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The Computer, the Entertainment Industry, and the Degenerating Modern Brain

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posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 06:55 PM
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A well-known thinker back in the 80s brought up this idea in a video I was watching, and I think it'd be well to expand on it. Keep in mind this was very soon after the advent of the computer, or at least public awareness of it.

The crux of the idea is this: in the past and still now for the most part, though this may quickly change, the brain is constantly active-- daily tasks and routines require it to think formulaically, memorize vast amounts of information, and rely on its own power of recall and recognition, and be able to quickly identify patterns and modify behavior. The brain is a computer, essentially, with its own programs and processing. Some computers are faster and more powerful than others, we know this. The fear, then, is that as our computers become faster and able to store more information, there's an inverse correlation with the capability of our own brains to remember and logically process things.

For example, at the start of the industrial revolution a man would have to read a schematic and, going by his own knowledge and memory, start production on,
say, the locomotive engine. There were no computers that could seamlessly create a 3-D scale diagram with exact measurements, and no robotic machinery to actually assemble the engine on the factory line. Everything was produced by hand on an assembly line, and every schematic first conceptualized in the human mind and put on paper by human hands.

Or go back even further to the prehistoric era: memory and a sharp mind were essential to survival. Getting the lay of the land, recalling landmarks and paths through the wilderness, identifying edible plant species, knowing the movements and tendencies of animal herds, tracking and hunting-- all this hinging on the sheer power of the human mind and an extensive reserve of first-hand knowledge and experience. All this in pre-literate peoples who had to rely solely on their own memories to survive.

Now, think about how much you actually have to remember to survive in modern times. If you work in an office, for example, you'll need to know how to drive a car to and from work, how to work a computer and use a spreadsheet, how to buy groceries, how to pay bills, etc. But how hard is all that, really? You have GPS to get you places, so you don't even need to know directions anymore. You pay with a credit card so you don't have to figure prices and count exact change. You don't have to remember mathematical formulas and do arithmetic for work, because your calculator and Excel do all that for you. You pay your bills online. You hardly have to use good penmanship because everything is done via keyboard and phone. You can look up the definitions of words and synonyms on google. You have reminders on your phone so you don't forget things.

Now this is where the entertainment industry comes into play. Pure entertainment and "spectacle" is more widespread than ever before in human history. For the placid modern mind, this is essential for people's sanity. They must be occupied with something, distracted by mummery and people emoting and acting out fantasized, unrealistic scripts that mimic human interaction to satiate people's need for socialization. The average office worker hardly needs to socialize and communicate with anyone at all to go about his daily tasks, and we are probably more emotionally isolated than ever before.

The result is that people become infantilized and incapable, and this happens very rapidly. The only alternative is to use all this newfound free-time to explore one's psychology and reach a sort of transcendent state by strict discipline and study. But this isn't likely to happen, it's much more likely that people's minds degenerate to the level of emotional children.

The truth of this is very obvious and if you try to flat out deny it, you just haven't thought hard enough.




posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

The only thing I will deny is that this is the first time in history.
IT happened in Rome, and likely happened before.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:03 PM
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originally posted by: randomtangentsrme
a reply to: Talorc

The only thing I will deny is that this is the first time in history.
IT happened in Rome, and likely happened before.



Yes it did. This whole process is accelerated now, though, and that just means this will all happen more precipitously and dangerously unless we do something about it.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:07 PM
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originally posted by: Talorc

originally posted by: randomtangentsrme
a reply to: Talorc

The only thing I will deny is that this is the first time in history.
IT happened in Rome, and likely happened before.



Yes it did. This whole process is accelerated now, though, and that just means this will all happen more precipitously and dangerously unless we do something about it.


The process is not accelerated.
But go ahead and scream the sky is falling



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:13 PM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Yes it is. Romans had advanced technology for their time, but nothing like the modern computer. Egro acceleration of the effects technology has on the human mind.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:14 PM
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I have a hard time even talking to people these days they are so empty and soulless



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

I'm not sure I had a fatal attraction to Quattro pro back in the 80's.
A spread sheet just does the boring work of correlating data cells via user defined formulas.
You might be right about our entertainment though, have we had any deep challenging box office hits lately?
Theoretically the web gives us all kinds of resources we can use to go back and read, search, and correlate the timeless classics.
People that choose hours to engage in superficial chat would not have spent time in the libraries back in the day.
Maybe we are just seeing more of the shallow engagements in forums that traditionally were inaccessible because technology has made that too easy?



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: toysforadults

Very appropriate name for this thread.

I am not a Luddite and I value functional and practical technology. But I mistrust any technology created only for human comfort and ease. Humans aren't meant to live easy lives, just like a dog shouldn't be penned up in a small enclosed space with nothing to do but eat and chew on rubber toys. It will develop numerous pathologies and neurotic behaviors. Humans who live too placidly and comfortably also develop many pathologies.

See population sink and "Mice Utopia" experiment for more information.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:38 PM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme
Are you kidding me?? A six year old in 1922 could give you directions to anywhere in town better and more accurately than the majority of today's teens and young adults. I hear high school kids joke about "I don't know the names of streets, I just follow what my GPS says teehee!!"

Yea, good luck listening to the GPS when your friends can't drive you home from the party cuz they are too drunk and your stranded. Whats even more pathetic, is that many teens don't even know the names of streets at major intersections near their own home! Although I find this problem more in the female demographic than males.

Having a good track of time is something that disappeared awhile ago too. I can be in the middle of the woods for hours but simply by looking at the sun and feeling the pace of time, I can guess really accurately, usually within 5-10 minutes.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 07:58 PM
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Brawndo, it's got electrolytes!

Sorry, that was the first thing I thought of reading your OP. The second thing I thought of is in regards to a book I'm currently reading called "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind". I'm not finished with it, but I think it's sort of heading where you are coming from. It hinted at some of what you point to in your OP, basically saying that prehistoric man was more knowledgable than the average modern human because of our societal amenities:


In other words, the average forager had wider, deeper and more varied knowledge of her immediate surroundings than most of her modern descendants. Today, most people in industrial societies don’t need to know much about the natural world in order to survive. What do you really need to know in order to get by as a computer engineer, an insurance agent, a history teacher or a factory worker? You need to know a lot about your own tiny ɹeld of expertise, but for the vast majority of life’s necessities you rely blindly on the help of other experts, whose own knowledge is also limited to a tiny ɹeld of expertise. The human collective knows far more today than did the ancient bands. But at the individual level, ancient foragers were the most knowledgeable and skilful people in history.

There is some evidence that the size of the average Sapiens brain has actually decreased since the age of foraging.5 Survival in that era required superb mental abilities from everyone. When agriculture and industry came along people could increasingly rely on the skills of others for survival, and new ‘niches for imbeciles’ were opened up. You could survive and pass your unremarkable genes to the next generation by working as a water carrier or an assembly-line worker


Good thread.
edit on 5-8-2017 by redtic because: fix formatting



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 08:21 PM
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Before computers became popular they needed a marketing ploy to incite interest among the masses.

How can we make money off a machine?

They ended up consulting game designers from Las Vegas who had perfected the art of drawing people into casinos and putting money in machines for 'pleasure'. They did it with slot machines, using flashing lights, moving machinery and loud sounds.

They suggested computer programmers write programs that would inspire people to come to a place and put money in machines. Thy called the the place a 'video arcade', and the machine a video game.

It had lights, sound and a goal, a goal to win the game.

Which was impossible, but kept people coming back again and again to try. They dint even need to pay out any money if you won.

Just endless levers, knobs and buttons to press to blinking flashing cacophony of light and sound....
it worked, once hooked everyone had to play, everyone wanted one in their home, bar or pool hall.

Now its generally accepted that everyone has a miniature version of this , endlessly button pushing, blinking and flashing.

Mind numbing...
edit on 5-8-2017 by intrptr because: spelling



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 08:23 PM
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originally posted by: worldstarcountry
a reply to: randomtangentsrme
Are you kidding me?? A six year old in 1922 could give you directions to anywhere in town better and more accurately than the majority of today's teens and young adults. I hear high school kids joke about "I don't know the names of streets, I just follow what my GPS says teehee!!"

Yea, good luck listening to the GPS when your friends can't drive you home from the party cuz they are too drunk and your stranded. Whats even more pathetic, is that many teens don't even know the names of streets at major intersections near their own home! Although I find this problem more in the female demographic than males.

Having a good track of time is something that disappeared awhile ago too. I can be in the middle of the woods for hours but simply by looking at the sun and feeling the pace of time, I can guess really accurately, usually within 5-10 minutes.


And you think this is different, Why?



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 08:27 PM
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originally posted by: Talorc
a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Yes it is. Romans had advanced technology for their time, but nothing like the modern computer. Egro acceleration of the effects technology has on the human mind.





Oh, please expound on this phenomena.
But be careful, I work at a university, so I do see today's youth, and peers to me in age, and folks older than me on a daily basis.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 10:40 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Well written s&f, just a few things

The computer also trains people. Imagine what people like Einstein would have been capable of achieving with a library like the internet at hands. Big Foot caught, UFO solved and we would know the truth about all of it.
Which is only half joking because people use it wrong, because their lifes are states of denial placated with shiny toys.
But imagine they wake up and start looking around, in theory you can study on the Internet, you can find lectures on everything, good stuff from Harvard profs etc...
The masses are the dumbest beast there is, because they never feel happy or if they do it's in situations removed from reality.
If we could spark curiosity and the urge to be creative, computers and 3d printers are a dream come true design wait a bit, there your new tool.

But all the entertainment industry does is create the feeling of "I don't belong here" it's just for the little ones and the elderly, most people's interest in music is: it has to be for free.
Which is a shame because there is some art branded as entertainment which is good.
The market is totally rigged tough by huge companies buying their own stuff to get radio and TV time. For their products. Payed.

I only meet people deeply unhappy with all of it. The trend is obviously true, there and real as you describe it, but it feels a bit fatalistic to immediately see doom ahead.



posted on Aug, 5 2017 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

The evolution of our self destruction. We are getting better and more efficient at manipulation and have almost perfected laziness. Is this the path of our evolutionary advancements.

What's the end of this?

What's the solution?

“Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch, but the diligent make use of everything they find.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬
bible.com...



posted on Aug, 6 2017 @ 06:07 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

I still remember when this crap came around. One of my close friends opened the first such club in the neighborhood. These were basically 5 machines in n a garage with bar that offered 4-5 typesof dinks only. His businesses went well for few years but then came the playstation and took the market over. I must say that I had the feeling back then while playing(MK or airofighter) that the knob has its own soul. Nowadays when I touch a keyboard there is no even a remnance of this feeling. I guess the knob got really a soul, considered the emotion that the hands of hundreds had passed into it, haha...



posted on Aug, 6 2017 @ 09:02 AM
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originally posted by: Talorc
A well-known thinker back in the 80s brought up this idea in a video I was watching, and I think it'd be well to expand on it. Keep in mind this was very soon after the advent of the computer, or at least public awareness of it.

The crux of the idea is this: in the past and still now for the most part, though this may quickly change, the brain is constantly active-- daily tasks and routines require it to think formulaically, memorize vast amounts of information, and rely on its own power of recall and recognition, and be able to quickly identify patterns and modify behavior. The brain is a computer, essentially, with its own programs and processing. Some computers are faster and more powerful than others, we know this. The fear, then, is that as our computers become faster and able to store more information, there's an inverse correlation with the capability of our own brains to remember and logically process things.

For example, at the start of the industrial revolution a man would have to read a schematic and, going by his own knowledge and memory, start production on,
say, the locomotive engine. There were no computers that could seamlessly create a 3-D scale diagram with exact measurements, and no robotic machinery to actually assemble the engine on the factory line. Everything was produced by hand on an assembly line, and every schematic first conceptualized in the human mind and put on paper by human hands.

Or go back even further to the prehistoric era: memory and a sharp mind were essential to survival. Getting the lay of the land, recalling landmarks and paths through the wilderness, identifying edible plant species, knowing the movements and tendencies of animal herds, tracking and hunting-- all this hinging on the sheer power of the human mind and an extensive reserve of first-hand knowledge and experience. All this in pre-literate peoples who had to rely solely on their own memories to survive.

Now, think about how much you actually have to remember to survive in modern times. If you work in an office, for example, you'll need to know how to drive a car to and from work, how to work a computer and use a spreadsheet, how to buy groceries, how to pay bills, etc. But how hard is all that, really? You have GPS to get you places, so you don't even need to know directions anymore. You pay with a credit card so you don't have to figure prices and count exact change. You don't have to remember mathematical formulas and do arithmetic for work, because your calculator and Excel do all that for you. You pay your bills online. You hardly have to use good penmanship because everything is done via keyboard and phone. You can look up the definitions of words and synonyms on google. You have reminders on your phone so you don't forget things.


A lot of what you describe here is actually a pretty amazing ability humans have to abstract problems into simpler tasks allowing us to do more complicated things. It's why we have all these things. There's just too many things out there to learn to know them all anymore. It may or may not be a good thing.



posted on Aug, 6 2017 @ 01:43 PM
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originally posted by: Argentbenign
a reply to: intrptr

I still remember when this crap came around. One of my close friends opened the first such club in the neighborhood. These were basically 5 machines in n a garage with bar that offered 4-5 typesof dinks only. His businesses went well for few years but then came the playstation and took the market over. I must say that I had the feeling back then while playing(MK or airofighter) that the knob has its own soul. Nowadays when I touch a keyboard there is no even a remnance of this feeling. I guess the knob got really a soul, considered the emotion that the hands of hundreds had passed into it, haha...


I was an addict too. I played thousands of quarters in these 'machines' , never realized any substantial reward, improvement in any faculty of mind or body, just got a lot poorer.



posted on Aug, 6 2017 @ 03:48 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Found some cool history and connections to gambling and the first coin operated games.


The coin-operated amusements industry, which developed jukeboxes, pinball machines, slots, gumball machines, and later video game cabinets, had its roots in gambling, a controversial industry in America.

Most states had laws against or heavily regulated gambling, but the slot companies quickly found ways around the prohibitions.

Gumball machines, for example, were used to sidestep state gambling laws against cash payout machines by offering gum as a prize, leading to widespread and long-standing distrust of vending machines by would-be regulators.

From the beginning, pinball machines were a subject of municipal debate revolving around one main question: whether or not pinball machines were "games of chance," which by definition meant that they were gambling devices.

As early as 1934, operators, game manufacturers, and distributors argued — most often unsuccessfully — that pinball was a game of skill, and not inevitably connected to gambling.

It was true, of course, that some early pinball machines manufactured by companies like Bally and Williams did offer a cash payout and also that early machines, which lacked bumpers and flippers, were largely luck-based endeavors. Cash payouts were quickly abandoned as it became clear that pinball and gambling weren’t a comfortable (or legal) match


Makes sense to star them young. I know when I would play Pinball and I got extended play or extra ball it felt like I won the lottery.

Now the same feeling occurs when you unlock a new level or power up. Heck my kids get all jazzed up just when Mincraft has new updates.

Thanks for the great insight.



posted on Aug, 6 2017 @ 04:58 PM
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We just lack the challenge of our environment, since we literally bulldoze everything in our wake. We have so much control over it that we literally have to try challenge ourselves, wether it be recreational or a nessecity to adaptation or change.

Our environment become more of a frustrating one with fleeting sense of rewards and risk, where it becomes a dope broken record.

Does wax on and wax off have any meaning anymore?

edit on 6-8-2017 by Specimen because: (no reason given)




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