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Technology: The New Opiate Of The Masses

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posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 05:28 PM
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An interesting article that I found today: linkie

The author's point seems to be that... like the introduction of addictive drugs to the market in previous generations, technology is changing the way we live in ways that may not be best for our overall survival:


It's still very early. We're still in the phase of expecting some even better technology to come along and save us from this problem. Programmers are creating "no procrastinate" options for their web sites in order to help users not spend so much time there. Programs are being written to track online time to show users where they are spending all of their energy. The new addictive program will eliminate the ills of the old one.

Meanwhile, people get fatter and fatter, unable to get around or physically accomplish normal chores from a 100 years ago. Intelligence is going down as fewer and fewer books are being read (news flash: the printed book industry is on the way out unless this trend stops), and social organizations like churches and civic clubs see fewer and fewer members attend their meetings. The skills that are increasing? Reflex time. Ability to solve abstract, short-timespan problems. Basically the skills we need to interact with our entertainment.


There's some mention of the eventual end of print media, and this little nugget:


People say that this is a good thing -- as technology evolves we will become trans-human: we will integrate in with machines and be able to process and work a thousand times faster than before.

This may be true. But if so, it would be a side-effect, not a direct result. That's like saying it'd be great to get hit by a train because you've always wanted a train ride. The driver here is the competition between various pieces of technology and brain-time. Whatever controls the most brain-time wins out evolutionarily over any other product, not matter how valuable it might be. World of Warcraft beats Wikipedia hands down. That driver will continue. It's foolish and pollyannish to think that somehow it'll all work out. Unless the conditions for the evolving threat cease, it will keep growing and adapting, no matter how much better, stronger, and faster we are.


I think that's a bit on the gloom-and-doom side, but... I also kind of think he has a point.

Technology is changing the way we work, live, and think--my husband recently pointed out that most of us have about a three minute cycle, these days, in which our brains have been trained by experience to crave novelty (refreshing webpages, checking email, receiving text messages or IMs) at regular intervals of about three minutes or so.

Makes it hard to pay attention to anything (like reading a book, creating art, doing homework, etc) for longer periods of time, and when we try... we're usually interrupting ourselves constantly during the attempt.

If the author is right, though, who benefits from the evolution of a slower, heavier, more distracted public? If the majority of us are hooked on novelty, technology, or entertainment, where would we find time to contribute to the world in which we live?

I'd love to stay and discuss this, but I just got a text message from my BFF Jill.


[edit on 7-2-2009 by quitebored]




posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 06:08 PM
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I see no value in living in a stagnant society. If we're going to all die out, it may as well be by something more interesting than waiting a few million years until the climate changes in ways we can't survive.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:22 PM
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Originally posted by mdiinican
I see no value in living in a stagnant society.


Neither do I, but is technology really the only way to measure Human progression?

Should technology be accepted just because it's technology?

I mean atomic bombs are/were technology, and look what that has done for us.

Its a shame that technology is only driven by war and profit. If it was really driven by the desire to improve the Human Race we would have got rid of oil years ago. We would be living in self-reliant, autonomous communities, instead of overly-competitive-survival-of-the-richest-monopolies.

Instead of blackberries in your hand, there would be blackberries in the bellies of starving children. Instead of cell phones, there would be solar cells on every rooftop. Instead of trillions spent on military technology we could have a better infrastructure.

So yeah it is just like heroin, as long as you get your technology fix it doesn't matter what the consequences are.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:23 PM
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Bfore I even read your thread, I have no idea what heroin is like, and for you to even suggest it, upsets me.

I am reporting this thread to the Mods!



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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I think that technology is like an addictive opiate, but technology is the outcome of knowledge put into practice. What's got me wondering is: if a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, how about a little more? Or a lot more?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by Enthralled Fan
 


The comparison made in the article I was referencing concerned the effect on society when opiates were available over the counter (not a positive thing at all, nor presented as such) and comparing that to the potential negative effects of technology.

No offense intended, I assure you, but I've commented in your help thread suggesting that the post be removed.

[edit on 7-2-2009 by quitebored]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by Enthralled Fan
 


You aren't serious, are you? In no way should this thread be removed. Toughen up, woman. Not everything posted here has to be sanitized to please you.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by Enthralled Fan
Bfore I even read your thread, I have no idea what heroin is like, and for you to even suggest it, upsets me.

I am reporting this thread to the Mods!


Thread title fixed! And apologies again.

Also, this is not a one-liner.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:54 PM
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Originally posted by ThePiemaker
reply to post by Enthralled Fan
 


You aren't serious, are you? In no way should this thread be removed. Toughen up, woman. Not everything posted here has to be sanitized to please you.


Hmmm., I only wonder what goes in your pies, then.

Any reference to drugs, even when comparing how it is like something else is not correct.

This site is perused by jeveniles as well as adults, so I don't need to toughen up, I need to point out why I AM tough to people like you, I guess. :::Sigh::::

Not everyone here is an adult, many are taken to believe every word they read.

I don't have to "toughen up," as you put it, you need to realize this is a public site that many people read, not even adults.

Any reference to drugs, is not a good reference in my opinion.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by quitebored

Originally posted by Enthralled Fan
Bfore I even read your thread, I have no idea what heroin is like, and for you to even suggest it, upsets me.

I am reporting this thread to the Mods!


Thread title fixed! And apologies again.

Also, this is not a one-liner.


Opiates to the masses replaces, Heroin? Oh, my!



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:00 PM
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Another article along these same lines, this one from Wired:

on technology and attention loss

This sums up the point, I think, pretty well:


We are programmed to be interrupted. We get an adrenalin jolt when orienting to new stimuli: Our body actually rewards us for paying attention to the new. So in this very fast-paced world, it's easy and tempting to always react to the new thing. But when we live in a reactive way, we minimize our capacity to pursue goals.


The question is, could this be re-wiring our brains? Is the attention loss and constant distraction changing us permanently?


The other important thing is to discuss interruption as an environmental question and collective social issue. In our country, stillness and reflection are not especially valued in the workplace. The image of success is the frenetic multitasker who doesn't have time and is constantly interrupted. By striving towards this model of inattention, we're doing ourselves a tremendous injustice.


This interview is about a book that apparently predicts a coming "Dark Age" as a result of these changes in the individual and society.

Just food for thought. ^^



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:00 PM
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Originally posted by Enthralled Fan
Opiates to the masses replaces, Heroin? Oh, my!


The title is a play on a popular cliche, "Religion Is The Opiate Of The Masses."

It is acceptable and in no way is this an encouragment of drug use.

Discussion regarding the title should cease and attention should be given to the content of the sourced material/Thread Author's comments.

Thank you.



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by Enthralled Fan
 


--Edit--

As I was saying... if the population is used to constant distractions, well... I think it does change how we interact with our world. Maybe for the better, as one comment suggested, but maybe not...

Which is not to say I think we should go back to living in caves and etc, I just wonder where do we draw the line? And again--who benefits from a distracted, novelty-addicted public?

[edit on 7-2-2009 by quitebored]

[edit on 7-2-2009 by quitebored]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:01 PM
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reply to post by Enthralled Fan
 


To retract my post about the title.

To get to the point, yes technology, while being extremely usefull in making our lives easier, is also setting us up for a massive fail if this stuff were to suddenly stop working.

Take a solar flare for example that decimates our power grids world wide, most people don't know how to survive or create the basic tools necessary to survival because they've been so use to having somebody make it for them, and sell it to them cheaply.

However positive technology is, we have to create fail-proof technology if we want to continue on the path we are now.

And we need to stop having technological advancements based on weapons. This is fundementally wrong, we really need to stop finding new ways to kill eachother, and start finding ways to keep eachother alive.

~Keeper

[edit on 2/7/2009 by tothetenthpower]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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Originally posted by Enthralled Fan
...This site is perused by jeveniles as well as adults...


so, what you're saying is that we are somehow going to prevent children from making bad choices by withholding information from them? i am sorry you think that.

i am shocked at your post, and your additional complaint threads. maybe i am just moody tonight, but i find this absolutely galling.

(p.s. in an effort to not further derail this thread, i am putting enthralled fan on ignore.)



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:04 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by Enthralled Fan
 



You are totally derailing this thread. You started two identical threads to complain about the title (against the T&C, by the way), the title has now been fixed, so why are you still whining about this drug reference?



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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And im anti anti drug..nothing to do with the topic,so im not talking about drugs ps opioid receptors are hit by numerous things...anyway.I also believe this about technology,but i dont think its a bad thing,like anything in moderation with various other activities technology can help people and add certain aspects that otherwise wouldnt be usually be their...like right now,speaking with all you folks on the glorious internetz.



[edit on 7-2-2009 by Solomons]



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:13 PM
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reply to post by sebarud
 


I don't think bashing this members view is contributing to the thread either!

Were all derailing this thread by wasting time with one persons reasonable complaint.

This Member has all the rights to have other members follow the T&C accordingly, if she does not want a drug reference then she doesn't need one, she can flag the thread, which she tried, but it did not work, hence the threads about it.

She has the right to her own opinion, and none of you, including me, have the right to say that that opinion is wrong, and that this person is whining.

You're only compounding the problem, let's get back to the topic.

~Keeper



posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 08:14 PM
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This is the last warning.

Remain on topic. The topic is "Technology: The New Opiate Of The Masses"...with regards to technology being used to sate the masses into complaince and obediance

Thank you.




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