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Black Mirror, again

Prof Goldberg commented on one of my blog posts and asked me what the alternative would be to being a battery.  I was saying we’re all “batteries” helping to keep technology alive (Black Mirror).

What could the alternatives be? I don’t see many. I mean whichever way you choose to live your life can’t be said to be wrong. The key word there is CHOOSE though.

I think were getting farther and farther beyond actually having a choice. In order to “succeed” as most people would define it, you can’t have much of a choice. You must embrace technology and become a battery, or better yet, help turn people into batteries (IT, marketing, corporate jobs, etc.).  So what then? Is there an alternative to becoming a battery, finding ourselves in a fat not unlike that of Black Mirror?

Of course there is. We could all give up our phones and get away from tech stuff. Stop going to work, and all live on the land. Yea, 1/2 of us would die of starvation, but we’d make it.

The crappy thing about this is that, as prof Goldberg said, the people in Black Mirror weren’t exactly unhappy.  If they weren’t un happy then why are we fighting back? That’s probably why we aren’t exactly fighting back as it is today. I think if the economy doesn’t improve and we don’t shift back to locally owned small business we’ll find ourselves in a hard spot. I think modern technology is only perpetuating a cycle of big companies dominating small locally owned businesses. If this keeps on gong I see us right where Black Mirror takes place.

What a situation, accept the Black Mirror fate or go back to 1980.

Hahahaha, like we even have a choice. I don’t think we have much say. We’re being bombarded 24/7 with advertisements, suggestions, movies we should watch, etc. it feels impossible to ignore.

I don’t have a solution! I don’t know what to do, if there is anything.

Life without the internet

It’s funny. I just posted about how attached we are to Facebook, and my gf daughter and my phone. Then I was thinking about the last few days. I’ve been staying at the GF’s house and she, crazy, I know, doesn’t have the internet. I’ve been going absolutely crazy!! No online games, no Facebook, I work online so I’m getting behind, and misc information. I wanted to get a new TV and couldn’t look any of them up. I wanted to check CraigsList and couldn’t. It feels like I couldn’t do anything. Think about that. I just said “without the internet, I couldn’t do anything.” That’s the crazy thing. I’m so attached to the internet that it legitimately feels like I can’t do anything.

I’m wondering if this is normal though. With respect to the times we’re in I think my attachment to technology is just as bad as people’s infatuation with it through the history of man. We’ve always been interested in the new thing. And if a product revolutionized something, we always take advantage of it.

The internet is so relied on it makes me think of slaves. I think we talked about this in class. Slaves were used forever to get work done. The internet isn’t exactly our slave. It doesn’t have feelings or isn’t “alive”. But I honestly think it could still revolt. Now that’s scary.

My phone

I’m watching my GF’s little girl tonight. She can’t get enough of my phone. At first I thought it was bad. Like, she’s already too exposed. But then I began to really think about it. We’re not any different than people from 1900. We have different ethical standards, etc. But when it comes to things that make life easier they were just as for it as we are. I was even thinking if you handed a 4 year old from 1900 my phone I think they would still be as amazed by it as the ones are today. They might not realize what exactly it is, or talk on it for play, but they would still love it and be attached to it, I think.

SO does that make it ok? I still don’t think so. We’ve restricted her tv time and her games time and everything. She doesn’t mind, she likes playing outside and hanging with us just as much as anything else. But I wonder what the children that aren’t restricted will end up like? What if a real world shattering disaster really comes? Say something crazy happens and all electronics are wiped out, like a worldwide emp (somehow, i don’t know). Would 1/2 the population even survive? if we did make it would we just go right back? It’s really crazy to think about.

Futurama

I’m sitting her watching Futurama. One of the main characters leila died and they brought her back as a robot. It’s pretty funny. It’s crazy thinking about how close we could actually come to this being a reality.  I mean I don’t think it would be too hard to put someones profile into a machine mixed with all their online history and make somewhat of a person.  Ha, it’s kind of funny to think about it.

Imagine if it was possible. There’d be so many ethical issues with making people out of robots. Would they still get rights? I feel like if we ever get to making robots that people own (like iRobot, not like a vacuum robot) there would be activist groups fighting for rights, and it wouldn’t be too long before people would want to marry them and all kinds of stuff. This makes me think about tons of other stuff, but ultimately brings me to a question.  Just because we can does that mean we should? It’s tough to see the line. I feel like we’re already on it, and we’re about to fall over. Pretty soon we’ll have cars driving themselves. What happens when a kid walks out in front of one of those cars and gets killed? who’s responsible? :/

FB

When my group and I were making our presentation I was looking into how addicted to facebook the US is. The stats were startling (http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/facebook-statistics-stats-facts-2011/). At first I didn’t think they were accurate. My roommates and I were hardly on facebook, only one or two times a day. Then I came back to Nebraska. I noticed my GF checking FaceBook while she driving!! I was amazed that it was that important to some people. Then I took a really hard look around, snuck a few peeks at peoples phones as I was walking around and noticed they were all on FaceBook too.

I think it’s going a bit too far.  I don’t understand why people are this into it. I challenged my GF to take a day off facebook. She said she could do it no problem, but I don’t think she could really do it. We’ll see and I’ll post if she makes it. I took a whole day off yesterday, it was no problem for me 🙂 but I think others might have real trouble with it.

Could anyone reading this do it?

Stanford Prison Experiment

I saw the stanford prison experiment on the main blog page and thought about how that could relate to this class.

The stanford prison experiment was mostly about roles. When a person is placed in a role they tend to become that role, sometimes a stereotype, sometimes what they think that role should be, but ultimately, if they let it, that role can envelop them.  This was demonstrated in the stanford prison experiment and was an extreme example in that study.

This applies to digital america in a profound way.  If a person takes on a role online what does that do to them as a person? It really depends, in my opinion, how seriously that person takes the role can really have an affect on their life. Who knows how do much these online games have on people?  What if you put something in your profile (I am a rock climber)? would that make you more apt to do something if you say you do it? What if you say you love techno music but you only listen to it every so often. Would you listen more often because you put that on your profile?  If that’s true are our profiles shaping us as people? Is my Level 50 Jedi Knight actually making me a more righteous person? Is my level 50 Sith warrior making me a devious person?

 

Addicted

This song is great. It’s only one facet of how addicet we all seem to be addicted to technology. My group, for the final project, proposed the challenge- Can you go a day without your phone? For 99% of people the answer is no. No way. We are all “addicted to our iPhones”. I know I am.

The real question to me is- Is this ok? I think it’s alright actually. People are naturally adaptive. It’s here now and we use it. If we didn’t we’d be so far behind it would be pointless to give it up. We use our phones and technology for everything and, while it’s around, we should. I think it’s ok. Use the tools available to live, that’s fine. Like I said, we are naturally adaptive. If everything would go down I think we would be fine. The ones who wouldn’t be fine wouldn’t make it, lol, which is ok with me 🙂

 

LMFAO

Seriously?

I can’t believe people would take this seriously. Make an avatar, and go find people to date online. Sounds normal, but when it’s a 3d avatar like the one in the video it’s a little misleading. Did anyone notice how ALONE this person is?

First of all she’s perfect, gorgeous (for an avatar, lol) and she’s doing everything alone! I think this kind of stuff is ridiculous. I know sometimes it’s hard to go and meet people but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Dating online is necessary for some people. People with high impact jobs and very little free time, etc. But if you have the time to create an avatar and get online and play a game or something with the purpose of looking for someone to date you’ve got time to go to a coffee shop and say hi to someone you are ACTUALLY attracted to. I mean C’mon.

The Good Life

I saw this on how to live the good life.

I thought at first that it would say dumb stuff (dumb to me!), typical stuff you find online about “making the most of everyday” and how to “live with god” and stuff like that, but this article was much different.  It was much more… Based in reality. I liked the list a lot. My favorite thing on the list was #1- Slow Down. I’m that guy that my friends always come to with problems. Usually I end up telling them to slow down and think things through and they discover that there problem isn’t that big and manageable.  It’s really amazing what a person can accomplish when they think things out and go about using their time effectively.

My second favorite was #3, be self sufficient. Now that is much easier said than done, but when it’s done it’ll change your life. when you don’t have to ask for help or need assistance with things you are overall much happier. It’s tough because getting there is tiring and full of errors. The first time you, say, register your car all alone, takes a while. but once you do it you’re done and can do it again and the next time it’ll be easier. Same goes with hooing up your internet, making some complicated dinner, or anything!! I took this initiative a long time ago, when I was around 20, and haven’t looked back. Now I’m the advice giver and not the asker, which just makes life better 🙂

 

 

Technology, a Religion?

Religion, as a term, has many definitions. In the past a religion has had many different forms. There were people forced into religions, there were even religions that were law. In today’s society it is not so. Today religion, as commonly defined, is:

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. (Dictionary.com). I think most people would agree with this definition.
Is technology, as a whole, a Religion?
This argument really lies in the definition of the word religion. If you define a religion as simply a practice of believes, rituals, etc., and only those things then, yes, you could say technology, as a whole, is a religion. We all participate in rituals, beliefs even in technology (Please forward this message or 5,000 Somalians are going to go hungry!!). But does that really, truly, make something a religion?
I think most people would say a religion tells you where you come from, spiritually and physically. It explains the beginning of the world/universe, as well as where we might be going. It gives us guidance on how to live in order to achieve whatever we wish to achieve upon death or while in this life. Technology can give us these things but only in the context of another preexisting religion.
To me calling technology a religion is like calling the bible, in itself, a religion. The bible is not a religion, it’s a tool to understand a religion.
A religion, in today’s society, is also a choice. You look at the religions available and choose one close to or exactly describing your beliefs about the world.  Technology is not a choice. Today technology is a means, for about everything.
Some people will say that’s all a religion is to, a means. The key question is: A means to what? Technology, is a means to progress in this world. A religion is a means to progress in this world and “the next” whatever a person believes that is.

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