It seems to me that the best way to instantly raise your standard of living is to live in the past. If you subsist entirely on two-year-old entertainment, and the corresponding two-year-old technology used to power it, you’re cutting your fun budget in half, freeing up that money for more exciting expenditures like parking meters and postage.
The problem is that it’s hard living out of sync with the world around you. Just ask the Amish or Bill Cosby.
Two schools I have taught at in the past couple of years ban camera use at their high school musical night. One of the reasons is because students look out to the audience to see if mum and dad are watching. If they see only a sea of lenses instead of adoring eyes they are met with technology rather than soul.
We are obsessed with recording life from our point of view, even when it is only 30 cm from the next person's POV.
The Mona Lisa is photographed by every visitor to the Lourve when we have ready access to pristine images of her taken in optimum lighting etc.
We humans are strange creatures.
We’ve been using “Minority Report” as shorthand to explain the device, or the heads-up screen in “Robocop.” But was this device influenced by science fiction
I’m not a very big fan of science fiction. I think that I’m a very big fan of living in the physical world. I’m good with digital technology, but I start to miss the physical world. I miss riding my bike, talking to friends. Technology now separates us from the physical world more and more. Even social networking sites are taking us away from the physical world.
At the lab, we like making things that we can touch, we can feel, we can take with us wherever we want to go, that we know how to interact with. The digital world has power because it has dynamic information, but it’s important that we stay human instead of being another machine sitting in front of a machine.
Whatever science fiction movies we watch now, we can make the technology real in two days. What we can do is not important. What we should do is more important.
Culture | Why computer games are a throwback to art of the past: they revive “the idea that difficulty is artistically desirable,” a critic says. “It’s a bit of an irony that difficulty thrives in the newest medium of all—and it’s not by accident, either. One of the most common complaints regular gamers make in reviewing new offerings is that they are too easy. (It would be nice if a little bit of that leaked over into the book world.)” [London Review of Books]
The “War of the Worlds” broadcast remains enshrined in collective memory as a vivid illustration of the madness of crowds and the deeply invasive nature of broadcasting. The program seemingly proved that radio could, in the memorable words of Marshall McLuhan, turn “psyche and society into a single echo chamber.” The audience’s reaction clearly illustrated the perils of modernity. At the time, it cemented a growing suspicion that skillful artists — or incendiary demagogues — could use communications technology to capture the consciousness of the nation. It remains the prime example used by media critics, journalists, and professors to prove the power of the media.
Yet the media are not as powerful as most think, and the real story behind “The War of the Worlds” is a bit more complex. The panic was neither as widespread nor as serious as many have believed at the time or since.
Nobody died of fright or was killed in the panic, nor could any suicides be traced to the broadcast. Hospital emergency-room visits did not spike, nor, surprisingly, did calls to the police outside of a select few jurisdictions. The streets were never flooded with a terrified citizenry. Ben Gross, the radio columnist of the New York Daily News, later remembered a “lack of turmoil in front of CBS” that contrasted notably with the crowded, chaotic scene inside the building. Telephone lines in New York City and a few other cities were jammed, as the primitive infrastructure of the era couldn’t handle the load, but it appears that almost all the panic that evening was as ephemeral as the nationwide broadcast itself, and not nearly as widespread. That iconic image of the farmer with a gun, ready to shoot the aliens? It was staged for Life magazine.