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What has spurred the decline in civilization?

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  • What has spurred the decline in civilization?

    Someone sent me a video of kids (maybe 6-15 years old) presented with a rotary phone and none of them knew how to use it. While that was amusing it then occurred to me that these kids were a product of our society and not being able to use a rotary phone was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to stuff they had a hard time coming to grips with.

    Today I'm looking at a society that is absolutely lost without electronic communication and immediate feedback. The kids today have no idea what a busy signal is and if you don't immediately reply to their text they think you've abandoned them. They Facebook and Tweet and have access to all kinds of information at their fingertips but I'm not sure that they are processing all that information any more.

    Back in the day if you had a problem you could call a buddy or a relative but if nobody was around you had to figure it out for yourself. If you wanted information on something you might be able to pull something out of the set of encyclopedias on the shelf in the living room but more often you'd need to head to the library and browse the books on that subject. Basically there was a certain level of independence you had to have just to get by on a regular basis.

    Now I look at where the kids are.....they get pissed off because of something someone says on the internet. Why? What bearing on your life could the comments of some anonymous screen name really have? How are you processing the feedback you get that some such comment could ruin your day?

    Going back again, we used to have a lot of time to process what was going on around us. We'd read something in the paper or see something on the 6 o'clock news and then have the whole day to work our heads around it. Maybe the next day we'd get a little more information and that would allow us to plug that news into the framework we'd already come up with. Now we get that feedback every few minutes and I'm not so sure that it's being processed completely before we start building our response.

    When did this start to happen?

    What will the result be in the next twenty years?

  • #2
    Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

    Originally posted by Lutherf View Post
    Someone sent me a video of kids (maybe 6-15 years old) presented with a rotary phone and none of them knew how to use it. While that was amusing it then occurred to me that these kids were a product of our society and not being able to use a rotary phone was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to stuff they had a hard time coming to grips with.

    Today I'm looking at a society that is absolutely lost without electronic communication and immediate feedback. The kids today have no idea what a busy signal is and if you don't immediately reply to their text they think you've abandoned them. They Facebook and Tweet and have access to all kinds of information at their fingertips but I'm not sure that they are processing all that information any more.

    Back in the day if you had a problem you could call a buddy or a relative but if nobody was around you had to figure it out for yourself. If you wanted information on something you might be able to pull something out of the set of encyclopedias on the shelf in the living room but more often you'd need to head to the library and browse the books on that subject. Basically there was a certain level of independence you had to have just to get by on a regular basis.

    Now I look at where the kids are.....they get pissed off because of something someone says on the internet. Why? What bearing on your life could the comments of some anonymous screen name really have? How are you processing the feedback you get that some such comment could ruin your day?

    Going back again, we used to have a lot of time to process what was going on around us. We'd read something in the paper or see something on the 6 o'clock news and then have the whole day to work our heads around it. Maybe the next day we'd get a little more information and that would allow us to plug that news into the framework we'd already come up with. Now we get that feedback every few minutes and I'm not so sure that it's being processed completely before we start building our response.

    When did this start to happen?

    What will the result be in the next twenty years?
    I'm not sure I'd call not being able to use a rotary phone "decline of civilization". I mean do you know how to work a windlass? An astrolabe? A sextant? Are you proficient in all the sailor's knots? What about a sword or spear? Are you adept with those? Do you know when is the best time to plant? When to harvest? What about a poultice or a salve? Can you make those without going to the drug store? Can you stitch a wound? Can you sew your own clothes? Spin your own homespun?
    NO? OMG Luther you're part of the decline of civilization!!!!!!!! Not really but you get my point. Its not a decline, its a change.

    Kids these days, and 20 years from now, are living in a different world than you grew up in, same as a nobleman around the time they invented crossbows and all that fancy armor and a lifetime of training amounted to zilch.
    Could they survive in the wild? No. Will they have to? Probably not. Look at it this way: If I had a time machine and dropped you either far enough back or far enough forward, you would be entirely out of your element and more than likely would not survive. You might actually have an easier time of it in a more technologically advanced future.

    On another note: Kids react is a funny as shit series.. But ELDERS react is better. Watch the one about twerking but don't drink anything while you watch. Its hilarious.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • #3
      Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

      Originally posted by reality View Post
      I'm not sure I'd call not being able to use a rotary phone "decline of civilization". I mean do you know how to work a windlass? An astrolabe? A sextant? Are you proficient in all the sailor's knots? What about a sword or spear? Are you adept with those? Do you know when is the best time to plant? When to harvest? What about a poultice or a salve? Can you make those without going to the drug store? Can you stitch a wound? Can you sew your own clothes? Spin your own homespun?
      NO? OMG Luther you're part of the decline of civilization!!!!!!!! Not really but you get my point. Its not a decline, its a change.

      Kids these days, and 20 years from now, are living in a different world than you grew up in, same as a nobleman around the time they invented crossbows and all that fancy armor and a lifetime of training amounted to zilch.
      Could they survive in the wild? No. Will they have to? Probably not. Look at it this way: If I had a time machine and dropped you either far enough back or far enough forward, you would be entirely out of your element and more than likely would not survive. You might actually have an easier time of it in a more technologically advanced future.

      On another note: Kids react is a funny as shit series.. But ELDERS react is better. Watch the one about twerking but don't drink anything while you watch. Its hilarious.
      I tend to agree that this example is not necessarily a represenation of any broad societal decline for the reasons Lutherf sites; however, I do take it as a cautionary indication of basic reasoning and problem solving skills of this generation. Though a bit odd looking, it is no so dissimilar from contemporary phones as to be unrecognizable in its purpose. The fact that there were some of them that could not make the mental connection between the purpose (a phone) and how to use it for its purpose (the round dial with fingersized holes -- with the same combinations of letters and numbers as on a more modern keypad) is what troubles me.

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • #4
        Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

        Umm...I just watched the twerking thing and it wasn't funny at all. It was just....normal. What was supposed to be funny about it?

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • #5
          Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

          I don't think technology causes a decline in civilization. A decline in civilization is generally tied with a change in human behavior within the society, on a large scale. Like a society that loses the feeling of personal responsibility. Perhaps a loss in each individual of a feeling of responsibility to others. These are the things that cause decline, not what sort of technology is being used.

          With the easy access of today of information, we should be the brightest nation on earth. But we ain't.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • #6
            Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

            Originally posted by Marcus1124 View Post
            I tend to agree that this example is not necessarily a represenation of any broad societal decline for the reasons Lutherf sites; however, I do take it as a cautionary indication of basic reasoning and problem solving skills of this generation. Though a bit odd looking, it is no so dissimilar from contemporary phones as to be unrecognizable in its purpose. The fact that there were some of them that could not make the mental connection between the purpose (a phone) and how to use it for its purpose (the round dial with fingersized holes -- with the same combinations of letters and numbers as on a more modern keypad) is what troubles me.
            That's part of what I was getting at. Just not knowing how to use the phone wasn't really all that surprising and it wasn't surprising for the reasons that reality mentioned but it was the basic idea since they didn't get immediate feedback from the device they were confused by it that concerned me.

            Today's generation is used to getting a response from pushing a button or clicking an icon. When they don't get that feedback right away they seem to be lost.

            My major concern isn't with being able to use outdated technology. It's with the decline in the ability to process the information you're getting or at least in the way that information gets processed.

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • #7
              Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

              Originally posted by Lutherf View Post
              Umm...I just watched the twerking thing and it wasn't funny at all. It was just....normal. What was supposed to be funny about it?
              Well the reactions of the older folks. Mostly the comments of the ladies as the males comments were "yeah ive been watching strippers do that for years" mostly.

              I liked the old lady who when asked to name the dance called it "whats for sale"
              The justin bieber one is hilarious as well. One of the ladies just watches it and her only comment is to place her hand over her heart and say "I need to call his mother"

              If you don't find it funny you may be that old.
              Last edited by reality; 03-04-2014, 09:53 AM.

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • #8
                Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                Originally posted by Lutherf View Post
                Someone sent me a video of kids (maybe 6-15 years old) presented with a rotary phone and none of them knew how to use it. While that was amusing it then occurred to me that these kids were a product of our society and not being able to use a rotary phone was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to stuff they had a hard time coming to grips with.

                Today I'm looking at a society that is absolutely lost without electronic communication and immediate feedback. The kids today have no idea what a busy signal is and if you don't immediately reply to their text they think you've abandoned them. They Facebook and Tweet and have access to all kinds of information at their fingertips but I'm not sure that they are processing all that information any more.

                Back in the day if you had a problem you could call a buddy or a relative but if nobody was around you had to figure it out for yourself. If you wanted information on something you might be able to pull something out of the set of encyclopedias on the shelf in the living room but more often you'd need to head to the library and browse the books on that subject. Basically there was a certain level of independence you had to have just to get by on a regular basis.

                Now I look at where the kids are.....they get pissed off because of something someone says on the internet. Why? What bearing on your life could the comments of some anonymous screen name really have? How are you processing the feedback you get that some such comment could ruin your day?

                Going back again, we used to have a lot of time to process what was going on around us. We'd read something in the paper or see something on the 6 o'clock news and then have the whole day to work our heads around it. Maybe the next day we'd get a little more information and that would allow us to plug that news into the framework we'd already come up with. Now we get that feedback every few minutes and I'm not so sure that it's being processed completely before we start building our response.

                When did this start to happen?

                What will the result be in the next twenty years?
                If it has not happened already, certainly in the next 20 years, someone will figure out they can bring us absolutely to our knees (and pretty much end civilization as we know it) by generating an electro-magnetic pulse big enough to take our electric, including our electronic infrastructure down. A powerful enough sunspot can do it so it won't (or possibly doesn't) take a genius to figure out how to build a weapon that uses an electro-magnetic pulse.

                Don't get me wrong, I am not, nor do I pretend to be, an electronics engineer of any sort or wisdom. I read about this stuff and if it is hype and hyperbole, then it is well done because it frightens the bejeebers out of me.

                But assuming the information is accurate, one well-placed pulse and most of the U.S. will be off-line: No phones, no computers, no lights, no pumping stations, no cars ... nothing. Instantaneously transported back to the 18th century or further. As I understand it, not only are we incredibly vulnerable ... but we have no back ups and, even if we did, nothing to protect the back-ups from such an attack.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • #9
                  Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                  Originally posted by Lutherf View Post
                  That's part of what I was getting at. Just not knowing how to use the phone wasn't really all that surprising and it wasn't surprising for the reasons that reality mentioned but it was the basic idea since they didn't get immediate feedback from the device they were confused by it that concerned me.

                  Today's generation is used to getting a response from pushing a button or clicking an icon. When they don't get that feedback right away they seem to be lost.

                  My major concern isn't with being able to use outdated technology. It's with the decline in the ability to process the information you're getting or at least in the way that information gets processed.
                  Its not that they weren't getting feedback. Its that they had no schemas for the feedback they DID recieve, the winding of the dial, the dial tone, the busy signal and thus had no point of reference to begin from. You would be similarly lost if I put you in front of a cotton gin and told you to "get to work you lazy hippie!" or a spinning wheel, or a sextant etc. It would take you some time to work it out, and you'd probably screw up a bit first. And you're an adult with a fully functioning brain. Those were 9-15 yr olds and several of them were on the right track. Remember you only saw them for about a minute a piece in a highly edited video made for comedic effect. Take it with a grain of salt.
                  Itd be like calling einstein an idiot because he couldn't figure out of to code smilelys etc on the forum or in fact what happened in real life, his grade school math teachers thought he was retarded or something because he didn't get basic math. He didn't get it because he was already working at a higher level where the rules were different.
                  Like I said, its a change, not a decline. They will have schemas for things you don't have. You will have schemas for things they don't.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • #10
                    Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                    Originally posted by Good1 View Post
                    If it has not happened already, certainly in the next 20 years, someone will figure out they can bring us absolutely to our knees (and pretty much end civilization as we know it) by generating an electro-magnetic pulse big enough to take our electric, including our electronic infrastructure down. A powerful enough sunspot can do it so it won't (or possibly doesn't) take a genius to figure out how to build a weapon that uses an electro-magnetic pulse.

                    Don't get me wrong, I am not, nor do I pretend to be, an electronics engineer of any sort or wisdom. I read about this stuff and if it is hype and hyperbole, then it is well done because it frightens the bejeebers out of me.

                    But assuming the information is accurate, one well-placed pulse and most of the U.S. will be off-line: No phones, no computers, no lights, no pumping stations, no cars ... nothing. Instantaneously transported back to the 18th century or further. As I understand it, not only are we incredibly vulnerable ... but we have no back ups and, even if we did, nothing to protect the back-ups from such an attack.
                    WE've already got those. They are called nuclear weapons. Set one off in the upper atmosphere and it generates a much wider and stronger EMP. Which is what the early 00's tv show "Dark Angel" starring jessica alba in her debut (and MAN was she smoking hot in that leather catsuit and all those slutty outfits) was about.

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                    • #11
                      Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                      Luther, I think you've hit the generation gap.

                      Just from my own experiences and observations, the things that the younger generation do, how they do them, their value system, and what they value is far distant from what even I grew up with, and I'm only in my early 50's, and have been in the IT industry the majority of my adult life, so all the tech stuff isn't really all that foreign to me. Granted, there are things that these kids are crazy about, like Twitter, which I have chosen not to participate in. Facebook is plenty enough for me.

                      When it comes to reasoning, inferring, as well as patience, I can see certain detriment. Both my girls have to use the PC to get homework done, but if something doesn't work, like it doesn't sync their iPod, they throw their hands up and walk away. They won't even do a Google search or two to try and help themselves. Most disturbing. These are the people that we are going to rely on in our old age. Better die early I figure.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                        Originally posted by reality View Post
                        WE've already got those. They are called nuclear weapons. Set one off in the upper atmosphere and it generates a much wider and stronger EMP. Which is what the early 00's tv show "Dark Angel" starring jessica alba in her debut (and MAN was she smoking hot in that leather catsuit and all those slutty outfits) was about.
                        Now that you mention it, I do think I have heard that before (except the part about a smoking hot Jessica Alba ... other than I have heard and seen that she IS smoking hot, just not in that context).

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                        • #13
                          Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                          Originally posted by eohrnberger View Post
                          Luther, I think you've hit the generation gap.

                          Just from my own experiences and observations, the things that the younger generation do, how they do them, their value system, and what they value is far distant from what even I grew up with, and I'm only in my early 50's, and have been in the IT industry the majority of my adult life, so all the tech stuff isn't really all that foreign to me. Granted, there are things that these kids are crazy about, like Twitter, which I have chosen not to participate in. Facebook is plenty enough for me.

                          When it comes to reasoning, inferring, as well as patience, I can see certain detriment. Both my girls have to use the PC to get homework done, but if something doesn't work, like it doesn't sync their iPod, they throw their hands up and walk away. They won't even do a Google search or two to try and help themselves. Most disturbing. These are the people that we are going to rely on in our old age. Better die early I figure.
                          That's exactly what I'm getting at!

                          Back in the day a lack of immediate feedback was considered to be feedback...it wasn't abandonment or failure. Today it seems that when feedback isn't immediate and/or meaningful the response is to move on to something else where some kind of feedback can be found. There just seems to be a general lack of inclination to find out WHY the process one is engaged in isn't returning the desired feedback.

                          For example, yesterday we lost power at the office for a couple of hours. It's the middle of tax season and I couldn't use the computer to access client files or process returns. A lot of others in the complex headed home but I stuck around and kept on going with client meetings doing what I could with the resources I had available. A funny thing happened...I spent more time talking to the clients and was able to give them as much if not more information than I otherwise would have.

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                          • #14
                            Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                            Originally posted by reality View Post
                            I'm not sure I'd call not being able to use a rotary phone "decline of civilization". I mean do you know how to work a windlass? An astrolabe? A sextant? Are you proficient in all the sailor's knots? What about a sword or spear? Are you adept with those? Do you know when is the best time to plant? When to harvest? What about a poultice or a salve? Can you make those without going to the drug store? Can you stitch a wound? Can you sew your own clothes? Spin your own homespun?
                            Oh my, I'm amazingly civilized, I can do a lot of the above, the remainder I can look up in a book (I still need to get to a grocery store for the ingredients for a salve). The rortary phone lead wasn't a good example.

                            Time and again men over the past few thousand years have lamented new fangled methods and how they will ruin the old ways. I say learn the old ones and the new ones; I can start a fire with a flint and steel just finen I can also program a computer.

                            As long as people can learn civilization is safe, but are we teaching the youngsters how to learn well?

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                            • #15
                              Re: What has spurred the decline in civilization?

                              Don't need anything as destructive as nuclear detonatione EMP to disrupt modern society, just tie up enoguh servers and bandwith with garbage that internet communication is unreliable and the games over for modern communication, banking, and commerce as we know it now.

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