Tag Archives: too much technology

‘Oops… Your Phone Blew Up’ (2016)

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Three guesses as to what happened to this poor guy…

Don’t you hate it when your phone explodes–especially if it does that while you’re using it?


A couple years ago Samsung had a bit of a difficulty on the exploding phone front. Give them credit for not trying to pretend there was nothing wrong.

We had exploding hoverboards, too.

Somehow our ancestors did not have to worry about exploding butter churns, milking stools, wagons, or those funny old telephones with dials on them. Nothing in our house ever blew up, when I was a boy.

But never mind the technology. Our culture is in much worse shape than our phones.

School Tax Potlatch: $1 Billion Up in Smoke

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Long ago, big shots among certain Pacific Northwest nations had a custom called the potlatch, in which the giver demonstrated his wealth, power, and prestige by giving away fantastic quantities of, like, everything–or even simply burning up stuff so everyone could see that he had stuff to burn.

We don’t have the potlatch anymore, but we do have school budgets, which are almost the same thing.

I missed this the first time around, four years ago, but Michelle Malkin revisited it today in her column: the time the Los Angeles school district potlatched $1 billion–yeah, we said “a billion dollars”–to buy iPads for the kiddies (https://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2018/12/26/beware-silicon-valley-santas-in-the-schools-n2538037). The iPads came pre-loaded with Common Core crapola and “an onslaught of online ads.”

Did the kids get a billion dollars’ worth of smarter? In a word, no. They did get kind of tired of having their faces glued to a screen every waking moment.

But “educators” haven’t learned their lesson, Malkin says, and Big Tech is taking full advantage of educators’ wooden-headedness, showering public schools with a mass of shiny hi-tech toys–this at a time when at least some researchers are beginning to wonder if it’s really, truly such a good thing to have kids staring at a computer screen all day instead of playing, running around, and being normal.

A billion bucks–hot dog! The people of Los Angeles had to work for that money. It was their money. They earned it. Then the government–in this case the city educational authorities–took it and pissed a billion dollars of it into a fan.

Let me leave you with this thought: Kill public education, and leftism dies.

We Haven’t Got a Mobile Phone

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Whole Foods offers a discount to Amazon Prime members; but we couldn’t get ours today because we haven’t got a mobile phone.

When my wife called about that, the woman at Whole Foods corporate offices apologized: they had no idea that so many people choose not to have cell phones. Half the calls they were getting today, she said, were from Amazon Prime members who don’t have cell phones. “We never thought of it!” she admitted. So their programmers are working on some way of making the discount available to us who have only land lines.

So why don’t we have a mobile phone?

The thing is, if you have one, people call you on it. There’s no point in having one if you don’t carry it around with you. And then they can get at you while you’re grocery shopping, playing basketball, or trying to drive your car in nerve-racking Jersey traffic without getting killed. “Hello! This is Romaine from Fumble Bay Resorts! Our records show that you stayed with us for two weeks in 1974 and had a wonderful time…” Lie. Scam. Trying to bamboozle poor senior citizens. Plus all these jidrools text you with ads all the time, which you wind up paying for.

Well, it was gratifying to learn that we have a lot of company in this.

Land liners, stand firm! Enough technology is enough.

We Don’t Need These Robots

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I like to play games on Pogo. I like to chat with my Pogo friends while we’re playing. It’s relaxing. It’s nice.

My wife plays a lot of Pogo, and she likes to win “badges.” A badge denotes that you’ve achieved something or other in the course of playing a game. Players like to collect badges. I’m not into that, but that’s me.

As I play, from time to time a certain advertisement appears in the chat box, offering you the power to “complete and win hard badges quickly”… by signing up for robots, “Badge Bots,” to play the game for you.

It reminds me of someone I knew long ago, who was too lazy to go to the unemployment office to collect his check. We called him “Clams”–although the average clam was a lot more dynamic than he was.

Sheesh! Are we grown too flaming lazy even to play our games? Where’s the fun in having some robot play your games for you? Are we too dull, too inert, even to relax? And what kind of gavone brags about all the badges he “won” by letting Badge Bots win them? Where’s the achievement? How many of us, really, are that dishonest with ourselves?

Other robots turn our lights on or off–you have to shell out for “smart” lights that will obey the robot’s order–because we’re too torpid to flick a switch.

I heard somewhere that the civilized world has an epidemic of obesity. I wonder why. Well, at least we still have the energy and the drive to stuff our faces non-stop. Is that the one thing we don’t want robots to do for us?

I’m reminded of a story Ray Bradbury told in The Martian Chronicles, a poignant, somewhat poetic piece in which all the human colonists on Mars are dead and gone but their robots mindlessly keep performing their now pointless tasks of housekeeping the now uninhabited houses.

Let’s not go there, okay?

A Fatal Night at the Movies

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It can happen to anyone?

Do we have more technology in our lives than is good for us?

A man in England has been killed by an “electric recliner seat” among the “Gold Class seats” at a movie theater (http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/20/man-dies-getting-head-stuck-vue-cinema-seat-retrieving-phone-7401134/). I’ve never been in a movie theater where they had any of this, so it took me a few minutes to understand the news report.

So, the guy accidentally drops his cell phone–why he needed to take it to the movies with him, who can say?–and when he bends down to retrieve it, the chair’s electronic footrest comes up and, well, his head gets caught. Before they could somehow get him out of it, he suffered a heart attack and subsequently died.

I would’ve thought one of the last things we needed was new ways to make it cost even more to go to the movies, but I guess I’m just old-fashioned. All I ask of a chair is that it be a chair. I don’t want my chair to get ideas: they’re going to be bad ideas. Betcha they call it a “smart” chair! And they charge you extra to sit in one while you watch the movie: hence “Gold Class” seating.

And where is it written that we have to have our cell phones with us everywhere we go? Well, OK, I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t want someone bothering me on the phone while I’m trying to shop for groceries. Or watch a movie.

I wondered what movie this poor guy saw, but that information isn’t given. Whatever it was, it wasn’t worth it.

One thing about plain old chairs with no computers in them: they never kill you.

Kids Too Weak to Grip Pencils?

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British pediatricians and school principals are saying the current crop of kindergarten kids are too weak to grip a pencil, thanks to their spending most of their time as “the touchscreen generation” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5435015/Touchscreen-happy-children-weak-hold-pencil.html).

They claim 58%–yeah, 58%–of children under two years old have already gotten into iPads and smartphones: and that their hand muscles, unable to develop normally, are weak. Too weak to wield a pencil. And they lack the motor skills needed if they’re going to learn how to write or draw. The tots don’t play with crayons, paintbrushes, scissors anymore. Just touchscreens. They aren’t playing with Play-Doh, either: but that comes later, in college.

I just had a horrible thought! What happens when these kids grow up and go to college, and they’re too weak and clumsy to play with Play-Doh?

Aw, well, motor skills, schmotor skills, who needs ’em? Bots are gonna do all the work, anyhow, and all the thinking, too.

I was born into a world of men and women. Real Smart People are destroying it.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

An Amazingly Stupid Idea

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For those of you who missed it in the comment section today, there’s a new technology that will let amazon.com delivery personnel into your house or apartment when you aren’t home (https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2017/10/27/new-amazon-service-gives-contractors-a-key-to-your-house-for-deliveries/).

Are we getting ourselves in too deep with our technology?

The problem they’re trying to solve is people stealing your stuff because you weren’t there when it was delivered. So they will have “a link to an Internet-connected door lock” so the deliveryman can get in.

If you need me to explain why this is a bad idea, you need to think it through a little longer.

I’m pretty happy with amazon’s delivery system as it is. If there are people in your neighborhood who steal your packages, it won’t help to replace it with another problem that might easily turn out to be much worse: allowing some stranger to potter around in your home while you’re absent and maybe get to wondering where you keep your credit cards, etc.

But these days, if any idea is all that bad… they’ve just gotta do it.

Normal Service Will Be Resumed…

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Once again I find myself an hour late before I start, through no fault of my own.

All my wife wanted to do was to pay a bill online, a banking bill, as is her normal custom. This chewed up 45 minutes of our Saturday night and an hour of our morning today, with no result whatsoever.

They wanted our mobile phone number. We do not have a mobile phone. No matter what route we took, no matter how circuitous, no matter how long, no matter how hard, no matter how much time we spent on hold, listening to this awful tinkly music, it always led back to a demand for our mobile phone number. I guess none of the reps we talked to believed us when we said we didn’t have one.

We’re going to have to close the account and not do business with that bank anymore.

Anyhow, we’re an hour late starting our Monday tasks–but the tale of bricks shall remain the same!–and I will get this blog back up to speed later today, if humanly possible. Please bear with me.

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