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(io9)   THE FUTURE IS...wait for it...any moment now...should be...*looks on watch*...any moment...really   (io9.com) divider line 72
    More: Misc, Ray Kurzweil, geological history, life extension, Planetary Society, technological change, cultural change, Moore's Law, materials science  
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3591 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Dec 2012 at 9:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-01 04:48:54 PM
You still have a watch...for time?
 
2012-12-01 04:49:53 PM
Most evolutionary biologists believe that H. sapiens evolved about 200 thousand years ago. So we're pretty early in our species life cycle
That whole average thing is always confusing.

We could also be on the low side of the average and close to extinction. LOLOLOL
I hate math.
 
2012-12-01 05:00:14 PM
Welcome to the slow future.

It aint the future yet.

Not until I have a flying car in the garage *and* a robot maid.

/When it comes to futurism I'm a traditionalist.
 
2012-12-01 05:12:36 PM
We will not become immortal cyborgs with superintelligent computer friends in the next twenty years.

Yeah, my friends are probably still going to be pretty stupid.
 
2012-12-01 05:39:36 PM
a1.ec-images.myspacecdn.com
When will then be now?
 
2012-12-01 06:16:41 PM

namatad: Most evolutionary biologists believe that H. sapiens evolved about 200 thousand years ago. So we're pretty early in our species life cycle
That whole average thing is always confusing.

We could also be on the low side of the average and close to extinction. LOLOLOL
I hate math.


Homo sapiens is such a successful species, I can't imagine us evolving until environmental changes separate one population from another. Settler colonies on a terraformed Mars, for instance.
 
2012-12-01 06:22:46 PM
How does one become a "futurist"? It seems that they have less accountability than a weatherman .
 
2012-12-01 07:21:52 PM

Mugato: How does one become a "futurist"? It seems that they have less accountability than a weatherman .


i hear the pay will be good then.
 
2012-12-01 08:28:14 PM
The future? We are currently building our non-biological replacements.
 
2012-12-01 08:35:08 PM

Sgygus: The future? We are currently building our non-biological replacements.


I'm not so sure. The Human Genome Project might help us build our biological replacements instead. 

Superhumans vs. Robots. That should be fun.
 
2012-12-01 08:44:10 PM
Snarfangel: I'm not so sure.

Humans (in some form) may hang onto the Earth, but space belongs to the machines.
 
2012-12-01 08:50:55 PM
My issue with the idea of "accelerating technology" is that we don't really have a way to quantify technological progress. You can chuck some metrics at it, but those metrics have been invented in some fashion. They're attempts to quantify the qualitative, and it shows.

Society has changed, and as a result, when we try and compare it to previous versions of societies, our comparisons yield all sorts of strange results. But the issue is in how we compare, not in how we live(d).

In my short thirty-two years on the planet, I can't honestly say things have changed very much. Rewind a few decades, and honestly, the biggest changes weren't technological- they were social. Despite the primacy of computers in our lives, they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it.

I'm rambling, but the point I'm trying to get to is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
 
2012-12-01 09:08:50 PM

t3knomanser: My issue with the idea of "accelerating technology" is that we don't really have a way to quantify technological progress. You can chuck some metrics at it, but those metrics have been invented in some fashion. They're attempts to quantify the qualitative, and it shows.

Society has changed, and as a result, when we try and compare it to previous versions of societies, our comparisons yield all sorts of strange results. But the issue is in how we compare, not in how we live(d).

In my short thirty-two years on the planet, I can't honestly say things have changed very much. Rewind a few decades, and honestly, the biggest changes weren't technological- they were social. Despite the primacy of computers in our lives, they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it.

I'm rambling, but the point I'm trying to get to is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


I disagree.

Technological change does tend to spur on social change. Industrial agriculture pushed people into the cities. Just last decade the world's urban population reached 50% of total population. We've also managed to produce enough food to feed the 7 billion of us, which a couple of generations ago we thought would be a Malthusian nightmare (yes there are still famines, but their great tragedy is that the world's food production is sufficient to feed the starving, politics gets in the way). You get that many people living closer together and they have to figure out ways of living side by side. Medical improvements have resulted in lower infant mortality so people are using family planning rather than pumping out babies. This gives women more time to engage in their community in other ways. Just as the printing press helped to foster the Reformation, communications technology (first cell phones and now social media and the Internet) have helped to foster uprisings against oppressive regimes.

So far, so good. I do worry about energy supplies, though and what happens when the oil is too difficult to extract.
 
2012-12-01 09:11:26 PM
t3knomanser: they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it

Twenty years ago I wasn't hunting dragons at 3:00am with Australians.
 
2012-12-01 09:23:02 PM

Sgygus: Twenty years ago I wasn't hunting dragons at 3:00am with Australians.


I was. Of course, it was an Aussie that was living in the US at the time, but still...

thisispete: Technological change does tend to spur on social change.


I don't disagree, but that has nothing to do with what I said. I said that there haven't been any significant technological changes in the past 32 years. And there haven't been. There have been minor, incremental changes, which is exactly what we would expect. Things like computers, which had a limited appeal 32 years ago, have become the main drivers of modern society- but the underlying technology hasn't really changed very much.
 
2012-12-01 09:33:36 PM

Mugato: How does one become a "futurist"? It seems that they have less accountability than a weatherman .


Shamefully, one doesn't seem to do it by writing sci-fi novels anymore. You just have to wave your hands and make claims about what flavor of sorcery and superscience you most enjoy.
 
2012-12-01 09:46:00 PM

t3knomanser: My issue with the idea of "accelerating technology" is that we don't really have a way to quantify technological progress. You can chuck some metrics at it, but those metrics have been invented in some fashion. They're attempts to quantify the qualitative, and it shows.

Society has changed, and as a result, when we try and compare it to previous versions of societies, our comparisons yield all sorts of strange results. But the issue is in how we compare, not in how we live(d).

In my short thirty-two years on the planet, I can't honestly say things have changed very much. Rewind a few decades, and honestly, the biggest changes weren't technological- they were social. Despite the primacy of computers in our lives, they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it.

I'm rambling, but the point I'm trying to get to is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.


You're wising up, kid. There's hope for you yet.
 
2012-12-01 10:01:56 PM
We will not become immortal cyborgs with superintelligent computer friends in the next twenty years.


Speak for yourself, Mr. Scientist-Man.
 
2012-12-01 10:03:38 PM
Article is stupid. Technology reaches thresholds that change things almost overnight.

This typed in bed on a tablet over the internet and published for the world to see instantly. Some people see only trees, not forests.

When genetic engineering hits, cyborgs will still talk about "slow future." OK Bender. Whatever you say.
 
2012-12-01 10:05:24 PM

quatchi: flying car


Came for this.


Sgygus: t3knomanser: they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it

Twenty years ago I wasn't hunting dragons at 3:00am with Australians.


Heh. Back when I played WoW I did the same thing. Accents made the voice chat more fun.
 
2012-12-01 10:24:52 PM
I don't think TFA's author really understands how rapidly technological advances actually do affect people.

10 years ago, youtube didn't exist, smart phones (e.g. iphone, android phones, blackberries) did not exist in any form which most people found useful, in fact the age of ubiquitous information distributed worldwide had not yet begun. Now simple technology in the hands of people in third world countries is changing the face of the world.

What's more is what's currently in the pipeline will blow this stuff out of the water. Things which are really just a few years away (5-10 at most for some of the juicy stuff) will leave us clueless as to how they will affect society. A lot of nano-scale developments are hitting the market now. Nano-scale technology is this century's electricity or nuclear science.
 
2012-12-01 10:26:00 PM
Wow, this writer is a real genius. Accelerating returns have no consequences because rocks. Thanks for adding to the conversation. Annalee Newitz is a complete fool with no grasp on technology, rising trends (on any timescale), or even simple math. Epic. Fail.

"You will not live to be 200 years old. I repeat: You will not live to be 200 years old. Life extension like that is not going to happen in our lifetimes because quite simply it takes time to analyze our genomes, then it takes more time to test them, then it takes more time to develop therapies to keep us young, and then there is a lot of government red tape and cultural backlash to deal with too."

farking moron. Genomic sequencing is increasing faster than Moore's Law. The first whole human genome was completed in 13 years' time at a cost of $3.8 billion. By the end of 2013 we'll be able to do it in a day for less than a $1,000. Once you tie an area of research to computation, it goes along for the ride as our ability to compute grows. Turns out computers are better at figuring out what those genes do as well. Whatever.

It's rare to see someone so stupid, so lacking in vision, so oblivious to the glaringly obvious, speaking about technology . At least it's made me feel better about myself. Next time I have a challenging day when things don't go my way, I can say to myself "At least I'm not a farktard, hack writer like Annalee Newitz. At least I'm not one of the most clueless mother farkers who ever tried to speak on the subject of technology, like that no-talent ass-clown coont whore Annalee."
 
2012-12-01 10:55:35 PM

LavenderWolf: I don't think TFA's author really understands how rapidly technological advances actually do affect people.

10 years ago, youtube didn't exist, smart phones (e.g. iphone, android phones, blackberries) did not exist in any form which most people found useful, in fact the age of ubiquitous information distributed worldwide had not yet begun. Now simple technology in the hands of people in third world countries is changing the face of the world.

What's more is what's currently in the pipeline will blow this stuff out of the water. Things which are really just a few years away (5-10 at most for some of the juicy stuff) will leave us clueless as to how they will affect society. A lot of nano-scale developments are hitting the market now. Nano-scale technology is this century's electricity or nuclear science.


Having the internet at your fingertips everywhere you go changes life radically. I remember loving William Poundstone's "Big Secrets" series, which included stuff like the ages of movie stars. Lots of stuff used to be very difficult to look up. I used to hoard reference books and trivia books. All of that can now be figured out on a whim.

Cell phones STILL haven't been figured out in movie plots. 99% of Seinfeld episodes would have ended instantly with the presence of cell phones. Remember all the times your evening plans were botched because you had to go home to wait for a call, or the other people didn't show up at the appointed time? How about getting lost because a stop light seperated you from the people you were following?
 
2012-12-01 11:03:50 PM

dalovindj: It's rare to see someone so stupid, so lacking in vision, so oblivious to the glaringly obvious, speaking about technology . At least it's made me feel better about myself. Next time I have a challenging day when things don't go my way, I can say to myself "At least I'm not a farktard, hack writer like Annalee Newitz. At least I'm not one of the most clueless mother farkers who ever tried to speak on the subject of technology, like that no-talent ass-clown coont whore Annalee."


She's a woman. What were you expecting?
 
2012-12-01 11:06:02 PM
It's going to be the future soon.
 
2012-12-01 11:11:08 PM

rocky_howard: She's a woman.


You sure about that?

beth.typepad.com

Ugly man? Maybe. Troll-faced grundle-toad? I'd give you that one. But woman? That's a reach, even in the Rachel Maddow sense.
 
2012-12-01 11:18:06 PM

CtrlAltDestroy: It's going to be the future soon.


Rivers. Of. shiat.
 
2012-12-01 11:30:05 PM

dalovindj: rocky_howard: She's a woman.

You sure about that?

[beth.typepad.com image 800x600]

Ugly man? Maybe. Troll-faced grundle-toad? I'd give you that one. But woman? That's a reach, even in the Rachel Maddow sense.


It's not nice to call Pat things like that.
 
2012-12-01 11:40:23 PM

Snarfangel: dalovindj: rocky_howard: She's a woman.

You sure about that?

[beth.typepad.com image 800x600]

Ugly man? Maybe. Troll-faced grundle-toad? I'd give you that one. But woman? That's a reach, even in the Rachel Maddow sense.

It's not nice to call Pat things like that.


Are you all that butthurt that someone would suggest that maybe you won't live in a Nanotech Robo-waifu singularity libertarian utopia in twenty years?
 
2012-12-01 11:42:01 PM

LavenderWolf: Things which are really just a few years away (5-10 at most for some of the juicy stuff) will leave us clueless as to how they will affect society


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-12-02 12:25:34 AM

albuquerquehalsey: Are you all that butthurt that someone would suggest that maybe you won't live in a Nanotech Robo-waifu singularity libertarian utopia in twenty years?


No. That suggestion alone is reasonable, aaside from the fact that Kurzweil and the like aren't utopians, making it a strawman. But let's just go with that as the reasonable germ of an idea for an article or essay. The travesty here, the thing that makes this an epic-fail double-facepalm situation, is the execution. The comparison to geologic time and species time is meandering and meaningless. The subject is technological acceleration which is demonstrably, factually, actually happening (and in an exponential fashion). Debate the outcomes, or the sustainability of the rate of change, but the fact that rocks are old and species live for a certain period of time is so off topic, I honestly expected the writer to be senile.

Then, when she gets to the point where it's time to make a prediction herself, she dogmatically claims life extension won't happen because it takes time to sequence and study genomes. She picks the one example that probably best disproves her thesis. The sequencing and studying of genomes has been advancing by leaps and bounds that exceed even Moore's law. The cost has gone from billions of dollars 13 years ago to thousands today. It is THE VERY DEFINITION of accelerating returns. And she presents it as a reason that 'the future isn't accelerating' (which is a moronic, meaningless phrase - technological change is accelerating, I don't know what 'accelerating future' means).

I judged this person solely on the quality of their work, their lackluster thought processes, the flawed thesis, a total lack of supporting evidence, nonsensical analogies, and the worst example of all around sub-par half-assery I've ever seen from a place that is supposed to be focused on science journalism. If this were presented as a paper in a science or philosophy class I would five it an F.

I'm actually feeling pretty good about myself on this one. I hated this person for the poor quality and presentation of their work before I ever learned that she (/he/it?) was a hideous fat version of a poor-man's Rachel Maddow. That was a real bonus. I hated for all the right reasons and the universe rewarded me, making the object of my disdain a horrendous, freakish troll in body shape. I figure it's karma paying off because I hated someone for their brain, not their looks. 

2012.humanityplus.org
 
2012-12-02 12:48:25 AM

dalovindj: albuquerquehalsey: Are you all that butthurt that someone would suggest that maybe you won't live in a Nanotech Robo-waifu singularity libertarian utopia in twenty years?

No. That suggestion alone is reasonable, aaside from the fact that Kurzweil and the like aren't utopians, making it a strawman. But let's just go with that as the reasonable germ of an idea for an article or essay. The travesty here, the thing that makes this an epic-fail double-facepalm situation, is the execution. The comparison to geologic time and species time is meandering and meaningless. The subject is technological acceleration which is demonstrably, factually, actually happening (and in an exponential fashion). Debate the outcomes, or the sustainability of the rate of change, but the fact that rocks are old and species live for a certain period of time is so off topic, I honestly expected the writer to be senile.

Then, when she gets to the point where it's time to make a prediction herself, she dogmatically claims life extension won't happen because it takes time to sequence and study genomes. She picks the one example that probably best disproves her thesis. The sequencing and studying of genomes has been advancing by leaps and bounds that exceed even Moore's law. The cost has gone from billions of dollars 13 years ago to thousands today. It is THE VERY DEFINITION of accelerating returns. And she presents it as a reason that 'the future isn't accelerating' (which is a moronic, meaningless phrase - technological change is accelerating, I don't know what 'accelerating future' means).

I judged this person solely on the quality of their work, their lackluster thought processes, the flawed thesis, a total lack of supporting evidence, nonsensical analogies, and the worst example of all around sub-par half-assery I've ever seen from a place that is supposed to be focused on science journalism. If this were presented as a paper in a science or philosophy class I would five it an F. ...


You know, trolls always fail when their hobby horse would be needed. This is right in Quantum Apostrophe's wheelhouse, and he isn't here.

The only thing that will slow genetic therapy will be legal constraints. I remember when the Human Genome Project started in 1990 it was considered a a super long term project, like it would take a hundred years to complete. I was in college from 1996-2000 and it was still considered to take forever even then. A first draft was completed in 2000, and a complete version in 2003. ASTONISHING. The rate of progress is amazing, better than the payoff in almost any other field. Further work is progressing at an amazing pace, but I guess it disappoints folks that hope for a cure for all cancers in the next five years or think that we'll all live to one thousand.
 
2012-12-02 12:59:35 AM
www.worldwatchonline.com
 
2012-12-02 01:26:48 AM

Mugato: How does one become a "futurist"? It seems that they have less accountability than a weatherman .


Rather better than that, I'd say: Link
 
2012-12-02 01:49:45 AM

Fano: LavenderWolf: I don't think TFA's author really understands how rapidly technological advances actually do affect people.

10 years ago, youtube didn't exist, smart phones (e.g. iphone, android phones, blackberries) did not exist in any form which most people found useful, in fact the age of ubiquitous information distributed worldwide had not yet begun. Now simple technology in the hands of people in third world countries is changing the face of the world.

What's more is what's currently in the pipeline will blow this stuff out of the water. Things which are really just a few years away (5-10 at most for some of the juicy stuff) will leave us clueless as to how they will affect society. A lot of nano-scale developments are hitting the market now. Nano-scale technology is this century's electricity or nuclear science.

Having the internet at your fingertips everywhere you go changes life radically. I remember loving William Poundstone's "Big Secrets" series, which included stuff like the ages of movie stars. Lots of stuff used to be very difficult to look up. I used to hoard reference books and trivia books. All of that can now be figured out on a whim.

Cell phones STILL haven't been figured out in movie plots. 99% of Seinfeld episodes would have ended instantly with the presence of cell phones. Remember all the times your evening plans were botched because you had to go home to wait for a call, or the other people didn't show up at the appointed time? How about getting lost because a stop light seperated you from the people you were following?


Just thought of this... it took me a couple years to figure out the song "Powerhouse" by Raymond Scott back in the day. Walking into a record store and asking for the factory music from Looney Tunes cartoons lead to nothing. I'm sure someone will post that their record store had knowledgeable people. But back in the day, it was difficult to hunt down a song based on a line or two, or trying to hum a tune. Nowadays, I can't imagine any difficulty finding a song you are hunting.
 
2012-12-02 01:56:21 AM
I'm 36...when I was a kid I grew up on a dirt road in the country. Our telephone line was shared by the neighbors, we had an antenna for tv and could get 3 channels (cable was not an option). We listened to records and the radio. Basically the same thing that you would have had in the 1940's.

Today in that exact same house, (besides the road now being paved), you can use a cell phone in the backyard, you can get hundreds of channels in high definition. Connect to the internet and watch movies, listen to music, talk to random people world wide. You have instant access to more information than our towns library had.

To me the advancement of technology in just 36 years has been astounding.

\and also in that 36 years the town went from 3500 to 4000 people so we are not some major metropolis...
 
2012-12-02 02:51:59 AM

t3knomanser: In my short thirty-two years on the planet, I can't honestly say things have changed very much. Rewind a few decades, and honestly, the biggest changes weren't technological- they were social. Despite the primacy of computers in our lives, they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it.


Technological progress is going to have to slow down anyway. Allow me to explain in my best James Burke impression:

[foppish british accent]

The oldest people alive today were born in a world that did not have radio. And their children were born in a world that did not have television. And their children were born in a world that did not have the internet.

And their children -- most of whom are not even born yet -- will grow up in an entirely different world that, when they become seniors, life will be every bit as strange and incomprehensible to them as it is to today's seniors who can't fathom smart phones or social media.

People tend to be resistant to change, and this resistance increases as one gets older. By middle age, most people have settled into a welcomed routine, a comfort zone based on what they know and what works for them. They are set in their ways and any gratuitous level of technological convenience simply means an irritating disruption to their accustomed lifestyle. For an example, look at the way younger generations have embraced the internet for news and information while their parents still cling to the morning paper. It's not that old habits die hard, it's that they don't die at all. There is a severe generation gap of technological acquiescence at play here, and it's getting worse.

Anyone who's grown up without the latest technology can equally justify living happily without it for the rest of their lives and don't see any reason why they should need it (Fark's aging demographic attacking Twitter and Facebook is a championship example of this). Meanwhile, each succeeding generation renders the previous one technologically deprecated at an accelerated rate. It's happened to everyone before and it'll happen to you.

Change has always been one of the driving forces of human conflict, but in this day and age what's important is not change itself but the rate of change. There is a maximum limit to the amount of change that can be accepted by society, and any level beyond that is too much for people to process. They won't be able to assimilate the new knowledge fast enough and they will get frustrated and rebel against it. And I guess that's when Western Civilization has a collective nervous breakdown. If I had to guess, I would say this is going to happen sometime in the 2030s.

They will probably use VCRs as weapons.

[/foppish british accent]
 
2012-12-02 03:01:03 AM

Ishkur: t3knomanser: In my short thirty-two years on the planet, I can't honestly say things have changed very much. Rewind a few decades, and honestly, the biggest changes weren't technological- they were social. Despite the primacy of computers in our lives, they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it.

Technological progress is going to have to slow down anyway. Allow me to explain in my best James Burke impression:

[foppish british accent]

The oldest people alive today were born in a world that did not have radio. And their children were born in a world that did not have television. And their children were born in a world that did not have the internet.

And their children -- most of whom are not even born yet -- will grow up in an entirely different world that, when they become seniors, life will be every bit as strange and incomprehensible to them as it is to today's seniors who can't fathom smart phones or social media.

People tend to be resistant to change, and this resistance increases as one gets older. By middle age, most people have settled into a welcomed routine, a comfort zone based on what they know and what works for them. They are set in their ways and any gratuitous level of technological convenience simply means an irritating disruption to their accustomed lifestyle. For an example, look at the way younger generations have embraced the internet for news and information while their parents still cling to the morning paper. It's not that old habits die hard, it's that they don't die at all. There is a severe generation gap of technological acquiescence at play here, and it's getting worse.

Anyone who's grown up without the latest technology can equally justify living happily without it for the rest of their lives and don't see any reason why they should need it (Fark's aging demographic attacking Twitter and Facebook is a championship example of this). Meanwhile, each succeeding generation renders the previous one techn ...


Awesome!
 
2012-12-02 03:15:35 AM
I agree and disagree.

The essential basis of Western life has become diminished over the last 300 years because there is no longer a need to drastically adopt a different lifestyle than the one proffered immediately upon birth by the regular person. The economic and social systems established back then have merely become more common and more polished since then and everything else seems like a superficial change. Meanwhile, most people alive today live a life that is similar to the one their ancestors have had for the past thousand years with technological and social perks. Previous to this, everybody was moving all the time in armies, as colonists, as refugees, as migrants, as hunter-gatherers and any other thing which created huge changes in the underlying basis of existence for the average person. Nothing has really changed at all in a very long time, except that more people have been enveloped in the lifestyle which promotes stability, consumption and localization. In a sense, the socio-technological advances over my own subjective lifetime which have apparently "changed everything" about my life have really only acted to shore up the average life of all humans everywhere in tiny ways - I'm at the cresting wave of a change in all humankind which is only really equalizing all the technological advancement achieved by my species in the last thousand years. So though I myself am part of the the most rapidly advancing group of humankind, on the whole I'm still outdated (for instance, participating in wage labour and still effectively local and national), but miles ahead of the least complex human (for instance, an uncontacted tribesperson in the Amazon). That is what I think this article is about. Nothing has really changed, and even if you're part of the putative change, the net amount of change is really very inconsequential compared to longer timescales.

But I think that some changes are so huge that they change everything, and only now are the types of changes that could change the basis of human existence really possible. I believe that the first person to live to be 200 is alive today, not that its going to be me or anybody I know or that this is going to be totally normal in 170 years. There is enough evidence to suggest closing or mostly closing the cultural-technological cycle I put up in the last paragraph is coming soon enough to satisfy the futurist if not even the people on this website.

But basically, cellphones and the internet don't mean shiat to the human race. It genuinely doesn't matter,
 
2012-12-02 03:36:37 AM

Doc Batarang: But basically, cellphones and the internet don't mean shiat to the human race. It genuinely doesn't matter,


Cellphones? Nope.

In fact, the "cellphone" as a concept actually is dead. What we use now is only called a cellphone because of familiarity, but the least thing you do with it is placing calls. They're honest to goodness pocket-computers. They're more powerful now than what actual desktop computers were 10 years ago, even 5 years, in some cases. Those little rectangular boxes can do a myriad of stuff. They give you info you need, calculate stuff, work as compass, map, visual analyzer, flashlight, you can even just talk to them and they do these things. They've effectively become Mother Boxes:

chanarchive.org
images.wikia.com
www.djkirkbride.com
media.comicvine.com
images3.wikia.nocookie.net

(Side thought: DC should sue Apple/Samsung :P)

And they can do all that through the Source of all that info: The Internet.

Which, IS, something that means a lot to us humans. Saying it doesn't is being a contrarian. The Internet is a wheel/Gutenberg-level event. It has shaped human activity so much that you, right now, can't live without the Internet. Yes, you can't live your life without the Internet. You may live another life, but not the one you have. So yes, you can move to the Amazon and shed all the technology we've gotten in the last 1000 years if not more. But that won't be this life.
 
2012-12-02 03:38:08 AM

dalovindj: albuquerquehalsey: Are you all that butthurt that someone would suggest that maybe you won't live in a Nanotech Robo-waifu singularity libertarian utopia in twenty years?

No. That suggestion alone is reasonable, aaside from the fact that Kurzweil and the like ...


That was beautiful ♥
 
2012-12-02 03:39:31 AM

albuquerquehalsey: Are you all that butthurt that someone would suggest that maybe you won't live in a Nanotech Robo-waifu singularity libertarian utopia in twenty years?


Sorry, but no. That says a lot more about you than it does about any of us. Considering no one here used the term or anything even close to what it means or even alluded to that.

So congratulations on being an idiot.
 
2012-12-02 03:40:53 AM

dalovindj: rocky_howard: She's a woman.

You sure about that?

[beth.typepad.com image 800x600]

Ugly man? Maybe. Troll-faced grundle-toad? I'd give you that one. But woman? That's a reach, even in the Rachel Maddow sense.


JESUS H CHRIST DUDE, You can't just drop stuff like that without a warning. I'll need some eye bleach. In the form of Michelle Jenneke, thank you.
 
2012-12-02 04:00:43 AM
This article reminds me of a video I watched where some guy was talking about the human genome mapping project and how after reaching the half way point they had not yet mapped 50% of human genomes and some critics where saying they where failing when in fact they had planned for this and knew that the farther they got into their project the faster the advancements would come so they never planned on or thought they would have mapped half the genomes by that time.

The point being that just because we are far away from those technologies now does not mean that the speed won't pick up in the future so while the advancements from last year to now in the field of say advanced cyborg technologies has been slow enough to not matter as time progresses it will inevitably pick up speed and the advancement from 1 year to another will be greater than a multitude of years before it.


Unrelated the machines will not destroy us unless we give them a good reason to.
 
2012-12-02 04:29:08 AM

Ishkur: t3knomanser: In my short thirty-two years on the planet, I can't honestly say things have changed very much. Rewind a few decades, and honestly, the biggest changes weren't technological- they were social. Despite the primacy of computers in our lives, they haven't really changed what we do with our free time, just how we do it.

Technological progress is going to have to slow down anyway. Allow me to explain in my best James Burke impression:

[foppish british accent]

The oldest people alive today were born in a world that did not have radio. And their children were born in a world that did not have television. And their children were born in a world that did not have the internet.

And their children -- most of whom are not even born yet -- will grow up in an entirely different world that, when they become seniors, life will be every bit as strange and incomprehensible to them as it is to today's seniors who can't fathom smart phones or social media.

People tend to be resistant to change, and this resistance increases as one gets older. By middle age, most people have settled into a welcomed routine, a comfort zone based on what they know and what works for them. They are set in their ways and any gratuitous level of technological convenience simply means an irritating disruption to their accustomed lifestyle. For an example, look at the way younger generations have embraced the internet for news and information while their parents still cling to the morning paper. It's not that old habits die hard, it's that they don't die at all. There is a severe generation gap of technological acquiescence at play here, and it's getting worse.

Anyone who's grown up without the latest technology can equally justify living happily without it for the rest of their lives and don't see any reason why they should need it (Fark's aging demographic attacking Twitter and Facebook is a championship example of this). Meanwhile, each succeeding generation renders the previous one techn ...


Hmm, not sure if you're serious or not, but what the heck, I'll bite.

What you say is true of my mother. She remembers it being a big deal when they picked up Paris radio on their whisker receiver. She has been able to use more modern stuff, though anything with a lot of buttons baffles her and she does not at all grok programmable keys.

OTOH, I "get" technology. I started with computers with MS-DOS 1.0 running at 4.7 MHz. Now I am using a quad-core 2.3GHz machine which I dual boot, plus I have several virtual machines.

10-20-30 years from now, I will simply learn and adapt to any new stuff. I cannot wait for a brain implant where I can do the stuff for which I need a smartphone to do now. I keep up with tech, read up on social innovations, and so on.

And yet we did not have a TV until I was going to school, and that was a small B/W set.

So put away that broad brush, not all "old" people are stuck in their past.
 
2012-12-02 04:44:50 AM

rocky_howard: Doc Batarang: But basically, cellphones and the internet don't mean shiat to the human race. It genuinely doesn't matter,

Cellphones? Nope.

In fact, the "cellphone" as a concept actually is dead. What we use now is only called a cellphone because of familiarity, but the least thing you do with it is placing calls. They're honest to goodness pocket-computers. They're more powerful now than what actual desktop computers were 10 years ago, even 5 years, in some cases. Those little rectangular boxes can do a myriad of stuff. They give you info you need, calculate stuff, work as compass, map, visual analyzer, flashlight, you can even just talk to them and they do these things. They've effectively become Mother Boxes:

[chanarchive.org image 605x613]
[images.wikia.com image 719x1024]
[www.djkirkbride.com image 325x415]
[media.comicvine.com image 300x331]
[images3.wikia.nocookie.net image 350x263]

(Side thought: DC should sue Apple/Samsung :P)

And they can do all that through the Source of all that info: The Internet.

Which, IS, something that means a lot to us humans. Saying it doesn't is being a contrarian. The Internet is a wheel/Gutenberg-level event. It has shaped human activity so much that you, right now, can't live without the Internet. Yes, you can't live your life without the Internet. You may live another life, but not the one you have. So yes, you can move to the Amazon and shed all the technology we've gotten in the last 1000 years if not more. But that won't be this life.


I LOVE that analogy (note the fark handle), but that was in what I said already. The idea being is that you and I are only active examples of what is the highest level the whole species has achieved so far. Most people alive are very much not that. For instance, at my job right now I basically help plan South American grocery stores from Canada over the internet. In the chronological time span I do my job, it would have been totally impossible twenty years ago. However, what I'm doing is exactly the same as what clerks in England, France and Holland were doing 500 years ago. What took them several weeks, I can do in literally 20 minutes. Does that mean that the essential nature of human existence has changed between that clerk and me in the intervening time? I say that it absolutely doesn't. I'm just like that guy despite the technological change.

The point of this whole thing is not that our lives would be radically different without the internet or cellphones, because it would only merely be different. The underpinning nature of our lives was established and already underway previous to the invention of any of these technologies because the essential nature of our lives is a socio-cultural tradition probably best described as a self-replicating habitat. Giving any one of us a cellphone or access to the internet represents only a small alteration to the life of the individual within this society and the net change to the entire species is almost nothing. It ain't no wheel.
 
2012-12-02 05:20:00 AM
Eventually, our progress technologically (in the terms of computer tech, at least) will slow down and come to a halt.

...baring any major improvements in materials science (or quantum), eventually there'd be only so much we can put into a single machine.

We can keep refining only so far. :/

(Then, we get to have the rest of sciences play catchup with the new toys)
 
2012-12-02 05:23:50 AM

Doc Batarang: The point of this whole thing is not that our lives would be radically different without the internet or cellphones, because it would only merely be different. The underpinning nature of our lives was established and already underway previous to the invention of any of these technologies because the essential nature of our lives is a socio-cultural tradition probably best described as a self-replicating habitat. Giving any one of us a cellphone or access to the internet represents only a small alteration to the life of the individual within this society and the net change to the entire species is almost nothing. It ain't no wheel.


I partially agree, but just because the majority of humanity was born before ubiquitous access to the Internet was the norm, much less smartphones. (I'm sure Gutenberg press wasn't really a big deal for the first 100 years, but it became incredible as time passed by.) Rather than creating new lifestyles, we're mostly adapting the new tech to our own previously existing lifestyles. And even then, we now have new things/behaviour that didn't exist before (one that quickly comes to me is Internet trolling, as useless as it is.) Yes, we've always had annoying people, but the anonymity + widespread audience is something else. Heck, even people who in real life aren't annoying stoop doing to do it. We never really had that chance before, but I digress. Now, when the majority of humans happen to be born with these new paradigms already in place is when we'll see the effect it has on us. So let's retake this conversation in 2030 and see where we stand.
 
2012-12-02 05:27:37 AM

Summercat: Eventually, our progress technologically (in the terms of computer tech, at least) will slow down and come to a halt.

...baring any major improvements in materials science (or quantum), eventually there'd be only so much we can put into a single machine.

We can keep refining only so far. :/

(Then, we get to have the rest of sciences play catchup with the new toys)


Eh, that's just pessimistic talk. I'm sure people were like that when we depended on wood, then oh look, we discovered coal. Then people started to worry about coal, then we discovered oil. Then people said the same about oil and...well, I'm pretty worried now because we've discovered new energy sources but instead of unabashedly implementing them, we're holding them back for various reasons (oil companies don't want to be replaced, environmental people don't want anything that pollutes, irrational fear of nuclear energy, etc.) and well, oil isn't getting more available.

=/
 
2012-12-02 06:07:32 AM

dalovindj: albuquerquehalsey: Are you all that butthurt that someone would suggest that maybe you won't live in a Nanotech Robo-waifu singularity libertarian utopia in twenty years?

No. That suggestion alone is reasonable, aaside from the fact that Kurzweil and the like aren't utopians, making it a strawman. But let's just go with that as the reasonable germ of an idea for an article or essay. The travesty here, the thing that makes this an epic-fail double-facepalm situation, is the execution. The comparison to geologic time and species time is meandering and meaningless. The subject is technological acceleration which is demonstrably, factually, actually happening (and in an exponential fashion). Debate the outcomes, or the sustainability of the rate of change, but the fact that rocks are old and species live for a certain period of time is so off topic, I honestly expected the writer to be senile.

Then, when she gets to the point where it's time to make a prediction herself, she dogmatically claims life extension won't happen because it takes time to sequence and study genomes. She picks the one example that probably best disproves her thesis. The sequencing and studying of genomes has been advancing by leaps and bounds that exceed even Moore's law. The cost has gone from billions of dollars 13 years ago to thousands today. It is THE VERY DEFINITION of accelerating returns. And she presents it as a reason that 'the future isn't accelerating' (which is a moronic, meaningless phrase - technological change is accelerating, I don't know what 'accelerating future' means).

I judged this person solely on the quality of their work, their lackluster thought processes, the flawed thesis, a total lack of supporting evidence, nonsensical analogies, and the worst example of all around sub-par half-assery I've ever seen from a place that is supposed to be focused on science journalism. If this were presented as a paper in a science or philosophy class I would five it an F. ...


Hey, I disagree with her on this, too, but honestly, she looks pretty good. I think y'all are being a little harsh.
 
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