Lost In This World Of Technology

Nov 09 2010 Published by under Isn't It Ironic?, Technology Gone Bad

A good friend of mine whispers in my ear every so often sweet nothings about Twitter, usually just after I've made outlier pithy comment.  In general "brevity" is not the first word that leaps to the minds of those who wish to describe my verbal stylings, but my friend's Twitterhopes spring eternal.

Nora Ephron said this morning on NPR, in talking about her new book, I Remember Nothing, at some point you just realize you will never keep up.

when e-mail came along, I was just going to fall in love with it. And I did. I can't believe it now — it's like one of those ex-husbands that you think, 'What was I thinking?' The point is that you can kind of keep up for a while and then, suddenly, something comes along and you think, 'I give up. I am never going to tweet. I'm just never going to.'"

I am starting to feel that way. Yesterday and today I was perusing the Chronicle of Higher Education's special supplement on Online Education and half the time I thought, "what the fuck are they talking about?" What are all these bits of technology? Robots in online education? WTF???

Also it made me think: how the hell are professors supposed to keep up with all this stuff along with every damn other thing they are supposed to be doing. While their pay is being cut, too. And then after we put all their classes on YouTube and none of the students go to actual classrooms anymore and all the professors have become unmoored adjuncts drifting aimlessly about on the highways and information has become free the way it wants to be and no one pays tuition anymore because you can get your education online for $1.99 per class at iTunesU maybe we can all get jobs selling fries at the fast food restaurants that the students will want to drive through late at night when they get the munchies on a YouTube study break.

An older relative of mine was recently fascinated with my iPhone.  I showed him some of the things it could do.  He admired it, and then pronounced himself "lost in this world of technology today."

He went on: "Technology is going forward, all the time, faster and faster.  But we're going backward. These machines can do everything, but people don't do anything, and nobody has jobs. I hate to think where these kids are going to wind up in fifty years."

2 responses so far

  • FrauTech says:

    Unfortunately humans are still cheaper than robots at most things. Hence why most US auto factories are still largely populated by humans, and why mines and oil platforms employ people putting their lives at risk every day. The smarter/more complicated a machine is, the more expensive it is. I think things like iPhones have taken off and seem like they could be cheap replacements because thanks to H1B Visas, the economy, and hiring "interns" instead of software engineers certain products that are heavily software based have been able to sneak in at low cost. I'm not big on social networking, and see the attempt to cheapen college professors as much the same that is going on in the private sector right now. I'm not too worried about machines or robots because really a human life does not cost a whole lot right now, I don't think they'll be replacing us anytime soon. Much as I'd like to welcome our new robot overlords...

  • Bashir says:

    I keep up by having enough early adopter friends that I hear about all this stuff just before it goes mainstream. So I have a vague idea of what's out there, though my own habits are slow to change. I don't have the time of inclination to jump on every new technology bandwagon. Especially when history shows that many fail in a short amount of time. Of course when I first heard of Twitter I thought it was ridiculous and would never make it.