One Big Laugh - Technological Familiarity Breeds Contempt
Happened to light onto The Techium today, written by Kevin Kelly - several delicious articles there, and the site is well worth bookmarking. The above perky video featuring Louis C.K. on the Conan O'Brien show probes a very basic question - if technology is so great, why is everyone so unhappy? Laugh until you cry then read our take, after the break.
There's so many goodies in this tight routine that it's difficult to pick out the best parts so let's go with the overarching principle. First he's right, about everything - from the rotary phone to getting money from the bank to those old-time credit card machines, things were a lot different a few years ago. But as the technology changed from doing less and slower to doing more and faster, it appears to have changed us as well; we also feel the need to speed up when using these modern technologies. Are we, as Louie suggests, doomed to be 'spoiled idiots' because we can't seem to wait 5 seconds to get a cell phone signal?
There's a different environmental take. While it is true that tech functionality seems to be in lockstep with speed, both of them also hasten obsolescence for an obvious, self-referencing reason; fast gadgets with high functionality go bust when they operate slowly or lose functionality, and as Louis notes this can be irritating. A different take might be to focus on those slow, durable technologies with high functionality.
The bicycle. Face to face communication. Using your brain instead of a computer.
Far from breeding contempt, you might actually like these low tech solutions more. How quick the world owes us something we knew existed only 10 seconds ago? Only you are to blame if you aren't getting the last laugh. The Technium
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