1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 2067
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:41 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:My parents raised us without TV for religious and sensibility reasons


Gotta ask: what text from what religious writings proscribe TV, and why? (barring Amish-style proscriptions against anything post 1800)
resume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
davidstarlingm
Posts: 1255
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:33 am UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:51 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:My parents raised us without TV for religious and sensibility reasons


Gotta ask: what text from what religious writings proscribe TV, and why? (barring Amish-style proscriptions against anything post 1800)

Ooooh boy.

The text that was most often cited was Philippians 4:8 -- "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." So if anything on TV can be cast as untrue, dishonest, unjust, impure, unlovely, ill-reputed, unvirtuous, or nonpraiseworthy, TV is evil and should not be thought about, let alone watched. "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2).

Obviously, "impure" was the most common objection. Because anything outside your cultural expectations can be painted as impure.

Then there were all the generic semi-crunchy ideas about how TV is unnatural and rots your brain and destroys your IQ and includes subliminal messages to give Satan a foothold in your synapses.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3652
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:54 pm UTC

ChaosEngineer wrote:
Why is it going down again at the end?


From the 70's-90's, almost all TV was formulaic crap and you weren't missing anything by not watching it. This was partly because of the nature of TV viewing: You couldn't count on people watching every episode, so you had to write shows so that the episodes were all self-contained and could be watched in any order. (TV of the 50's and 60's was also episodic, but back then the ideas were original...it took a while for the formulas to become overused and tired.) So it was reasonable for people of that era to say, "Nothing on TV is worth watching. I don't even own a TV anymore."

This changed around 2000, when the writers realized that they didn't need to follow the old rules - they could assume that viewers had the ability to watch the episodes in order, either by taping them to watch later or by buying a DVD box set of the season. This freed them to write more complicated and original stories. The shift arguably happened in 1999, with the airing of "The Sopranos", and then accelerated when streaming on-demand video became feasible.


Babylon 5 got there in the mid-90s...

jozwa
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:16 pm UTC
Location: Finland

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby jozwa » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

So smug people are the last to get TV's?

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Klear » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

inquestos wrote:Needless to say I don't have TV/smartphone/facebook. I even registered here to say this. Who beats my smugness?


I don't have either of those* and I don't usually even feel smug about it. 8-)

*OK, I have a facebook account, but it's empty
EDIT: And I am embarassed about it.


jozwa wrote:So smug people are the last to get TV's?


Nah, people get smug after getting rid of a TV.
Last edited by Klear on Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:32 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
PinkShinyRose
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Location: the Netherlands

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:57 pm UTC

ChaosEngineer wrote:
Why is it going down again at the end?


From the 70's-90's, almost all TV was formulaic crap and you weren't missing anything by not watching it. This was partly because of the nature of TV viewing: You couldn't count on people watching every episode, so you had to write shows so that the episodes were all self-contained and could be watched in any order. (TV of the 50's and 60's was also episodic, but back then the ideas were original...it took a while for the formulas to become overused and tired.) So it was reasonable for people of that era to say, "Nothing on TV is worth watching. I don't even own a TV anymore."

This changed around 2000, when the writers realized that they didn't need to follow the old rules - they could assume that viewers had the ability to watch the episodes in order, either by taping them to watch later or by buying a DVD box set of the season. This freed them to write more complicated and original stories. The shift arguably happened in 1999, with the airing of "The Sopranos", and then accelerated when streaming on-demand video became feasible.

There was a TV-series in the Netherlands which was very popular in the late 90s and early 00s (although I'm unsure about the early 90s, I was too young to sense these things then) which did have a continuous plot (to the extend where people don't get single episodes), but it apparently started in 1990. It may still be popular, as my not noticing it can also be caused by the effect you describe where people don't actually need to keep that timeslot free everyday (yes, it's almost daily, only the weekends are excepted) due to preprogrammed recording and internet streaming.

I don't think people here generally watch those American shows on TV though, although this may be caused by the TV stations being behind entire seasons or not broadcasting some very popular series at all, so it could be different in the US itself.

project2051
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby project2051 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:28 pm UTC

This kind of smugness has a lot to do with newness/availability/numbers. If it's new and not too many have it, then it's "smug" to have one. If it's older and all the "common people" have it, well then it's "smug" to not have one, so now it's "No I don't have a TV, but look at my latest gen Iphone. "

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10324
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby addams » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:37 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:My parents raised us without TV for religious and sensibility reasons, and I now find it incredibly difficult not to be riveted to a TV screen whenever one is visible. Everyone around me can walk by a TV without looking at it....but I can't.

I was still always smug about it, though.

I also find it difficult to be in a room with a screen and not be riveted to it.
It is so difficult to ignore. If everyone else is watching it; It might be important.

Some of it looks damn important. I was not raised in a world with Screens that are Better than Reality.
The Musings Of An Ancient. (so old I can remember Oscilloscopes. For fun.
Spoiler:
Black and White with Blips is not all that great. Fascinating. Oscilloscopes were fascinating, to me.

Old TV was like an Oscilloscope. Think about it. We had a TV. There was a lot of nothing on it.
Sometimes it was all the colors the darned thing had to offer. It was sort of great. It had a screen.

We would turn it on and look at it. Then, it got wavy lines. The TV. The Movie Screen inside each and every home.

TV's don't have wavy lines much anymore. My Mother always had other things to do. She did not watch as many wavy, wavy lines as I did.
As TV matured, I didn't. The Indian Head Test Pattern came with a Sound.


My brother had Oscilloscopes. They had sound, too.
http://amancalleddada.blogspot.com/2012 ... -dark.html
It was a pleasant sound. Nice even sine wave sound and a steady picture. Nice even lines. The Human form was replaced with numbers, some places.
On the development of the TV went. It became color. It was crap, color. Most was green or orange. (those people Don Trump and Bonner, seem so orange. The screens are too good for that , today.)

I thought there was something wrong with the TV. Not the people being filmed.
That was Then; This is Now.
The Screens are SO Great!

True Color? No! The Screens have Better Than True Color!
The Greens of Summer or the Jungle. (where is is summer all the time.)
Blues so True in every blue, from green to yellow. (people arguing about the color of the ocean, while they are looking at the ocean)

Are the Screens better than Reality? Maybe.

Once Upon a Time a Very Long Time, Ago.
I had been playing Reality, in the Pacific NorthWest.
I have no idea what I thought Reality was.

I got the bright Idea to see my Sister.
There were no Cell Phones.

I went to her house. I walked in and there was a Screen.
It was Beautiful. It was a Tropical View.

I lived in the Pacific Northwest before it got color.
There were weeks of gray and then some rain, that was,..... if not constant, well!!
Have you ever lived down under trees? I did.

I had been in shadow or rain or shadow or TOWN!! agh. Head down, eyes forward, List.
Head Down, Eyes Forward, List. Lost? yep. Nearly always, Lost. You?

People will do the darnedest things. I looked at that screen and thought, "I don't know what it is, but I want it."

I got one, too. Didn't you?
Everyone got a screen I did. I had to share one for a while. Then I got another one.
I don't mind sharing. But; There is another TV if you don't like what I am watching.

I must have had a TV addiction. I had one in every room.
The kitchen needed a TV. That is where I spent most of my time. I like the Kitchen.

There were serious speeches on TV sometimes. That was nice.
Boring for most children and dogs.

TV could be made so boring no one would watch it.


Our Internet Screens are a great deal like books.
If we don't want to watch it we can easily Pop into some other topic.

The TV has a different function. It is one way communication.
I have been frightened by what I saw on a TV Screen.
I was equally frightened by the reaction of the other people in the room with that screen.

Was it a movie pretending to be real? Those people were rooting?
So, Judgmental of me?

Spoiler:
I think TV can be used for Education. Like a Public School.

That might be nice. Language Classes, Math Classes, Geography and Propaganda and Eddie Kurger as an ArtForm people get extra credit for creating.
What do our screens teach us?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Moose Anus
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:12 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Moose Anus » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:47 pm UTC

Once we have holodecks good enough to be able to shit into Deanna Troi's mouth nobody will care about TV.
Lemonade? ...Aww, ok.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Klear » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:56 pm UTC

Moose Anus wrote:Once we have holodecks good enough to be able to shit into Deanna Troi's mouth nobody will care about TV.


Nobody will care about much of anything else either.

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby keithl » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:10 pm UTC

keithl wrote:
Theory: Smugness is proportional to the negative second derivative of TV ownership rate with respect to time.

I expect to see the png digitized and doubly-integrated into a new graph of "TV ownership rate" when I wake up 8 hours from now. Perhaps the Engauge Digitizer will work. Extra points for accurately deconvolving the pixel smoothing.


Engauge requires QT4, which I don't have /smug/. No time to fix.

Eyeballing the graph as -sin(), the double integral vaguely resembles x-sin(x) (with appropriate fitting constants), a sigmoid, with the inflection point about where embarassment crosses over into guilt. The exact shape of the sigmoid probably doesn't matter.

I'm guessing the actual curve, in the United States, just keeps climbing; far more TVs are purchased than are discarded or recycled, and many American households have a TV in every room. That includes me - I've been given three televisions by well-meaning broadcast addicts; two are in storage, never turned on, and only one recycled. Indeed, I even have a digital TV decoder to feed the computer projector, though I only turned that on long enough to test it. Gotta be ready when the Consumer Conformity Compliance Cops bust down the front door.

Carteeg_Struve
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:56 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Carteeg_Struve » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:17 pm UTC

Moose Anus wrote:Once we have holodecks good enough to be able to shit into Deanna Troi's mouth nobody will care about TV.


"I am the Goddess of Empathy. Cast off all inha-*gargle* *blurf*"

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10324
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby addams » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:27 pm UTC

Carteeg_Struve wrote:
Moose Anus wrote:Once we have holodecks good enough to be able to shit into Deanna Troi's mouth nobody will care about TV.


"I am the Goddess of Empathy. Cast off all inha-*gargle* *blurf*"

(that's funny, and I don't know why?) -yuck. such imagery.-

Some books say closed, most of the time. right?
Spoiler:
Ribald humor is getting a little bald, again?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
peewee_RotA
Posts: 504
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:19 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby peewee_RotA » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:54 pm UTC

Based on measuring the graph on my monitor not owning a tv became normal in 1981? Huh?

That would require at least 3 jokes form Back to the Future had not made sense at the time.
"Vowels have trouble getting married in Canada. They can’t pronounce their O’s."

http://timelesstherpg.wordpress.com/about/

User avatar
keithl
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby keithl » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:10 pm UTC

I've always had too many fascinating things to do, instead of watching TV. My distaste for broadcast TV crystallized attending a teacher's end-of-high-school party; the boys were out playing in the pool, running around, telling jokes; the two dozen girls were crowded around a TV set watching a soap. I assumed I was going to be lonely for much of my life. Fortunately, there are many companion-worthy women out there. They were doing more productive things in high school than going to parties, and are doing more productive things now. It is a happy challenge to grow intellectually and remain a worthy companion to one such woman.

Smugness was there, for a while; it has been replaced by fear for my friends. US broadcast television is designed to make people consume, engaging not the intellect, but the unreasoning, reactive part of the brain. The absolute worst thing you can do with a TV is leave it running in the background while you focus your conscious attention on another task; your limbic system will get programmed without any interference from your intelligence. Whole squads of psychologists tune advertisements to do this.

My television-addicted friends are obese, diabetic, stressed, suffering from crushing debt and lousy self-image. Their refrigerators are full of salt/sugar/fat foods in brightly colored packages. Their workdays are full of mind-numbing tedium. Their medicine cabinets are full of expensive pills. Their politics are pre-recorded partisan pablum. And my country decays around me, while its citizens waste half a trillion hours a year distracted from the enormous task of taking care of each other and preparing for a challenging future. See Death by TV .

Ah well. Americans are only 4% of the world's population. Perhaps much of the world will follow us into oblivion, but not all of it will. The U.S. was populated by emigrants (recent and ancient), and some of us will emigrate to the next hopeful places.

Me? Right now, I'm going to get on the treadmill and watch "Luftslottet som sprängdes" (The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, Alfredson/Larsson) on a DVD feeding the computer projector. Too cold to run outside today, and too difficult to type while running on a treadmill. Then I will go back to creating a better future. I share the desire for occasional escape, but I refuse to do so thoughtlessly.

CBusAlex
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:47 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby CBusAlex » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:27 pm UTC

Change the dates, and this comic could just as easily be titled "I'm not on Facebook".

panthersnbraves
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby panthersnbraves » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:28 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:A lot of people still have televisions but not for the traditional reason of watching TV channels, these days, a TV especially if it's a big screen is used for watching bluray, video games or even as a computer screen.


That would be me. I have a TV that I use as a second monitor for my laptop, as well as for my XBOX console after hours. I only watch broadcasts infrequently - usually sports. My kids use streaming on laptop and iPod, and we watch DVD's as well.

So we 'own TVes' but rarely 'watch TV' on them. Whether or not we contribute to any smugness quotient, I'll leave for others to determine.


(Someone explain why XBOX is OK and g@ming is SPAM?)

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10324
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby addams » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:41 pm UTC

yes.
And; TV can teach spontaneous Joy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZpgnYhzdkI

That song was on the Lips of Many.
The program may have been horrible in many ways.

The same ways The Coyote and The Road Runner were. right?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo81Qdjw7qw

ech. We are Horrible. Humans. slap stick.
It looks like someone gets hurt and no one is hurt so we laugh. So weird.
Humans all over the world laugh at that stuff?

I have seen dogs laugh when a human falls down.
Dogs laugh. I can't prove it. It is has not been on TV, so it can't be true?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Jebobek
Posts: 2219
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:19 pm UTC
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Geohash graticule

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Jebobek » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:42 pm UTC

What is this graph actually saying? Is it "I don't own a physical TV set" or "I'm not subscribed to TV programming?"
Image

User avatar
Steve the Pocket
Posts: 707
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:02 am UTC
Location: Going downtuuu in a Luleelurah!

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:37 pm UTC

panthersnbraves wrote:(Someone explain why XBOX is OK and g@ming is SPAM?)

Because whoever programmed the spam filter grew up in an age before video games when "gaming" meant "gambling", apparently.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.

User avatar
SlyReaper
inflatable
Posts: 8015
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:09 pm UTC
Location: Bristol, Old Blighty

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby SlyReaper » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:41 pm UTC

It's true. I used to feel quite smug about not owning a TV. Then I bought a TV. I still don't watch TV on it though, it's just for console gaming.
Image
What would Baron Harkonnen do?

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:48 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
ChaosEngineer wrote:
Why is it going down again at the end?


From the 70's-90's, almost all TV was formulaic crap and you weren't missing anything by not watching it. This was partly because of the nature of TV viewing: You couldn't count on people watching every episode, so you had to write shows so that the episodes were all self-contained and could be watched in any order. (TV of the 50's and 60's was also episodic, but back then the ideas were original...it took a while for the formulas to become overused and tired.) So it was reasonable for people of that era to say, "Nothing on TV is worth watching. I don't even own a TV anymore."

This changed around 2000, when the writers realized that they didn't need to follow the old rules - they could assume that viewers had the ability to watch the episodes in order, either by taping them to watch later or by buying a DVD box set of the season. This freed them to write more complicated and original stories. The shift arguably happened in 1999, with the airing of "The Sopranos", and then accelerated when streaming on-demand video became feasible.


Babylon 5 got there in the mid-90s...


Heck, Andy Griffith got there in the mid-60s: "Who's this Warren person? What happened to Barney? And how come Gomer's not at the filling station?"

So did "My Three Sons".

LtPowers
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby LtPowers » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:59 pm UTC

It would seem as if there should be a small spike in smugness around 1950, when TVs were common but just before they became ubiquitous.


Powers &8^]

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Klear » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:10 pm UTC

Jebobek wrote:What is this graph actually saying? Is it "I don't own a physical TV set" or "I'm not subscribed to TV programming?"


The graph is saying what the people are feeling when they say the phrase, regardless of meaning.

User avatar
Wnderer
Posts: 640
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Wnderer » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:57 pm UTC

I've spent a lot time messing with TV lately. For a long time my television was a 13 inch color Commodore 64 monitor that used a VCR I had repaired as the tuner. Then in 1997 I bought a 27" Panasonic CRT TV. I still have it. It's starting to look pink in the upper left hand corner when there are blue skies and underwater scenes but most of the time I don't notice it. I use it mostly to watch DVDs. I used to use it to watch broadcast TV on Sunday nights; Barney Miller, Star Gate and Dr Who. Then they moved Dr Who to 11 PM, Star Gate to 10 PM and Barney Miller to 10 PM. I didn't want to stay up that late so I bought a USB TV tuner to record the shows and started the transition to watching TV on my computer. The tuner came with software that works okay (Arcsoft, Totalmedia), though it sometimes doesn't record the show with an error saying something else is using the tuner. I haven't figured that out yet. Also Dr Who is recorded in 16:9 format, then broadcast in 4:3 format. My computer screen is 16: 9 format again, so I end up with a 16:9 image centered in 4:3 image centered in a 16:9 image. In other words a big black border around a small image. There is no way to fix this in Arcsoft Totalmedia. VideoLan VLC Player has this crop feature that does fit the image in the screen and some de-interlacing options that work well, but VLC Player won't work with the tuner directly. To get it to work with the tuner, you have to set it up with the frequency, the physical channel, the major channel and the minor channel and then run some software called TSreader to initialize the tuner. Even then VLC Player often gets the minor channel wrong. VLC Player can be used to play back the video recorded by Totalmedia, but sometimes if the reception is not good, the recording will screw up the Close Captioning. If there are errors in the Closed Captioning the newer version of VLC Player won't work and I need to use an older version of VLC Player with a -demux command line option that doesn't exist in the newer version ...

Watching TV just gets harder and harder to do. I feel like a hobbyist in the 1930's when TV was cutting edge. I don't feel smug.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5473
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:05 pm UTC

Garnasha wrote:
BAReFOOt wrote:Reminds me of that story of somebody’s 4-year-old daughter digging through the cables on the back of the TV… When asked what she’s doing, she said she’s trying to find the controller. (A TV channel was on.)
Kids today expect that. They stop being passive-thinkers. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Oh, hmm, wow. While I don't want to endorse TV (prefer books and other written media for non-interactive entertainment), that last bit... surprised me, let's keep it at that. Let's rephrase the last bit: Kids aren't interested in anything where they don't have a say in what happens any more. And that's a good thing?

Call me old-fashioned, but I think there's something positive/character-building about sitting back and just watching things unfold. It's how we react to most events in real life, unless you butt into every conversation you hear, every activity you see. If you get bored the moment you aren't participating, you're going to become very pushy and needy for attention, very fast. Bad idea.

I think having a generation raised to expect to be active participants in their lives and the world around them is definitely a good thing. It's not about being bored, it's about not being complacent. Painting complacency as a good thing strikes me as the same kind of stockholm syndrome as people who say only children (i.e. those without siblings), home-schooled (or independently-tutored, or otherwise non-traditionally-schooled) children, and other kids who get more individualized attention are "spoiled" because they don't as readily bow to social, familial, or other group pressures as everyone else was forced to do from a young age.

Yes, in both cases the kids who grow up expecting to be engaged, active, equal, and individual participants in their world, instead of just passive cogs in a big social machine, are probably going to be more disappointed and face more difficulty adapting to a world which expects them to be the latter rather than the former. But conversely the more of them there are, the more difficulty and disappointment that unjust world will face in turn. We need a generation of people who are outraged at the bullshit that pervades the world, who won't put up with it, who will force it to change.

Whether video games vs TV has any bearing on that difference in mindset is another matter.

(And yes, I acknowledge that things can and sometimes do swing too far in the other direction. If a kid expects everything to be about him at everyone else's expense then that's bad; but if a kid lets everything be about everyone else at his own expense, that's just as bad. He needs to expect to receive his own due respect, but to have to likewise pay due respect to everyone else as well).
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

JimsMaher
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby JimsMaher » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:22 pm UTC

Yet more unsupported, opinionated pseudo-scientific claims from xkcd.
... I am ignoring both the Concept-Hilarity quotient and the Relevance coefficient, mind you.
Last edited by JimsMaher on Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

commodorejohn
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:21 pm UTC
Location: Placerville, CA
Contact:

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:25 pm UTC

This theory completely fails to take into account the astronomical smugness of Netflix subscribers.
"'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling."
- Bjarne Stroustrup
www.commodorejohn.com - in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't.

User avatar
cjmcjmcjmcjm
Posts: 1158
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:15 am UTC
Location: Anywhere the internet is strong

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:06 pm UTC

dalcde wrote:I don't own a smartphone
/me feels smug

Same here (hi-5)
SlyReaper wrote:It's true. I used to feel quite smug about not owning a TV. Then I bought a TV. I still don't watch TV on it though, it's just for console gaming.

Quit being a peasant. :mrgreen:
frezik wrote:Anti-photons move at the speed of dark

DemonDeluxe wrote:Paying to have laws written that allow you to do what you want, is a lot cheaper than paying off the judge every time you want to get away with something shady.

jpk
Posts: 607
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:33 am UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby jpk » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:01 am UTC

Wooloomooloo wrote:That graph might not quite be right - I can't really think of a time when proclaiming not owning a TV would have been just... neutral. I'd say there's a discontinuity there, when a vague embarrassment suddenly flipped into smugness, without passing through zero at all; or worse yet, some sort of "quantum region" when that statement was both decreasingly embarrassing (for some) AND increasingly smug (for others) at the same time - which means this isn't even a proper function at all...


I think the perception of smugness or embarrassment might be in the mind of the person hearing the "proclaiming". For my part, I generally don't proclaim that I don't have a TV - I just don't have a TV. I'm not sure why I'd be either smug or embarrassed about that, any more than someone should be smug about not having a copy of Dominion or embarrassed at not having a piano.

User avatar
Clix
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:42 pm UTC
Location: 717841.03 834745.456

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Clix » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:51 am UTC

inquestos wrote:Replace TV, with facebook/Smartphone, 1950 with 2005, 2000 with 2010, and you get the same result.

Needless to say I don't have TV/smartphone/facebook. I even registered here to say this. Who beats my smugness?


I have all of the above, but I only watch/use them in a highly ironic fashion....
People need panic...panic in regular draghts. I read about the governments of the world, and I panic daily. It's a heart pumping workout that keeps my cheeks rosy and my vision crystal clear.
Thorax:Pigborn (Brooke McEldowney)

User avatar
Xantix
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Xantix » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:18 am UTC

In 1984, TV owned you.

That's why the line was at neutral...thanks to the Ministry of Love no one was smug or embarassed.

User avatar
StClair
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:07 am UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby StClair » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:17 pm UTC

2050: "What's a TV?"

User avatar
PinkShinyRose
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Location: the Netherlands

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:21 pm UTC

StClair wrote:2050: "What's a TV?"

Only the kids will ask that, even I know what a telegraph was. Besides, maybe the TV will go the same way as the radio, where it finds some niche use (like car radios).

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Klear » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:25 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:
StClair wrote:2050: "What's a TV?"

Only the kids will ask that, even I know what a telegraph was. Besides, maybe the TV will go the same way as the radio, where it finds some niche use (like car radios).


That's hard to predict. Movies didn't come close to killing theatre and computers haven't managed to phase out books. Vinyl records are still around, together with CDs and MP3s, though casettes (and VHS) are pretty much gone.

User avatar
PinkShinyRose
Posts: 835
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Location: the Netherlands

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:59 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
PinkShinyRose wrote:
StClair wrote:2050: "What's a TV?"

Only the kids will ask that, even I know what a telegraph was. Besides, maybe the TV will go the same way as the radio, where it finds some niche use (like car radios).


That's hard to predict. Movies didn't come close to killing theatre and computers haven't managed to phase out books. Vinyl records are still around, together with CDs and MP3s, though casettes (and VHS) are pretty much gone.

I think cassettes and VHS mostly do the same as later standards, while at the same time being less practical and of lower quality than their followers, while vinyl is of superior quality to what came after it, which caused it to remain popular with audiophiles. TV and computers don't really do the same things as theatre and books (although e-readers may go in that direction, for now they are too expensive and lack the consumer protection that books offer (i.e. being DRM-free and devoid of ridiculous legal usage restrictions)). You can watch theatre on TV, but it's not the same as watching it live; similarly you can read on a computer monitor, but it's uncomfortable for long texts, especially with the modern, way too bright, screens.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Klear » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:24 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I think cassettes and VHS mostly do the same as later standards, while at the same time being less practical and of lower quality than their followers, while vinyl is of superior quality to what came after it, which caused it to remain popular with audiophiles. TV and computers don't really do the same things as theatre and books (although e-readers may go in that direction, for now they are too expensive and lack the consumer protection that books offer (i.e. being DRM-free and devoid of ridiculous legal usage restrictions)). You can watch theatre on TV, but it's not the same as watching it live; similarly you can read on a computer monitor, but it's uncomfortable for long texts, especially with the modern, way too bright, screens.


Agreed. I was just mentioning some things that people were at some point predicting will become obsolete [citation needed]

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10324
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby addams » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:49 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:
cellocgw wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:My parents raised us without TV for religious and sensibility reasons


Gotta ask: what text from what religious writings proscribe TV, and why? (barring Amish-style proscriptions against anything post 1800)

Ooooh boy.

The text that was most often cited was Philippians 4:8 -- "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." So if anything on TV can be cast as untrue, dishonest, unjust, impure, unlovely, ill-reputed, unvirtuous, or nonpraiseworthy, TV is evil and should not be thought about, let alone watched. "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2).

Obviously, "impure" was the most common objection. Because anything outside your cultural expectations can be painted as impure.

Then there were all the generic semi-crunchy ideas about how TV is unnatural and rots your brain and destroys your IQ and includes subliminal messages to give Satan a foothold in your synapses.

Really?
Maybe, TV is bad people coming into your home to do bad things.
I have seen bad things on TV. I was frightened. There were children watching, too.

Some people think when children and other people see torture and beatings and cruelty it is bad for those people.
Other people think it makes us tough. Sissies turn away.

Are you and yours tough? Or; Did your people take the sissie's way?

Oh. Did you know the science has been done?
Humans are a Monkey see, Monkey do animal.

Humans can learn from a screen faster than from a book.



'''''''''''
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Glenn Magus Harvey
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:57 pm UTC

If you average out people who still live in the old world, and people who already lived in the future, you get zero. The graph doesn’t show an individual but the average.


Well, that's a very strong assertion to make -- that the graph's centerline is the average over all time (OVER ALL TIME!).

Why is it going down again at the end?


Exactly my question.

From the 70's-90's, almost all TV was formulaic crap and you weren't missing anything by not watching it. This was partly because of the nature of TV viewing: You couldn't count on people watching every episode...

This changed around 2000, when the writers realized that they didn't need to follow the old rules - they could assume that viewers had the ability to watch the episodes in order...


Ironically, the only TV I do watch is extremely episodic -- it's pretty much either Law & Order (or spinoffs) or the news. And it's precisely because it's episodic that I can get into it. Once tried to get into Veronica Mars but failed because I couldn't catch every episode. And earlier than that, Pokémon hit an unfortunate saturation level by showing like ten episodes in a single Saturday morning. That's just impossible to be a completionist at.

If I really care for continuity, I wouldn't be watching it on TV.

Nah, people get smug after getting rid of a TV.


Alternatively, after losing access to a TV.

Then again, I never was the one to direct TV watching. In my family, my mom turned on the news, and my dad turned on almost all other programming. The only time I ever turned the TV on was to watch children's shows. This interest never extended to "teen" shows, nor pretty much anything that came on in primetime (except PBS documentaries and the like). So I never really had a reason to go watch TV.

In college, I developed a taste for Law & Order. First, it was SVU, then it was original recipe and Criminal Intent. But I would turn on the TV to watch and only to watch that -- I'd shut it off immediately afterwards. And there was so much of it on that I made an unwritten rule to not watch any episode whose beginning I missed. The fact that it was episodic allowed me to watch freely, and bounce between subseries.

And that remains the only series (or metaseries if you prefer) that I watch. I follow no shows regularly. And honestly, I don't feel a need to do so. I get far more fulfillment out of chatting with people (in meatspace and webspace), playing videogames, reading up on topics of interest, and watching shows that I am especially interested in, and I can do all these things on my own schedule.

This kind of smugness has a lot to do with newness/availability/numbers. If it's new and not too many have it, then it's "smug" to have one. If it's older and all the "common people" have it, well then it's "smug" to not have one, so now it's "No I don't have a TV, but look at my latest gen Iphone. "


Doesn't explain the downward curve at the end.

It's true. I used to feel quite smug about not owning a TV. Then I bought a TV. I still don't watch TV on it though, it's just for console gaming.


Heh, I still do my gaming on PC. I have consoles, but they're not even attached to my own TV...the one that is plugged in is on a friend's TV. And how often have I played it since buying it (a $20 used GameCube) earlier this year? Absolutely none. PC's just more convenient.

I might get a large computer monitor to play games on though. But in that case I'll just get a projector. I already have a set of speakers anyway.



tl;dr I don't have a TV, and I don't feel any less proud not to have one, and I don't understand the point of getting a 50-inch screen, and you can feel free to call me smug.

dp2
Posts: 346
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

Re: 1299: "I Don't Own a TV"

Postby dp2 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
ChaosEngineer wrote:
Why is it going down again at the end?


From the 70's-90's, almost all TV was formulaic crap and you weren't missing anything by not watching it. This was partly because of the nature of TV viewing: You couldn't count on people watching every episode, so you had to write shows so that the episodes were all self-contained and could be watched in any order. (TV of the 50's and 60's was also episodic, but back then the ideas were original...it took a while for the formulas to become overused and tired.) So it was reasonable for people of that era to say, "Nothing on TV is worth watching. I don't even own a TV anymore."

This changed around 2000, when the writers realized that they didn't need to follow the old rules - they could assume that viewers had the ability to watch the episodes in order, either by taping them to watch later or by buying a DVD box set of the season. This freed them to write more complicated and original stories. The shift arguably happened in 1999, with the airing of "The Sopranos", and then accelerated when streaming on-demand video became feasible.


Babylon 5 got there in the mid-90s...

I think most important to this shift was Twin Peaks in 1991. I know that that was what got me thinking, "Why aren't more TV shows serialized like this?"


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: acunning40 and 38 guests