Does technology tend to bring out the worst in us?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by JohnRice, May 27, 2006.

  1. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    OK, some of you already know I am a Commercial Photographer and have been photographing since grade school, which makes for over 30 years, and that I am, well, tenuous, about the effects of digital technology on the art aspects of photography. Many people have mistaken my feelings as being "old school" or somehow resistant to the changes, when nothing is further from the truth. I shoot digital, happily. I just know it is not what most people think it is, particularly ones who really should know better. It takes far too much and requires far too much technical and aesthetic understanding of photography to really explain that, so I'll just leave it at that.

    My real point is what I see as the often overwhelming negative result that technology seems to have on so many people. Just to touch again on photography, I am constantly frustrated (disgusted is really more like it) at the widespred perception that digital somehow removes the need for talent. Actually, this is nothing new, since it has always been too common to believe that using expensive equipment makes you talented, but digital has brought it to new levels.

    I also don't want to get into one of my digital photography rants, because it is actually the current issue of the new HD formats which made me want to post this. The many threads in the HD sections, with bashing, name calling, accusations and generally childish behavior, all the more remarkable considering one of the 2 formats isn't even available yet and the other has only 1 player (from what I can tell) and a handful of titles. These exchanges give me fond memories of those civil discussions about DD vs. DTS.

    People repeatedly attacking each other over audio formats, disc capacity, compression ratios, brands and who knows how many other things, like their very life depends on it. I've seen it for years with Canon owners battling against Nikon owners. During my years as a rep for one of the major camera manufacturers, it was amazing what people would say and do to each other based solely on what camera they owned. I have been interested in audio for nearly as long, and the same thing happens there, and I notice it constantly gets worse in both areas as well as so many others.

    I really do think that technology brings out the worst in us.


    Comments are welcome, but all of you dimwit, Blu-Ray supporters just keep your half-baked opinions to yourself. [​IMG]
     
  2. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    As long as there is more than one type of thing, there will be people to argue over which is better. If all we had were golden and red delicious apples, there would be arguments over which tastes and looks better. Human nature - it sucks [​IMG].
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Of course there will be choices and people will disagree. That is not the point at all. It is how childish people get about the choices and how they attach themselves like their very existence relies on their choice being selected by everyone else as well.
     
  4. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Vanilla [​IMG] Chocolate [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    You obviously know nothing Mike.


    That was my pitiful attempt at a joke, BTW.
     
  6. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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    Your example of Nikon VS Canon demonstrates that technology, per se, does not bring out the worst in people. The reason being that the technology behind those two brands of cameras is similar. Brand loyalty has more to do with any poor behaviour by owners of the different brands, than the technology does.

    To me, the perception of superior quality or operation of a technology for its intended purpose is the basis of the arguments.....not the technology itself. The Blu-ray/HD-DVD debate is a good example. One of the arguments is that Blu-ray has more capacity than HD-DVD. If Blu-ray supporters were only arguing that point then the argument would only be one on the finer points of a technology; however, they are not saying that. They are saying, "that the greater capacity opens the door to a wider variety of possible extras and features, without adversely affecting the audio or video quality, all on the same disk.

    A lot of HD-DVD supporters counter-argument is, "who needs all that capacity to watch a movie" and "what kind of extras would require all that space and why would I want them. I just want to watch a movie with high quality video and audio".

    To me, the underlined portions (if they are underlined) are the crux of the arguments and those arguments go to functonality.....not just the technology.
     
  7. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    As Mike so succinctly demonstrated in his post the premise of the original post is faulty. People passionately debate and levy value judgments on everything from politics to ice cream and have since the dawn of civilization. Debates or discussions centering on technology are no more uncivil then those centering around ice cream.
     
  8. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Insecurity and immaturity - they suck [​IMG]. But this behavior is not exclusive to technology, which was the point I was trying to make.
     
  9. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    But they absolutely are. I doubt there are any arguments anywhere about ice cream with the participants calling each other names, saying they are stupid and accusing each other of being mindless plants of the "vanilla" faction. Have any of you actually seen these threads in the HD section and all the warning that are constantly having to be made?

    Edwin, you probably have no idea the heated, hatred infused arguments Nikon and Canon owners got into with each other over the differences and perceived benefits between having the focus motor in the body and in the lens. There were many times i thought it would come to blows. That is what I am talking about. the fact that the technology is essentially the same is actually part of my point. So many people perceive these minute difference as being mountains and attach absurd importance to them. I am not actually "blaming" technology, but the absurd importance people place on it in relatively unimportant cases.


    I'm beginning to get the feeling I am trying to convince the King's Court that he has no clothes.
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    No, it's not exclusive and I never meant to give the impression I think it is. Politics are getting more and more this way as well, but politics also have a genuine connection to beliefs and ways of life. Of course, that is another issue that is a sticky area here.
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I don't think it does completely, but it definitely gives people and excuse. Human beings are always finding inventive ways of making themselves feel superior to those around them.
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Thank you Rob. That is essentially my point, plus that it seems to be constantly escalating. Those vitriolic DD/DTS threads of a couple years ago seem quaint compared to the HD ones going on now.
     
  13. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

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    In your opinion they are but as I have already written people debate all sorts of things with passion and incivility, including things that seem as trivial as ice cream. Technology debates are no different and don’t bring out the worst in people.
     
  14. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
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  15. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Faster focus since the motor can be directly linked to the focusing mechanism rather than transmitted to it from the body to the lens.
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    One of the big issues with technology is, there's always room for improvement.

    Knowing this, people don't like when compromises are made. There was a big hoopla over the CD spec because instead of going with 48kHz, they went with 44kHz, so as to fulfil CD's original intent...to allow Beethoven's 9th symphony (I believe that was the song) to fit onto a full CD.

    This enraged people who were hoping for 48kHz CD's. So, just to make a point about fitting that song onto CD, a compromise was made and made headahces for sound engineers (who always work in 48kHz) to downsample.


    And, of course, there's always the 'competition' end of technology. The problem here lies within the original users versus the new users.

    For example: I have been using Macs for YEARS and I have been accustomed to Firewire ports. I have firewire installed in all of my systems. But now, the big thing seems to be USB2. I don't have USB2 slots, so the new DVD Dual Layer burner (that my company just bought) will only work at USB1 speed on my PC. [​IMG]

    I'm so used to Firewire, that I really don't want to have to change over to USB2.

    Which also brings up "what we are used to" - It's amazing (myself included) how people get so used to things that they get angry when they have to use something that doesn't work exactly the way they are used to it working.

    For example; a co-worker was on my Mac and she is so used to PC that she got lost while trying to do a task. She immediately said "I HATE MACS!" - so I stopped her and said "Are you REALLY angry at the Mac or are you angry that you don't know how to use it?" [​IMG]

    This is the biggest thing I've noticed with technology. People like what they like and are very rigid about doing things differently. With new products and new technology coming out every three months, you're always going to run into these heated arguments.
     
  17. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    About $30 and a USB2 PCI card (just like I installed in my G4) will solve that. I Love Technology!!! [​IMG]
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, but now I have to spend $30 because DVD makers are deciding to go a different route with their connections.

    And you wonder why people start to become so 'one sided' when it comes to technology.
     
  19. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    No, you have to spend $30 because someone didn't do research to see that a housing with firewire was needed.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    it wasn't originally bought for my system.
     

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