View Full Version : Thieves that come in the night(and daytime) Smart phone dystopia?

10-06-2017, 01:36 PM
I've been wondering about the impact of smartphones for awhile now. A not terribly sanguine assessment by insiders.


Norman Bernstein
10-06-2017, 01:43 PM
There is undoubtedly a great deal of merit in the arguments presented in this article....

...but it noticeably fails to mention the beneficial radical changes brought about by this sort of technology to inform, above and beyond its ability to connect socially.

I've always been concerned about the ability of corporations to use social media and other net-connected apps to characterize each and every one of us, providing the ability to 'target' each of us, for the purposes of sales.....

...but I'm overwhelmingly more concerned about this same capability to target each of us politically. Shaping opinion has gotten too easy, I think.

Flying Orca
10-06-2017, 01:47 PM
Where have I heard this sort of thing before? Oh, yes:

O tempora o mores!

Ralphie Boy
10-06-2017, 05:39 PM
One effect I notice with smartphones et al has been the death of "Downtime". Every spare second can now be utilized by doing something (worthless or worthwhile) on your phone.

10-06-2017, 06:28 PM
Downtime Solution: Leave it in the drawer at home. I do frequently.
Most of us lived most of our lives without the need for such devices, you still can you know.

Technology is a useful servant, but a terrible master.

Flying Orca
10-06-2017, 07:01 PM
Funny, for me it's kind of the opposite. Downtime is reading time for me, and with a library on my phone, I can read whenever and wherever I have a spare moment or three.

Vince Brennan
10-06-2017, 08:32 PM
We're temporarily in an apartment complex, the lowest situated apartment facing a large, parklike expanse with few but quite large trees. The first week, my wife commented frequently on the dearth of songbirds and others, but I found that in sitting on the postage-stamp patio and just watching the largest trees, I found there was an incredible amount of avian activity... it was just quiet!

Robins didn't choip, mockingbirds didn't mock, the jays must have been blue 'cos they were silent and the dees didn't chick.

After a few days of spending an hour or so just watching the boidies, I began to hear some song and the boidies began to flutter about more and more.

Today I got two visits from Mockingbirds... one flew into the fig tree by the patio and hopped about, examining me from several distances and angles. Then an hour llater, one zipped in and landed right by my head and allowed, loudly, that perhaps I should find other accommodations.

What do Mockingbirds eat?

That's been MY downtime lately. Computers are so last week...

10-07-2017, 01:07 AM
Ol' Cicero, given his time and place in Roman history, might have been on to something.

"History doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes."



I've not seen mockingbirds quite this far north, but did have some marvelous encounters when I lived in Baltimore, MD.

Birds have become a special part of my life the last six months or so. They have much to teach us.

Robbie 2
10-07-2017, 02:19 AM
We had quite a long wait between trains in Union Station Chicago.
There were a large group of Amish people, men and women dressed much as I have seen on TV or Movies.
I always thought of Amish as very conservative........Horse & Buggies, Long Dresses & Bonnets for the ladies, Hats and Braces for the men.
This was in fact what I saw...........HOWEVER, I found it quite amusing to note that every young lady was using a smart phone.

10-07-2017, 07:38 AM
The people you saw Robbie were likely Mennonites. I knew Amish folks when I did field work in Ohio many moons ago, and they didn't even have electricity. I'm not familiar with the particulars of the two sects, but it seems they often dress similarly.

Flying Orca
10-07-2017, 10:06 AM
Depends on the Mennonite. There are "plain-dress" Mennonites, who may be mistaken for the very closely related Amish sect, but there other schools of thought (and actual sects) within the realm of Mennonite theology and culture (which themselves are not necessarily all that close). Some more recent strains within the Mennonite heritage more closely resemble Quakers, or even Unitarians, and you wouldn't know them to see them. Hutterites, the communal-colony version of Mennonites, are another plain-dress group, but one which is quite comfortable with the appropriate use of high technology. And all of these groups have their former adherents; many of my friends come from Mennonite families, but would be Mennonite only in the cultural sense and not the religious sense. The term "recovering Mennonite" is well-recognized in these here parts.

I'm no expert, but Oystagirl's family is Mennonite with a strain of Hutterite, so one picks things up here and there.

Keith Wilson
10-07-2017, 10:15 AM
The article does an excellent job of presenting the downside And Norm says, it ignores the advantages; I very much like being able to access most information instantly, the equivalent of carrying around several sets of encyclopedias and a modest very well-organized reference library.

I work in a neighborhood where there are a lot of Somalis, fairly recently arrived. I never realized how handy a traditional hijab can be for holding a cell phone for hands-free conversation.