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The Computer An Artificial Utility

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posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:15 PM
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www.debate.org...

An interesting link about a debate on if we really need computers.

I'll open it to you all.

Do we need computers?

I use mine to shop online, check bank accounts, post stupid stuff and opinions on websites, check in with old military buddies, teach my son.

That's it.

I could go actual shopping.
My bank is a 5 minute drive, plus my financial advisor is in the same building.
A phone call would connect me with my old pals.
Libraries and books would serve to teach my son.

And who really gives a crap what I say?

Do we really need computers or have we just gotten lazy? We use our phones for videos, games, and calculators.

We have a vast amount of knowledge at our fingertips, yet we watch cat videos.

Our wisdom, in my opinion, has decreased.

We have grown dependent on our little computer boxes. We have walled ourselves off under the pretense of connecting more. We have more knowledge but less wisdom.

We have become smart monkeys with shinier tools. And all we do if have a better way to fling cyber poo at each other.


I remember a time before computers. Dinosaurs ruled the earth, people died of the consumption, horse and buggies were the main modes of transportation, and we burned witches at the stake.


Has the world become better with computers?

We still fight wars. Diseases still run rampant. Children still go hungry. People still die.

Sure, we can see more, "care" more. Until the next disaster or the next lion gets killed or the next refugee looks sad.

But has it bettered us?

Are we better? Have we evolved?

Are we better off?

Things are easier. But identity theft is a worry now. Hackings, scams, (still waiting on that 10 mil from the Prince in Nigeria), and opinions rule the bandwidths.

If I added up all the time that I had used on the computer constructively, it'd be about 15 minutes/week.

The rest is personal. Fluff. Things that don't matter much.

Yeah, a bit hypocritical, writing this down on a computer and spreading it about the bandwidths of cyber space.

*shrugs*

C'est la vie!





posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:22 PM
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We don't hypothetically need them. But I would assume that if we want technology to continue foward, as well as global information sharing, they are a must. Like anything they can be used for good or bad, make some productive, consume others. Dicipline is needed for sure.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:25 PM
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I don't bank, vote or text, I don't even own a 'pooter.

But I'm addicted to this one, how else am I going to find out the truth?



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:29 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

I don't bank, vote or text, I don't even own a 'pooter.

But I'm addicted to this one, how else am I going to find out the truth?


What will you do when you find "the truth"?



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:30 PM
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originally posted by: iTruthSeeker
We don't hypothetically need them. But I would assume that if we want technology to continue foward, as well as global information sharing, they are a must. Like anything they can be used for good or bad, make some productive, consume others. Dicipline is needed for sure.


99% of us aren't developing new tech. As for global information sharing? What are we sharing?



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:33 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy

originally posted by: intrptr

I don't bank, vote or text, I don't even own a 'pooter.

But I'm addicted to this one, how else am I going to find out the truth?


What will you do when you find "the truth"?


I do, everyday. Its not any 'be all truth', its the truth amid the lies they tell everyone.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:47 PM
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I'm not convinced coming to a place like ATS will get me at the truth. There's more uninformed opinion here than anything useful. But yes, I have gown used to computers, and living without the would be difficult. I've cut down my driving by an amazing amount because I shop with the screen. Financial transactions would be extremely slow without computers. I suppose I could go back to driving a 1948 Chevrolet that got 10 mpg, but as far as I'm concerned, that would be living a primitive life that I would rather not revisit. I'm grateful to be living right now.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:52 PM
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Yes we need computers. Otherwise I'll have to talk more with........my wife!



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
If I added up all the time that I had used on the computer constructively, it'd be about 15 minutes/week.

The rest is personal. Fluff. Things that don't matter much.


It's not the fault of the computer that you're incapable of using it efficiently.

Thanks to computerized equipment, productivity has increased exponentially. The cost to produce goods has plummeted, the quantity of goods for sale (and thus the amount we can buy) has skyrocketed. Digital products have pushed us very close to being a post scarcity society. Email has reduced the time and cost of communications. Spreadsheets have made business calculations that used to take weeks take seconds. 3d printing has created mobile on demand factories. Just in time manufacturing has made and endless stream of goods with no overhead costs. Streaming video has created on demand entertainment. Digital publishing has made it so anyone can publish a book. Barriers to entry on all types of jobs have been reduced or eliminated.

Computers have revolutionized human society in a way that no object ever has, except for maybe the printing press.


originally posted by: DBCowboy
99% of us aren't developing new tech. As for global information sharing? What are we sharing?


Maybe you should develop new tech then?

As for what we're sharing... for one, we're sharing our thoughts. Every great leap forward in human innovation has been powered by an advance in the ability to publish our thoughts. Telegraph, telephone, internet, printing press, parchment, vellum, paper, pens, pencils, and more. The computer is another stage in that evolution.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:02 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

Do I NEED a computer? No. But the ease that it brings to my life makes it pretty important.

First, i do accounting work. Doing this work without the benefit of a database to house my GL's in, or Excel to run complex sumproduct arrays in would take tasks that I can do within minutes and make it take days. That isn't an embellishment. As an example, for insurance open enrollment I was able to use lookups with Excel to match up various employee information from 3 separate databases and upload the enrollment into our pay system, which allows the carrier to automatically pull the data into their systems and complete the enrollment. Having to do it manually for the 1000 or so folks in the company would have taken a few days. Using formulas for lookup and error proofing allowed me to complete the task in about 30 minutes.

As far as pleasure goes, i could live without it fairly easy. The biggest loss to me would be having access to information at a moments notice. I get curious about things, and like to look up answers as questions come up.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:06 PM
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as someone who grew up in a small town feeling very unusual, i would be sad without the internet. it's put me in touch with people all over the world and given me a sense of community i never had before.

as for doing all that crap on my phone instead, i don't have a smartphone yet. i know, i must be the last one...

and my current job search would be a lot harder right now without the internet. maybe nearly impossible, at this point. i'm guessing it's been a while since OP had a job hunt?



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:09 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

Do you mean just computers or the internet as well?

Internet has become such a huge (essential) part of everyday life that I don't think we could live without it. A computer, I can live without. Internet, not so much.

Beyond connecting the entire world socially (and even this is debatable), I don't see how the computer has helped us at all. It has only made us more lazy, more entitled, more pseudo-intelligent, and if you think about it, less human. It's like the most addictive drug and we are all strung-out zombies.

But this is the life we are living now, and unless you want to live as a hobbit, we will all continue typing on our boxes and pretending we are mad at the world.



I am so mad, I want to scream at the sky!



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:12 PM
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I lived in a disabled household.
We can't afford a car even in our small town on our limited budget.
The bus system is virtually nonexistent.
We can barely afford pay as you go phones.

We do our banking online, as well as pay bills, and being able to have goods and services delivered is a godsend on my knees and ankles. My husband only leaves the house to walk across the street two blocks for groceries, and spends most of his free time watching machining and woodworking videos or playing computer video games.

For us, computers are a way to socialize, learn about the world and keep in touch with family members.

So in our circumstance, yes....computers are a necessity.

I would think for other housebound individuals on limited incomes they are as well.


edit on 11/22/17 by GENERAL EYES because: spelling edit



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:14 PM
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originally posted by: fiverx313
as someone who grew up in a small town feeling very unusual, i would be sad without the internet. it's put me in touch with people all over the world and given me a sense of community i never had before.

as for doing all that crap on my phone instead, i don't have a smartphone yet. i know, i must be the last one...

and my current job search would be a lot harder right now without the internet. maybe nearly impossible, at this point. i'm guessing it's been a while since OP had a job hunt?

.
Your first point was a critical one for me.

I didn't just feel unusual, i am unusual. I know it, and am cool with people not digging me for being an odd duck. I've gotten better the older I am, but socially awkward is the path I walk.

WIthout the internet, prior to moving to Central Texas, I never had anyone to talk to. The viewpoints I was exposed to were myopic and lacked the depth of insight that I needed. The internet fixed that.

But the internet will continue to degrade in quality as accessibility continues to grow.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:27 PM
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Computers in some ways have actually made us dumber. It causes your mind to atrophy imho. Yes, the conveniences of having information at your fingertips are invaluable, but at the same time it makes us really vulnerable and unable to function without a computer.

It is almost like having an exoskeleton that makes you really strong but because you use it so much, your real muscles become weak and without the exoskeleton you can barely function.

Think of all the people who can't make change in their heads or leave a tip without a calculator.

People can't use a paper map or an encyclopedia. Who remembers using library cards?

I can barely remember phone numbers now because they are all stored on autodial in my cell phone. I used to remember like 20 different phone numbers.

It is not even just computers, but basic things like cooking. Fixing a flat tire. A lot of the things most people could do, most can no longer because services or technology have eliminated the need....

Until that EMP strikes that is...



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:28 PM
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originally posted by: knowledgehunter0986
I don't see how the computer has helped us at all.


Computerized fuel intake systems in your car have added an average of 17MPG in the last two decades saving you thousands upon thousands of dollars in gas costs.

That's a very simple one, and the first thing that popped into my head.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: DBCowboy

I depend on my computer for business purposes.

Without it, my business and the work I do would be nearly impossible.

Even though I'm officially retired, I still do some contract work for small businesses around town as a way of subsidizing my pension funds to make a little extra 'fun money' for myself. The idea of going back to pencil and paper with small business accounting and filing tax returns ? No thanks. I'd rather pick the lint out of my belly button and knit socks with it.

I also make and sell goods online (some of those goods are also digital graphics made with said computer). Living in a small town out in the middle of no man's land and only selling my crafted wares locally would drastically reduce my customer base down to next to nothing.

As for using our computers for entertainment purposes, online banking, online shopping, etc. Yes, any of those things can be replaced with going back to the old way of doing stuff we've done most of our lives before computers came along...

But I've grown accustomed to not having to spend $60-$100 in fuel driving two hours to the nearest city to do my shopping. 99% of my Christmas shopping this year was all done online... saving myself a ton of time, no fighting with traffic, and no murdering of idiots cutting in line at the stores.

My computer saved peoples' lives this year.




posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:32 PM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
Computers in some ways have actually made us dumber. It causes your mind to atrophy imho. Yes, the conveniences of having information at your fingertips are invaluable, but at the same time it makes us really vulnerable and unable to function without a computer.


This is a well studied concept, it has nothing to do with computers specifically and rather has to do with storing information. Before people could read and write, they remembered stories, documents, etc... much better. With written storage memories declined. A quick example here (which you mentioned) in recent years is phone numbers, it wasn't all that long ago that we remembered hundreds of numbers for people. Now we just press a name to quick dial.

That doesn't necessarily mean we're dumber though. Outside of Jeopardy contestants, do we measure intelligence by the trivia a person knows? I would argue that rather than spending the time memorizing something, and suffering the consequences of not memorizing it, our brainpower has been freed up for other endeavors.



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:46 PM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Your first point was a critical one for me.

I didn't just feel unusual, i am unusual. I know it, and am cool with people not digging me for being an odd duck. I've gotten better the older I am, but socially awkward is the path I walk.

WIthout the internet, prior to moving to Central Texas, I never had anyone to talk to. The viewpoints I was exposed to were myopic and lacked the depth of insight that I needed. The internet fixed that.


cheers! central illinois here but essentially the same story. i don't know what i would have done without exposure to the wider world.


But the internet will continue to degrade in quality as accessibility continues to grow.


that's the real catch-22. i'm glad to see accessibility grow, but that means the internet is becoming more like real life... gotta wade through 200 people you don't get at all to find one you kinda do. but things keep evolving, and i'm sure i can still find the real weirdos



posted on Nov, 22 2017 @ 02:47 PM
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originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: Edumakated
Computers in some ways have actually made us dumber. It causes your mind to atrophy imho. Yes, the conveniences of having information at your fingertips are invaluable, but at the same time it makes us really vulnerable and unable to function without a computer.


This is a well studied concept, it has nothing to do with computers specifically and rather has to do with storing information. Before people could read and write, they remembered stories, documents, etc... much better. With written storage memories declined. A quick example here (which you mentioned) in recent years is phone numbers, it wasn't all that long ago that we remembered hundreds of numbers for people. Now we just press a name to quick dial.

That doesn't necessarily mean we're dumber though. Outside of Jeopardy contestants, do we measure intelligence by the trivia a person knows? I would argue that rather than spending the time memorizing something, and suffering the consequences of not memorizing it, our brainpower has been freed up for other endeavors.


No doubt we are smarter in some ways, but I think dumber in that we are losing our ability to function WITHOUT technology.




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