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 Are electronics controlling our lives?

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:11 am

I remember when the latest electronic gadgets were discussed on this forum, Dick always had some interesting comments in opposition, and I was in agreement.
For me, it seems that when I get accustomed to things, thereís something new thatís supposed to make things better, more convenient. .
My daughter sent me a Life Cam (Web Cam) gadget so we could talk on Skype and see each other. To install it, I needed to upgrade my MS Software, so I got the upgrade. It is full of background checking, automatic downloads, etc., and my PC slowed to a craw. Warning windows popping up are a nuisance. Iím told I need more RAM to handle the upgrade, or get a new PC.
My neighbor bought a new BMW last week and took me for a test drive. He first went through the (pre-flight) check system sequence. Itís not a simple matter of putting a key in the switch to start the engine. No, there are buttonís to push. Then come the warning signals. Seat belts, doors, (flaps up, flaps down) etc. As he proceeded to back out, signals warned him that he was close to the side of the garage. He explained that it also signals when one is too close to the curb when parking or too close to the car in front to prevent bumping the other car. How wonderful. Perhaps a Robot could handle things. Then there are the security gadgets to prevent theft. Then he demonstrated a feature that shuts the engine down when stopping at a red light, but starts automatically when the light turns green. I stopped listening at this point and missed the technical aspects. He was showing me the latest navigation system and almost ran off the road. We didnít go far on the drive since he was fiddling with other gadgets and I was getting bored.

I could suggest a new gadget that will improve traffic safety, however. Something that deters someone from cutting in front of you while driving on the highway. One is supposed to keep a certain distance between you and the car in front of you, and when you do, thereís always someone who will squeeze in causing you to brake. I propose a gadget, similar to a cannon that will automatically shoot the car that violated my space. I donít propose bullets, but perhaps a shot of illuminated spray paint that will identify the culprit.

I think Iíll stick with my car. I am capable of putting in the key, turning it to start the engine and looking behind me when backing out. If I want to turn my engine off at an extended red light, I know how to shut it down and restart. I donít need the navigation system to show me where Iím going, although I have one when needed for directions. I prefer looking out the window. I can still walk up stairs without the need for an elevator and lift the door to my garage. When I am no longer capable, Iíll seek some helpful devices. In the meanwhile, Iíll just have to admit Iím getting too old to keep up with the latest technological wonders.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:23 am

Or even the older ones. Earlier this morning, I tried to get on the internet, and was told the server wasn't responding. I tried several different sites and got the same message. I shut down Firefox and tried IE - same problem. Laptop - same story. Television? Black screen. I went to my phone and found its server wasn't working either. The phone itself did seem to be OK, so I made a couple of calls to make sure it worked - it did. Whew! I did have one means of connecting to the outside world.

After about an hour, everything started, very slowly, to come back to life. The problem must have been with AT&T, not just with U-Verse, or the phone's server should have worked (I think).

I am embarrassed to admit it now, but for a while there, I was going through withdrawal symptoms.

Ann
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:35 pm

I am with Dick and Abe, too many devices nowadays. I like being unreachable sometimes.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:45 pm

I believe that is why we have a termination date for our organic body. Evolution is faster than each earlier generation can assimilate; therefore, it is better to smile as we depart from this world, knowing it's just too complicated to continue living. The young adapt instantly. However, their world, too, will eventually be too much as space travel is normal and the challenges of other planets, space and all that those adventures entail become too complex. Perhaps we are in fact evolving to a being of artificial intelligence and bionic parts where the belief in a soul may or may not be in question. The organic body, though serving us well (even to regeneration and spare parts...) is still terminal. New materials may create bodies that live forever......a challenge as yet unfaced except in science fiction.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:33 pm

DK,
Interesting view. I never associated the evolution aspect with advances in technology. Sounds right.
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:35 am

alj wrote:


I am embarrassed to admit it now, but for a while there, I was going through withdrawal symptoms.
I think this is going to be a huge problem for future generations. With increasing dependency on electronic devices and gadgets that require only fingertips, they will forget how to use arms and legs.

_________________

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:24 am

The old Star Trek (with the cardboard set) had a story line like that - the people were only their minds - they had evolved to need no other body parts.

Add Secondlife as the manufactured world and one need never leave the computer. Add direct mind technology and Star Trek (of the 70's) is here.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:57 am

And what are our cellphones but Star Trek communicators. The earlier ones even looked just like them.

I wonder, will the next step have them installed on a monogram we wear on our left chest, where all we have to do is tap it, and we are connected?

That old Star Trek, to my mind, is still the greatest concept ever.

Ann
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:01 am

dkchristi wrote:
Add Secondlife as the manufactured world and one need never leave the computer.

Sure we will -to answer the door when the pizza ordered online arrives. Smile
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:03 pm

Aren't Toyotas crashing into things because of cool computerized brakes?

But I think it's an exaggeration that people are getting carried away with electronic reality. And my wife, kids and mistress in Second Life all agree with me on that.
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:05 pm

By the way if you want the absolute last word, the ultimate in people letting electronics replace real life, check this out
http://gizmodo.com/5487146/busy-raising-virtual-baby-couple-lets-their-real-baby-starve
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LC
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:09 pm

Wow, and I thought the guy marrying the anime character he "met" on a video game site was weird. Just shows it can always get worse.

http://boingboing.net/2009/11/24/footage-from-the-fir.html
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:24 pm

What an idiot. He should have held out for Jessica Rabbit.


Kind of spooky is the fact that William Gibson (who else?) had a guy marrying a Japanese virtual star like that in "The Idoru" (she also popped up in his "All Tomorrow's Parties") SF trumps real life once again
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:35 pm

On second thought, I run on electronics. I forgot that for a bit.

A lot of folks have heart pacemakers. I like the medical technology.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:34 pm

Ann, the old Star Trek turned me into a science fiction advocate. I thought they were so far ahead in so many ways - including the social issues they covered. Look how advanced they were with intelligent women on the set (even though their figures were a bit exploited :-) but so were the men quite admirable also.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:16 pm

DK,
I'm looking for that "beam me over" gadget so we can meet.
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dmondeo
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:39 am

alj wrote:
And what are our cellphones but Star Trek communicators. The earlier ones even looked just like them.

I wonder, will the next step have them installed on a monogram we wear on our left chest, where all we have to do is tap it, and we are connected?

That old Star Trek, to my mind, is still the greatest concept ever.

Ann

Scotty goes to see Doc Mc Coy "What's the damn problem Scotty?" he ask's.
"It's that pain Doc I keep getting a pain down below er.. you know in me behind." says Scotty pointing to his butt.
"Damn canteen rations I keep telling them we need more fibre in the diet." Says Mc Coy.
"I Don't be thinking it's that Doc, I keep hearing strange muffled voices as well."
"Perhaps you swallowed a communicator during one of your whiskey binges I'll have to examine you."
The Doc makes Scotty remove his pants and examines him. "God damn it JIM." he shouts.
"My name is Scotty Doc not Jim."
"Quiet Scotty I'm talking to the captain. He's so far up there I've got to do a delicate operation to get him out."
"What? No wonder I was staggering out of engineering just now."
"Damn it Jim when are you going to get it in your head it's a simple god damn sentence 'Scotty beam me up' not 'BEAM ME UP SCOTTY'!!"
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:55 am

Funny, David.
With electronics programmed for voice recognition, one must be precise.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:37 am

There needs to be a book show where we all make a point to be there; somewhere easy to get to and someone with a wifi/satellite skype, etc. etc. to share with those who can't make it. I don't think I'm ready to be dematerialized and put back together yet - might lose a few pieces along the way...
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:50 am

Good point, DK. Perhaps they will come with a mechanism to enhance or detract as desired.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:52 am

Recent news about drones with guns is scary.
Now the hackers are messing the the electronics of cars.† They can remotely mess up the car where you lose control.†
I'm missing the days of the cars where you used a crank to roll down the window.† You used a bit of force to press the brake and needed a bit of muscle to turn the steering wheel.† It may have been a bit harder, but much safer.†

Relying on electronics for safety may become a liability.† Being in control is meaningful.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:23 am

My mom was in a wreck and the insurance wanted to total her old car. She managed to hold on to it. In her 90s she wanted simplicity.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Are electronics controlling our lives?   Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:21 pm

I'm really about fed up with drivers glued to their cell phones and asleep at left turn lights, cutting across lanes without signalling, skipping signals altogether, crossing lanes without looking, signaling one direction and turning in another and right turning when traffic has not cleared and the list goes on even though the laws say "hands free."
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