Showing posts with label Dependence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dependence. Show all posts

November 28, 2018

Don't Just Sit There

Really liked this robot (Cubebot) in the store.

Love the colors and that you can change the pose in all different ways. 

This robot is pretty darn cute!

It's funny in this sitting position though.

Just want to say: 
Don't just sit there, do something!

Probably not that long before robots will be all over the place.

We'll wish for just a little privacy from the darn things, just like from our 24/7 computer gadgets that we can't let go of now.

Yes, we're hopelessly dependent on the technology--it's so helpful and we love it, but we can't turn it off. 

They won't be sitting for long. 

Robots--big and small, alone and in swarms, male and female, strong and intricate, smart and simple, worker and homemaker, doer and helper, companion and lover, where will it stop--it won't. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 2, 2018

Computer Sentiment 1984

So I found this book in an IT colleague's office. 

It's called: "The Unofficial I Hate Computer Book".

It was written in 1984, and like the George Orwell's book by that name, it is a dystopian view of technology. 

The back cover says:
Computer haters of the world unite: It's time to recognize and avenge the wonderful advances we've made thanks to computers--excessive eyestrain and headaches, irritating beeping noises, a one-ton printout where once there was a six-page report, a "simple" programming language you can't understand without five handbooks, a dictionary, and a math degree.
The book goes on with illustration after illustration of unadulterated computer hate and associated violence. 

- Dogs dumping on it (see cover)
- Contests to smash it with a hammer
- Hara-kiri (suicide with a knife) into it
- Skeet shooting computers that are flung into the air
- Shotput with a computer
- Tanks rolling over them
- Sinking it in water with a heavy anvil
- Boxer practicing his punches on it
- Setting it ablaze with gasoline
- And on and on, page after hate-filled page.

So in the last 34-years, have we solved all the annoyances and complexity with computers and automation?  

Do the benefits of technology outway the costs and risks across-the-board?

How do security and privacy play in the equation? 

I wonder what the authors and readers back then would think of computers, tablets, smartphones and the Internet and apps nowadays--especially where we can't live without them at all.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 23, 2017

No Smartphone, No Life

So we are utterly and helplessly dependent on our smartphones and mobile communications.

If our enemies strike our communications networks, we are as good as dead. 

Can you imagine the panic and chaos that would ensue?

Cut off from family, friends, and colleagues.

Unable to get unto the Internet!

No eCommerce. 

No online Banking. 

No social networking.

No easily and readily available information.

No online music, videos, or gaming.


No online (fake) news. 

As you see in the photo, under the smashed smartphone...it says, "Disaster"!

We wouldn't know what to do with ourselves. 

And we wouldn't know how to conduct ourselves by ourself. 

We are completely dependent on mobile communications and connectivity to each other.

Without, we wither and die. 

And G-d created the marvels of the Heaven and Earth in 6 days. 

But we have become so tethered and dependent on our technology, we are toast in just a split second. 

If we don't get serious about cybersecurity, and fast, there is going to be hell on Earth to pay. 

And not a single shot needs to be fired. ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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March 17, 2015

Everyday, A Catch-22

I took this photo of this guys' cool Catch-22 bag on the Metro in Washington, D.C. yesterday. 

Catch-22 was made famous in the book of the said name by Joseph Heller.

Essentially a Catch-22 is an unsolvable problem.

In the book for example, military servicemen in WWII can apply for a discharge if they are verifiably crazy, but the sheer act of applying for a discharge shows you are not crazy. 

Other examples of a Catch-22 are locking your keys in the car and you can't unlock the door to get them or losing your glasses but now you can't look for them.

In life, it seems like we are constantly facing Catch-22's, however not solving them is not an option...we must come up with a workable solution.

At work and in school, we compete to get ahead, yet we must team, cooperate, and collaborate with those very same folks that we are competing with. 

At home with children, we need to teach our children often difficult lessons of right and wrong, patience, discipline, and safety, even while we have overflowing feelings of love for them and just want to hug them and give in to them. 

With spouses, as our love and lives build over the years, we grow together and become ever more interdependent on our partners, yet we need to maintain some healthy independence and self at the same time. 

With career, are we advance ourselves so that we can provide well for our families, we must balance work-life, so that we aren't just bringing home a paycheck, but are actually emotionally there for our loved ones. 

The list of life's conundrums goes on and on, but rather than throw up our hands in defeat, we have to fight on and come up with solutions that are best fit to the challenges we face...there is no discharge just because you feel crazed or need to confront something hard...you need to solve the dilema and then you can go home. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 21, 2012

Stark Raving Internet Crazy

An article in the Daily Beast/Newsweek called "Is the Web Driving Us Mad?" postulates that we are addicted to the Internet by virtually every definition of the word. 

Physically:
- "Americans have merged with their machines"--literally starring at computer screen "at least eight hours a day, more time than we spend on any other activity, including sleeping."
- Most college students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world."


Psychologically:
- "Every ping could be a social, sexual, or professional opportunity" so we get a (dopamine) reward for getting and staying online.
- Heavy internet use and social media is correlated with "stress, depression, and suicidal thinking" with some scientists arguing it is like "electronic cocaine" driving mania-depressive cycles. 


Chemically:
- "The brains of Internet addicts...look like the brains of drug and alcohol addicts."
- Videogame/Internet addiction is linked to "structural abnormalities" in gray matter, namely shrinkage of 10 to 20% in the areas of the brain responsible for processing od speech, memory, motor control, emotion, sensory, and other information,."
- The brain "shrinkage never stopped: the more time online, the more the brain showed signs of 'atrophy.'"


Socially:
- "Most respondents...check text messages, email or their social network 'all the time' or 'every 15 minutes.'
- "Texting has become like blinking" with the average person texting (sending or receiving) 400 times3,700 times!
- "80% of vacationers bring along laptops or smartphones so they can check in with work while away."
- "One in 10 users feels "fully addicted' to his or her phone," with 94% admitting some level of compulsion!


At the extreme:
- "One young couple neglected its infant to death while nourishing a virtual baby online."
- "A young man bludgeoned his mother for suggesting he log off."
- "At least 10...have died of blood clots from sitting too long" online. 


These are a lot of statistics, and many of these are not only concerning, but outright shocking--symptoms of bipolar disorder, brain shrinkage, and murderous behavior to name a few.

Yet, thinking about my own experiences and observations, this does not ring true for the vast majority of normal Internet users who benefit from technology intellectually, functionally, socially, and perhaps even spiritually. 

Yes, we do spend a lot of time online, but that is because we get a lot out of it--human beings, while prone to missteps and going to extremes, are generally reasoned decision-makers

We aren't drawn to the Internet like drug-abusers to cocaine, but rather we reach for the Internet when it serves a genuine purpose--when we want to get the news, do research, contact a friend or colleague, collaborate on a project, make a purchase, manage our finances, watch a movie, listen to music or play a game and more. 

These are not the benefits of a drug addict, but the choices of rational people using the latest technology to do more with their lives. 

Are there people who lose control or go off the deep-end, of course. But like with everything, you can have even too much of a good thing--and then the consequences can be severe and even deadly. 

Certainly people may squirrel away more often then they should for some un-G-dly number of hours at a computer rather than in the playground of life--but for the most part, people have taken the technology--now highly mobile--into the real world, with laptops, tablets, and smartphones being ubiquitous with our daily rounds at the office, on the commute, walking down the street, and even at the dinner table.  

Is this a bad thing or are we just afraid of the (e)merging of technology so deeply into every facet of lives?

It is scary in a way to become so tied to our technology that it is everywhere all the time--and that is one major reason why cyber attacks are such a major concern now--we are hopelessly dependent on technology to do just about everything, because it helps us to do them. 

From my perch of life, the Internet does not break people or attract broken souls except on the fringes; more typically it puts people together to achieve a higher individual and social aggregate capability then ever before.

If the pressure to achieve 24/7 would just come down a few notches, maybe we could even enjoy all this capability some more.

Now I just need to get off this darn computer, before I go nuts too!  ;-)

(Source Photo: here adapted from and with attribution to Cassie Nova)

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