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Thread: Technological Prowess For What?

  1. #1
    HeavyMetalParkingLot's Avatar Poster
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    I have one question: Why?

    This is the question that pops into my head whenever I flip through any of those slick catalogs hawking the latest in high-dollar, high tech gizmos for yuppies -- why is so much of our society's brainpower and research money being frittered away on frivolous crap?

    You want crap? Try house slippers with headlights. Let's hope that person isn't trying to invent anything else. Or this -- a $250 rapid-fire toaster that can pop out 130 slices of toast per hour right in your kitchen. If this thing appeals to you, let me be the first to tell you: You've got a toast problem, buster, and it's time to spend some money for professional help, not for a 130-slices-an-hour toaster.

    Some of this crap is not just crap, but absurdly expensive crap pitched to the pompous and overpampered rich, including the $90,000 Audi A8, which has 65,000 electrodes to scan your fingerprints so you can open its doors by waving your hand in front of it. It also has a computer that automatically tunes the radio to the driver's favorite station and sculpts the front seat to the contours of the driver's bottom. If that's not enough for the lazy class, try the FMD-700 Eye Trek TV glasses that use prisms to alter the line of sight so you can lie flat in bed and watch TV or videos -- no more need to strain yourself by sitting up.

    There's even a techno-consumer magazine, aptly named Stuff, that has unwittingly expressed the whining wasteland ethic behind this mindless production and consumption of crap: "We've launched missions to Mars," says Stuff, "so why can't we build a robot that can pour us a drink?"

    Well, Stuff, undoubtedly we can and probably will, but the question is, why? The exploration of Mars is at least about the reach of the human spirit. Not being willing to reach for your own drink is about human sloth. Just because we can make it doesn't mean we should. Shouldn't we focus our technological geniuses on the world's real needs?

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    Compliments of Jim Hightower. You ought to add that into both of your topics here.



    Edit: Typo. :">
    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    I got a pair of those TV glasses, they're wicked!!

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Why?

    Haven't you figured it out yet? Money, and the power/autonomy it subtends, runs the world. Ethics and philosophy are the considered ponderings of the "haves" as they sip cognac in their highbacked chairs.

    Every little rat out there is wondering, "If I can just make it, then I will change". We all strive for financial security so that our futures are set. "This house, this car, this property is MINE!"

    If it makes money, we do it. The more we think we can make, the harder we try. Once we (as a society) understand that reward drives motivation, then maybe we can start setting aside money for things that will make this world a better place, rather than encouraging our geniuses to use cyclotron produced sub-atomic particles to impreganate golfballs, that are guarenteed to "drive straighter and longer".
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    thewizeard's Avatar re-member BT Rep: +1
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    Originally posted by MagicNakor@5 August 2003 - 09:04
    Compliments of Jim Hightowner. You ought to add that into both of your topics here.

    Who is Jim Hightowner?

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    MagicNakor's Avatar On the Peripheral
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    Ah, when I wrote that I forgot to doublecheck. Oops. It's Hightower, not Hightowner. He's a journalist from the Austin Chronicle.

    http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/disp..._hightower.html

    I figured it looked plagiarised, especially considering HMPL's usual posts.

    things are quiet until hitler decides he'd like to invade russia
    so, he does
    the russians are like "OMG WTF D00DZ, STOP TKING"
    and the germans are still like "omg ph34r n00bz"
    the russians fall back, all the way to moscow
    and then they all begin h4xing, which brings on the russian winter
    the germans are like "wtf, h4x"
    -- WW2 for the l33t

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    "I can think for myself" -source unknown
    Aren't we in the trust tree, thingey?

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    thewizeard's Avatar re-member BT Rep: +1
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    Originally posted by hobbes@6 August 2003 - 15:30
    "I can think for myself" -source unknown
    Glad you mentioned the source!

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    echidna's Avatar Poster
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    i find the amount of time money and effort put into developing more expensive and intricate ways to kill people is more worrying


    Originally posted by http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolit...e/Spending.asp
    Arms procurement usually accounts for 20-30% of the military budgets of the larger arms-purchasing countries, while the largest portion is normally spent on operations, maintenance and personnel. Indeed, global military expenditure overall in 1999 was, at $809bn, much the same as in 1998 and available military budgets for 2000 and beyond do not indicate a decline.
    <span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'>The United States, being the most formidable military power, it is worth looking at their spending, compared to the rest of the world. Consider the following:
    • On the military in general, the USA spends more than the rest of the G7 countries combined
    • The U.S. military budget request for Fiscal Year 2004 is &#036;399.1 billion
      • The U.S. military budget request for Fiscal Year 2003 was &#036;396.1 billion.
      • The U.S. military budget request for Fiscal Year 2002 was &#036;343.2 billion.
      • The U.S. military budget request for Fiscal Year 2001 was &#036;305 billion. And Congress had increased that budget request to &#036;310 billion.
      • This was up from approximately &#036;288.8 billion, in 2000.
    • The US military budget is more than six times larger than the Russian budget, the second largest spender.
    • The US military budget is more than thirty seven times as large as the combined spending of the seven "rogue" states (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria).
    • It is more than the combined spending of the next twenty nations.
    • The United States and its close allies (NATO countries, Australia, Japan and South Korea) spend more than the rest of the world combined
      • This accounts for some two thirds of all military spending.
      • Together they spend approximately 57 times more than the seven rogue states.
    • The seven potential "enemies," Russia and China together spend &#036;123 billion, 31% of the U.S. military budget.
    • Global military spending has declined from &#036;1.2 trillion in 1985 to &#036;809 billion in 1998. During that time the U.S. share of total military spending rose from 31% to 36% in Fiscal Year 1999.
    • In 1997 alone, half of USA&#39;s aid was related to military aid/trade -- and most of that was to countries that are already wealthy, like Israel, or Turkey (which has often been one of the largest recipients of US military aid and has often been criticized for its human rights violations and crackdowns). Compare that to very poor countries like Sub-Saharan African nations that received very little aid.
    </span>[/b][/quote]
    the consumer culture you speak of just seems to be ways of reselling technologies to different markets to make some extra cash, it does reveal some serious misuse of resources, but it seems like little fish compared to all that money our governments waste [or is that invest] on hurting and harming people [BTW NASA, space exploration and sending missions to mars has a lot more to do with demonstrating the size of ones missile capability than any scientific or &#39;advancment of the human spirit&#39; reasons]

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Echidna-

    How did we get from "high-tech gizmos for yuppies" to "expensive and intricate ways to kill people"?

    Methinks thou hast partaken of a depressant.

    Are you a peanut butter addict?

    Why play the minor to our major?

    Cheer up, bloke.

    Remember:

    You like to eat ants, and they&#39;re mighty tasty; help yourself-and stay away from the peanut butter-don&#39;t eat any chicken or turkey, either, as all are known depressants.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

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