Options

Are we too dependent on technology?

245

Posts

  • Options
    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    when did we start cyaning things?

    Senjutsu on
  • Options
    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I doubt it'll catch on.

    Glyph on
  • Options
    MalaysianShrewMalaysianShrew Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Veegeezee wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Veegeezee wrote: »
    Or your supply chain, unless you're a subsistence farmer or hunter.

    What part of "country" boy didn't come through.

    Freshly-murdered wild bunnies are delicious.

    Mmm, bunnies.

    I went Dall sheep hunting way up north last fall, and for whatever reason this particular trip struck me as sort of tragic. I suddenly realized how much crap we were bringing along to ensure that we wouldn't die; just having a satphone with us made me feel sort of guilty, for some reason.


    Woah, a satphone? Does "up north" mean "the congo"? Maybe I just havn't gone far enough off the beaten path to camp to require such emergency equipment.

    MalaysianShrew on
    Never trust a big butt and a smile.
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    It seems to me that the entire premise of this thread is inspired by and concerned with the legitimate dangers inherent in relying on a single centralized point of failure, but talks about such dangers in horribly confused language as though they are somehow inherent traits of the nebulous concept of "technology"

    Similar to anxieties expressed about genetic research, which are actually worse because they're based on speculative doomsday scenarios where there hasn't even been a substantial point of failure.

    What's wrong about what he had said? It is a foolish idea to put all of your eggs in one basket no matter how sure you are that it won't spill. Federated networks with redundancies are more effective and resilient and should become the future standard for a lot of things.

    moniker on
  • Options
    SarcastroSarcastro Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I'm not sold on technology making things worse or better - just different. I've lived in both worlds, and people don't seem any happier with it than without it. No matter what kind of world you live in, the emotions you feel towards it are always relative to the experience. No matter what the environment, people will carve out a niche for themselves that suits thier disposition. There are gogetters, cheerleaders, backstabbers, malcontents and lazy asses all over the world, regardless of technology.

    I do get kind of worried about the day when we no longer keep hardcopy - talk about putting all your eggs in one basket. And I do find that the entertainment availible in the civilized world is far more compelling than anything I experienced without technology. The latter could just be me though, perhaps if I grew up with it the desensitization to it would have been more prominent. As it is I can't look at a good movie on a screen the size of a three story building without always thinking: "This is the coolest damn thing I have ever seen."

    Sarcastro on
  • Options
    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Options
    Rolly RizlaRolly Rizla __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.

    But how far have we come?

    We're still writing on tablet PCs.

    Rolly Rizla on
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.

    We've been trying to go back ever since, though, to that paper-less office.

    moniker on
  • Options
    CorlisCorlis Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.
    I'm kind of curious as to how durable our electronic records are, actually, such as whether disk drives or compact disks would survive a century or two if civilization suddenly collapsed. I'd feel a bit happier if we had some form of recording certain crucial things safely so that if things fall to pieces our descendants might be able to hear about our mistakes in a few hundred years.

    Corlis on
    But I don't mind, as long as there's a bed beneath the stars that shine,
    I'll be fine, just give me a minute, a man's got a limit, I can't get a life if my heart's not in it.
  • Options
    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    This whole thing begs the question: are we too dependent on technology (edit: I mean technology that centers on communication and interconnectedness)?

    And is this necessarily a bad thing?

    What do you even mean by too dependent? Like, if someone EMPed the world a-la Snake Plissken would our corporate economies collapse? Yes. Would it cause the extinction of humanity? Fuck no. Would it take more than a couple years to get most of our comfort-shit running as per normal again? Doubt it. We wouldn't be able to do things that require technology without technology, I'll grant you that. But for it all to fail at once is about as likely as for Godzilla to attack Toronto tomorrow morning. If a single frivolous service fails, like the Blackberries, most people won't even hear about it, like I didn't.

    ViolentChemistry on
  • Options
    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Corlis wrote: »
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.
    I'm kind of curious as to how durable our electronic records are, actually, such as whether disk drives or compact disks would survive a century or two if civilization suddenly collapsed. I'd feel a bit happier if we had some form of recording certain crucial things safely so that if things fall to pieces our descendants might be able to hear about our mistakes in a few hundred years.

    Our electronic records are far less durable than physical records.

    But they are much easier to back up and replicate.

    If we were wiped out though... well, in a few thousand years the only things that would be left of our legacy would be the physical artifacts we left behind.

    ege02 on
  • Options
    Rolly RizlaRolly Rizla __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Corlis wrote: »
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.
    I'm kind of curious as to how durable our electronic records are, actually, such as whether disk drives or compact disks would survive a century or two if civilization suddenly collapsed. I'd feel a bit happier if we had some form of recording certain crucial things safely so that if things fall to pieces our descendants might be able to hear about our mistakes in a few hundred years.

    How about a huge titanium Monolith or Pyramid?

    Rolly Rizla on
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Corlis wrote: »
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.
    I'm kind of curious as to how durable our electronic records are, actually, such as whether disk drives or compact disks would survive a century or two if civilization suddenly collapsed. I'd feel a bit happier if we had some form of recording certain crucial things safely so that if things fall to pieces our descendants might be able to hear about our mistakes in a few hundred years.

    How about a huge titanium Monolith or Pyramid?

    Worked for the Illuminati.

    Our records are as durable as our upkeeping of them. Digital or hardcopy it makes no difference. The books that were burned in Alexandria were probably not originals but copies of copies of copies the original that had faded to dust. Nothing will last forever, and in the rare exceptions where something does get preserved for wide expanses of time, it's more because of the conditions and environment around it than because of any of its own properties. None of it really matters, though, because the fact that we split the atom would pale in the awe factor when compared to a post apocalyptic metropolis skyline a millenia down the road. Particularly since steel and concrete will last longer and better than quarried stone like Rome's ancient cityscapes.

    moniker on
  • Options
    CorlisCorlis Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Corlis wrote: »
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.
    I'm kind of curious as to how durable our electronic records are, actually, such as whether disk drives or compact disks would survive a century or two if civilization suddenly collapsed. I'd feel a bit happier if we had some form of recording certain crucial things safely so that if things fall to pieces our descendants might be able to hear about our mistakes in a few hundred years.

    How about a huge titanium Monolith or Pyramid?
    I'm thinking something nice and compact :) It's got to contain the whole of our literatur and a plethora of scientific and historical writings.

    The reason I'm so worried about the decaying electronic storage is that I'm studying Classics, and we have so little of the literature from then that it's frustrating; if only they'd picked something that could last for a few thousand years while buried underground then things would be better. I know that these days, we can't expect the bulk of stored records to be written in stone, I just want some stuff written durably and tossed in a bomb shelter or something, for safety's sake.

    Corlis on
    But I don't mind, as long as there's a bed beneath the stars that shine,
    I'll be fine, just give me a minute, a man's got a limit, I can't get a life if my heart's not in it.
  • Options
    Rolly RizlaRolly Rizla __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Would our modern steel and concrete last over 10,000 years without any upkeep?

    Rolly Rizla on
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Would our modern steel and concrete last over 10,000 years without any upkeep?

    The concrete would actually be much stronger then than it is now. Steel is mainly clad with a finishing material that would be able to last for a good while before it rusts. Even then, though, rust is a protective barrier to further damage and wouldn't likely lead to any structural failures. On top of the fact that everything is factored with enough safety loads to hold up under a handful of localized failures anyhow. The only thing that would suffer would be the roofs which'd begin to start failing after 30 to 100 years. Low end for BUR, middle numbers for metal, and the upper end for green roofs, which would only really 'fail' by having the root barrier become pointless and the sedum overgrowing into ceilings. It'd kick the shit out of today's ruins in a very PoMo way.

    moniker on
  • Options
    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You could make a much better argument for technology intruding too much upon our lives - the mobile phone has harassed the business worker more than any invention in history.

    The mobile phone is like an invisible leash bonding companies to their employees.

    I like the idea of leaving work at work and when I am at home work can piss off.

    Inquisitor on
  • Options
    Rolly RizlaRolly Rizla __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Would our modern steel and concrete last over 10,000 years without any upkeep?

    The concrete would actually be much stronger then than it is now. Steel is mainly clad with a finishing material that would be able to last for a good while before it rusts. Even then, though, rust is a protective barrier to further damage and wouldn't likely lead to any structural failures. On top of the fact that everything is factored with enough safety loads to hold up under a handful of localized failures anyhow. The only thing that would suffer would be the roofs which'd begin to start failing after 30 to 100 years. Low end for BUR, middle numbers for metal, and the upper end for green roofs, which would only really 'fail' by having the root barrier become pointless and the sedum overgrowing into ceilings. It'd kick the shit out of today's ruins in a very PoMo way.

    Well, how long do you think a skyscraper would last then?

    Rolly Rizla on
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Would our modern steel and concrete last over 10,000 years without any upkeep?

    The concrete would actually be much stronger then than it is now. Steel is mainly clad with a finishing material that would be able to last for a good while before it rusts. Even then, though, rust is a protective barrier to further damage and wouldn't likely lead to any structural failures. On top of the fact that everything is factored with enough safety loads to hold up under a handful of localized failures anyhow. The only thing that would suffer would be the roofs which'd begin to start failing after 30 to 100 years. Low end for BUR, middle numbers for metal, and the upper end for green roofs, which would only really 'fail' by having the root barrier become pointless and the sedum overgrowing into ceilings. It'd kick the shit out of today's ruins in a very PoMo way.

    Well, how long do you think a skyscraper would last then?

    Depends on the skyscraper and the city. Chicago is probably the best protected for the US since it doesn't run the risk of ever being hit by a hurricane like even NYC. LA and San Fran are going to be swallowed into the earth eventually. Even St. Louis has a rating of 3 for earthquake risk (out of 4) but feasibly it could last until an ice age came and a glacier took it out. That's unrealistic, but the Sears Tower isn't about to deteriorate and come crashing down because it didn't get a fresh coat of paint.

    moniker on
  • Options
    JinniganJinnigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Why are we asking these questions?

    Jinnigan on
    whatifihadnofriendsshortenedsiggy2.jpg
  • Options
    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Would our modern steel and concrete last over 10,000 years without any upkeep?

    The concrete would actually be much stronger then than it is now. Steel is mainly clad with a finishing material that would be able to last for a good while before it rusts. Even then, though, rust is a protective barrier to further damage and wouldn't likely lead to any structural failures. On top of the fact that everything is factored with enough safety loads to hold up under a handful of localized failures anyhow. The only thing that would suffer would be the roofs which'd begin to start failing after 30 to 100 years. Low end for BUR, middle numbers for metal, and the upper end for green roofs, which would only really 'fail' by having the root barrier become pointless and the sedum overgrowing into ceilings. It'd kick the shit out of today's ruins in a very PoMo way.

    Well, how long do you think a skyscraper would last then?

    It depends on a LOT of factors.

    ege02 on
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Jinnigan wrote: »
    Why are we asking these questions?

    Because I enjoy answering them and bring up architecture when it is even remotely tangentially associated with a thread although primarily unrelated.

    moniker on
  • Options
    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Corlis wrote: »
    People probably said the same thing when we invented paper and stopped carving things into stone though.
    I'm kind of curious as to how durable our electronic records are, actually, such as whether disk drives or compact disks would survive a century or two if civilization suddenly collapsed. I'd feel a bit happier if we had some form of recording certain crucial things safely so that if things fall to pieces our descendants might be able to hear about our mistakes in a few hundred years.

    How about a huge titanium Monolith or Pyramid?

    Worked for the Illuminati.

    Our records are as durable as our upkeeping of them. Digital or hardcopy it makes no difference. The books that were burned in Alexandria were probably not originals but copies of copies of copies the original that had faded to dust. Nothing will last forever, and in the rare exceptions where something does get preserved for wide expanses of time, it's more because of the conditions and environment around it than because of any of its own properties. None of it really matters, though, because the fact that we split the atom would pale in the awe factor when compared to a post apocalyptic metropolis skyline a millenia down the road. Particularly since steel and concrete will last longer and better than quarried stone like Rome's ancient cityscapes.
    Exactly. People get caught up and obsessed with these bullshit notions that we have to be able to go "finished done, don't need to worry about that again" which is frankly ludicrous. Entropy is working against you the whole time, you can't just seal up a system and hope it doesn't change. As books survived because we copied and stood watch over them throughout history so too must we take the same steps with CDs and other digital media.

    And compact storage is problematic for long term storage anyway, since you reduce the density of states you use to store a single bit of data - like a chip with 100 electrons storing one bit, if one degrades randomly then you've still got the data - but that margin reduces as you go down towards 1 electron.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Options
    WallhitterWallhitter Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Does anyone else see the irony of using technology to discuss our reliance on it?

    While this may sound a little weird, it's...I don't know. Just something to think about.

    Wallhitter on
  • Options
    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    As long as I'm the one that chose to walk over to my desk and utilize that particular technology, I'm not losing any sleep.

    Glyph on
  • Options
    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    wallhitter wrote: »
    Does anyone else see the irony of using technology to discuss our reliance on it?

    While this may sound a little weird, it's...I don't know. Just something to think about.

    You're breaking the 5th wall!

    Technology is just a means to whatever end we are trying to get. To go back to architecture, you can build something great that will last without a computer. Hell, you can do it without pencils and paper. You are just far more limited in your scope for fairly obvious reasons. Calculations become far too arduous to design overly large or complex frames leading to simple connections. Those require shorter spans leading to less impressive volumes. Materials can't be counted on for maximum strength and reliance so you have to enlarge them and so forth and so on.

    moniker on
  • Options
    Rolly RizlaRolly Rizla __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Would our modern steel and concrete last over 10,000 years without any upkeep?

    The concrete would actually be much stronger then than it is now. Steel is mainly clad with a finishing material that would be able to last for a good while before it rusts. Even then, though, rust is a protective barrier to further damage and wouldn't likely lead to any structural failures. On top of the fact that everything is factored with enough safety loads to hold up under a handful of localized failures anyhow. The only thing that would suffer would be the roofs which'd begin to start failing after 30 to 100 years. Low end for BUR, middle numbers for metal, and the upper end for green roofs, which would only really 'fail' by having the root barrier become pointless and the sedum overgrowing into ceilings. It'd kick the shit out of today's ruins in a very PoMo way.

    Well, how long do you think a skyscraper would last then?

    It depends on a LOT of factors.

    I'm just wondering about pretty much complete neglect of the upkeep of the facilities. No electricity. No means of repairing larger buildings at all.

    If something happened that knocked mankind back into the Stone Age, would 10,000 years of weathering be enough time to completely obliterate any traces of a city?

    Rolly Rizla on
  • Options
    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    If something happened that knocked mankind back into the Stone Age, would 10,000 years of weathering be enough time to completely obliterate any traces of a city?

    A lot more than weathering would go on in 10,000 years. There'd be bits and pieces left - hell, we have bone fragments millions of years old, but it'd be all messed up and anyone trying to reconstruct our civilisation would get it hilariously wrong.

    But man, its pretty silly to care that much about posterity.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • Options
    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    If something happened that knocked mankind back into the Stone Age, would 10,000 years of weathering be enough time to completely obliterate any traces of a city?

    A lot more than weathering would go on in 10,000 years. There'd be bits and pieces left - hell, we have bone fragments millions of years old, but it'd be all messed up and anyone trying to reconstruct our civilisation would get it hilariously wrong.

    But man, its pretty silly to care that much about posterity.

    Makes ya wonder how wrong we've got past civilizations huh?

    nexuscrawler on
  • Options
    Rolly RizlaRolly Rizla __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    If something happened that knocked mankind back into the Stone Age, would 10,000 years of weathering be enough time to completely obliterate any traces of a city?

    A lot more than weathering would go on in 10,000 years. There'd be bits and pieces left - hell, we have bone fragments millions of years old, but it'd be all messed up and anyone trying to reconstruct our civilisation would get it hilariously wrong.

    But man, its pretty silly to care that much about posterity.

    I'm just curious.

    Modern history only goes back about 10,000 years.

    Rolly Rizla on
  • Options
    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    Hoz on
  • Options
    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    But what if what you create takes control?!?!

    ege02 on
  • Options
    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    But what if what you create takes control?!?!

    Then you stop paying money to see Terminator sequels.

    ViolentChemistry on
  • Options
    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    But what if what you create takes control?!?!

    Pretty sure my laptop isn't going to order me to make it a sammich any time soon.

    t nexus: holy crap yes. I swear, some archaeologists' descriptions lead me to wonder if they've ever interacted with other people. Most are not too terrible, though. We get some good scraps of daily life from egyptian parchments and such - a lot of dug-up stuff is like, shopping lists and receipts.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • Options
    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    Thing is we've become so specialzed as indidvudals you'd need an awfully large number of experts to totally recreate all our technology

    The communications stuff we could live without. Commerce would just get more localized. The real issue hasn't been mentioned yet. Food. There's large parts of our world, namely the large cities, that really don't produce any food of their own. We're highly reliant on an industrialized food industry to make and deliver enough food to our urban centers. A breakdown of that would be survivable but would lead to mass famine and probably a large exodus out of the cities

    nexuscrawler on
  • Options
    GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    But what if what you create takes control?!?!

    Then you stop paying money to see Terminator sequels.

    Preferably after the first one. I don't even consider T3 canonical.

    Glyph on
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    There used to be a timeline bandied about the net of what would happen to buildings and roads and so forth after humans were to disappear from the Earth. Unfortunately it's been taken down (the original site was treehugger.com) but there was an accompanying New Scientist article that describes it in length. I'm not sure how accurate it is, though.

    By the way, this whole conversation reminds me of A Canticle for Liebowitz. Really good book, that.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Options
    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    Thing is we've become so specialzed as indidvudals you'd need an awfully large number of experts to totally recreate all our technology

    The communications stuff we could live without. Commerce would just get more localized. The real issue hasn't been mentioned yet. Food. There's large parts of our world, namely the large cities, that really don't produce any food of their own. We're highly reliant on an industrialized food industry to make and deliver enough food to our urban centers. A breakdown of that would be survivable but would lead to mass famine and probably a large exodus out of the cities
    It's a lot more consistent than what humanity has had to live through in the past. And I can't really think of one thing that would specifically break down our agricultural system (without dooming everything else, like loss of water or sunlight). We're getting to the point where we don't even need sunlight to grow our crops.

    Hoz on
  • Options
    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hoz wrote: »
    Hoz wrote: »
    Being dependent on something you're capable of creating is not a bad thing.

    Thing is we've become so specialzed as indidvudals you'd need an awfully large number of experts to totally recreate all our technology

    The communications stuff we could live without. Commerce would just get more localized. The real issue hasn't been mentioned yet. Food. There's large parts of our world, namely the large cities, that really don't produce any food of their own. We're highly reliant on an industrialized food industry to make and deliver enough food to our urban centers. A breakdown of that would be survivable but would lead to mass famine and probably a large exodus out of the cities
    It's a lot more consistent than what humanity has had to live through in the past. And I can't really think of one thing that would specifically break down our agricultural system (without dooming everything else, like loss of water or sunlight). We're getting to the point where we don't even need sunlight to grow our crops.

    Actually sunlight is about the only thing we need. Sunlight keeps the entire global environment ticking over.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Options
    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I was just pulling from something I remember reading about modifying the genes of crops so they don't require direct sunlight.

    But yeah, sunlight is important.

    Edit: I should have probably worded it as "won't need" and not "don't need".

    Hoz on
Sign In or Register to comment.