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Woe Is The Information Age

June 8, 2011 by  

Woe Is The Information Age

If you think the Information Age has advanced the world and is leading to the pursuit of happiness, think again. Now in my 50s, I am convinced technology is killing our spirit and setting us up for a big fall. And while I don’t consider myself a Luddite, my three children might disagree.

I bought an Apple II Plus in 1983. It was a marvel. I still needed a dictionary because Bill Gates had not yet invented MS Word. I even took a week-long class in Seattle, Wash. to learn how to dial-up the Ethernet. It was the precursor to the Internet and was painfully slow. My publisher used to come into my office. He would get frustrated that I couldn’t seem to reach a supercomputer like H.A.L. and have every answer to any question. I didn’t know that the world was on the brink of that dream.

iPhones Won’t Win Friends

Twenty years ago, I bought a Motorola cell phone, which was appropriately called “the brick.” It was a serious status symbol and came with a built-in excuse: people could reach me in case there was an emergency.

Today, I don’t own a cell phone, and I don’t want to. There never does seem to be an emergency; they still make pay phones; and, frankly, it seems like too much work to learn how to operate these devices which have almost every application you can dream of. Now even children own cell phones, so whatever status they had disappeared long ago.

My wife already accuses me of being obsessive-compulsive about checking my email on my PC at work. I have decided that when I get away from the office, I really do want to be away.

Has all this information made us more productive or more intelligent? I don’t believe so. When I was a young editor for my father’s newsletter, we made his publication special because we did something few other newsletters did. We put in a lot of research. I sometimes would put in the better part of a week at the old Spokane Public Library.

It may have taken me hours to find a fact that can now be retrieved in two minutes on Google. I had to read a lot of books, but the worst of it was going over scores of microfiche or outdated statistic tables. The process was enlightening. It might take a dozen magazines to find what China’s gross domestic product was, but in that search I would learn much more.

Today, fifth-graders can look up China’s GDP in seconds. That doesn’t mean they have an understanding of China or what is happening to that country and to the rest of the world that must compete against it. One-sentence answers abound, but the Information Revolution has created a void when it comes to an understanding of what is really happening.

A year ago, The Wall Street Journal carried this headline: “Does The Internet Make You Dumber?” The story reported: “Today, the Internet grants us easy access to unprecedented amounts of information. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Net, with its constant distractions and interruptions, is also turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers.”

Texting Me Crazy

I dropped off my wife at the grocery store the other day and was driving through the parking lot. A young mother with her baby in a stroller was busy texting on her cell phone when she walked directly in front of my car. I stopped with plenty of room to spare. But had I also been texting, I would have hit the both of them. According to a recently published study by Virginia Tech, people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in an accident.

I wonder about the people who show complete and utter disrespect for others by carrying out loud cell-phone conversations while shopping, in elevators or while at the gym. I started going to athletic clubs 35 years ago. They never did turn me into an athlete, but I am convinced working out is a better stress reliever than any pill or shrink. At least it was until people started bringing their cell phones to the gym. I finally got so fed up with people talking about their everyday trivia that I gave up my membership. I now burn calories uninterrupted in a tiny, but quiet, weight room on the main floor of my office building.

As I watch everyday people engaged in their serious conversations that can’t wait, I wonder: What job do they have? They don’t look like they run a major oil company or are police detectives. Yet they talk and text as if lives depended on it. Most seem oblivious to the world around them and everyone else in it.

The epitome of ego is Twitter, the network for microblogging on which people have the audacity to broadcast instantly any thought that pops into their mind. People love celebrities, so they sign up by the thousands to receive updates by the likes of Charlie Sheen (to find out whether he is still “winning!”) and Maria Shriver (to learn her latest thoughts on her cheating husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger).

It all seems like a huge waste of time. None of it makes our children smarter or the workforce more productive. In fact, the Internet and all the personal communication devices that come with it might be doing the opposite. Teachers have had to ban cell-phone use in the classroom. All for good reason, says Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel.

According to Kandel, students can pay deep attention to a new piece of information only when they are able to associate it “meaningfully and systematically with knowledge already well established in memory.” Such associations are essential, but they don’t take place when people are surfing on their laptops, jabbering on their BlackBerrys or texting on their iPhones.

The cold truth is that technology is not the panacea for all that ills us. It is a tool we should control. Yet it seems to controls us.

Yours in good times & bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report

John Myers

is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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  • Andy in Idaho

    I bet Congressman Anthony Weiner wishes he had read this a year ago! But that only proves the point that technolgy helps us get the idiots that need to be got. Cell phones are fantastic. Technology is incredible. Sorry Myers but your are a Luddite. Maybe you need your kids to teach you a bit. You have a lot to learn.

    • Van

      Fact: Texting is slowly, but surely transforming the children of this country into inconsiderate social and mental morons. I do not use the “m word” lightly.

      • EddieW

        Coming Soon…Shootings at Malls, Police Stations!!
        You have to fix the (Dot)!!
        http://www.freedomsphoenix(dot)com/News/091166-2011-06-07-the-alex-jones-show -sunday-edition.htm?From=News

        • Kate8

          EddieW – I was not able to access your link.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        You are absolutely correct. It is killing our childrens personal communications skills, as they cannot talk and relate if they dont have some kind of electronic device in their hands. Just last week, as my wife and I were sitting eating supper at a local Applebee’s, we couldnt help but notice 2 young couples sitting at a table near us, and during the whole time, both before ordering the food, after ordering, and during and after the meal, ALL 4 OF THEM, texted and played with their phones the whole time, and not a word was spoken between them. Everynow and then one would raise their phone and show one of the others what it said, then go back to the texting and searching mode. Its really sad. It used to be a good constructive and growing conversation could be had over a good meal, but that seems lost with our youth.

    • FreedomFighter

      Tech can be good or bad for either individuals or group, it all depends on who controls it, method of implementation, purpose and several other critical social/economic concerns.

      The problems seems that many substitute tech-living for a real life. Tools like technogagets should remain, just that, a tech-tool to do a job faster, better and not a substitute for life.

      Another glaring issue is the individuals reliance on these techno-tools. Some kids growing up cant do math without a calculator-tool, nor can they even go thru one day with constant wireless communication – patently rediculous.

      Morons in the local food mart cant even buy food without phone calls to guide them to the correct products. GPS has rendered map reading a lost art to most.

      IMHO our over dependence on tech-tools without complimentry skills in less techno dependent methods is the greatest pitfall for the individual and group:

      One exceeding large sun-flair knocking out the powergrid for an extended time would mightly damage the techno-dependent society.

      Major sun activity has happened in the past and it will happen again, just a matter of when.

      Are you ready?

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

      • SiliconDoc

        Like any other increase in the ability of humans to know things, it all comes down to the person who uses it.
        John spent weeks in the library, because his JOB PAID HIM TO DO IT.
        Apparently all that great understanding has lead the USA “leaders” in the executive and legislative branches to be SCREWED by China anyway.
        TRUMP very simply told the US Citizens the how and WHY – which frankly all of us have already heard on the soundbite msm a thousand times.
        The difference today is FEAR – our crybaby, victimized, wailing, pathetic, overtly cautious, no responsibility, clueless, floating in every direction at once in order to please the ENTIRE WORLD – FAILURES.
        See that’s the real difference.
        Blame it on hormone additives in food, I don’t care….
        Our Congress travels the world and do deals, our GOVERNORS ( thank you Jesse Ventura) DO THE SAME.
        So what we have is our NEW WORLD ORDER government – who leave the USA in last place in their ACTIONS much of the time – their bleeding hearts giving away the store – OVER THE ENTIRE FACE OF THE EARTH.
        The story is already out there, weak and barely expressed…
        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see it.
        Likewise, anyone using a computerized device can READ BOOKS, READ IN DEPTH INFORMATION ONE HAD TO HACK AROUND IN A LIBRARY FOR WEEKS FOR A SINGLE FACT FOR YEARS AGO…
        The complaint is ridiculous, because anyone with the JOB to FIND THE FACT(S), can now read endless reams of the very same information and gain a very deep understanding from a cellphone or tablet or computer – with a very tiny bit of self declared EFFORT.
        Let’s take myself as an example – hungry for knowledge and the truth – the internet has been incredibly useful – and I don’t whine something is boring – but then – I never whined school was boring – but then and now those types of turdy headed doofuses were EVERYWHERE.
        No different today – MOST OF YOUR CLASSMATES FROM 50 YEARS AGO WERE CLUELESS RETARDS AS THEY ARE TO THIS VERY DAY. THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS.
        The nice thing is, with a bit of properly delivered information, MOST PEOPLE, the MAJORITY, can be straightened out VERY VERY QUICKLY on any topic…
        That was true then, and it is true now.

      • Bruce

        I have noticed that to most cashiers cant give change if the cash register goes down. Because they cant count.

    • Don

      And I thought people in Idaho had brains, but they only have iphones, sorry Andy !!!

  • http://! Angel Wannabe

    Good Article and I agree!__While my Husband and I have a cell phone and people text us, we are not texting fools and don’t text back. Why text, when there is email and or a phone call. Our kids have succumbed to this texting too, as well as they’re spouses.__Frankly, Its like anything else, ya have to control it, ya can’t let it take over your life._ As for gadgets, some are good when properly used, such as headsets with music constantly playing, they do cause accidents._ Two years ago, my husband was stopped at a left hand turn lane stop light, when a 14 year old with a headset and earphones on, walked out into the line of traffic, unknowing the light changed. The car in the right hand lane, hit the boy and flung him into the air and on top of the car beside my husband. The car beside my husband obviously stopped, but everyone else got into the left lane and went on they’re merry way. My husband called 911 & left the car parked in the far left turn lane, and got out to help the boy. He ended up with a broken arm.

    • Vagabond

      Angel had that boy been a child of mine a broken arm would have been the least of his worries, texting. it is so stupid. as you said a phone call is much quicker aned much more intelligen. I will not read a text message and I sure wont even send one and if I were c cop and saw anyone texting I would write them up for any and every violation they were guilty of. and if I were a judge I would slap them with the MAXIMUM penalty under law, the IDIOTS are not only endangering themselves they are endangering everyone AROUND them,

      • Harold Olsen

        Some people take texting to and extreme. About three years ago, I was walking to work and I was passing the man and woman who were giggling and laughing and punching and pushing each other playfully. I wondered what was going on with them. Then I realized that these two idiots were standing next to each other and texting each other. Ridiculous.

        Here in Seattle, where I live, a law was passed making it illegal to text while driving. However, and I said it at the time it was passed, it is a law that is not going to be enforced and it isn’t. According to an article I read yesterday, the only thing that happens to people who are caught texting while driving is they get a verbal warning. Nothing more. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve almost been run over by some moron who’s texting while driving.

        I have a Blackberry, but I decided not to sign up for texting. Oh, I can receive text messages but I never send them.

      • http://! Angel Wannabe

        Vagabond & Harold, I have no issues with texting, the Internet, blackberry’s and the like, my problem is, there is a time and a place for it. Ya can’t let it interfere with daily life, but the younger generation does. Our kids are no different at 29 & 31, as they do it too. If your having a conversation with them, if they’re phone tinkles, its a text message, it seems imperative they have to answer it, and it’s annoying as hell!__I think it makes folks less reactive face to face too.

      • JeffH

        Vagabond and Angel W, I have a brother and a niece that live to text, to the point that they’re borderline rude. It’s annoying to me but it’s their life, not mine. I have another niece to be that lives and dies with facebook and I can only imagine, because I live 180mi south of her that she wears out her phones keypad texting too. Modern technology is great but it’s the human interaction that gives it a bad taste. Driving and texting is dangerous as is cell phone use without a bluetooth.

        Oh well, I guess it’s an each to his own thing.

        • http://! Angel Wannabe

          Jeffh, I have a friend who is a dynamite search engine marketer and owns her own business. She’s written a couple books, and travels all over the world giving seminars. Was in Ireland and London recently, Point is, This girl drives me nutz with the facebook thing. Even going to the market is on facebook, getting a soda at Wawa or a steak dinner!!__WHAT REALLY???__My God, C’mon who cares!!!
          sides the GUV own facebook too!____I was already on the damn thing when I found out about it._link below

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B37wW9CGWyY

          • JeffH

            I hear ya loud and clear. Commented on it too, further down.

          • Kate8

            Angel, JeffH – Computers, cell-phones and the like are addictive.

            When hubby was alive we travelled a lot, so we had a cell for our business. He was a phone addict, and he would be on any phone all the time. Made him good at business, because people loved him.

            When he passed I ditched the cell, but the computer can consume more time than I’d like. When my daughter’s here, she’s texting her BF constantly.

            I really think these things keep us mindless. Today I made a point of sitting on the patio, listening to the wind and the birds. We need to allow times of quiet so God can speak to us. I think He always is, but we can’t hear because we’re plugged in to electronics.

      • http://donthaveone Beberoni

        We recently lost our full size line truck and our dump truck, because a semi driver was texting and ran into them going 60 mph. Luckily, our guys were braking down for a light, and still going about 20 mph, instead of being at a dead stop, or the dump truck in the middle would have been squished and our driver would have been dead. It totalled both vehicles, and it knocked out our driver in the front line truck and busted his head open and he had to take 5 staples to close it. Recently a girl was in a mall texting and walked right into a fountain, then wanted to sue because the people that helped her out were laughing. Darn right they were. I would have been laughing my butt off watching someone be so stupid that they would walk right into a fountain, oblivious to the reality around them. Technology is good, but like anything else, too much of anything is bad, and I do see a generation becoming totally dependant upon it for communicating with each other, and that is not good at all.

    • Vigilant

      Dependence upon technology susceptible to hacking, and unshielded from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) creates a vulnerability heretofore unknown in this world.

      Virtually everything depends upon the chip these days. Automobiles, computers, electric power and water distribution, and communications systems are all dead in the water in the event of a natural or man-made EMP catastrophe.

      If and when that occurs, we will be thrown back into the Dark Ages. Isn’t it odd that those best poised to survive will be those in the world currently too poor to afford these things, or the few who have taken steps to assure their food, water, and ammo are secure?

      • Al Sieber

        Vigilant, if a EMP happened most people would be reading books again, if they could read, or forced to talk to each other. the only communications would be the old tube radios.

        • Kate8

          Al, Isn’t that the truth.

          BTW, Scientists are talking about solar flares strong enough to take down the grid, and they think soon. It could take years to get it back up. Whatever the cause, it could have some benefits, once we got used to doing without power, phones and the like. Water would be the biggie.

          I love books. It’s the social connections I miss, like with the neighborhood. Everyone is dutifully planted in front of the TV or computer every eve. I hardly ever see my neighbors at all.

          You live out in the boonies, huh? I used to. It was great. There’s nothing like being self-sufficient.

          • Al Sieber

            Yes Kate, I live out in the mountains, no neighbors just other miners scattered around the mountains here, no law enforcement around here we take care of ourselves. there’s some huge solar flare activity going on right now and it can take out the grid, but we’re prepared.

      • Don

        Amen on that Vigilant, the young will go nuts with nothing to do, or how to do it without their contacts !

    • Bob JJohnson

      Mother Natures way of thinning the herd, only the smart, quick and strong will survive.

      • eddie47d

        Technology is great but crooks can hack into your cell phone,computer,I-Phone,Blackberry etc. They can create misery in a flash and be gone. Welcome to a better world.

  • Vigilant

    It would more appropriately be labeled “the disinformation age.” While it can be a great source of valuable information, there is so much utter crap disseminated on the Internet, and there are millions of gullible people who believe everything they see on the screen. Reagan’s words, “trust but verify,” are very appropriate here.

    As for cell phones I, like Mr. Myers, have rejected them. It’s a very insecure public that needs constant validation of their existence by the mental masturbation afforded by these devices. “For emergency use only” should be the byword when it comes to cell phones.

    • http://! Angel Wannabe

      vigilant, ya mean like constant validation on facebook, whenever someones stops at Wawa for a frickin Iced Tea, that drives me nutz!?

      • Vigilant

        Exactly!

      • JeffH

        Angel Wannabe, that’s precisely why Facebook isn’t a habit with me. I opened an account so I could get in touch with some family and a few friends and might log in two or three times a month at most. Way too much meaningless info shared… :)

    • DaveH

      Before we had the “crap disseminated on the Internet”, we had the “crap disseminated on the” MSM channels.
      I, for one, appreciate the ability to be exposed to information that previously was unavailable to the average citizen.

      • Vigilant

        No argument there.

      • Bob JJohnson

        why?

        • JeffH

          Why? If you have to ask “why” to DaveH comment then you’re in way over your head already. I’m sure you already know the answer to your own question.

    • Harold Olsen

      I agree. What really gets me is how many people I know who think that the best source for information on the web is Wikipedia. They actually believe that everything on that site is one hundred per cent true. When I tell them otherwise, they go ballistic.

      The web is a good source for information but you have to be careful what sites you get that information from. Just because, or maybe because of, a site is a news site (TV or print) doesn’t make it a good source of information. But then, most people seem to only believe what they want to believe. Proof, and truth, is irrelevant to them.

      • Bruce

        If you are writing a paper for college they will not aceppt Wikipedia as a soucre.

    • Cawmun Cents

      Oh come on Vig…who wants to look like hey are socially retarded in public.Go ahead and text a little.Live dangerously.As long as you dont do it as you are supping on spaghetti,in an outhouse,while performing open-heart surgery….I AM THINKING NOBODY WILL CARE.But what do I know?Apparently very little……-CC.

  • JoMama

    I have a cell phone – I hate it. Everytime I try to have an intelligent conversation it will ring. I never answer it. I answer the phone all day at work. I hear phones that ring all day at work. I hear everyone’s cell phone ring at work. I hear people yelling into their cell phones every day – while I am on the phone with a customer at work. I would never have the news stations sending me alerts “to find out if Charlie Sheen is still winning.” Or about Maria Shriver’s cheating CA governor husband. I hate phones. Period.
    They all make me more insane than I already am.

    • JoMama

      I would rather look someone in the eye when I talk to them.

      • Alexis

        Yes! The smartest comment I’ve heard so far today!

      • DaveH

        Me too, but most of the time that just isn’t feasible.

        • libertytrain

          Never been a phone fan and cells don’t work in “my” mountains so I’m kind of fortunate to be able to use that excuse.

      • Cawmun Cents

        ah yes…Skype!

        • http://! Angel Wannabe

          CC, didn’t Microsoft buy out Skype?

    • Vagabond

      well joMama I have both a cell phone and a land line. I never answer the land line because of telemarketers. and I signed up for the do not call list but that didn’t do any good. I use my cell for important calls and I damned sure dont keep it glued to my ear, as a matter of fact if I use it twice a day it is unusual,

      • Harold Olsen

        I still have a land line but for only one reason. I still use a dial-up Internet service. It’s a free service that I’ve been using for over ten years and it works great. Not only is it free but it is anonymous. My user ID is “Guest” and my password is “Password.” Why pay high prices for commercial Internet services, when I don’t have to? I’ve used most of the commercial services, AOL, CompuServe, EarthLink, Prodigy, MSN, among others (Do most of these even exist anymore?), and I’ve had nothing but trouble with all of them. Not so with the free service I use. But, it’s the only reason why I keep a land line.

        • http://! Angel Wannabe

          H.Olsen, We got a cell, when my Dad was very ill and decided we weren’t going to pay for both the land line & the cell, one had to go.

  • bILL .H.

    It’s funny, I was just thinking last nite about the advent of the calculator, how my kids cannot do any kind of fairly simple mathmatics, such as working out square roots long method…. now it’s just punch it into the machine. Makes you wonder if we’re making headway intelligence wise.om

    • Vigilant

      Kids have become so reliant on calculators, when is the last time any cashier counted up the change for you? What’s worse, they mechanically give you the change shown on the register without even doing a sanity check.

    • Harold Olsen

      I couldn’t believe it when I heard, I think it was in the 80′s, that kids were being allowed to use calculators while doing their math, even for tests. It’s no wonder kids can’t do simple math these days. It’s kind of like the old Bill Cosby routine: “One and one is two. Yeah, cool! What’s a two?”

    • kodster5

      I remember coming home from work 1 day in Sacramento, in the ’80s. Came over the overpass across US-99, and as I reached the apex of the overpass, the entire city suddenly went dark, watched it happen, at the peak of rush hour. Most of the businesses had to shut their doors, because their staff couldn’t even count change out… they had become so reliant on technology to tell them what amount to give out. That’s when I realized just how bad society had become, being dependent on technology. Like Bob, I bought an Apple IIc in 1983, at the advent of personal computers into the home market. My two daughters were introduced at a young age to computers. However, I also taught them how to be independent of them, as well, teaching them how to garden, sew, etc, just like I was. They are self-sufficient and confident. Only thing I don’t like is the fact that they are also guilty of posting to Facebook too much. =(

      Right now, I’m using the Internet to help me prepare for when it is no longer available. I just found 4 recipes to make my own ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and a chipotle sauce condiments. All because I know the time is coming fast that I won’t be able to buy these at the store, let alone be able to get to the nearest store to buy them. So, I’m growing my own produce, stocking up on the things I need, and preparing for the worst times this world has ever known.

  • Dank

    Totally agree. Our spirit and personalities are being worn.
    well done!

  • Louie

    Technology has not ruined us…we have ruined ourselves with technology. It’s all about controlling ones actions.

    • Dagney

      I agree! Everything in moderation, as THEY say….

    • Robin from Arcadia, IN

      Louie… Well said. It is a matter of self-control. Overdoing anything, whether it be gaming, texting, eating, drinking, etc. all boils down to personal responsibility to self (and others).

    • Carlucci

      I have a cell phone for emergencies. I hardly ever use it. As people have said already, I believe all of this technology has led to even worse manners and behavior, especially among young people. A few years ago I was on a dinner date with a guy who talked on his phone nonstop throughout the entire meal. I couldn’t believe someone could be so crass. We were supposed to go to the movies after dinner, but as we were walking out of the restaurant, I told him I didn’t want to continue on our date, and to just take me home. He was baffled and asked me why. I said I didn’t think we were a good match as he was obviously so important he couldn’t stop talking on his phone in order to pay attention to his date. I also told him that his bad manners totally turned me off and not to call me again. Wow – you should have seen his face – he had no clue. He did sincerely apologize right then and we ended up going to the movies. We are still seeing each other, but now he always leaves his phone in the car.

  • momplayer

    I agree with you Mr Meyers! While we have more means of communication than ever we seem to be losing our personal communication. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to get a text message from my grandkids saying ” I luv u” It doesn’t give me the same warm and fuzzy I get from hearing their voice saying “I love you” I”m trying to adjust to seeing them LOL on the phone screen instead of their real laugh and wondering why it’s perfectly acceptable to see WTF from people that would never say it out loud,but it’s ok on a text.I’m learning how to spell and read between the lines on what they mean to say. I’m one who’s not LMAO.

  • Polski

    The major contribution of Advanced Technology is that we found out there are more crooks than we thought. You know, Dubya, Cheney, actually every politician, every corporate CEO/executive, the “sick industry”-AMA, FDA, FTC, BIG PHARMA……

    I keep a cell phone, a 30 year old Nokia, in the car for emergencies only, you know, to call the AAA.

    When I took the bus everywhere, I used to hide behind a telephone pole that was behind a bus stop shelter because the people from work were turning onto the street and for a few seconds were aiming at where the bus stop was, and they were going 45 miles per hour, a cell phone in one hand, cosmetics or food in the other hand, so I always wondered whether they were steering with their knees or their elbows…..

    • Dagney

      Then, there is the obvious access and belief in DISinformation that has to be considered……

  • http://www.easyinvest.co.za peter

    Where I come from the cell phone is a status symbol amongst the kids.
    Recently an acquaintance had a horrific fight with her kid because the kid’s friends had blackberry phones and she did’nt. These kids are 14 years old- give me a break! They text all day and fail their grades.

    Just sophisticated toys for folks who have nothing to do.

    I think we have lost our way – however our kids will need to wake up and smell the roses soon. They may as well enjoy it whilst they can because the spoiling and the spending will definitely end and sooner than they realize.

    The future? Let’s just wait and see. Maybe we need a change in direction.

  • American Citizen

    The Information Age gives us too much information for our own good. People are anxious over things they don’t need to be. I, too, don’t own a cell phone and don’t want one. It makes me angry that all these sites that do surveys take it for granted that everybody has one. Unless you can give a cell phone number, you can’t do the survey. I’d like my opinion known, but it’s not possible. They’ve also put too many apps on the phones. A phone should be just that, a phone.

    • DaveH

      I’d be willing to bet big that the people of pre-1917 Russia, and those of pre-1959 Cuba wish they had acquired more information.

      There is no such thing as too much information. In a Free Society, those who feel that way would be welcome to opt out.

      • Dagney

        I was thinking along these lines, too. I think the information age has caused the left to accelerate their plans to destroy this country. Incrementalism, which was working like a charm for both sides of the political aisle, wasn’t going to work anymore because people were learning what they were up to. So, we have Barack Obama shoving it down our throats. I think they know it’s their last chance. So, the information age does have a very, very good side. We, as individuals, must just learn how to use it intelligently and with respect for others.

  • TIME

    I am guilty of using all this crap, but on the other hand many of my clients are younger so I do have to keep up with them.
    I see both sides of the coin, one side is its good to be able to comunicate with people quickly. On the other hand when I take time off, I leave all the gadgets at home I mean all of them.

    I like to go places where they don’t even have a Telie, its not easy anylonger but it can still be done. We need good solid down time to keep our PEACE of mind that requires quite to relax totaly to gain that Peace of mind.

    The last statment is so true. Good blog dude.

    • http://! Angel Wannabe

      TIME, We use the gadgets too, but lets just say we don’t abuse it. I’d rather sit and have a conversation face to face than to do it on a forum or in text. I think too much texting and forum chats takes the humanness out of it, it also makes it easier for some folks to be something they’re not.

  • sheilah

    I have said from the very beginning that technology would be the demise of this great Country. Proof has it that so many sites are making sure that the Obama agenda is prospering off of them and they know it. Perfect example: Facebook, Google, the mainstream media. Our youth is being indoctrinated through the internet, through education, through every fact of life. Sad. Our country is in considerable trouble.

  • Joseph Lamantia

    I’m 68 years old, I find tech a blessing from Jesus Christ himself, I don’t sell tech, so if you don’t like tech don’t buy tech, what ever the Libs or Dems , Washington don’t find to squawk about pastors or preachers take on, and boy do I know.

  • Norm B.

    I agree with Peter about th furure, I also think we have to re-set our priorities.

  • dan

    …and then there are the game addicts,sigh.I’ve been on the cutting edge of the technology from CB’s to the cloud ,an actual communications and imaging expert (ahem….hubris aside)and I think the Amish are
    to be commended and admired for keeping technology chained/restrained
    rather than being enslaved by the tyranny of progress at any cost….
    even our own civility.

  • http://n/a John Beach

    If everyone calculated the cost of operating computers and computer-related or based items, as compared to the amount of money earned by the operation of the same, I think the telephone companies and the power companies could be shown to be the big winners! It must be the savings made by means of communications which eliminate the necessity of travel to and from places of business for the purpose of transacting business which make them a seeming necessity. They keep a lot of people occupied and preoccupied which, if one is into “population control,” is definitely achieving its purpose. Being in a rural rather than urban setting, it is hard to appreciate the economic benefits of the computer age and its ability to do phenomenal calculations and transact business with the near speed of light while the national problems, which a computer should purposefully reduce or alleviate, continue to mount and loom on the horizon of history as some natural disaster waiting its turn on the world stage. So if the computer fulfills a human need, it is the elimination of work on the part of the computer which has stymied the fulfillment of the human need to work. The computer consumes electrical power. It needs its own air conditioner because it tends to get overheated otherwise. Sadly, it was the race to space that propelled the computer industry and the need for computer calculation and computer control of just about everything that has been associated with aerodynamics and space. Does it stand in the way of our well-being and is it that thing of which it may be said, “with such friends, who needs enemies?”

  • H. Kirk Rainer

    Occasionally, I am reminded of the tech-toy vs tool and, with that, thoughts on the costs and consequences of the info age. Perhaps the most pathetic picture is a family where most members are left to their own devices…and their own vices too.

    Pecking away to engage some seemingly distant party such as your physical neighbor who happens to be a friend on your social network; while, long ago in a galaxy far far away, you may have simply walked over to their stoop or porch and sat for a while.

  • Sadie

    There’s a much darker side to tech as well. I think it is killing marriages and relationships. Before every household had a computer, it took an effort for someone to get access to porn on a regular basis. Now, it is everywhere and easily obtained on the internet. I have a practice where counseling is a large part of my practice. I am stunned by how many desperately unhappy wives are losing their husbands to this relationship killer. And no, it’s not because there was a problem in the marriage in the first place. It really has to do with the accessibiity and the temptation of this stuff.

    • Dagney

      Again, the gun is the murderer, not the person who pulled the trigger! Maybe the wives you are talking about need to put some more effort in engaging their husbands interest again! If they are unhappy, maybe they should try to first put some effort into making their husbands happy! Once they do that, they will reap the benefits!

      • momplayer

        Spoken like a true man. Nothing mentioned about peaking the wifes interest or making the wife happy.Marriage should be a 50-50

        • karolyn

          There really is no such thing as 50-50 in a relationship. One always gives more than the other.

          • momplayer

            After 40 years of marriage I really beg to differ.My husband makes me very happy.Although I can function very well without him and can be totally self sufficent I would not be happy without him.

          • Ann

            Yes, and that’s what causes marriages to end. We are very careful to follow 50-50 giving/participation standards with our friends but somehow in marriage it’s okay to be rude, selfish and inconsiderate.

          • Cawmun Cents

            You have the numbers confused…Its 100%-100%,50-50 is only half for each.You need to take 100% responsiblity for your part of a relationship.If you only take 50% responsibility,then there is a lot of room for selfishness.

        • Dagney

          Puuuleeeze! I am female…(read Atlas Shrugged, you’ll know) and I was just referring to how RECIPROCITY works. You know, you do something good for someone, and they’ll feel compelled and more willing to do something good for you? It’s kind of a Christian thing, you know? To do something nice for someone even when they don’t deserve it. It will make YOU feel good. And, if you feel good about yourself, your humor changes for the better because you have something to be proud of….Capish? Supposedly you married the guy because you LOVED him, right? Why wouldn’t you want to make him happy? Or, do you go through your marriage resentful? What a way to live!

      • karolyn

        No one can “make” another person happy!

        • JeffH

          I beg to differ. You can read it, see it and hear it. Many times I’ve heard, read and seen people say “you make me so happy” and I’m sure many others have too.

          • JeffH

            K, had you said no one can “force” you to be happy I would have agreed.

          • karolyn

            Jeff – The point is we each control our OWN emotions. No one does anything TO us. It is our reaction to others’ actions that result in how we feel. Just like nobody can hurt our feelings. They’re just going about their business; we are the ones who are feeling the feelings.

        • Carlucci

          As we all know, any relationship is a two way street. I was nuts about my late husband, but he did things that made me crazy. Then I read a book called “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, which really opened my eyes. I saw it in a book store and thought the title sounded ridiculous, but then I started looking through it and found lots of viable info in there that could clear up the mysteries about how men think and behave. It is one of the best books I have ever read on any subject, and once I started implementing the suggestions, my marriage greatly improved. I always recommend
          this book to friends who are either married or in relationships, and many have commented on how it helped them, too.

          • karolyn

            I had to read “Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps” for Sociology 205. A very eye-opening book on the differences between men and women. Makes it easier to understand the opposite sex.

  • Alexis

    I agree completely with the author. Well done! Personally, I genuinely hate telephones, pagers, and anything else that makes noise. I prefer quiet while I work so I can concentrate on what I’m doing. Phones to me are an unwanted interruption that I could well do without. Sadly, I own two cell phones. One is actually installed in my car, with an outside antenna and a handfree system. Why? I’m concerned the radiation handheld phones produce is potentially hazardous. A fixed phone provides much more safety. A portable gives me a headache even after only a minute of exposure. This cannot be good for one’s health. I am afraid of cancer as it claimed both my parents. I take the headache as a warning. The portable is used for emergencies only. I worked as a radio communications technician when I was young. By experience, I know when to be concerned about things such as this.

    Using mobile phones to discuss unimportant things is just plain stupid. It costs money, it wastes time and it may in fact be hazardous in the long run. Most intelligent people weigh the benefits of doing a certain activity versus the potential risks involved. One can minimize potential risks but cannot eliminate them completely. That’s okay.

    Allowing children to use cell phones to exchange rubbish witht heir friends is beyong reason. It is wasteful and encourages children not to act responsibly. Money does not grow on trees. I’ve witnessed young people, with horrible personal communications skills, text and talk away on their portable electronic toys without a care in the world. They don’t know how to speak to adults, complete a job application or carry on a normal conversation. Electronic games have not helped this either. Doctor friends have told me that they are concerned that all this stimulus is bad for the developing mind as children’s attention spans are becoming more limited and instant gratification is expected rather than putting in the hard work necessary to achieve success or anything else truly worthwhile.

    Instant gratification problems lead to increasingly frustrated people who think they should be patted on the back for everything and expect promotions for doing a normal days work. Sad. We are creating a generation of self-centered, ill communicating morons, who have high academic scores but an empty head. Some knowledge but very little wisdom!

    Technology has its place, but for the most part, I think its made our young people anxious, lazy and ignorant. Even I do long division and other math problems just for practice to keep my skills up. We all need to use our minds more for critical problem solving so when the technology breaks down we can still function and thrive. I’m glad I’m in my mid 50′s so I know how things used to be. How I long for the old days!

    • Dagney

      “IT” has not made young people lazy, anxious, and ignorant. You can leave that at the feet of their parents. That’s just like saying a gun killed the person, not the other person pulling the trigger!

  • Randy

    Small correction – Ethernet is a technology standard. The precursor to the Internet was ARPAnet, which was used primarily in the military and education (a few universities) arena. You plug in your Ethernet cable (CAT5) to get on the Internet. (I am about 60 now and was working on ARPAnet back in the 70s).

    That being said, there is nothing wrong with technology in itself. Just like anything else it is how it is used and if you control it or it controls you. You should have the ability to turn off your phone or walk away from your computer. But I like the fact that if my wife’s car breaks down I know she can call me or somebody for help. I also can and do communicate with people anywhere in the world for free with Skype and email. I can get a daily news feed with no commercials or killing trees.

    People that don’t like technology remind me of an alcoholic that says he doesn’t like booze because it messed him up.

    • Vagabond

      the most intelligent post yet Randy, thanks,

  • CSense

    The reality is that the technolgy changes are here to stay. On one hand, I like the idea that with a cell phone and a computer, I can be in business anywhere. On the other hand, I am not a very good texter. You must be flexible and if you are in a client based business, you have to resond to clients in the manner that they make their inquiries.

  • Cecilio Mendez

    Hey, John. We both should speak with a “grain of salt.” We are using the same media you are talking against.OK.OK. I know what you mean, we come from a different background and use this as a reference tool. The new generation uses to “connect” but just amongst themselves. They remain disconnected from reality and the rest of the world – and that is the danger you are talking about. Or I think it is anyway…

  • Dagney

    “IT” has not made young people lazy, anxious, and ignorant. You can leave that at the feet of their parents. That’s just like saying a gun killed the person, not the other person pulling the trigger!

    • Dagney

      Sorry, this was in reply to Alexis above.

    • Vagabond

      so very true Dagney,

  • dm

    Yes, I too, think all the tech is making us think less or associate ideas/relationships-including with people. Some kids (and I guess adults as well) will text the person sitting next to them. I guess the Wall-e spaceship may come to be! Calculators now and we can’t actually figure equations no slide rules. No map reading. GPS will get you there just follow the instructions. I really find at times the route is not always the best. It always wants to take you right through NYC when going from Central NJ to anyplace in New England. What a sad thing that people can’t or don’t bother to read maps. Sad thing is that if all tech was lost due to what ever, how stupid some may be.

  • Bert Cundle

    WHEN WE ARE DISCUSSING INFORMATION… We must include, Advertiseing. The Youth of today should head in the direction of marketing & advertising. On T.V. Ea. Hour of Broadcast is 70% Advertiseng In my Mail, 200% Advertisments.

  • former walmart person

    What the hell are you talking about???? If it wasn’t for the internet, we would be even more clueless as to what these bastard elites in power are doing to us. Technology isn’t evil or good, only people are evil and good. If you are concerned about the effects of tech on your pre-18 year old children, then get your @#%%# off the couch and be a parent. Me, I can’t wait to spend quality time with any future son or daughter and tell them all about politics, or to catch fish with them, etc. (afterall after the economic collapse, catching fish might be what we all have to do).

    Grow up, be a man, be a parent, or GTFO.

    • Dagney

      LOL! Right on!

  • phantomm

    I totally agree with this whole article. I was schooled without calculators and computers. (I am 58)

    I can add up a row of numbers in my head and also long or short division, multiplication, squares, cubes and their roots. I can recall history and dates as they were taught to me all those years ago. I use chemistry principles and physics activities on a daily basis.
    All inside my head. I also use computers on a regular basis, own a smart phone and am onto every gadget in existence. I still remember DOS commands too. My children, even though they all have degrees still cannot do many of the above items in their heads. They always reach for a calculator for maths, even simple adding up. They still look at Google to spell words. They can run most applications on their computers and understand Windows, so they claim. But ask them to recover the system when it crashes or find out what the directory is on their hard drive and they are stumped. They are being taught at schools only what they need to know to run an application.

    And I can tell you, also, that computers are totally inefficient and are probably a big reason for all the financial troubles world wide.
    Users can wait for minutes for computers to respond to them or to look for a file. If it was entered wrongly it is never found and the user tells the customer it’s not there or it’s gone.

    There is an opportunity for people to be employed world wide just to maintain computers and hardware so that it always runs quickly.

    Before computers workforces were much larger and there were less mistakes because someone was employed to ensure quality in all aspects. I could write a book on this subject.

    In closing I will mention an incident I was involved in recently.

    I was buying some hardware, a packet of screws costing $2.20.

    When I went to pay, the girl at the counter told me the system was down and she could not give me change from $5. When I told her the right amount of change she still could not get into the cash drawer. And when I suggested she write me a receipt on a receipt book she told me she did not understand what the words “payer” and “Payee” meant. In the end I left the store without my screws. This must happen all over the world every day. Think of the losses to productivity and turnover.

    • 45caliber

      If you think that girl was bad, I recently went into a store to buy milk. The cashier (a young high school girl) told me the computer was done and they couldn’t ring up sales. I told her that I’d just give her cash for the milk and she could ring it up later. I handed her a $5 bill – and she told me then she couldn’t figure out the change. Finally she took my word for the amount of change since she couldn’t figure out how to subtract the cost of the milk from $5.

    • karolyn

      I remember being at mcDonalds some years ago, and the cashier punched on the wrong keys. Common sense would have told him that for all of the stuff I ordered, it would have cost much more than what he charged me. However, he just took the machine’s word for it and didn’t give it a thought. There is NO thinking involved! Look at cashiers having to refer to the register to see that they owe you .50 out of a dollar paid for a .50 item!

  • Dan az

    The problem that I see with every thing that is controlled by way of internet is that it leaves us wide open for terrorism.I know sounds like a paranoid right wing nut case,but if you think about it our electricity,water,sewers,even our military are all on the internet.How better to destroy something from with in by hackers at a distance.There used to be a dedicated satellite for nuke plants and invistructure,now every thing is wide open to who ever is the most savy to do his dirty deed.
    I’m just learning how to use a computer,never had any need for one.As for as cell phones goes,They are a blessing where I live.If you broke down back when I moved out here in the boonies we all ways had to walk.If you saw any cars you were lucky so I and my family have them.
    If you have watched any movies that show what happens within hours of loosing power,it always shows the kaos that always ensuses.Leaving that wide open means that marshal law is not far behind.

    • karolyn

      Oddly enough, I watched “Live Free or Die Hard” with Bruce Willis last night. it was about the sabotaging of

      • karolyn

        Oops! Hit enter by mistake! Anyway, the movie was about the sabotaging of EVERYTHING via the internet. I didn’t get to see the end, but, all in all, very timely!

        • Bert Cundle

          We never, realy, see the end…

    • Marty S.

      Nice pic Dan.

  • Big Mike

    “Before we had the “crap disseminated on the Internet”, we had the “crap disseminated on the” MSM channels.
    I, for one, appreciate the ability to be exposed to information that previously was unavailable to the average citizen.”

    That is so true! Libtards who want to legislate or regulate the Drudge Report, talk radio and the Tea Party out of existence CAN’T STAND it that CBSNBCABC have lost their monopoly on what we see and hear!

    Technology is nothing but a tool, and it can be used for good or misused for evil, just like cars or guns. The fact that it is in the hands of the many may have its disadvantages, but so does freedom of any kind.

    Disinformation has existed since long before the era of the Internet…just ask Pravda!

    • 45caliber

      Despite what I said below, I do like the computer and have nothing against internet. It’s nice to get a conservative veiwpoint periodically as contrasted to the liberal media.

  • 45caliber

    Some years ago I received a call at work from a cell-phone salesman. He was going to come by to sell me a phone for my work. I told him I didn’t buy such things and wasn’t interested. So he said he’d sell me a personal phone. I was still trying to be polite and told him that it would be a waste of time. “That’s alright,” he told me. “I have a lot of time.”

    “You don’t understand,” I told him. “It would be a waste of MY time. I could care less about your time.”

    “But don’t you want to be available when someone needs to talk to you?” he wanted to know.

    “Listen,” I told him. “They get me at home and they get me at work. I’ll be damned if I give them the chance to get me on the way home!”

    Recently my wife got a Kindle for her birthday (from the kids). She likes it. But after taking a look at it, I could see quickly it isn’t for me. She has to read a book from start to finish. I like to spot check various things in a book when I read it and I like to look at pictures if it has some. Further, if I read something about something I’ve read previously (such as clues in a good mystery) I like to go back and check them. Can’t do it readily on a Kindle.

    So – no cell phone and I’ll stick with real books – of which I have close to 30,000 or more.

    • karolyn

      45 – I cannot imagine not reading a book-book. I didn’t even know that about Kindle, but that really cements it in my mind that I will never hve one. There’s nothing like a REAL book!

      • Carlucci

        I agree 100%. I like holding a book in my hands, and like 45, I like to be able to mark pages that I want to refer back to. My mom got a Kindle a few months ago. What a piece of junk. She ended up giving it away, but I didn’t want it.

    • Dan az

      30.000 books?Where do you live in a library.?I’m lucky to see a magazine once in awhile.How do you find time to eat let alone sleep?

      • 45caliber

        These books are about a forty five year collection. Most have been read at least once and many several times. I read about 4-6 books a week and so does my wife. I can read most normal length novels (about 150 pages in a couple of hours. We presently have 4 store rooms plus the house and I’m thinking about building another one. You can tell where a lot of our money goes! We buy about $300-400 a month worth. If it makes you feel worse, I also have well over a thousand DVDs and a similar number of VHS movies. We did have a large number of Beta movies but since we can’t get a machine, most of those were thrown away.

        • Carlucci

          Wow – that’s a lot of books. I just sold a bunch of ophthalmology text books that had belonged to my husband before he passed away. Half Price Books was delighted to buy them from me.

          So, 45 – what is the lastest book you are reading now? I’m reading “Bloody Crimes” by James Swanson. It’s a sequel about the man hunt for Jefferson Davis right after the Lincoln assassination. I read the first installment “Manhunt” about the search for John Wilkes Booth. Great books!

          • 45caliber

            I was reading one on the Gladiators last night. I usually read about 4-5 at once. When I start getting bored on one, I switch to another. Or I can’t find the one I was reading when I look. It was through the SF Book Club and was simply titled Gladiators. I generally order 2-4 SF books a month and buy at Hastings too. Borders closed near me. I preferred to buy from them since they would order what I wanted and get it in in 4-5 days. Hastings can take months – if they get it at all. Needless to say, I knew all the clerks by name and they knew me.

          • Al Sieber

            When I lived in NY as a kid I used go behind the library to the trash bins and cleaned out all the discarded books and take them home, until they put a stop to it several years later, they would then let the trash collectors take them to the dump.

        • Dan az

          Well 45 i don’t think your going to get bored any time soon.There should be a book swap shop that should keep the cost down.Maybe you should open a dvd rental shop sounds like you have enough to last a life time.My wife is the book reader here,she can take a bath and finish a novel at the same time.

          • 45caliber

            The only book swap shop near me have almost no books I like that I already don’t have. My wife and I basically buy books as soon as they come out that we like. And not too many come out a month. She reads primarily religious and romance – I read history and SF. By we do overlap some. I will read a good mystery and sometimes other fact books but seldom read biographies – and never auto-biographies. I have no interest reading about someone bragging about themselves.

  • JoeJ

    My kids all go to schools with cell phone bans, thank goodness. My kids still love to read ACTUAL books. In fact my 13 yr old actually begged me to take her to the library the other day! That being said, I find that technology is wonderful when used appropriately, but can cause big problems if misused, just like anything else.

    Often I find that if I do look up some fact on the internet, it sparks my interest, and I do much more looking into the subject than I originally planned.

    I agree with TIME’s comments. I am guilty of using all this stuff, but my work actually requires it. I consider my time off MY time, however, and I disengage from the gadgets. One place we like to go camping has NO cell phone reception, and I love it! Imagine being out of touch with with the world for two days at a time, Or having to hike a quarter mile to use the only pay phone. It really makes you think about whether what you had to say was important or not.

    We are, by nature, contemplative creatures. And if we don’t break away every so often, and just be with ourselves for a while, we run the risk of turning into so many Pavlov’s dogs; salivating every time we hear the “ding!” telling us we have a new text or email. I believe it all comes down to this: With freedom comes responsibility. If we exercise our freedom to use (or not use) technology, then we must accept the responsibility for our actions.

    Now go relax with a good book. And then email me your book report! :-)

    • karolyn

      In my Technology & Society class last semester, I had a classmate who goes with her family to a cabin in the woods in Wisconsin where there is essentially no contact with the outside world. Her daughter is a teen who has grown up that way and reads while she is there. However, as soon as they are within cell phone range, she’s on the phone. This same woman is more reticent about all the new technology; however, her husband has to have every new thing that comes out. He spends scads of money. It is amazing how quickly they keep coming out with somthing new. As or me, I have a prepaid cell with 4000 minutes on it that my friend gave me when she got a simple Jitterbug phone. I don’t even have cell reception at home, so it gets very little use.

  • Crystal

    I remember reading about Starbucks and how they wanted to open coffee shops so people could meet and have conversations over coffee. Now I step into a Starbucks and people are drinking coffee while using their laptops.

  • Ponzio Oliverio

    I agree with your premise. I teach college as an adjunct and students do not know how to do research anymore. I don’t completely agree with your point about being able to find factual information on the net. While it is true that there is accurate, factual information on the internet, there is also a bunch of garbage. You mention looking up the GDP of China, but without knowing the source you are on, the information may be totally worthless. When one goes into a library, as you mentioned you used to do, you know your source material and whether it is worth citing or not. When one is on the internet, you can not always be sure of your source.

    • karolyn

      That’s why you have to go to several sources.

  • David

    How many people remember the phrase, “Moderation in everything”? Yes, I know; usually this phrase is used for your diet–don’t overeat on any one thing and don’t ignore the other things. Our food pyramid (now our ‘dinner plate’) tries to emphasize this point. But the phrase stands true for everything in our lives, from transportation to technology to simple lifestyle–extremes are dangerous!

    Now, why do I say this? The author emphasizes that he believes technology is destroying our common sense and to some extent he is right; but he goes on to say he’s actively avoiding technology once he’s away from work, which could be a serious mistake. Yes, gross overuse as he clearly describes is dangerous to the user and to the people around them, but not using it when it could help save lives is almost criminal negligence. How could Angel (a commenter above) have called 911 for that boy hit by a car had she not had a cell phone available? That call might have saved that boy’s life by getting an ambulance on scene much more quickly than if the author had needed to run for a pay phone. For that matter, if you haven’t noticed pay phones are much harder to find on the streets than they used to be and likely will disappear entirely before too much longer. How, then, will the author make an emergency phone call if he doesn’t have a cell phone of his own?

    Extremism is total lack of common sense, whether you speak politically or personally. You’ve got to remember that technology is a tool and our politicians are a tool; use them right and they work for you, use them wrong and they control you.

  • Bob from Calif.

    I have always been a technophile, at least when I could afford it. I agree that most of the stuff on the market today is useless junk that is taking up way too much of our time. But on the other hand the interconnectedness can be either used for good or bad, depending on the user. It has brought loved ones together that did not know how to find one another. The internet is a powerful source of information that is such a time saver for everyone that uses it. I believe that most people that surf the net are able to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are those out there that are always the exception to the rule, but they are not the majority. The dark side to this interconnectedness, gives tyrants the ability to control the masses. They will be able to exclude anyone for what ever reason, once this society becomes completely cashless. Also, the Police State is becoming far more powerful with its new abilities to surveil. But the internet keeps all of us connected to watch the watchers. It helps us to organize, in a way not possible before. Just pray the elite does not get control of the net. That will be a major set back for freedom loving peoples everywhere. There are so many other technological advances coming our way. Lets just hope they will be used for good.

  • karolyn

    When I started back to school, I was amazed at how the students (young and older) all had to check their cell phones after each class. Not only that but the younger ones texted during class. I just marvel at how someone can have so much to say all the time! What on earth are they all talking about?

  • Bootsaddle

    It’s good to see that people are becoming aware of the problems with computers, cell phones etc. These devices haven’t really changed anything. The computers are only as smart as the people who program them. If the prople controlling the programming have agendas it makes it a lot easier to brainwash more people faster. People don’t generally change their convictions, they will seek out statements and actions affirming those convictions. I was asked once which I would chose in life – ability or astronomical intellect. This is the scenario that is being played out before us now. The children of today are having education withheld from them and given a “toy” to play games and hide from interaction with their peers as we all would like to have done as teenagers. The predictable result is that we have at least two generations who have access to any information they are asked to retrieve but lack the ability to apply it in any useful way because they lack basic education – they are ignorant. When the plug is pulled they will not know what to do.

  • momplayer

    Technology is a wonderful thing. After all without the internet I wouldn’t be able to have access to this website. The problem I see is that the smarter we get on somethings,the dumber we get on others.We are losing the basics.What ever happen to arithmetic? We passed a law in Nv against texting while driving because people are not smart enough to know you can’t text and drive. People on the road with their phone in one hand,and a hamburger in the other and steering with their whatever weaving all over the road like a drunk.It’s like playing russian roulette. They don’t stop to think they are driving a 4000 lb bullet that has more potential to kill than a gun.Like I said the smarter we get the dumber we are. We are losing our common sense.

  • i41

    I had my wife take the car in to get a power boost put on her car, when the part was priced out at $2699+ for a new part and the car is worth only $2000, even though it get over 30 mph. I decided to find a warrented salvage part, of course since the “crash for clunkers” sent all the cars that were working to China as ground up metal. So nobody has any parts, after talking to several salvage yards all over the country looking for the 8 yr old part, I found one in Minn. With shipping included it cost only $85, and has a 6 month warrenty. The shop super had told me they would put the part on. I get a call from the shop hand teck who said he wasn’t going to put it on, sinced last year any brake system parts can not be put a vehicle due to new regulations. So I went down and after being showed the part that didn’t work and the salvage part, the 20 something smart azz tried to tell me it wouldn’y work. So i called the Salvage yard and it had come off a car that was working but the motor had blown up, so I told the shop super to put it on. As we were getting ready to leave this little puke was mouthing off he didn’t put on used parts only new, so I told the shop super again I wanted it put on, and the puke was still mouthing off, I would have dumped his azz in a minute,, but any one who will do anything but play on electronic crap, s pretty hard to hire. Guess what the part is working great. We can blame the schools and the bs over priced colleges, if you are book trained you never think about using common sense. Most construction companies line meckanics are 40-70 yeas old, because the little spoilt brats will not work out side or at night repairing anything. All 5 of my daughters learned to do mechanical work and when the cell phone and pagers and any other electronic crap can out if they got it, It got smashed and calcutators were banned in their schools until they were Jr in high school. Teachers arte to damn lazy to teach kids to use their minds to solve problems. See ing on the nerws there is some massive sun flairs happening and eltronic crap will fail, this is goingto make idiots who can not function by their brain matter, will be interesting at least!

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon

    It isn’t just the distractions, popups and whatnot on the internet, it’s the way it is structured as an information source. People who probably never learned the difference between “primary”, “secondary” and even lesser sources of information grab whatever they read on the internet and take it as gospel, no matter who wrote it or what their credentials are.

    i have seen school papers handed in by students who did no more than download an article and paste it into “their own” paper, internet illustrations and all.

    Twitter is probably the worst; built on the premise that others really need to know that you just at a fabulous scone it gives information out on less than a sound-bite. inviting people to form decisive opinions on complex subjects with less information than they would want on a new cleaning product.

    As for cell phones, I have one that’s 8 years old. It does two things: it lets me receive calls and it lets me make calls. Even so, if I use it 3 times a day that’s a lot. Revolutionary.

    • 45caliber

      My wife and I have differing opinions about phones. To me a phone is for MY benefit. If someone calls and I don’t feel like answering, that’s fine. My wife insists that if anyone calls we MUST answer. I keep telling her that’s why we have an answering machine.

  • Erin M

    Kindles are convenient. You can order books for a cheaper price and even get free books (in 60 seconds). You don’t have to cut down trees for paper. You can also adjust the size of type. I thought I wouldn’t like reading this way initially but once I got used to it, I love it. I would encourage people to open their minds a little and try it!

    • karolyn

      You just can’t beat the feel of a real book (especially an old one) in your hands.

      • 45caliber

        I agree. I have a few that are over a hundred years old.

        • Karolyn

          I especially love the ones with the gold lettering and beautiful illustrations from the 1890s.

        • Al Sieber

          45, I do too, including the complete works of Mark Twain, and Shakespeare, the Federalist papers etc. old history books tell the truth as it was written.

  • Davidus Romanus

    And yet, all those revolutions in the Mid East were able to go forward because of the internet and social networks. We now get almost immediate news from around the world because of Facebook and Twitter instead of waiting hours (or days) for the MSM to send a reporter and then get an edited version that suits the management’s viewpoint of whatever that event was.
    We are now able to find out about gov’t lies and cover ups almost immediately instead of waiting for some person to dig up the info and write a book. How long did it take for the general public to start disbelieving the Gov’t story about Kennedy’s assasination, as opposed to the Gov’t lies about Iraq’s WMDs?
    I’m not a texter either, but keep the technology coming. My life is better. Morons will always find a way to be morons, technology or not.

  • ONTIME

    Now that my business communication has changed, I no longer want to text, twitter or even use the facebook, the standards fax phone and E mail are more than enough for me to conduct any and all transactions and communications where ever I go. Those who cannot interfacewith their fellow human beings don’t deserve my attention, I still like speaking directly with folks and then using to the tools of communication to document and polish all transactions.

  • SiliconDoc

    Here, let me put it another way – easy and simple.
    The clueless retards were not in the library for the week John was researching to be paid for his job.
    The clueless retards however, ARE ON THE INTERNET – in the same library room with John, 24/7/365 they ARE HERE.
    There’s your difference – the entire extent of it.

  • SiliconDoc

    Years agoJhonny boy at the library: “Holy Moses, these punks here just grab the magazines, flip through the pages gawking at the pictures, try to pick up the librarian, trash the bathroom, then take off loudly, while I’m here expanding my mind and knowledge for weeks on end…

    YES THAT’S RIGHT CRYBABIES.

  • Larry Pierson

    John Myers got it half-right in what has dumbed down America. The main culprit, however, is the utter failure of our progress-liberal dominated educational system to teach Americans how to think.

    I too can use the internet to the the GDP of China in seconds, rather than spending hours researching it like he used to. But I also have enough common sense to know that the number is meaningless without looking at how it was developed. Unfortunately, too many Americans don’t possess the ability to discern the difference between their superficial knowledge and the well-rounded background needed to put the ‘superficial knowledge’ to use.

  • BigDaddy

    John- you of all people should recognize that “technology” just like “Media” produces a lot of noise. Take a deep breath and think about the readers that may be hitting your post, reading it and adding or subscribing to the greater cause of Personal Liberty Digest.

    With technology as with our past freedoms comes the ongoing price that you inherently pay for in the way of responsibility.

    You missed key points in understanding that the technologies in question actually do enable people to be more productive as consumers, prosumers or as enterprise workers. Technology can also be seen as a pre-loaded gun and while we all want the right to maintain owning/using guns, we still must exercise care and responsibility.

  • Tom

    AMEN, AMEN and AMEN John! Much of what you say have been my very thoughts of recent. Having been in the a computer related profession for 40+ years, I agree whole-heartedly. Much of this stuff has some good in it, however, it takes self-discipline and discernment to filter out what is going to help make you more productive in live, from that which is going to just turn your mind into a bunch of mush and degrade you to to the low levels our culture seems to be sinking to.

    I truly feel sorry for our young people growing up in the midst of it all. It’s hitting them before they learn discipline and discernment and most of them don’t have decent roll models in their lives to guide them down the proper path of life. The prospects of where this is all leading is truly frightening at times.

  • http://www.tomblairea.com Thomas Avery Blair

    I earn my living as a tax preparer since 1981 and Enrolled Agent since 2007. I find it amazing that so many taxpayers rely on “do-it-yourself” free-file and over-the-counter tax software without learning the language of “tax” that IRS auditors and tax pros speak during audits, collection processes and even at IRS appeals.

    The answers to many tax questions are on the Internet, indeed, but if one does not “speak the language of tax” then the U.S. Tax Code might just as well be printed in ancient Greek because taxpayers do not comprehend what they read, nor do they apply the information whereby they may benefit from it. I bring this up because I too believe that “instant information” from the Internet or any other devices now in use by the public truly does leave one “dumbed-down” when they never learn the context of the information, nor its’ length or depth of true knowlege. Such perspective and accurate perception might otherwise improve the tasks they are attempting to perform…but only with study and not just raw data.

    The U. S. tax code changes on an almost daily basis…and no over-the-counter tax software has ever been federal tax compliant any earlier than March 15th of the following year…now you understand why knowlege is all-but-otherwise-worthless without perspective and accurate perception.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Thomas Avery Blair, EA

    P.S.: I spend literally hundreds of hours in taxation research and continuing professional education courses each and every year…and I learn something new and useful on a daily basis…and I seriously still doubt that even after 30 years’ worth of effort in taxation related matters I still don’t understand fully more than 10% of the Title 26 Federal Income Tax Code, and I doubt most U.S. congressmen and congresswomen truly understand even 5% of it.

  • vicki

    I like the tech Mr. Myers. It for the first time has given EVERYONE a press. No more “freedom of the press is for those who own the presses”

    It lets me read the entire library of congress should I desire. It lets me see thousands of patents to see if my idea has already been patented. It lets me look up the GDP of China and on the way get lots of links to fascinating other things about both China and the meaning and use of GDP.

    It allows us to refute the lies of the liberal WITH cites in mere seconds.
    That one thing alone makes the entire information web worth its weight in gold plated latinum. Well actually priceless. Though I bet liberals consider it to be priceless in another possible meaning of that word.

  • Harry S.

    Technology has it’s use but I think too many are too dependent on it. It’s stifling our anbition and making us lazy, both mentally and physically. This kind of rut is especially harnful to young people.

    • 45caliber

      Many young people are addicted to new stuff. I had an ex-son-in-law who absolutely HAD to have the lastes whatever that came out. And a week later, when something else made it outdated, he had to have that too. He’d stand for days in line before it came out so he could brag about buying the very first one. And price didn’t matter. After all, my daughter paid the credit card bills.

  • Sweetie

    I tend to agree with ya Bob…” Tech ” I belive ‘ Tech ‘ is taking over. Trying to learn this stuff ” Drives Me Nuts “…

  • MARK

    I also am in my 50s and I agree 100% technology is ruining the human race along with the media!

  • MARK

    Everyone is relying way way to much on technology and not being true caring considerate people like we used too!

  • i41

    Still goes back to parents who want to friends to their kids, and don’t want to set standards or enforce them. When the kids mouth off and idiot parents worry about the bad name and harassment from the feel good smuck enforcement police. The bs belief of a time out and just talk about it crap, never has worked and never will. A back hand smack works quicker and attitude change stays with the smart azz, and these type of comments stop. Want to see the end result of the education and degradation of any normal values by our elected crooks and cheats in the beltway, tecknology helped expose the democrap perverts only about 1/10 of the time, they all should have a GPS and asecurity braclet on their legs and their neck.

  • ena

    Plant a garden and get off the phone and P.C. you might find that much more useful. You can’t “eat” a iphone or P.C. or even a dollar bill!!!!!

  • http://BlueThunder45.com Pat

    If a technology is going to have our children be mindless, spineless idiots and morons, then you know the technology or the implementation thereof, has go to be wrong. With “the system” dumbing down our schools and making everything available in schools except an education, we don’t need cellular phones and other technology making kids that much worse.

  • vicki

    Technology is a tool. And like any tool it can be used for good or ill.
    My parents complained about technology when I was a child. My grand parents complained about technology when my parents were children. My grand parents complained about technology when I was a child. (Which is how I knew for sure)

    Though it is tempting (twitter me mom, why don’t you have texting mom?) to complain to them about technology I will not. I want them to grow up understanding what a tool is and what is right and wrong and how to tell.

  • Tanya

    I thought this article was interesting, but I’m thinking character is the bigger issue than the amount of technology available to us.

    I would hate to be without the internet because I’m a stay-at-home mom of seven and I love to do research on many subjects that interest me, and I homeschool my kids. I own many books, but my library time is limited and I’m usually supervising young children when I’m there. I also have a cell phone so I can be reached when I’m away from my kids, but I don’t even know how to check the messages and I’ve never sent or received a text. I live in one of those parts of the country where cell phones still don’t work in many areas, so their use is limited, and our kids don’t have phones, although they use computers and one teenage daughter uses Facebook.

    We still struggle to keep our kids (and ourselves)from overloading on technology and sometimes wonder if the pros outweigh the cons, but when it comes down to it, self-control and courtesy is the key. Limit your screen and phone time. Have respect for the people around you. Give people your full attention and don’t be rude. Use your brain and don’t engage in behavior that puts yourself and others at risk of injury.

    I’m stunned when I’m around kids who live their lives attached to headphones and cell phones and act like the people around them don’t exist. If my kids acted like that, they would be banned for so long,they would forget what a phone looks like!

  • J HAAS

    TECHNOLOGY HAS REPLACED CONCERN FOR THE SOUL.

    OUR GOVERNMENT AND MANY OF THE CITIZENS ARE SO PREOCCUPIED WITH INFO FROM ANY SOURCE, OFTEN WRONG, THEY HAVE FAILED TO MAINTAIN THEIR VALUES AND TO PRACTICE THEM ON A DAILY BASIS.

  • http://deleted Claire

    And in a lot of instances technology has replaced the human being, thus less jobs. The office I am in laid off about 50 people, when we became computerized. Only the best workers were kept. Then another layoff of about 20 more people. Consequently we are down to almost what I call a “skeleton crew.” One thing I learned when I first began working, was to work as hard as I could, try to put out more work than anyone else, and get as much work done as possible. I was accurate and that sure helps. Consequently I was one of the employees they “kept.”

  • http://geoferg@comcast.net george

    America Becoming more stupider by the minute thanks to technology All you have to do is open your eyes and observe

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