Ever Notice…

Ever notice how the farther a technology moves from introduction to “maturity” the more restrictions are put on it and the less we are allowed to do with said technology?

IE: The internet, guns, digital music, DVDs, software… Probably others as well.

I wonder if peoples (read: polititions and lawmakers) time would be better spent encouraging different and more varied uses for new technology instead of how to restrict how people can use it.

Disclaimer: no research of any kind was done regarding this post. Use at your own risk. Could be complete BS. Post based on very limited observations.

5 Comments on “Ever Notice…”

  1. Michael – agree, but that example was useful in illustrating my point. Oh and del, you’re absolutely right about the Amish.
    Howevver, I was basically just bitching that 5 years ago when mp3s came out of the closet the world of music swapping was much different than it is today, as was recording tv programs when the Tivo first came out, as it was when computers first arrived. Now there are people in suits dictating what you can and can’t do with things you buy and technology.
    Not that this is always a bad thing (guns, nuclear weapons), but an interesting phenomenon. Course, like I said, I didn’t do any research for it, or put any thought into it so…. 🙂

  2. I do not condone current methods for control of the internet, etc., but I think that all technologies have to go through the process of control, and that is a good thing if done right.
    I once read that discussed Amish people using cell phones. They can’t use normal telephones except when it is in a different building at leat (I think) 100 yards away from their house. Basically, one Amish person calling another Amish person would have to schedule a time for the call, and both would have to agree to it and be at the designated location. Why put this restriction on the phone?
    The Amish have a strangely refreshing view of technology. The basic idea is that if a particular piece of technology does not help you as a person and society in general, then it should not be used. Ever notice how if you are talking to someone and the phone rings you jump up and get it? Well, that interruption is exactly the problem with a phone (in the view of the Amish). You are sacrificing one conversation for another.
    Also, I have heard that some Amish grops can have TVs, but it has to be in a public place. Think of the TV as going to a play or a concert. It is no longer something you use to tune out, it is something you use to energize a community.
    So the way the Amish decide whether a technology is to be used or banned is that they have a test group that uses the technology. Then, the elders observe the consequences of that technology and make a decision as to how or whether it is to be used. The upshot is that the Amish are basically trying to get keep the basic spirit of their culture, and technology is truly seen as a tool, not a master.
    Now there are plenty of problems with Amish culture to my mind, and I am not defending the particulars of the process, but it seems to me that they have the right idea. A society needs to have some way to check and balance the role of technology in their lives. Right now we don’t have that; as a matter of fact, most companies are out there to make sure that the check and balance does not occur.
    As to the internet, the real problem is that the current process by which we decide how we want to use technology is run by the people who profit from that technology. Not allowing copying of media is not a decision that we have come to by realizing it is bad for us. On the contrary, most people see the value in digital media. The decision is made because a handful of people will take home only $100 million instead of $200 million.
    Further, the laws are made top-down from politicians that have been bought with that extra $100 million. Ironically, the will of the people is that the technology should be opened and expanded, but the will of the few and rich want to keep the status quo, damn the technology. Without money, the common person has very little say in what they can do, and the only tool available to them is, essentially, a minor act of rebellion against the system. So, to sum up my formulation, the problem is not that people want to restric the internet, because that could actually be a good thing if done right. Rather, the problem is that the way we check and balance technology right now is not run in our best interest.
    So which is worse: having some old guy that doesn’t have buttons on his shirt tell you how to use technology, or have an old guy in an armani suit tell you how to use technology?

  3. With the exception of firearms, I agree with you. I think humans have found quite enough uses for guns, thank you very much…