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2009-2019: How Apple, Google, and friends drove us mad


steven36
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When a decade ends, it's time to look in the mirror. Do we like what we see? How much should we blame technology?

 

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At the beginning of the decade, Gnarls Barkley wasn't wrong.

 

 

It's time, to be honest.

 

I know it's not popular these days. Look out into the world and you'll see that the merrily mendacious, the grifters with drifting allegiances and the downright fraudulent are doing quite well.

 

But when a decade teeters to an end, perhaps it's worth somberly pondering who we are and what we've become.

 

As Silicon Valley has moved at the speed of sound -- making loud noises about its innate world-improvement skills -- do we feel that we've improved as humans?

 

Has the world become more open and connected, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised? Or have we all become bitterly divided, nauseatingly irritable vessels of barely diluted bile?

 

It's always fun to start with Zuckerberg. In the rash brashness of his youth, he broke speed limits as well as so many social certainties.

 

At the beginning of the decade, he insisted he had the inner knowledge. He said he knew people were desperate to shake off the shackles of privacy and bare all to the world.

 

 

He was so very right. How we adored exposing ourselves for who we truly are. Or, more often, for who we want others to think we are.

 

Yet here we are, just nine years later, and Zuckerberg has enjoyed a biblical conversion. "The future is privacy," he claimed in April.

 

He's always been wise about the future, you see.

 

This has been a decade in which the full force of technology's futuristic thoughtlessness has been visited upon our crass, lazy souls.

 

We got so excited about posting our every thought, mood and self-image to Facebook and Instagram that we didn't bother to consider the consequences.

 

Equally, tech companies got so excited about releasing more and more gadgets, software and liberating libertarian ideas that they didn't stop to consider what the dark-spirited might do with them.

 

In just a few damnably short years, we've gone from holding our iPhone wrong to wondering whether our iPhone -- and all the clever apps we've adorned it with -- is spying on our every thought and word.

 

We've gone from the joy of being able to check our email on our phone to being driven loopy because our bosses, co-workers, lovers, hackers, and socio-political adversaries are emailing and texting us 24 hours a day.

 

We've become hooked on notifications. We'll watch videos on our phones, leaving the volume on at full blast -- who cares about the other people in the restaurant? -- because we need the stimulation.

 

We need to do something with or on our phones at all times. Yes, Apple might insist it wants us to use them less. Then it creates more and more services that entice us to use them more.

 

We now talk to our gadgets. We want them to turn our lights on for us because we just can't be bothered to perform such mundane tasks.

 

We don't stop to wonder what happens when Alexa knows us so well that she'll start dictating, rather than just listening.

 

We want our gadgets to tell us the weather because looking out of the window is just too trying for our eyes and necks.

 

And we're actually prepared to believe anything we see online, to the point at which the nonsense peddled by the nefarious on Facebook may have helped swing an election. And how.

 

Technology has allowed every awful human and view a vast, unedited platform. It's allowed Russia to invade America with remarkable cost-effectiveness.

 

Meanwhile, Google, Facebook, and friends are constantly feeding us exciting, highly personalized ads. Well, when I say personalized, I fear I mean cluelessly targeted.

 

We've all mounted the roller coaster. We want it to go faster and faster. And, when we finally feel sick, we haven't got a clue how to get off. We don't even know if there's an exit. Tech companies make sure it's hard to find.

 

Along the way, tech has made fine contributions. Smartwatches can save lives. Just ask my colleague Jason Perlow. Creations such as Skype and FaceTime have allowed us to see the faces and hear the voices of those who are far away.

 

Boredom has become a quaint notion when, at all times, we have at least one gadget that can instantly entertain us.

 

Every morning, we clutch our phones before we clutch our coffee. We check our likes before we get on our bikes. We judge ourselves and our world by staring into a gadget and hoping for good news, yet expecting the worst.

 

And then there's Twitter. The app that's become the repository of all that is news, all that is not news and all that is fear, loathing and fake has taken its place as the prime medium of, well, everything.

 

A president tweets and a world instantly quakes. A Kardashian tweets and a world instantly buys.

 

As the decade turns, Silicon Valley is filled with the sound of remorse. Even Google says its sole purpose in life is to protect your privacy.

 

Much of that remorse, like much of the online world, is fake.

 

Vast money has been made. Vast power has been gained.

 

The only slight problem now is that the rest of the world is beginning to look around and wonder whether that's a good thing. We're wondering whether the last tech-driven decade wasn't some insane trip that's resulted in a world bathing in acid, while a very select few look on, sip champagne and gloat.

 

In the last ten years, tech has driven us mad.

 

Mad in the sense of constantly angry, constantly in fear of the next microaggression or macro tweetstorm.

 

And mad in the sense that our senses are no longer our own. Or, if they are, they're being preyed upon by robots whose feelings are a little chilly. Well, those feelings were programmed by those not blessed with much emotional intelligence.

 

In the next decade, none of this will matter. We'll all slowly -- or, in the case of the wealthy, quickly -- turn into deeply rational robots, as the (supposed) dream of chips implanted in our heads becomes real.

 

Our madness will be controlled. Our anger will be embalmed.

 

We'll become "godlike," says Google's director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.

 

Who doesn't want to be a rich God?

 

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8 hours ago, steven36 said:

But when a decade teeters to an end

 

Decade end is still a year and a bit away... :P

 

 

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1 hour ago, Karlston said:

 

Decade end is till a year and a bit away... :P

 

 

its over  Jan 1st  that gives us  a little  bit  over a month to look in the mirror and become a little bit more nuts, nothing is really going change by then  much . :hehe:

 

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This year isn’t over just yet, but when it does finally come to an end, the current decade will end with it. In other words, we will soon be leaving the 2010s and entering the 2020s.

The Twenty-Twenties  Decade  will start in 2020.  The Third Decade of the Twenty-First Century will start in 2021 ,  a  Decade is 10 years . :rofl:

 

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The 2010s (pronounced "twenty-tens" or "two thousand (and) tenss the current decade in the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January 2010, and will end on 31 December 2019.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010s

 Technically you cant make 2020 part of the 2010s no mater how hard you try . According to your logic  people born  in the year 1960 would be born in the  1950s .:lmao:

 

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A decade is a period of 10 years. The word is derived (via French and Latin) from the Ancient Greek: δεκάς, romanizeddekas, which means a group of ten. Other words for spans of years also come from Latin: biennium (2 years), triennium (3 years), quadrennium (4 years), lustrum (5 years), century (100 years), millennium (1000 years).https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decade

 

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A decade is a ten year span that can start from any arbitrary point. A new decade just started 5 seconds ago and will end exactly ten years from the point it began. A new decade will begin in 2020. Actually, infinitely many decades will begin in 2020 given that time is continuous. Infinitely many decades have begun since you started reading this.https://www.quora.com/Is-2020-a-new-decade

 

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3 hours ago, steven36 said:

The Twenty-Twenties  Decade  will start in 2020.  The Third Decade of the Twenty-First Century will start in 2021 ,  a  Decade is 10 years .

 

Exactly. The ordinal decade (and century and millennium) all have as their first year a year ending with "1". But as you say, a decade is any 10 year period.

 

What I hated was when January 1, 2000 was described as the start of the third millennium.  I shudder when I think of the time I wasted explaining and proving them wrong, generally people were already hypnotised by 2000 just because it ended in lots of zeroes.

 

Glad I won't be around for the start of the next millennium, which is on January 1, 3001 BTW. :)

 

4 hours ago, steven36 said:

According to your logic  people born  in the year 1960 would be born in the  1950s

 

Not true. Decades like 1950's and ordinal decades are two different decade types. 1960 is in the 1960's (1960's = 196x, where x=0,1,2,...9), but it is the last year of the 6th ordinal decade (of the twentieth century), not the first year of the 7th ordinal decade (of the twentieth century).

 

Have one more reply, then we better get back to being on-topic, or some mod will leap on us. :)

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14 hours ago, Karlston said:

Not true. Decades like 1950's and ordinal decades are two different decade types. 1960 is in the 1960's (1960's = 196x, where x=0,1,2,...9), but it is the last year of the 6th ordinal decade (of the twentieth century), not the first year of the 7th ordinal decade (of the twentieth century).

Well as long as you know  the difference  . Most everyone  follow the years decades  instead of century decades because its more easy to keep up with  because the  century  dont change but once every 100 years January 1, 2101 will be the 22 century . If you were born at the beginning of a  century you  most likely will never live to see it change . That why  they reefer  to the years instead  like 2000s , 2010s , 2020s  instead of the the 1st , 2nd or 3rd Decade of the 21st  Century. Only reason there a debate about it because  people over 20  and not dead yet  was lucky enough to see century change  and people nitpicking because trying to change the way people look at things is just nitpicking.

 

14 hours ago, Karlston said:

ave one more reply, then we better get back to being on-topic, or some mod will leap on us.

It's not really off topic because the op talks about the changing of   decades  it covers a whole lot of subjects . If the post did not mention it i would not replied back to you even and wondered  what you was talking about. ;)

 

And besides all this technology  in the 2010s we was better off before , were not really benefiting from it no more . The smartphones been around since mid-2000s, and PCs ,    Windows  not improved much since Windows 7 and seems it's all downhill from here with vendors giving you features they want you to have and removing the ones they dont want you have. It dont matter if you want them or not they will force the update on you.  Most people are no longer in control anymore  the Tech companies  are  and there the ones who are  benefiting from it and  we were just fine without it before . If it not broke why fix it ? Most of the time they just break stuff and make it worse .  the power big tech have  is just crazy  no wonder the NSA  said smartphone users are just zombies paying for there own surveillance .

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