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Author Topic: Techno-Addicts  (Read 3319 times)
Renegade
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Tell me something you don't know...

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« on: April 24, 2011, 06:40:02 AM »

http://www.independent.co...oll-in--asia-2274247.html

Quote
A baby girl starves to death as her parents raise a virtual child online; a boy scolded for excessive gaming kills his mother then commits suicide - technology addiction is taking a toll in Asia.

Nutty.
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f0dder
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[Well, THAT escalated quickly!]

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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 07:14:29 AM »

I thought this was thread was gonna have something to do with breakbeats :p
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- carpe noctem
40hz
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 07:36:31 AM »

I think it has more to do with the society than the technology. In heavily regulated and controlled societies like Singapore, the web might be the only place where you are relatively free. Any place where you can be flogged for dropping a candy wrapper has got to have a high need for escape into another reality. As William Gibson noted in his short essay in Wired Magazine:

Quote
Singapore is a relentlessly G-rated experience, micromanaged by a state that has the look and feel of a very large corporation. If IBM had ever bothered to actually possess a physical country, that country might have had a lot in common with Singapore. There's a certain white-shirted constraint, an absolute humorlessness in the way Singapore Ltd. operates; conformity here is the prime directive, and the fuzzier brands of creativity are in extremely short supply.

The physical past here has almost entirely vanished.

There is no slack in Singapore. Imagine an Asian version of Zurich operating as an offshore capsule at the foot of Malaysia; an affluent microcosm whose citizens inhabit something that feels like, well, Disneyland. Disneyland with the death penalty.

We have the occasional web addict in the States. But most "at risk" people in the US seem to prefer to blow off steam by employing such classic "coping mechanisms" as: cruelty to animals, child abuse, spouse beating, substance addiction, hate crime, criminal use of firearms, petty theft, living above one's means - or pursuing a career in politics.

Clear proof 'reality' is healthier than virtual despite the occasional "bleed-through" or "unintended outcome."

 Wink (Kidding, just kidding...)
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 07:41:19 AM by 40hz » Logged

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tsaint
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 06:21:10 PM »

In Pocatello, Idaho
 
Quote
It is prohibited for pedestrians and motorists to display frowns, grimaces, scowls, threatening and glowering looks, gloomy and depressed facial appearances, generally all of which reflect unfavorably upon the city’s reputation.
So?
I'd suggest that there's some pretty important freedoms available in Singapore, vis a vis, say, the USA...
- freedom from drugged up crazies
- freedom from gun toting crazies
- freedom from crushing poverty
- freedom from rednecks
 Rather than focus on state imposed conformity, it might be more illustrative to consider the cultural aspect involved, that people have a sense of community.
Rather than an individualistic "me first, only me" attitude, there is an attitude something approximating JFK's "ask not what your country..."

 The friends I know in Singapore seem to feel free to do lots of things, quite happily, and don't seem too worried by not being able to get into anti-social behaviours.

Finally, there are published statistics (please don't ask me for references, I read, then don't always bookmark) suggesting Singapore to be one of the top ranking countries for desirability for ex-pat posting.

Obviously I reject the thesis presented here, at least as it applies to Singapore, as well as disagreeing with Gibson's viewpoint.

[thought bubble] Strewth! Did I write all that??? Musta got a bit steamed up and defensive! [/thought bubble]
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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 07:50:59 PM »

I'd suggest that there's some pretty important freedoms available in Singapore, vis a vis, say, the USA...
- freedom from drugged up crazies
- freedom from gun toting crazies
- freedom from crushing poverty
- freedom from rednecks
 Rather than focus on state imposed conformity, it might be more illustrative to consider the cultural aspect involved, that people have a sense of community.

Hmm...that might be a problem if it were widespread and constant. But I think it's more the exception than the rule in most places in the United States. At any rate I wouldn't consider it a big enough and constant problem that I'd be willing to bring in a 24X7 police state just to avoid the possibility it might. Some cures are worse than the maladies they profess to address. And that's assuming such things actually are widespread and constant problems. From where I sit they seem much more like sporadic and occasional incidents.

Conformity is also not the same thing as community. Nor does a 'sense of community' automatically means it's for the good. Prison guards and death squads have a sense of community purpose and belonging by nature of the fact members share the same occupation and  immediate goals. Same goes for most hate groups, totalitarian governmental political parties - as well as the most humanitarian of relief agencies and public philanthropies.

'Sense of community' is just another manifestation of groupthink. And as such it's neutral. It doesn't automatically bring with it anything that's intrinsically good or evil. It's just one more mind tool that can be employed for either good or ill, depending on the intentions and mores of the community in question.

William Gibson is a little over the top with his essay in places. But I think at the core of it he's onto something: Don't be too taken in by appearances.

For my part, I'd rather take my chances here. But to each his/her own. smiley

 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 07:52:40 PM by 40hz » Logged

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tsaint
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 09:30:32 PM »

1. 24x7 police state? Huh???????... no, you're right, as here in Oz we too have police available 24x7. And I wish there were more available, as like many people where I live, I feel its not a pleasant/safe experience to walk alone on a Saturday night in the heart of the city. Bad luck about MY freedom to go unmolested by drunken yobbos.

2. As a regular visitor to Singapore, I see plenty of non conformity. Not to USA extremes perhaps (and I can't see how those extremes are so good anyway).
 I said a sense of COMMUNITY and I meant just that. It's there, not to be confused with conformity. And in the normal sense of the words it implies a respect and tolerance for other members of the community and a preparedness to sacrifice for the sake of a wider, community good. To me, that's positive, not neutral.

I don't feel like I'm taking any chances in Singapore. To each his (or her) own.
(And finally, I would apologize to you 40hz, because your post caught me at a bad time when - elsewhere - I'd seen yet another assumption made that western values and culture are somehow innately superior to those from the East. A dubious premise at best)
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Renegade
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2011, 11:36:22 PM »

...assumption made that western values and culture are somehow innately superior to those from the East. A dubious premise at best)

I see that all the time.

There are good and bad aspects no matter where you go.

In the west, people often confuse selflessness and harmony for conformity. It's not about that, though that is an apparent side-effect.

But, values are hard to pin down, harder to express, and almost impossible to understand unless you live inside of them/their environment.

Regarding your #1 - You can stumble down the street at 3am in Seoul, perfectly safe. If anyone stops you, it's probably because they're trying to help you.

Singapore is a fantastic place. I don't go there nearly enough though, but it's on my list of places to spend more time.) You have only to walk through Changgi airport to know that you've reached a very different, and special place. I love that airport -- it's absolutely a pleasure to use. Can't say that about any airport I've been through in the US, though the airport in Vancouver is the nicest one that I've been through in North America.

It's not an easy thing to be able to glean the good and run with that. Often the bad is like a spotlight, blinding you to everything else. (I know I'm guilty there.)
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 06:41:01 AM »

assumption made that western values and culture are somehow innately superior to those from the East

Funny really, as I tend to assume the exact opposite ... But I tend to be a nonconformist also. smiley

I haven't read the article, but I'd have to assume it should end up with anything to excess is bad.
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tomos
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 08:57:30 AM »

A lot of this can be cultural differences, I thought that zero-tolerance had been tried in parts of the US (with some fairly dysfunctional effects)

Coming from a land where it often doesnt feel safe to go out on a Saturday night, & your car never really feels safe (Ireland), to a land which seems relatively crime-free (Germany), I can see that a certain amount of that is cultural, even character (on the level of individual and society) differences.
Sometimes one feels pretty repressed; the other, nicely spirited.
Other times, one feels nicely organised, the other pretty chaotic.

i.e. as Renegade says, there's usually pros & cons

(for all that I suspect there's just as much theft here in .de as in .ie - just here in .de, it's more "white-collar"/scams.)
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Tom
40hz
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 12:20:12 PM »

A lot of this can be cultural differences, I thought that zero-tolerance had been tried in parts of the US (with some fairly dysfunctional effects)

I think tomos hit the nail on the head. Different cultures have different mores. And the degree of community cooperativeness is a manifestation of those mores.  

That's what makes the United States so bewildering and difficult to get a handle on. (Only the game of Cricket is harder to understand.)  The United States is not a monoculture. There are dozens of different versions of the United States. And they don't exist in isolation. Many of them overlap each other, and sometimes even exist in weird paradoxical juxtapositions within a given social group.

That's why when people say "You Americans..." ( or we say "We Americans...") I immediately ask which Americans we're talking about. Because as far as I can see, the only thing the USA is really 'united' in is it's differences. That and a general consensus it's our god-given right to disagree with each other.

Most Americans disagree with something. And while we're quick to try to legislate behaviors, we've so far (knock wood) been very reluctant to limit debate, restrict speech, or forbid criticism of those in power. How long this attitude will prevail is anybody's guess however.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 12:22:51 PM by 40hz » Logged

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cranioscopical
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 10:10:43 PM »

Only the game of Cricket is harder to understand.

Oh come now, your slip is showing!
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Chris
40hz
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 10:50:54 PM »

Only the game of Cricket is harder to understand.

Oh come now, your slip is showing!

Guess I'll have to change my wicket ways then.  smiley
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 11:13:36 PM »

Confused about this cricket rule:
'Bat out of hell'

Is that a zone in the playing field or what?  tongue
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app103
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 11:19:47 PM »

Confused about this cricket rule:
'Bat out of hell'

Is that a zone in the playing field or what?  tongue


I thought it was a 30+ year old meatloaf entree.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2011, 06:25:16 AM »

Confused about this cricket rule:
'Bat out of hell'

Is that a zone in the playing field or what?  tongue


I thought it was a 30+ year old meatloaf entree.

That would have been my guess ... Crickets just chirp in the evening in my world.
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