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Old 1st January 2010, 08:05 PM   #21
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I believe GK's point might have been that relying on human ingenuity, as SY had suggested, to solve our mutual problems as a civilization is a bit far-fetched. We are too busy asserting our dominance over each other to ever survive as a civilized species. We are animals. Animals with profit motive.

Unfortunately, I disagree with most of the posters about our present technological wonders. Number one, I can't afford them. Number two, 90% of 'gadgets' are just ridiculous wastes of technology to me. Who needs a cell phone that has awful sound quality, one-way walkie-talkie style performance, and buttons too small for your fingers? Unbelievable.

All I ever do anymore is wish it was the seventies, the eighties, any time but now. My neighborhood was beautiful back then, people were friendlier, I never wanted for human comforts. Now I do. Now my neighborhood is sterile, with big ugly houses and neighbors that don't talk to each other. Back in 'The Day' I could pick up a telephone and actually clearly hear the other person - even if I was talking at the same time!

Who else here misses the old landline quality as much as me?

The future? Baa. I spit on it.

I don't even have kids because I wouldn't dare inflict another soul with this 'civilization', that would be cruel.
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Old 1st January 2010, 08:19 PM   #22
Key is offline Key  United States
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Originally Posted by SY View Post
Humans are smart, innovative, and creative. Despite our "leaders" doing their best to keep us down, they can't- the world is (overall) infinitely better and more wonderful than it was 10 or 20 years ago by any objective measure. I'm very optimistic about our future.
See I am with this side of the argument to tell the truth. I am pretty sure violence is way down even though coverage of it is way up. I just think that it's not enough and could still be much better than it is overall. There are some downright stupid things taking place on this planet simply because it's more profitable than doing what would be best for the planet's coming generations. There are problems we are coming closer and closer to everyday like running out of oil and usable water that we still have no solution to other than buying it all up and selling it at the best price until it's all gone. We are innovative for sure but exponentially growing demand on resources requires exponentially growing innovation and I think we are headed for a bottle neck in that department. Hope I am wrong though. God this thread is depressing lol
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Old 1st January 2010, 09:20 PM   #23
albin is offline albin  United Kingdom
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Default society?

differential equations with limitless resources.
be happy anyway.
aren,t we all just magotts in Happi coats
regards max albin
ps I'm very new yeared
pps and terribly floored

Last edited by albin; 1st January 2010 at 09:34 PM. Reason: prima donnerism
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Old 1st January 2010, 10:07 PM   #24
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Just as i was on the verge of getting used to the old one it was over.
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Old 1st January 2010, 10:17 PM   #25
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Quote:
Who else here misses the old landline quality as much as me?
Around here, the "old landline quality" is the connection going out every couple days because the phone company keeps digging it up by accident

I don't know, I can understand the sentiment in this thread, but to me, the concern is better spent in your own life making those choices. I don't know how millions of people are going to reduce their energy consumption - but I can use more renewable energy myself. I don't like McMansions either, but I'm not forced to buy one. I can try to make the effort with my neighbors, no guarantees, but at least I can try.

I read GK's post as saying that with what has happened throughout history, worrying about whether or not you can buy batteries for a UPS isn't worth this kind of discussion. But that's just how I saw it
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Old 1st January 2010, 10:27 PM   #26
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I remember the bet... it's OK if you see everything in economic terms, but part of what I'm saying is:- you can't just look at things in economic terms. Economics is not necessarily a good predictor in human affairs. And anyway the ability of the atmosphere to accommodate larger fractions of carbon dioxide is not strictly speaking a limited resource in the same way that iron ore or coal is. There's nothing driving a reduction in consumption in that sense. It wouldn't be such a problem if there were. Other than conscience, of course, in which economics (and politics) is notoriously lacking.

We all just looked into the void economically speaking. We had queues outside banks here. We've felt the fragility of the system.

Have you heard of the place in China where they have to pollenate the apples by hand, because they killed all the insect pollenators. Now they can't re-introduce them because when the pollenators went, all the wild flowers went.

They've still got the apples tho', so perhaps you can regard this industrial monoculture as an economic success... but what I regard it as is - fragile.

It's said, I don't know with what degree of accuracy, but it was by Attenborough on the BBC to name at least one, that we may be witnessing one of the greatest mass extinctions in the planetary history.

Prophet of doom, I sincerely hope not. I'm pretty sure, however, that on past record the people in charge will let us sleepwalk our way into a disaster unless somehow we all make sure things come out differently, this time. Which will be a first. If it isn't too late already. Because as regards the climate, I'm pretty sure we're in unknown territory now, with the oceanic carbon dioxide levels. I'm just a layman in that field, but I've been a scientist-watcher all my life. It doesn't look good. Audio engineers understand resonance and they understand impulse. The climate is like a large gong which has been struck a very heavy blow. Look out for some oscillations.

I'm talking about on balance of probabilities here.

There are plenty of people out there ready to embrace the end of the world. Armageddon. I am not one of them. We've got the internet. We've got our talents. While there's life, there's hope. Just a bit less than there was formerly. I would like to live out my days in peace and comfort without concern that I or my family will have to deal with starvation or epidemic or civil unrest or other global or local catastrophe, but I think realistically that this less likely than my earlier more optimistic (but seemingly equally realistic at the time) estimates.

I hope that in that respect I'm wrong, I've been wrong often enough in the past.

w
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Old 1st January 2010, 10:47 PM   #27
SY is offline SY  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaflerFreak View Post
I believe GK's point might have been that relying on human ingenuity, as SY had suggested, to solve our mutual problems as a civilization is a bit far-fetched. We are too busy asserting our dominance over each other to ever survive as a civilized species. We are animals. Animals with profit motive.
Gee, the message I take is that I can go to Germany without fear of being gassed and cremated, black people can be president of the US, and women can vote without fear and intimidation. Life is BETTER.

Apparently, you can afford a computer. And you're communicating freely with people all over the world using technologies undreamed of in the '70s and '80s. Air is cleaner, water is cleaner, there's more food per human than ever, life expectancy is up. Why be a sourpuss?
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Old 1st January 2010, 11:07 PM   #28
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY View Post
Gee, the message I take is that I can go to Germany without fear of being gassed and cremated, black people can be president of the US, and women can vote without fear and intimidation. Life is BETTER.

Apparently, you can afford a computer. And you're communicating freely with people all over the world using technologies undreamed of in the '70s and '80s. Air is cleaner, water is cleaner, there's more food per human than ever, life expectancy is up. Why be a sourpuss?


My parents are living proof of SY's assertion, (healthy and active in their 80s) and their quality of life is really excellent thanks to modern medicine amongst other things. I grew up overseas, but thanks to the internet I can talk to, and sometimes meet very interesting people I would never had the opportunity to in the past.

I still worry about our leadership and their motives, but as a species we seem to be pretty adaptable so I think we have some sort of future..

I would admit it would be better if we could avoid learning things the hardest and most expensive way through our mistakes.. (Maybe a little more thought is required.)
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Last edited by kevinkr; 1st January 2010 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 1st January 2010, 11:23 PM   #29
andy_c is offline andy_c  United States
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Who else here misses the old landline quality as much as me?
Not me. I don't miss my Qwest land line at all. With Qwest, in order to get anonymous call blocking, I had to sign up for a package deal that had all kinds of other extras I didn't need or want. I dumped it and got a VOIP service. That service has sound quality almost as good as the land line and much better than a cell phone. It has almost unlimited long distance hours, and costs less than one-third of what I was paying for the Qwest land line package with no long-distance hours. Not only does it have anonymous call blocking, but I can also choose how to route or block individual numbers - send to a busy signal, automatically play a message that says "do not call back", and so on. Great for obnoxious relatives! I can go to a web page and get a list of everyone who has called me and when, going back to when I first had the service, even if they didn't leave a voice mail. Each voice mail message also gets automatically emailed to me as a WAV file, so I can check voice mail without calling in.

This kicks butt on my old land line and saves me a boatload of money too.
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Old 1st January 2010, 11:38 PM   #30
T in AZ is offline T in AZ  United States
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Originally Posted by HaflerFreak View Post
I believe GK's point might have been that relying on human ingenuity, as SY had suggested, to solve our mutual problems as a civilization is a bit far-fetched.
I don’t think that SY is far fetched at all; I think he understands that our technology is our best hope of pulling our bacon out of the fire. We have technologies that could change everyone’s life for the better right now, (I’m not talking about a better Ipod) but that is not the problem, the problem I see in my O, is the profit margins of BIG and powerful Multinationals that have no interest in civilization except to make a profit from anyone and everyone, and that Profit is calculated with out any concern of humanity. We can not go back to the way it was, that is the problem with progress, There are many different scenarios put out by many different people but none know what will truly happen down the road. I feel just as frustrated as you, but I do what I can while I can and hope to be able to fight the effects of gravity for a few more years.
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