As I was born in the late 60's I used think myself priveliged to have been born at a time of arguably the most significant 30 years of change & human achievement in past or future. Those first 30 years saw man on the moon, suspersonic commercial flight, birth of the PC, leaps & bounds in equality and relative world peace. I couldn't imagine a wider cultural/technological gap between offspring & parent ever being repeated.
I now find myself in my early 40's being absolutely bamboozled by the information generation and particualrly its pace of change. I'm no techno luddite but I absolutely can't keep pace with what's happening and with daughters 5 & 3 I'm already fearing I'll be like a grandparent not a parent very, very soon. Particularly as a non multi-tasking bloke, I find the multi-channel online world completely confusing. What used to be simple & elegant (eg Google at birth) is now a technicolour hurricane of data & marketing. You can't ask a simple question on a forum these days without a tirade from the online mafia along the lines of "you imbecile, can't you use a search function, this was posted in #1234, #5678 and in a million other places blah, blah, blah....". Most of these people must spend their entire waking life on forums, Facebo*k (wot dat ?), Tw*tter (wot dat ?) etc. Look at something like "Martin's Money Tips" site for a classic example of what is a great initial idea turn into the messiest, unnavigable and cliquey site I know of.
Is there any hope for me or should just get my coat ?
Look at something like "Martin's Money Tips" site for a classic example of what is a great initial idea turn into the messiest, unnavigable and cliquey site I know of.
ABSOLUTELY on this one!
In a previous life, I used to investigate industrial accidents and one poor bugger who posted for some information, was enduring hard times due to an accident at work and was asking for assistance from the forum in question. I gave it to him from "Both sides of the clipboard" for want of better terminology and gave him information on how he should pursue his claim for compensation.
I got a PM from him thanking me, but what I did not expect was the tirade of abuse from "Fervent Money Saving Experts", you know the ones. They have thousands of postings to their name (with medals posted next to their name ) purporting to be experts on financial issues when in reality, they were using a forum which in theory could be benefical to others as a social networking site.
Yes, there are indeed some excellent contributions on that site, however, because I had the audacity to question a 'fervent money saving expert' based on MY experiences, facts and H&S Law, I was lambasted by some of these idiots who did not have a clue what they were talking about.
The multi- posters closed ranks and one suggested that "allowances should be made" as I was a 'Newbie' (the sites terminology for a new poster) and some of the postings were downright offensive. (Site not moderated).
Cliquey is an understatement!
By the way, as someone who is the wrong side of 50, I fully understand where you are coming from!
I'm afraid we all suffer from it once you reach a certain age. i do think it's more age related than enthusiasm. For example I am a long standing aerosexual. Aeroplanes I knew them all. Now, particularly with light aircraft. I look on in bafflement as odd looking new machines I cannot name come and go. The same goes for many things. I cannot see a use for or sometimes the point of ipods, iplayers, blackberrys and all the rest. I used to love gadgets. I have a good mobile phone but use it for text messages and phone calls, also the little camera sometimes. I does have bluetooth and something else but I can't remember how to use them. Even this computer, I was there at the start of PCs and worked for a famous computer company for years. Now all the knowledge has drained away and I don't know a byte from some other computer term I can't remember.
If someone explains something to me, all I get is 'blah blah blah'. I'm afraid this extends to gadgets in aircraft. I make a serious effort for professional reasons but that effort has to be maintained more than it used to be. The Garmin 430 has many wonderful features which are rarely used.
Meanwhile my two year old has figured out the digital TV remote control and every chance he gets he uses it to search for Peppa Pig or Roary Racing car. Makes me feel stoneage. Even the baby reaches out for the keys of this PC when he sits on my lap.
The other issue is that I don't really care anymore. I've led a complex life over the years and frankly, all I want to do now is sit in the sun watching the kids dismantle the house. No complications. That's age related too.
The other issue is that I don't really care anymore. I've led complex life over the years and frankly, all I want to do now is sit in the sun watching the kids dismantle the house. No complications. That's age related too.
Its not just the Tech bit its the whole life bit.
15 odd yrs ago worked with someone who always stressed about work / life etc while I had in his view the "F**k it" view.
He saw it as not conforming and being prepared to stand up and back a position even when in a minority of 1 and more than willing to tell someone to "Go F*** themselves" when apprpriate plus a couple of occasions when inappropriate..
One Monday he came in very stressed as wife was ill over the weekend, little lad sick on Sunday night, daughters playing up, his back which he had an OP on was playing up and a pretty bad sleepness night followed.
We spent a coffee break in an office he asking HTF did I do it, he said driving to work he finally started to realise that my chilled attitude, while annoying the hell out of people also ensured they didn't waste my time on crap.
I just said best way was just not to take anything seriously and always work on assumption that the other person would prefer to be down the pub, on holiday rather than working so don't waste their time and also don't give a F*** as always another job out there. Gotta admit working with him became a lot more fun after that.
Our Grandson has worked out his Mum's new touch-screen mobile phone and which symbol gets him through. Now he often calls me for a chat. (At the age of two he babbles more sense than a lot of the nominally grown-up people who call me on the phone.) He can also conjure up Peppa Pig at the touch of a button.
When his Mum was the same age she asked lots of awkward questions which I always answered. She tells me that she remains eternally amazed that when she asked "why do we have bogies" I was able to provide an answer. Now we have Google - go on, Google it.
I'm the opposite- with a cynic's eye. I've grown to embrace some new technologies wholeheartedly. At my house, I've done away with tuners, amps, cd players, dvd machines, blu ray boxes.
Instead, I've built a windows media centre box that at a stroke gives me live tv (god knows how many channels), videos/music (1200 albums) two hundred movies, radio, thousands of digital pictures, web content and all through a booming 5.1 sound system. All this from one box & one remote.
I laugh at sky+ - pause & rewind live tv? - been doing that for five years for free. Otoh, I fail to see why people would pay usurious amounts of money for the Iphone, I don't get tweeter at all, then again neither does tweeter, seeing as it has no visible means of support. Facebook, I can see why, but it gets old quickly.
Friends reunited is another case in point. I joined up when it was new, The thrill wore off after two weeks, then after that, the people you have in the past for a reason started coming out of the woodwork - any average user could have told Charles Allen that site would fade away. Stiil £145m later...
Technology is great, fantastic, but it pays to pick & choose.
Tweeter since it puts in *** when you type *******.
I totally agree that 'we' overcomplicate things, especially technology. How many cameras/phones/computers do you have that you use just a portion of it's offered capabilities ? Websites are best when clear and simple, without being anorexic, it's (IMHO) self-defeating when there's information overload. Give me what i want and need and leave the rest on the drawing board
It's definitely a generational/age thing, but as someone once said, "Man shapes his buildings and then his buildings shape him..." and I would say that this could be applied to the technology and the spawned gadgetery that follows. Remember the 'kids of today' have little or no clue about what was around even 10 years ago and why would/should they when the cutting edge, or at least the blunt part that gets released to us seems to work admirably in daily life.
That which you/we are familiar with was pertinent to our lives at the time and as we know things move on. Perhaps in the past it was more moving bits and their functions that we were aquainted with, whereas today the workings are known only by the persons who built the device and certainly not by the user. However, the users, especially the younger ones are quickly aquainted with the possibilities quicksmart through their peer groups and, of course, youtube and networking sites.
Here's a question. Are today's young more creative and/or intelligent than the last few generations ? They must be because they are moving the world like never before, but that which i see around me leaves me sceptical....
Location: An old flying boat station on Moreton Bay
Gets me occasionally too.
Computer problem? Ring a grandchild.
Then I think, nah.
Who's generation built this cr@p. I know why some of these old systems work. I learnt geography doing RTM and RPM calculations courtesy of the mathematician who would run off GC distances on the end of the phone. (before kilometers you see)
Non-Driver is both right and wrong. Don't accept false prophets. Talk to real people, and absolutely take no heed of silly chat rooms like JB.
I too have turned my back on a lot of today's technology. Fair degree of scepticism about some of it too - Freeview is a good example - it's going to be imposed on all of us, but in several ways it doesn't work properly or is unreliable.
I used to be able to identify any make/model of car almost from the time it appeared on the horizon. Nowadays I need to be close enough to able to read the badge for most.
Very thoughtful thread, and one of the most interesting here! Not bad for a bunch of 'newbies'! There is a generational problem. This electronic age spawning calculators has got rid of the 'thoughtful maths'. I'm not gee whizz mathematician, but a problem was posed in Questions that was interesting, and I had to sit and think about a solution, which could not be reached with a calculator. It took a second avenue to get an answer out. What I find frightening about this age is the way answers are reached in an instant, but they may be a factor of millions out through a slip of a few keys on a calculator. The laborious way we used to do it- you would get an idea of your answer as you worked along, so when the answer came, you could assess whether it made sense. Now, you get an instant answer that could be 10,000 times wrong- as long as you showed the person doing it exactly what to type into his calculator.
Have a look at this and think how you would get a solution before seeing the way there. In being able to calculate in an instant, are people losing the ability to work out how to get to an answer? It's an interesting problem, with surprisingly simple maths to get to the solution..
Corsair You have summed up EXACTLY how I feel - techie things have left me in the past - I don`t consider mysel Luddite, but Hell, all I want to do is go and sit and have a cold beer in the shade.....Most of these new gadgets are totally beyond me and I feel, rather unnecessary. Brilliant Thread!!! I.
I had a radio engineering professor who remembered the first few terms of the series expansions for sine, cosine, etc. That was so long ago that pocket calculators didn't exist, but he didn't need a book of math tables or a slide rule to get a "good enough" answer in his head.
One of the basics that I was taught is to ask "Why?" A lot of the techie stuff has been products seeking a market. But some of it is good - from taking cassettes with you in mini-players, thru Sony et al mobile CD players to now just putting the music on my mobile phone. So some of it is good. The trick is to do what Sprog suggests - use what you want. In my last job I had one of thoise crackberries, and hated it. It was so good to give it back when I left, and to revert to my "old" mobile. I'm now thinking about updating the phone.............which leads me to think.............
The marketeers have always said that there are early adopters, then the main group, then the laggards/luddites. Maybe all we are saying on this thread is that we've got a mix of folk posting on it?