Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano" is one of my favorite books of all time.
That is all.
Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano" is one of my favorite books of all time.
That is all.
A lot of this can be answered by "because it's cool."
Google tells me that the Play Store has >675,000 apps as of Oct 2012, taking out duplicate apps lets call it 300k unique apps, or 300k things that my phone can do.
annnnnd I use about 20 of those on a weekly basis and thats including things such as "phone" as being an app.
Look, I consider myself a techie, I've rooted my previous phones and currently my tablet, I can dial into my home network from my phone etc. and I keep up on the latest and greatest but I'll be damned if I use an app for such simple and mundane tasks as buying milk. I attempted to use Evernote, had it synced across all my platforms and then I realized I spent more time typing crap into it that it took for me to "create" a reminder in my own internal harddrive.
Until I can order my very own C3PO this stuff is only for the "look at me" factor, and is the reason I got the 5 year warranty on all my new appliances because I know the condensor is highly unllikely to go out on my fridge, but I've heard plently of horror stories about MOBOs going out and bam here's a 1k repair bill.
Oh I completely agree that it's stupid as hell, but I really think that is why people do some "techie" stuff; because it's cool.
I don't think it's cool and the future scares the shit out of me because I am horrible with computers, but I think they think it's cool.
Get off my lawn?
and humans will become so dumb and helpless that they'll fail to realize that their fridge is trying to kill them by refusing to communicate that toxic mold has started growing in the month-old loaf of bread.
Reminds me of this gem...(Yes, I've watched it, thanks to Netflix).
It's all a matter of convenience. It's an attempt to make life easier for people.
Now, that said, it's just freaking cool.
That Humanity has a way of building increasingly complext ideologies, technologies and other systems. Humans have always adapted by saying , "Whatevah" and just learning to cope with it or, in extreme cases like Nazi-ism, saying " Aw hell nah" and putting an end to it. Then again, we have not encountered the self-aware kitchen appliance, so obvious caveats apply.
How about, instead of refrigerators that tell me when my milk is going bad, they design some flying cars like we were supposed to have by now.
and sex robots indistinguishable from the real Kate Upton.
Hey now, that's the kind of vision that made Apple an empire.
If only Steve Jobs would've used his powers for good...
and the birth rate will plummet in the societies that can afford them.
as this little article points out, flying cars would actually be awful in reality.
I look forward to the day when computers can track and analyze comments their owners make on sports blogs after disappointing losses, and can deliver incapacitating electric shocks when a certain level of whiny assholism is reached.
The ultimate advance will occur when MGoBlog mods themselves can deliver those shocks—lethal, if warranted—directly to the offending idiots.
You ever see the Disney movie WALL-E where the humans are out in space on their giant cruise ship per se and they're all too fat to even get out of a chair because they've had machines and robots do everything for them? This is the first step in that direction.
I can imagine a time when you have a smart fridge that automatically scans every item in the fridge and creates an automatic inventory. Then, if you're on your way home from work and want to check if you need to pick up milk or hot sauce or whatever, you can automically pull up a list, neatly sorted, of the contents, sorted by item, expiration date, even level remaining. Complete information to base your decisions off of.
Perhaps it even notices what you buy often and are running low on and runs a report to check local stores for pricing, availability, and sales to steer you to the best deals. Or it notices that you have all the ingrediants for a great recipe but x and y and suggests you pick those up to make chicken cordon bleu tonight, or whatever. Or it could track your preferences and suggest alternative products you might be interested in: I know you always buy x brand bratwurst, you might want to try them with y brand mustard.
Would these revolutionize the way you live? Likely not, but they could be helpful and quite nice in some circumstances. It may be cost prohibitive at the moment but with electronic pricing dropping daily, there could be a time where consumers are willing to spend an extra hundred dollars or whatever to have these conveniences. Or they won't and the fridges won't sell, and the market has decided fridge R&D has to look elsewhere for the next great innovation.
and they either have it ready, or deliver. It's like the difference between picking a show to record on your dvr, or having a show programmed to record whenever you need to. When it's time, the order is in, and you don't have to do anything.
Furthering us closer to the point where we have to have no contact with actual living beings.
sign on a cooler that states "not a toilet".
So, I wonder how large the market is for hyperlinked refrigerators away from places like Silicon Valley, Ann Arbor. Boston, Seattle, etc. . .
"We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces."
A perfect description of MGoBlog after a tough road loss or recruiting disappointment.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." —Arthur C. Clarke
Ugh, Just what I need. Another one. I already have an expiration date sensing device,… called my wife. She not only won’t touch anything minutely past a “best by” date, but I hate waking up to the phase, “You have to run out for milk for your coffee. It expired today and I threw it out!” Arrgh!
While some of this seems scary and either Big Brother or Terminator, there are efficiencies to be gained through these types of applications
As and example, I just set this up in my house:
Problem: if you have a constant hot water recirculation system, the hot water heater has to cycle more often to keep the water heated with heat loss in the loop. A less efficient tank water heater is required. Thus wasting either gas or electricity.
Flip Problem: if you disable the recirculation system (like I did when I installed a tankless water heater) when I turn on the hot water, I let many many gallons of cold water run down the drain waiting for the hot thus wasting resource.
Solution: set up an on-demand recirculation loop.
I have X10 motion sensors in each of the "far away" bathrooms that turn on the recirculation system when you walk into the bathroom and a heat sensor at the pump. So the recirc pump pulls the water through the loop until the heat sensor detects hot water and shuts the pump down. This takes a few minutes, and you still have to wait a bit, but you are not wasting water, and the water heater doesn't run all day. Metlund makes a retrofit push button version of this as well, but I went with X10 as I had an existing pump.
Next step for me though is working in the Android app so I can turn on the recirc as I head up the stairs. If my alarm clock could do this as well - that would be great.
Smart machines can be more efficient. Imagine an outlet that can tell when your devices are fully charged or not in use, and shuts off so the plugged in DC power converters are not just turning amps into heat.
To me, scanning a milk carton with my smartphone in order to get a reminder when it goes bad takes way more effort than just reading the label and remembering it.
I'm sure it would be just used as a particular way to market me foods that I like or need.
My only hope for science/technology is that, in my lifetime, something is invented to take care of all of my chores and everyday activities so I don't have to do sh-t. No more shaving, vacuuming, laundry, cooking, taking out trash, etc, etc. I guess a robot could fix that but I imagine a robot maid/butler/cook will be very expensive.
Though I like it more combined with Don's idea....
We're actually piloting a program called "SmartHome" in conjunction with the AMI meters that we're currently installing (those of you in Ann Arbor should already have these meters). The idea is essentially to have information on energy usage from appliances, heating and A/C and other items transmitted to your computer so you can monitor your own consumption and even shop for different available rates to optimize your bill. Eventually, the idea is to be able to allow things in your house to nominally be on or off at different times of the day depending on when our on-peak or off-peak rates are in effect, all customizable by the customer.
coincidentally, I read these stories earlier today on Car & Driver's website, I thought both were rather nifty.
Audi is working on technology to allow a car to valet park itself.
Audi is also working on a system that will automatically drive your car for you in dense traffic conditions (i.e. rush hour < 40 mph) allowing you to do other stuff, like video conferencing or reading.
or getting it on with your sex robot in the back seat.
I suspect it is not a very good idea for humanity in general to have machines that do conveniences instead of only difficult tasks. If you don't exercise regularly you will likely become fat. It's not a reach to also say that if you don't exercise your memory and problem-solving skills regularly you will likely become stupid. Worse yet, you will start expecting other people (and things) to do your work and thinking for you. That used to be called "a spoiled little brat."
Anyone who doesn't believe me needs only to look at the next post (anywhere on the Internet) that looks like it was written by a four-year-old with all the grammar and spelling errors and is followed up by "oh haha lol stupid autocorrect." No, I don't respect your opinion if you don't have the time to give it even ten seconds of scrutiny because you're letting your little machine do your thinking.
My objection mainly manifests itself in self-driving cars and "features" they have in them these days like blind-spot sensors and steering wheels that put you back in your lane if you drift. Just the other day I got cut off by a guy in a Mercedes with a blind-spot sensor on the mirror, because the sensor didn't blink on. (Theory: the sensor senses a car that is actually overlapping, but can't sense one that isn't - which creates a dangerous situation when there is a car that's overtaking and will be overlapped in another half a second.) Apparently you don't even have to check your mirrors anymore, but you can still cause an accident. If he'd hit me and we'd stopped to exchange information I just bet the first words out of his mouth would've been "oh sorry my blind spot sensor told me there was nothing there."
This is the part where I acknowledge I sound like Herm, and that doesn't bother me one bit. The so-called Greatest Generation didn't get that name by having everything and doing nothing for themselves.
I disagree pretty strenuously with respect to progressively advanced information/automation systems in cars. On our own, we're pretty awful at correctly perceiving and responding to things at highway speeds and distances, and these failings are primarily responsible for the 30k+ who are killed in cars domestically every year. Technological improvements have real potential to meaningfully reduce this number, which ought to be seen by everyone as unacceptably high.
As to mental atrophy in the face of ubiquitous computation: you'll have a hard time convincing me that my smart phone makes me think less when I'm standing in lines. More generally, I think it's mistaken to think that living amdist computational sophistication will somehow crowd out the thinking that we do on our own.
Well, it's possible I overexaggerate the degree to which thinking may slow down the smarter the machines get, but I believe the number of times I've seen people blame Autocorrect for their typos and mistakes is one point of evidence in favor of the argument, and the Mercedes that cut me off is another. I don't, meanwhile, see evidence that smart machines make us smarter. I don't think keeping the mind occupied while standing in line counts; most people do not exactly use that time to learn Spanish. They're playing Angry Birds. I would argue that on balance, the effect is to shorten attention spans, not sharpen minds.
On that point I don't think that the answer to reducing traffic accidents is less thinking about what we're doing behind the wheel. Is it not logical to think that if a car is designed to protect you if you nod off for a split second, drowsy people will consider it just fine to get behind the wheel, since the car will (theoretically) get them there safely? Just as the Mercedes driver thought it perfectly OK to swerve in front of me because the blind-spot sensor would surely have told him if were dangerous to do so? I would argue we would be safer and cause fewer accidents if people drove correctly and cautiously, checking their mirrors and their blind spots, and knowing not to drive drowsy, than we would if the general attitude is "my technology will protect me."
Actually, the average person today is significantly more well educated than the average person from even 150 years ago. The high school physics student today learns more about physics than was known to the human race three hundredish years ago.
In terms of sharpening one's mind, I think you'll agree that the effect of technology depends on how it's applied/consumed. I probably err in reasoning from my own experience too generally, but I maintain that I grapple with serious and varied ideas much more in the current technological environment than I would in an environment without Google Reader in bathroom stalls. Looking at likely more popular activities, is the average American duller now than she would be in the absence of Angry Birds and texting and all the rest of our stream of modern informational/sensory inputs? Maybe, maybe not, but it doesn't strike me as intuitively likely, and I'd need to see actual systematic evidence to be convinced.
While I'm probably extrapolating too broadly based on my experience of actually reading worthwhile things on my phone, I think you're almost certainly making too much of the guy who cut you off. Yes, driver alerts and autonomous features need to be carefully designed to avoid causing the sort of behavior you describe, but there's no question at all that they have the ability to supplement/replace our driving performance in vastly preferable ways. Our failings behind the wheel certainly include drowsy, drunk, and distracted driving, but they by no means end there. Our perceptions and reactions are limited in myriad ways, in terms of our field of vision; our limitation to the visual spectrum of light, compromised as it might be by weather or lack of daylight; our ability to precisely discern distance, velocity, and acceleration; our ability to mentally process the unexpected; and our ability to react quickly and in precisely appropriate ways. All of these failings kill people. That information/automation technologies offer the likelihood of helping us kill fewer people is, as far as I can tell, beyond dispute.
I would amend your final statement to say that technology offers the likelihood of killing fewer people in the ways it's currently happening. Cars have saved people the trouble of dying of typhoid and dysentery on the difficult journey to Oregon, it's true, but kill them in different ways.
True, the Mercedes story is anecdotal evidence, and the limitations of anecdotal evidence are clear. Still, enough such evidence can pile up into a narrative. I offer one other small piece of anecdotal evidence: this news story I read today and thought, how perfect.
I don't know how stupid you have to be to do a thing like this.
A significant portion of that 30K are killed because they, or another driver, were hammered while driving.
About a third of motor vehicle deaths in the US involve a driver with above-legal BAC. These deaths still, though, accrue to driver failings of judgment, perception, and reaction. Widespread automation, I would think, stands to reduce motor vehicle deaths involving both sober and drunk drivers. This is especially true when you think of what it might mean for the price and availability of taxis, as well as other systemic factors that would reduce the incidence of people driving themselves when they absolutely should not be driving themselves.
And in other CES news, a new startup company called Skynet has a way for machines to talk to each other all over the world!
Often our predictions of the "future" end up as way off target, and technology often fails to become mainstream because it is too expensive, or the convenience that it brings is outweighed by the inconvenience of making the switch from what you were already doing. It's easier for consumers to make a lateral move to technology than to learn to do something entirely new. A personal digital grocery/sale tracker synched to local grocery stores which are synched to your Google account or tablet is far more likely to happen than a smart fridge.
What's attractive, affordable, and easy to a consumer market will almost always take precedence over what's possible. Set aside past predictions of flying cars, and space colonies, and just look at solar technology, for example. Solar has been around for decades, now, everybody likes it, and every house should have it, but it's just slightly not convenient or attractive enough for people to actually pay for it. Many average houses could even make money selling electricity back in the long run, yet I don't have it, and neither does anyone on my street. But I bet half the houses on my block have a George Forman grill. That's about as outside the box the average American consumer gets.
I don't see why you'd have to scan milk with your smart phone, the people that sold you the milk already know when it expires. Wal-Mart buys Amazon. You maintain a grocery subscription, tweak your bi-weekly order online when you feel like it, rarely go to the store. Product demand gets even more predictable than it already is. ...so, buy Amazon stock?
I kind of figure refrigerators will be obsolete in metropolitan areas 30 years from now.
I refuse to own cars with automatic transmissions or any made after 1995 (and i prefer older than that). This is partly because i prefer German cars and the computer control modules combined with incredibly thin gauge control wire mean that things go wrong and are stupidly expensive to fix. So i'm probably not a good gauge of the American consumer.
But I'm no luddite. I have a smart phone that runs my business and personal life via the synced calendar. HD smart TV, PS3, subscription video service, etc. But to hell with a refrigerator that wants to talk to me. As much as my Asian experiences with singing toilets establishes some nostalgia for such appliances, just no. A good refrigerator already costs a bundle, and that's fine if it's well made and i can expect it to last many, many years with proper care and maintenace (see, old German cars). It needs to keep shit cold, reliably. As my tap water is as clean and cold as it gets, i don't need any of that fancy shit on the front door either.
So, no, no, no, no, no. Recipe for frustration and disaster based on a false sense of convenience. And i like cooking, so the appliance manufacturers can STFU about smart, induction ranges. Gas, a real fire the way we've been doing it for thousands of years is still best.