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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rise of the Clones

Current mood: calm

Views: 227
Comments: 6

People occasionally talk about the future and the possibility that we'll soon live among robots. I think we're getting there already – but not via artificial intelligence. Scientists and engineers may be working on things like that, but in a society which technology effectively enables, I think we're somewhat melding into the machines ourselves.

This thought came to me in a moment following my observation of an older person using a computer. Having not been brought up amongst PCs, she was poking the screen when asking how to move one file into another folder. Poking the screen. I later thought about this and considered it entirely unnecessary as the cursor is like an extension of your finger. When you're using a computer, the cursor is your finger. Keyboard shortcuts enable even more mobility, like kicking a door closed when both hands are occupied.

I spend way too much time in front of monitors, as it has become apparent. And yet, it would be safe to say that the majority reading this right now do the same in spending hours on the net, or gaming. Whatever floats the proverbial boat. Don't you feel completely at ease with it? I've gotten a bunch of comments from older people about how capable I am with using computers, and have been asked (as evidenced earlier) a number of times by different people for help using them. I'm not brilliant using technology, but I am of this generation when it’s all so readily accessible, and so encouraged.

Now I come to the point of the generation gap, but am hesitant to comment due to the sheer number of variables to take into consideration. I can’t generalise either, but get the sense that this younger generation, being so ‘connected’, may at times lose touch with reality. I notice older people tend to be more open with strangers. I’ve been spoken to by many more over the age of 60 than under that age when in public. This isn’t factoring in obligatory interchanges such as with bus drivers and salespeople. My mother (who coincidently is terrible with modern technology) is often willing to speak to people on the bus, whereas I keep to myself entirely.

I can’t say that this rings true for all people, but have noticed this trend in varying degrees. I read, mostly online, of people feeling isolated and alone, and yet unable to reach out. We Google symptoms and make threads when we think something’s wrong instead of talking to a family member about it. We instant message people that are easily accessed, bypassing certain aspects of conversation such as shades of meaning and removing faces from the equation.

Is the abundant availability of technology creating in our society a generation of robots?

That may be going a bit far. Only the future can tell us how we will be as adults, as parents; and what our children will be exposed to, what those things will create in them. This isn’t a cynical blog, I still believe in the abilities of the individual, the virtues and personalities, but our detachment as being one with machines and not people may hinder our great potentials. How hypocritical of me to be stating all this.

Do you agree, UG?

LB over and out.

11:52 pm - 6 comments - 6 Kudos - Report!
Comments
james4 wrote on Oct 15th, 2009 1:43pm

I notice older people tend to be more open with strangers.
*elaboration*

I find this true, too

but like you said, there are so many variables to consider. When those 'old' people were 14-21, how socially open were they? It could just be that as a person gets older, they're more comfortable with their surroundings, and aren't afraid to make small talk with anyone in public.

I mean, that's just one of the things that could be making a difference as much as/ more than technology, but its the first thing that came to mind that I think could skew our observation of it..thats it's not so much a generation gap as an age/maturity gap.

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james4 wrote on Oct 15th, 2009 1:44pm

(non-age related bit, because the first comment was too long to fit with it included)

With that said, though, there's no doubt technology's changed the way we communicate, and it doesn't seem to be for the better. Internet communication has some amazing upsides (why else would I be here? :p ), but it's replacing human interaction more than it should..
I dunno if you've seen the trailer for the movie Surrogates, but I can't help of something like that every time technology and social activity are mentioned together. I don't think of like, Bruce Willis running around trying to stop everyone from dying, but we're all in our safe little spaces, while still 'communicating' with the world. not in a robot-body sense, but ..how much different is an e-identity?

and yeah.. I started rambling, so I'll stop.

I like your blogs. they make me ramble :p:

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coryklok wrote on Oct 15th, 2009 4:35pm

Great writing, Ms. Bunny. :golfclap:

I agree, the current generation is the one that relies most on computers. By the time I'm an adult (which isn't too long away), with rate technology is increasing, I wouldn't be surprised that most jobs could be done from home on a computer. What really worries me is our kids and our kids' kids.

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joshua122593 wrote on Oct 16th, 2009 12:16am

:golfclap:

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jasonggabbott wrote on Oct 18th, 2009 7:54am

It was probably the same when people started to drive, watch t.v. or even when the WRITTEN word was created. I remember reading something that said people thought
books were just a fad and the spoken word, handed down trough the generations
would beat books out in the long run. Knowledge and the ability to share it, makes US HUMAN and I believe we will work things out, and computers will be just another stepping stone to something even newer. I also believe everything that can happen, does, giving enough time.
GREAT READ, really made me think! I may write a song now!:) THX!

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captaincrunk wrote on Oct 27th, 2009 5:03am

If you'd like, I could shoot you a 12 page thesis I wrote on the rights robots would have in the future if they were sentient. It's not as good of a read as this blog tho

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