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February 23, 2004

Comments

kathy

I agree Jennifer. I have lived in both "worlds" and I'll take the 1950's anytime. We have lost a great deal of the human touch since that time. No child sat inside........unless it was a rainy day, and then they played with friends, making up games....creating works of art, or reading. No one was ever really "alone" because we had extended families. They weren't spread out all over the world as they are today. I have watched the results of this hi tech age on humanity and I don't like what I see. Yes, it certainly has many many good aspects.....but it seems as tho the human soul is becoming lost.

Jennifer Rice

Good point to clarify... I was primarily referring to computers, video games and the like. Seems like I no longer walk down the hall to talk with someone... instead I send an email. I think sometimes we've gone overboard with our use of machines. Kids don't play outside anymore... they sit around watching TV, playing video games, surfing and IM'ing. And we wonder why kids suffer from obesity. Ultimately, hopefully, we'll transcend this point and make a better marriage of human and machine.

David Foster

"Those of us over 30 should remember a life without machines.."---Don't quite understand. 2004 minus 30 equals 1974, and few people remember much before they were 6 or so..that would put us in 1980. Machines that were around in considerable proliferation included automobiles, airplanes, electrical appliances, elevators, lawn mowers, outboard motors, and most especially farm equipment...lots of stuff.

Are you perhaps referring specifically to computer technology when you reference 'machines'?

Robert  Paterson

I am not a Luddite but, have we not as in the Matrix become so dependent on our machines. I live in a very rural environment - so we often lose power and this week even plumbing!

These events are a reminder of how I take all the tools for granted. We lost power for a week after the hurricane Juan. It was remarkable how much our life changed - it slowed right down because basic tasks that depended on water became significant tasks that took time and effort. Most interesting was what happened at night. We could read for a while but then our choices were shrunk to conversation, sex or sleep. You know it was not too bad! There was time to think and time to be both alone and with each other.

You may say, well this is not the future so we don't have to worry about the odd outage. But I have a niggling fear about dependency. I am not sure that we will outrun the unsustainable nature of our system. I am not recommending that we all go and rough it in the woods - I am saying that there is the risk we may have little choice in the matter.

John

I dont think the tools make us less humane. Im actually a little optimistic about technology at the moment, so dont rock the boat!

Relationships and the need for nature will persist, and machines can help or hinder this process. There is now potential to integrate and intersperse leisure and work as never before. And its enabling access to infromation - the new "prosperity-creating substance - worldwide.

If we focus on viral networking and crm systems and co-creating value with ecommerce sites and bla bla bla to the detriment of spiritual progress of ourselves as community , we end up in the tank. But nothing has changed here. It's always been that way. Now its palm pilots and AI and integrated messaging. In Dickens' day, people got fixated on steam engines and wedgewood china and whatnot. What's a human being to do.

graham

it is not either..or.

nanotech might be one of the ways to unpollute our skies. VR might be a way to form new and satisfying relationships that might otherwise go undiscovered. AI might remove the drudgery of errands better offloaded.

it's all about how we make use of these technologies. and that's back in the lap of the everyday person.

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