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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    The article you linked tried to use economic calculations to measure technological advancement. I extrapolated your position from that. Why don't you come out and clearly state your position rather than trying to snipe from the sidelines?
    Because that would require lots of words written with lots of care, and that's more than I feel like giving to this conversation. Suffice to say that 1) I do believe significant cultural and technological advances have been made over the last thirty years, and 2) those advances haven't been as significant as those in the thirty years before that. This isn't a particularly controversial point. While real GDP estimates don't prove anything, they're certainly not a bad place to start when tackling these issues. I suspect that you'd quite happily cite them as support for your thesis if they were more favourable to it. Please understand, I'm not one of these people who claims that peoples' income hasn't risen since the seventies or whatever; life really has gotten better over the last thirty years for the vast majority of people on almost every dimension, especially for those living in countries like India and China.

    With regard to the particular issue of fashion (and much of art), I think the apparent slowdown in change is a good thing. It's thanks, in part, to things like the internet, I think: it's much less costly than ever before to indulge in niche tastes. The mainstream is being divided into many smaller nichestreams; the expectation of shared tastes, interests, and entertainment is being eroded. There is, I think, a lot more tolerance and acceptance between niches than ever before (though not necessarily within).
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  2. #42
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    This. If you're looking at music, movies, and fashion (all things that I know staggeringly little about, granted), you might be able to make the observation that there hasn't been as clear a distinction between the early 90's and 2012 as from the 50's, 70's, etc. Maybe.
    The arts has been divided, the new media(anything from 2-d animation to computer driven music) and the old form (hand-drawn animation, sculpting, T.V, etc.)*

    If you see the old form as the standard of the culture of art, then the discussion ends there.

    New Media has done a lot more than people give it credit.

    With every new form of an art median, there will always be critics. That is the same thing that happened to photography. No one in their right mind would call photography an art in itself when it first came out. If you are willing to see how many things these technologies has allowed for New Media Art, than we are getting into something. Most of New Media Art is at the stage where T.V. should of been (before all the T.V. channels got regulated by the old median.)

    *EDITED

  3. #43
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    This. If you're looking at music, movies, and fashion (all things that I know staggeringly little about, granted), you might be able to make the observation that there hasn't been as clear a distinction between the early 90's and 2012 as from the 50's, 70's, etc. Maybe.
    I argue that those clears distinctions are a sign of more cultural stagnation, not less. Those broad patterns exist due to isolated culture and slow change. Culture is now so fast and so interconnected that it's much harder to notice big trends. That's not cultural stagnation, that's the exact opposite.

    Cultural development accelerates, and as it does so, becomes harder to follow.

    EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I feel that the change between 1985 and now is bigger that the change between 1955 and 1985.
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  4. #44
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Here is an interview with Kurt Andersen and Simon Reynolds:



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  5. #45
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    I would be happier if the USA would take more notice of history, particularly the history of nations we invade.

  6. #46
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    There is an element of truth in that, if things were slower and the momentum didnt exist then memes wouldnt rise and disappear so quickly, often too quick to even make a T-shirt printing run, I collect T-shirts with memes on them, such as Fenton the dog, but they are already on their way out by the time I discover them most of the time. This is perhaps an indication of why they dont endure and become trends or trendy.

    I definitely know that the release of films or film events is different, its more time limited, there is less of a build up, there is less of any single feature becoming a phenomenon like they once did, like, for instance Batman did or the turtles movie did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Could you try to make that case? I ask because I believe the opposite to be true. I believe technological advancement is accelerating.
    True, I think technology has developed rapidly but in small increments. This makes us less aware of the changes and less appreciative of the improvement to our lives. In terms of MP3 players for example, we don't walk around thinking how small and convenient they are because we don't reflect on the days when we didn't have such easy access and use of music, even though in relative terms it was not that long ago. I've been thinking about this because my MP3 broke and I've been reduced to using my Discman and believe me I'm realising what a hassle it was. It's so heavy, cumbersome and I'm limited to listening to one CD of music (15 or so songs) at a time and if I want a selection, I have to haul a whole bunch around with me and/or make mix CDs. In my mind it's like the transition from Discmans to MP3 players was practically overnight, and in the morning the Discman was forgotten. Now modern technological devices or elements feel like they're part of a permanent evolution from core developments in the 1980s or earlier, rather than a series of single brand new inventions. It's as if the MP3 player is really the Discman 2.0, or should I say, the Walkman 3.0.

    I think society only really value the major leaps and bounds, but the thing is, we don't get these any more - we don't have a Darwin, Einstein, or Newton-like dramatic departures in thought and knowledge (and consequently in technology that follows). Whether this is because we are approaching our limits in our ability to do this and can only manage small enhancements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robopop View Post
    You don't think someone from 1985 would be impressed by tablet computers circa 2010, our tablets today in 2012 seem even more "advanced" than the one's featured in the '90s Star Trek series TNG and DS9.
    Yes, but they'd probably be disappointed that there wasn't a fancy spaceship to go with it. In their minds, they would wonder how can you do one fantastical thing (like use an Ipad) but at the same time have made no real advances in something so basic as car technology, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    We've sequenced the human genome and we're growing organs for transplantation because those are far more useful than flying cars and silver unitards.
    Yes, this is a good point! Yet ultimately, this just doesn't seem impressive to society and not simply because they've had unreasonable expectations. I remember what a big deal it was when they started mapping the human genome, yet I never remember ever hearing a major announcement when it was completed - you know, to mark it as the significant point in history it was. It's as if in that period of time it became not such a big deal. It makes you wonder why...
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  7. #47
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I think society only really value the major leaps and bounds, but the thing is, we don't get these any more - we don't have a Darwin, Einstein, or Newton-like dramatic departures in thought and knowledge (and consequently in technology that follows). Whether this is because we are approaching our limits in our ability to do this and can only manage small enhancements.
    I think people are just used to change now. When the rate of technological change was slower in the first half of the 20th century, new inventions (like the television) were the center of attention because there were fewer things competing for the spotlight. If the television was unveiled today, it wouldn't receive nearly as much fanfare.

    Yes, this is a good point! Yet ultimately, this just doesn't seem impressive to society and not simply because they've had unreasonable expectations. I remember what a big deal it was when they started mapping the human genome, yet I never remember ever hearing a major announcement when it was completed - you know, to mark it as the significant point in history it was. It's as if in that period of time it became not such a big deal. It makes you wonder why...
    Actually, there was quite a bit of fanfare when the human genome project was completed. There were lots of promises made (by politicians), promises that were basically impossible to keep.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #48
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    Lately I wonder what life will look like not in 500 years but 5000. Will it be unrecognizable? Will even the names and locations of modern day countries become fuzzy memories inflated with mysticism?

    Then I think...probably not. Because of technology we should be able to keep a continuous historical record of everything that has happened thus far in the world and pass it on correctly? Yes?

    Anyhow...I think every decade past the the inception of the 'modern era' people have asked that question. I think you only ask that question or offer it "end of the world/stagnation/civilization at a standstill etc." when things are still moving forward. By the time the empire has crumbled you don't need ask that question anymore.
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  9. #49
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I think people are just used to change now. When the rate of technological change was slower in the first half of the 20th century, new inventions (like the television) were the center of attention because there were fewer things competing for the spotlight. If the television was unveiled today, it wouldn't receive nearly as much fanfare.
    Quite possibly.

    Actually, there was quite a bit of fanfare when the human genome project was completed. There were lots of promises made (by politicians), promises that were basically impossible to keep.
    Oh, I didn't mean to say that there wasn't any fanfare. It just isn't something ordinary people would have marked on their calendar - not compared with many other scientific breakthroughs in history. It won't be properly heralded as the achievement it really is. I mean will people really talk about it in the same category as the Theory of Relativity or On the Origin of Species or even the discovery of DNA. Instead the reaction is, "What the hell took them so long" or, "Haven't they done that already?". My point is people just aren't as impressed by the big scientific developments now, they expect them.
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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

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  10. #50
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    I always thought culture was cyclic.

    If anything mass media has just made it apparent how cyclic it is.

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