and could be actually happening. if people are hauled away to jail for simply protesting, how many new jails and thugs to run them are they going to have to open tp accommodate them?

you can't just keep truncheoning people because they don't have a job because it was offshored, and still call yourself a democracy, can you?

people are starting to realise no-one is coming to rescue them, and if they don't stand up, no-one will.

this is the end result of lending too many energy-units at high interest, and now so much cream has been extracted there's no more milk!

so the solution of more debt to the problem that debt created?

genius!

people are effing fed up! when the french unions get in gear that will tip the balance, history rhymes...


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the middle class had their expectations raised and now are looking down and seeing how far it is to fall.
...you can't just keep truncheoning people because they don't have a job because it was offshored, and still call yourself a democracy, can you?
...this is the end result of lending too many energy-units at high interest, and now so much cream has been extracted there's no more milk!

Great observation. I am saving it to my files...

by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 05:10:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On another forum not long ago a question came up for discussion.  Something like "What sci-fi books have influenced your worlview the most?"  My answer was something like the following.

Through my teen years my worldview was almost totally defined by Heinlein, Asimov, Verne and Wells.  Science and technology would solve every problem, and we would go to the stars and live happily every after.  

I was probably about 20 when I first read Dune.  It was something of a philosophical coming of age.  It opened my mind not only to ecological awareness, but to a larger truth as well.  Science and technology are two-edged swords.  They are not good or evil in themselves, only in how we choose to use them.  They may yet solve most if not all our problems, but only if we use them wisely -- if we understand clearly which edge we are using.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:31:17 PM EST
Both Verne and Wells has dystopic novels were technology is used by mad men to destroy, destroy, destroy. These are unfortunately not what has survived as classics.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Time Machine hasn't survived as a classic?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 02:53:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, maybe its not as clear-cut as I put it. But the time machine does at least have an happy ending.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:41:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean he escapes back to the past?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, compared with the War in the Air which ends with contemporary civilization destroyed, escaping back to an intact contemporary Britain is a happy ending.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 04:06:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately or not we cannot go back with or without time machine...unless we destroy civilization completely and survivors start from the caves. Even then some of them may have advanced knowledge compared to cave man and would come back faster. It hopefully is not going to happen...But remembering all those sci-fiction books and movies I am more scared that "machines" are going to overcome and rule us...give them a "brain" and they may not need us , ha-ha, unless as slaves...
Are we going to become idiots? And not only in face to face communication ( which I find most scary)...I don't know...Yes, because of the helpful technology next generation will not think the same way we did and they will definitely advance faster but they will be hopeless and helpless without technology. And with planet raging and fighting back (climate change) they may find themselves very often without power (remember Sandy and other storms, tsunamis etc. not to mention ever more frequent wars). Let's face it, next generation can hardly cook let alone to be able to find food in nature or start fire without lighter (they may have never seen matches, ha-ha). Also with technology comes independence and this alienates people at close contact (family, friends, neighbours...) and in case of emergency we cannot rely on our overseas internet friends and family.    
There is much more on negative side that we can think off right now. Obviously positive side we can all understand.
by vbo on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 09:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago - Slashdot
"Professor Gerald "Jerry" Crabtree of Stanford's Crabtree Laboratory published a paper (PDF) that has appeared in two parts in Trends in Genetics. The paper opens with a very controversial suggestion: 'I would be willing to wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions.' From there, Crabtree speculates we're on the decline of human intelligence and we have been for at least a couple millennia. His argument suggests agriculture and, following from that, cities, have allowed us to break free of some environmental forces on competitive genetic mutations -- a la Mike Judge's theory. However, the conclusion of the paper urges humans to keep calm and carry on, as any attempt to fix this genetic trend would almost certainly be futile and disturbing."

I thought of your diary instantly when I read this on Slashdot this morning.  This longer trend, if it exists and it very likely does, should concern us even more than our constant fixation on the latest new and shiny toy of the week.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:20:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What about the average citizen of Sparta?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:22:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting stuff.
by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Headline should be: Paper suggest civilization makes teh stupid, proposes study.

As the author finally notes:

If the above argument is correct one would predict that individuals in undisturbed hunter gather societies would be more intellectually capable than those of us in more modern, urban, distributive societies.

Which has not been studied.

And his concept of isolated hunters that dies quickly if they fail the hunt as opposed to todays Wall Street bankers that gets a bonus instead, misses that the social game is also part of hunter-gatherers societies.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is all thinly disguised social Darwinism with an afterthought repudiation of Eugenics.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:55:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That thought crossed my mind too.  Those of an um, shall we say eugenicist persuasion would know exactly what to make of those findings, if they are real.  I imagine that's what the last sentence of the quotation is about.  I don't think that was the author's intention, but there are those who would use it to further their agendas.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:06:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what to make of those findings

What are the findings, exactly? That's the issue here, it's pure speculation based on extrapolating numbers of genes and mutation rates.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 09:49:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I used the term loosely.  His findings, his theories, his speculations, whatever you want to call them.  When I saw the post on Slashdot it seemed relevant to the discussion.

It's hardly an original idea.  I've wondered about it myself, and I doubt I'm alone in that.  Is it possible or likely that modern science and technology have made it possible for members of our species who are less robust from a survivability standpoint -- however you choose to define or measure that -- to survive and propagate, and in doing so move the overall numbers downward?

Purely anecdotal and so conclusive of nothing, I am a walking example of the question.  I carry not one but two genetic defects that, probably before the industrial revolution and almost certainly before the agricultural revolution, would have severely curtailed my expected life span.  And in so doing, substantially lessened the likelihood that I would have produced offspring, and if I had that I would have lived long enough to ensure that they got a good start in life and so lived to reproduce themselves.

For me the question is not academic.  I have wrestled with the ethics of possibly passing on those defects to my two sons. In my case the question is not lessening of intelligence -- we all seem to score a smidge above average on the typical mental aptitude tests -- but on the issue of physical robustness.  I wouldn't have made it through adolescence as a paleo bison hunter.  Probably not much past it as a neolithic agriculturist.  So, am I contributing, not to the dumbing down but maybe to the wimping down, of the human gene pool?

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 11:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
His findings, his theories, his speculations, whatever you want to call them.

No, it does matter what you call them. You can make up an infinite number of self-consistent hypotheses, but you first need to confront them with reality to take them seriously. Your own estimation that the trend "very likely does" exist needs a basis, too.

less robust from a survivability standpoint -- however you choose to define or measure that

Again, it matters very much how you choose to define that. Especially if we consider what Darwinian fitness means: it's not some innate quality, as in the imagination of Social Darwinists, but a function of the environment (in the widest sense of the word; one could also use "niche"), which in our case has been and is being modified heavily by culture.

I carry not one but two genetic defects that, probably before the industrial revolution and almost certainly before the agricultural revolution, would have severely curtailed my expected life span.

But we are not before the industrial and agricultural revolutions, so you are speaking about an imaginary "survivability". You then build an ethical dilemma atop this imaginary fitness. If physical robustness is not a trait with a greater value of fitness now, then why do you want it? (In fact, already our pre-agricultural-revolution ancestors were less robust than Neanderthals.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:12:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, vbo.  I seem to have dragged the discussion rather far afield from the original subject of you diary.  My apologies, it was not intentional.

I'll shut up now.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:35:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No worries, it's perfectly OK.
by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 05:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Err, sorry DoDo.  I thought I was answering vbo.  I seem to have exceeded my intellectual capacity for the day.

Now I'll shut up.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?

by budr on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 05:10:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope that is isn't too off topic, but as I was walking back from the gym yesterday I had a thought.

Google Scholar is nice in that it allows people to search academic papers quickly, but it seems sort of clumsy.

How nice would it be to have a website that cataloged articles by independent and dependent variables, methodology, and the like?

I was thinking about the relationship between population density and political leanings, which I think would be hard to locate an article on using Google scholar as it stands now.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 05:50:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Island of Doctor Moreau?

H.G. Wells' literary product largely consisted of a series of fictive attempts to explore how technology might or technologists might save humanity. In the end he concluded that this was not likely in Mind at the End of Its Tether.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but like most people, I only saw what I wanted to see...

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 03:22:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Science and technology are two-edged swords.  They are not good or evil in themselves, only in how we choose to use them.  They may yet solve most if not all our problems, but only if we use them wisely -- if we understand clearly which edge we are using.  

True...but can we control ourselves? Especially when capitalist propaganda ( especially TV in very perfidious way , etc.) is pushing us toward THEIR goal of consumerism at all cost...  
by vbo on Tue Nov 13th, 2012 at 10:44:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, that is the question.  At some level it has always been the question.  Do we choose the welfare of the many or the desires of the privileged few?  The path of long term security or the gratification of the moment?  And as you suggest, all too often we choose the latter.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:32:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now while we are at it, let me tell you about Minecraft and my granddaughter and mine concerns. Minecraft (whatever it is and I do not have a clue) seems to be very addictive. See here:
http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1346295/11-year-old-addicted-to-minecraft
My granddaughter already spends a way too much time on a computer playing other games and now she discovered Minecraft. She also have something like mini play station that goes on line and that's where she plays it ( she also have her own computer at dads and here).I suspect that dad being IT engineer and computer fanatic allows her to spend way too much time on it ( as we do :(  because we can't keep her off it). Now that's not what bothers me that much because everyone said that Minecraft is great for creativity and imagination and knowledge, but tonight I heard (and she told me) that she is chatting with few friends of the friend from real life (those two she/we never met before in real life). One of the boys was 15 years old and she is just 11. How parents control what happens there? One can control emails and Skype (to extend) but this seems to be dangerous because you can't control who she is talking to I suppose...
And also cyber bullying is one of the things that scare me a lot after seeing one movie about it.
Now I am more involved with all those things because of our situation and other grandparents may probably enjoy their old age without knowing what's going on in cyber space :) ...
by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:01:05 AM EST
OMG...Look at this:
http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1346295/11-year-old-addicted-to-minecraft

I had to pull the plug on minecraft and ban it. Dd11 was addicted to it to the point she goes through withdrawals when off it and was having meltdown tantrums when I'd tell her to get off the game. It's pretty bad, she would demand to play from early morning until bedtime, refused to participate in family things, chores, schoolwork ect. She wouldnt even come away to get food and would literally starve unless I brought her food to eat at the computer and then forgot to eat half the time due to being absorbed in the game. She ignored my flat out order not to install minecraft on other computers and put it on all on them and even my phone. She refused to be without the game for even just a few minutes.

When I pulled the plug she started watching others play it on YouTube all day.

The end result? I had to take away the iPad and all computers now have a CMOS boot password and password protected screen savers that kick in in 1 minute. It's a full on addiction problem and it's not healthy. She expects to be entertained every second of every day and while yes the game meets that need limiting her to an hour a day did not work either so I banned it.

Oh yeah, I never PAID for the game yet she had full access, she learned on YouTube how to play for free which I'm pretty sure is illegal. She didn't understand the problem with pirating,

If she could limit her time on the game and remain civil as well as contribute to family life I'd be open to the game but just as with the Roblox game I had to ban it and take even more drastic action to cut her off. She has been in counciling a long time and even the counciler agreed it was time to pull the plug. Minecraft is not good or healthy IMO. Kids need to be active, not staring at a screen. We're about to go screen free again period (were for 3 years) if that's what it takes to get family life back.
 


Talking about addiction and ruined family life...honestly I can see it at my own house. All of us spend too much time on a computer...and mobile phones...
by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 08:27:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I have all the same technology at my home and choose not to spend so much time on it. There's alcohol here, too, but I don't drink 'til I pass out every day. (That sounds a little harsher than I meant it, and I DON'T mean it harshly).  My grandchildren have all the games and computers, etc., but their mom (my daughter) regulates their time on it with a very heavy hand. They read together every night. April of every year is named "Screen-free April."  

It really is "how you choose to use it" or how your parents choose for you.  The people who choose the way that's more work and more trouble (enforcing the rules with their kids and themselves, for instance) have better outcomes than others, is my guess. Yes, I agree that the advertising is awfully seductive, which is why parents ALSO have the burden of refusing to let their kids have all the soda and potato chips they want, but the ones who go to the trouble have the better outcomes.  jeebus, I sound prissy.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:25:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wife of Bath:
I sound prissy

But right.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 11:20:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In recent years, I met or read about multiple people who were disabused of their delusions about untarnished traditional country life by visiting some isolated traditional village community and noticing that people are drinking waaaay too much.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See, if they had to do an honest day's work in the field (factory, office), they wouldn't have time to get drunk (go to the nickelodeon, waste their time online).

You tell that to the young kids today ...


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 04:16:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the villages, the drinking too much part usually comes during celebrations (weddings) and in the autumn and winter when there is not much work to do; and it's not just the youth. One particular story that stuck in my mind were the older women who'd get 'secretly' drunk everyday while their husbands and sons were working out in the fields.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 06:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, yes people drink a lot in rural areas, I suppose everywhere, but I can only speak about Serbia. They get bloody drunk during weddings and other celebrations and yes they drink daily, (but most people not so much), cause where ever they go to visit they are served with "rakija" (plum brandy). And mostly man would get drunk. But...it is nothing comparing to this binge drinking that we can see here in Australia and there are a lot of young women that would get drunk to the point that they end up in ambulance or jail. It's pretty horrific (remember that photo that I posted?).
I am very sad to report that for new generation of young "villagers" in Serbia it's not alcohol abuse that is spreading...its drugs...and serious drugs like heroin etc. I am awed that even at those villages drugs are available at their door step and so many young people are using them. Where the hell it comes from is beyond my comprehension.  
by vbo on Thu Nov 15th, 2012 at 09:55:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, you are perfectly right in this but I applaud your daughter and others who had guts to enforce the rules with their children, because it is hard. In my time as a parent we were at least able to enforce rules up to the age of 15-17, but today children are either spoiled or simply more powerful (for some unknown reason) and that makes things much harder. As I am bickering about generation of my children ( now in their 30s)that I observe largely ,  being spoiled , having unrealistic expectations , being irresponsible etc. I just wonder what's going to happen with generation of my grandchild that I observe largely now...I call them little tyrants and do not know why this is happening to today's parents. Now there are exceptions but generally parents are not able to enforce rules that much. I can see how it works with my granddaughter that only recently accepted rules like brushing her teeth before bad and bad time on school days only...without making an argument every single day, ha-ha.  I see other parents are complaining about argument thing and I suppose they just give up at some point. It's a bloody battle that goes every single day for years so I feel for parents greatly.    
And with computer it was probably convenient at some point to have children on a computer instead of entertaining them all the time. When I was a kid we were playing outside with friends and neighbors every day, every minute possible except for homework time and dinner time. Today children need to have a play date to see their school and other friends and this mean that parents need to sacrifice their time ( so it is not possible during working days and on weekends is rear cause parents need to make some family time too and lot of house work needs to be done). And today children need to be entertained at all times or they are bored so computer seemed as good solution...until it become addiction.
That's my observation about children...With adults and computer addiction things are more serious :)
by vbo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 05:47:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too early to tell. Ask again in a generation or two.

As the sage said, "90 of everything is crud". Was true for pre-electricity writing, is and was true about television, is true about the internet.

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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 10:45:09 AM EST
Ack. Should have been "90%."


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 11:39:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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