A Great Divide: Part 1

In the rapidly developing age of computing and available consumer technologies, the world as we know it is changing.  “No duh,” as youths from Spud’s generation would say in sarcastic reaction to a remark that is much better experienced, not postulated.  Spud has a few words to say how technology and games are making us dumber, not smarter, faster or stronger.

This 2-part blog post will un-expertly and un-academically highlight a great divide in the “gains” generated by the advancement of technology, especially information technology – on one ledge you have the positive contributions by technology to the advancement of human civilization, and then a complete waste of time, anguish and even money at the other.

(Disclaimer: The literature below comes from the sole opinions and thoughts of Alpha Spud.  Agree and disagree if you must, but while Spud is prone to generalize, he does not mean to discriminate, segregate or stereotype any specific individual or group in society.  Spud also does not aim to win the Pulitzer nor claims any skill with the pen, but appreciates your time in reading!)

Part 1. Technology is Changing for the Worse

History has taught us that great advances in human creativity and ingenuity have helped fuel our desire to do and acquire more and more in less time, and physical/financial cost.  Times like the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and even world wars have all given a technological boost to human civilization.  Then we come to the information age, where technology on the surface appears to give us so much freedom from time and labor saved, while on the other side of that coin, it enslaves us.

Some scenarios come to mind:

  • You save up a few paychecks to buy a new computer, and when you do, the next the month a better one comes out and yours is obsolete.  How were you supposed to know? You’re not a PC industry know-it-all!
  • The mobile phone you got yesterday will not support the newer faster OS that its successor is planned to have in 10 months. And you just signed a 24-month installment payment plan, too…
  • You spend 5 years getting used to Windows XP and Office 2003, then they roll out with the embarrassing Office 2007 and announce service to XP will stop in the near future. You then go on Facebook to make a list of software programmers to axe…
  • Your favorite social networking site will install a privacy protection protocol at the cost of you having to customize your “privacy settings” yourself and ensuring your friends are who they say they are. “Lord, take me now…”

Technological advancement no longer simply waits around until civilization needs an evolutionary shot in the arm.  This is especially so when it comes to IT.  You might create some free time by using innovations like email, video teleconferences, online ticket reservations, etc. and then pursue other productive activities in the home or the office – but what if the exact opposite is happening?

While technical literacy of course requires some time to develop, Spud doesn’t think the great divide is being caused directly by people’s ability to accommodate IT concepts into their daily thought process.  However, Spud strongly thinks today’s frontrunners in technological research, development, and distribution (technical, political and business elites) are constantly pulling us in and out of what could potentially be “IT nirvana” – a situation where users can be free from IT-related suffering.  Time spent dealing with unexplainable errors and BSoDs, being mocked by techies for being a dumb consumer, unclear user manuals, all keep us in the love-hate relationship with something we should be smart enough as a society to perfect and diffuse. But no, we are always at odds with imperfect IT products, patches, updates, with no solace and in many cases occurs before we can enjoying their benefits.  We haven’t reached “IT nirvana” and probably won’t as long as we keep cranking out IT technology at the current rate.  Spud thinks this sucks.  Spud spits on Moore’s Law.

This ledge of the great divide has moved quite a distance from its more positive counterpart.  Coming in Part 2:  The upside of the IT wave and a possible bridge over the “great divide”

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~ by Red 5 Standing By on June 25, 2010.

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