I was doing my daily rounds of the technology websites, via Googles customizable homepage, and found an old chestnutty piece at Wired.
It was asking if all this technology merely kept people trapped in things they never had before, and now believe they cannot live without. Is being able to do so much work (as technology facilitates) a good thing (even with more money coming your way) while ignoring social interactions, and even personal well being?
Maybe one reason for the huge acceptance of technology such as computers and all the internet malarky, is that maybe a lot of people never were really any good at the social thing? Getting a computer or some other device to do your bidding, is a hell of a lot easier than getting someone else to cooperate. Look at it this way, would you rather ask your teenage kids to clean the kitchen, or ask Robby the robot to do it? Exactly!
I don't think it's any great secret that people will always do what is easier for them, even if it means ignoring obvious future consequences. I quite like the illusion that if it wasn't for those pesky computerized gadgets, we would all be living an amazingly rich and rewarding social existance. Nice fantasy. Anyway, I reckon all those people that are capable of it, are living it.
The other piece I saw at Wired, was about a new service which tagged all your photos so you didn't have to. I am really not into the whole photo thing, and I think it's a way of companies pulling people into technology, but with all the non-technological principles. You don't need 'photo' printers, hell, you don't even need to print the things. Someone let me know what the idea is behind that. Anyway, the company says that it can use it's software to identify people in photos, as well as supply appropriate tags to each one. Tags are keywords you can use to search for more specific items (pictures, files, anything) in a whole heap of similar things. Search your tags for BIRTHDAY, and you will see all the images from birthdays, but none from vacations. The problem they are supposed to be solving is that tagging EVERY SINGLE IMAGE you take, is a pain and a drudge. So if you didn't tag your vacation photos with a word you can remember (er... like vaction), you would not see them in a search for VACATION. You can have a whole mess of images, in one huge pile, and at your command, only the ones you want will shuffle to the surface for your viewing enjoyment.
WARNING: If you have not bothered to take the time to tag, or name the image files you've taken because it wasn't important enough that you make time to sort through the oh so precious memories you just HAD to keep, then I don't want to see them. Why not just send your camera on vacation somewhere, and let it take pictures every 30 seconds, no matter where it is. Then let it automatically upload those images to an auto tagging service, which stores it all online for you. Then that service will automatically email selected chums (based on their email keywords, and surfing habits) to show them pictures that the online service has worked out they would be interested in. To which THEIR email would automatically reply that they would/wouldn't have enjoyed them, based on it's own assessment of their email keywords, and surfing habits. Then noting in their automatic journal how much they enjoyed those pictures and would make a note of which images in the future their automated camera should take, so YOUR automated system would rate it highly also. And to did I mention, all of this could take place automatically?
Because that's what you want right? To do everything at hyper speed. To save time, so you can do even MORE things with the spare time you got from all the other sped up things you did quicker before? By now we should have been able to do so much in such a short space of time our heads should have sploded!
Why are you reading this (both of you)? Why not sign up for a blog reading service which scans through posts, extracting keywords you are interested in and telling you how relevant it is? Hang on, why sign up? Get something to only sign you up if based on your preferences, you would have wanted to sign up for it. Then you can save time by not having to subscribe to things that were of no interest to you at all. Why not just save a LOT of time, by telling a service your basic personal details such as age, location, etc. Then it can sign up, subscribe, purchase, rate, surf, email everything you so desperately need, without you having to take the time to do it. That would save a lot of time yes? Maybe even give you time to take the dog for a walk, chat with your chums in the street, see a movie, sit in the park feeding the ducks. While your tamagotchi style internet pet, does it's online thing all by itself.
Of all the people you know, how many of them REALLY know what they really want? I am sure people would love such automation, if it meant saving time... for er... what again? Legend has it that in the beginning there was darkness, and in that darkness a single piece of content was created. Then Google meta-tagged it, and the internet was born. Perhaps nobody will ever know who the mysterious 'Content Creator' was, or maybe not even care. I know I don't, as I have so much information flowing to me now that I could not possibly sort through it or even use it in any meaningful way. My purpose in life is to manage streams of data so they can flow freely, and continue the cycle of er... something.
Hey look, it's the internet of the future!
Remember just to feed it demographic details every couple of days.