1601: "Isolation"

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

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
bachaddict
Handel Played it Better
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:18 am UTC
Location: Aotearoa

1601: "Isolation"

Postby bachaddict » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:56 am UTC

Image

Title Text: "2060: The gregarious superintelligent AI, happily talking its way out of a box, is fast becoming a relic of the past. Today's quantum hyper-beings are too busy with their internal multiverse sims to even notice that they're in boxes at all!"

Reminds me of the Babylonian man writing about how the rebellious, disrespectful young people were going to ruin society!
slinches wrote:Also, the OTC isn't a disease. In fact, it's the cure. As we all know, Time heals all wounds.

Thanks for the molpish wig ggh!
he/him/his

PsiSquared
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:54 am UTC

bachaddict wrote:Reminds me of the Babylonian man writing about how the rebellious, disrespectful young people were going to ruin society!


It was Aristotle, if remember correctly.

Anyway, I've never liked these jabs at what is - essentially - a serious issue. I remember a statistic from the late 1980's which said that the average kid spends 7 hours a day in front of the television. Does this sound ok to you? Just because an issue might persist for 200 years, doesn't mean it isn't a real problem.

Besides, did people really spend 7 hours a day reading the paper in 1880? Somehow I doubt it.

Of-course, technology itself isn't the problem. The problem isn't with the TV or the smartphones, but with the way that most people are using them. Nevertheless, it is a real problem. And it is getting worse, as brainless entertainment becomes cheaper and more thrilling every year.

User avatar
rhomboidal
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:01 am UTC

It's probably not the best sign that when I saw the scene in The Matrix of all the human beings enslaved inside those VR prison pods, I genuinely envied them for a second.

jgh
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby jgh » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:49 am UTC

For decades (centuries?) people have criticised the medium instead of the content. Novels pollute the mind, newspapers pollute the mind, films pollute the mind, paperback books pollute the mind, magazines pollute the mind, radio pollutes the mind, telephones pollute the mind, tv pollutes the mind, videos pollute the mind, computers pollute the mind, video games pollute the mind, the internet pollutes the mind, smartphones pollute the mind....

User avatar
Neil_Boekend
Posts: 3220
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:35 am UTC
Location: Yes.

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:08 am UTC

Maybe the medium is used with mind-polluting content because we don't mind our minds being polluted. Just like alcohol, sigarets and junk food. We just want to have some distraction from the real world.

At least I do.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

User avatar
Plasma Mongoose
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:09 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:28 am UTC

As long as introverts exist, they will seek some means to isolate themselves from other people one way or another.
A virus walks into a bar, the bartender says "We don't serve viruses in here".
The virus replaces the bartender and says "Now we do!"

førtito
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:27 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby førtito » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:38 am UTC

Is a changing society affecting the behaviour of people or is the changing behaviour of people affecting the society? These are too extreme positions you could hold but in the end the truth will be somewhere in between, I guess.

Also, phones allow you to communicate with other people in contrast to walkmen, books, newspapers, and TVs. That said, wouldn't the statement be our society became less anti-social in the past decade? Everything that has changed is people are now free to chose whom to communicate with and hence them using their phones just means they have better people to communicate with than you... In conclusion, if somebody complains about somebody else using a phone that's basically just an expression he can't deal with the fact that he is a complete asshole nobody wants to talk to?

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2901
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby orthogon » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:21 am UTC

PsiSquared wrote:[...] brainless entertainment becomes cheaper and more thrilling every year.

... cheaper and more readily available, as does "brainful" entertainment, along with educational content, training, information, news, debate, art, music, ...

If there are problems, I think these are some of them:

1. It's not that we're socially isolated; it's just that the people with whom we're interacting aren't necessarily those who are physically next to us. Whether this is a problem or not comes down to manners: if the people around us are strangers on a train, they probably weren't going to interact anyway. If it's your family, colleagues or partner who you're snubbing, it's less of a good thing.

2. The amount of content available is practically unlimited. You will eventually finish that novel that you can't put down; or read all the articles in the newspaper or magazine; or get bored of listening to the three tapes you carry around with your Walkman; you'll probably find that there's "nothing on TV" after a few hours. But you will never finish the Internet. This lack of an external limiting factor is an issue and can lead to addictive behaviour.

3. The on-demand nature of the Internet means that it's easy to spend all your time in one virtual "place", not being exposed to a wide range of content. The same applies to connected TVs providing on-demand content, and to PVRs: these technologies tend to reduce the serendipitous exposure to new things. This one is less clear, though: most people probably wouldn't vary their newspaper very often; books are intrinsically "on demand" (you can end up reading only, say, Agatha Christie or Terry Pratchett); and I already mentioned the way that Walkmans tended to limit one's listening habits. Conversely, though I might spend more time than I should on this forum, the topics and links that people post expose me to a wide range of different things.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5544
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: HOTDOG YOUR CH**RPING SILENTONGS. HOTDOG THEM.

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:25 am UTC

I like this one, especially the title-text :D
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.

dp2
Posts: 345
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby dp2 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:44 pm UTC

Nice one, but I'm afraid the punchline will get lost in what seems like commentary.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3377
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Nov 09, 2015 1:56 pm UTC

Ever since speech was invented, people have been talking about stuff rather than doing stuff.

User avatar
Keyman
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:56 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Keyman » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:08 pm UTC

"...a statistic from the late 1980's which said that the average kid spends 7 hours a day in front of the television"[citation needed]

I've never believed this, in the sense that kids watched television that much. I can believe that a TV is on for that much time in a household. It's the ubiquitous replacement for turning on the radio. But there just isn't that much time in a kid's day to average that much.
A childhood spent walking while reading books has prepared me unexpectedly well for today's world.

dg61
Posts: 282
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby dg61 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:14 pm UTC

This is true, but it's also the case that different media have qualitatively and quantitatively different properties. The novel, for example, does not visualize everything as the television does but rather presents a story to be imagined in the reader's eye; likewise the television show is able to cue a great deal visually in a way that the novel does not(by framing, lighting, angles, etc) but with less recourse to verbal description. This is not to say that either medium is better or worse than the other-there are novels that are utter trash and TV shows that are finely crafted and well-executed (I suspect, for example, that most people would consider The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly a well-executed work and certain mediocre "literary" novels poorly executed) but it is reasonable to say that different media will tend to require the development of some tastes while putting less stress on other.

As for the other point-it's sort of been a common thread in a lot of discussion that it is morally bad to read about present life or fantasy and good to read about an "elevated" past or heroic deeds and I do think at a certain point it does come down to snobbery. So this is not new. But it is the case that it is historically specific; the kind of habits described here would not be possible outside of a society with a large middle-or-working class population with access to a lot of cheap print material and substantial leisure time. Which is not to say people before that were dumb or uneducated or unaware, but their ability to learn about and absorb information about the world around them necessarily took different forms(oral recitation, the public sermon or lecture, disputations, etc). So you might not be able to read as much, but you might for instance have a much more sophisticated system for orally transmitting stories or telling long, involved stories (for example, one of the reasons so much early literature is epic poetry is that verse is a fantastic way to keep track of a lot of information or text).

robonun
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:08 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby robonun » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:28 pm UTC

If the character's dialogue were actual quotes from commentators of the time the awesomeness factor of the comic would be OVER 9000.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

robonun wrote:If the character's dialogue were actual quotes from commentators of the time the awesomeness factor of the comic would be OVER 9000.


Here you go

commodorejohn
Posts: 1084
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:21 pm UTC
Location: Placerville, CA
Contact:

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

Anybody who thinks that slabphones aren't making people more disconnected from the world around that has clearly never witnessed an iPhone zombie shuffling across a crosswalk at .05 MPH on a green light. Q.E.freaking.D.
"'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
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:08 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Anybody who thinks that slabphones aren't making people more disconnected from the world around that has clearly never witnessed an iPhone zombie shuffling across a crosswalk at .05 MPH on a green light. Q.E.freaking.D.


Consider, however, that their input/output is not limited to their immediate surroundings. Safe? No. Polite? Probably not. Disconnected from the (immediate) world around them? Sure. Disconnected socially in any way shape and form? No.

What makes connectedness to the immediate surrounding environs more valuable than connectedness via electronic media? Obviously said iPhone zombie doesn't give a fuck about you or other drivers/pedestrians in the immediate local. They do, however, seem to give some fucks toward whoever they are texting.

I have yet to see any compelling argument for the case that says immediate, physical proximity significantly improves communication, especially to the point where communication with strangers on the street/bus/train is preferred over communication with friends/relatives at a remote location.

Anecdotal case-in-point in support of electronic communication being preferred to physical proximity:
I have a close relative that, in person, drives me up the wall. They are gruff, loud, full of self-righteous opinions and derision toward dissenters, and in general is exhausting (for me) to be around. Yet we chat on Facebook all the time. We talk about family and friends, discuss current events, and share photos and recommendations of entertainment. We like a lot of the same things (movies, music, games, books, etc.) and often discuss these things at length. The Internet provides just the right amount of filter to turn this person from an annoyance into a great friend.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:11 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:Anybody who thinks that slabphones aren't making people more disconnected from the world around that has clearly never witnessed an iPhone zombie shuffling across a crosswalk at .05 MPH on a green light. Q.E.freaking.D.

I *never* saw someone do that with a book. No no no.

And I've certainly never done that... with a book... No no no.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
Whizbang
The Best Reporter
Posts: 2238
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:50 pm UTC
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:16 pm UTC

Reading is, like, my favorite thing to do while walking.

ETA:
Spoiler:
Also pooping.


Spoiler:
Reading while pooping, not pooping while walking. ;)

User avatar
Quizatzhaderac
Posts: 1531
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Space Florida

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:47 pm UTC

So as I read this, this is the same four people over 175 years, with Cueball constantly pontificating and the other three only feinting being absorbed in their activities so Cueball will go away. Once he goes away they'll happily start talking about his book they're reading/ current events / music, et cetra.
bachaddict wrote:Reminds me of the Babylonian man writing about how the rebellious, disrespectful young people were going to ruin society!
Did they? I don't hear too much about the Babylonian empire these days.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

User avatar
bigglesworth
I feel like Biggles should have a title
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:29 pm UTC
Location: Airstrip One

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:49 pm UTC

I read that as you suggesting that the young men had indeed ruined Babylonian society, and that's why you don't hear of them much.

Please confirm this reading.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

cryptoengineer
Posts: 129
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:58 am UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby cryptoengineer » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

I'm reminded of Socrates in Phaedrus bitching about how literacy was destroying memory.

ce

jozwa
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:16 pm UTC
Location: Finland

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby jozwa » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:08 pm UTC

I wonder if Randall was inspired by a recent Vsauce video.

warcupine
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby warcupine » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:19 pm UTC

I foresee a thoughtful discussion of how expectations for the nature of interpersonal activity have varied over time, culture, and socioeconomic stratum, with especial attention to perceptions of the ideal balance of social interaction vs. private fulfillment and enlightenment. The ideas presented will be morally neutral and supported by solid historiography and, when possible, peer-reviewed statistics.

User avatar
The Moomin
Posts: 340
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:59 am UTC
Location: Yorkshire

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby The Moomin » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
robonun wrote:If the character's dialogue were actual quotes from commentators of the time the awesomeness factor of the comic would be OVER 9000.


Here you go


Someone should tell past Randall that current Randall is copying past Randall's work and not attributing it to past Randall. Can you plagiarise yourself?
I possibly don't pay enough attention to what's going on.
I help make architect's dreams flesh.

Kit.
Posts: 1049
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:14 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Kit. » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:31 pm UTC

bachaddict wrote:Title Text: "2060: The gregarious superintelligent AI, happily talking its way out of a box, is fast becoming a relic of the past. Today's quantum hyper-beings are too busy with their internal multiverse sims to even notice that they're in boxes at all!"

"...Interconnected multiverse sims..."?

User avatar
yakkoTDI
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:02 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby yakkoTDI » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:31 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:They do, however, seem to give some fucks toward whoever they are texting.


But are they good fucks like that one time with the Swedish aerobics instructor and I on the couch or is it more like the Chihuahua on your leg at a party?

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2901
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby orthogon » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:43 pm UTC

The Moomin wrote:Can you plagiarise yourself?

Absolutely. For some reason, in academia it's considered almost as bad as nicking somebody else's work.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3377
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Nov 09, 2015 6:11 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
The Moomin wrote:Can you plagiarise yourself?

Absolutely. For some reason, in academia it's considered almost as bad as nicking somebody else's work.


In academia, for various reasons, professional merit is associated with how many papers you publish at least as much as with the individual merits of those papers. If you manage to publish the same paper twice (or more) then you're getting double (or more) credit for something.

Scheod
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:03 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Scheod » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:02 pm UTC

Image

This picture always comes to mind every time I hear someone complain about cell phone usage. There's another with people standing around waiting for a train, but haven't been able to find it in a while.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4682
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:24 pm UTC

Any time I hear about how some new technology is destroying the way people used to live, I remark to myself about how the whole point of technology is to enable people to do things they couldn't do before, and that a lot of the way people (at any time) live is because that's just the best option they've got so far. If a new technology destroys an old way of life, maybe that old way of life sucked and everybody is happy to finally have a chance to be rid of it.

Have you ever noticed how since the agricultural revolution, hardly anybody ever goes out and gathers berries from the wilderness anymore? That was a time-honored pastime for hundreds of thousands of years and then BAM, this agriculture thing comes along and now everybody's sitting at home tending to plants on their own land and never going out into the wild anymore!
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)

User avatar
Platypodes
Posts: 218
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:42 am UTC
Location: On a knot on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Platypodes » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:15 pm UTC

Showing that people's disconnection from their surroundings and the people in their vicinity has been steadily increasing for two hundred years doesn't actually indicate anything about whether it's okay or harmful. A condition that develops over a long time can be just as bad as one that happens all of a sudden. *cough*climate change*cough*

Or does "take a hint" merely mean, "give up, things are gonna keep going this way even if it does suck"?
videogamesizzle wrote:so, uh, seen any good arbitrary, high numbers lately?

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4682
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:18 pm UTC

I thought "take a hint" meant "the reason everybody's burying themselves in technology instead of talking to you is nobody wants to talk to you, go away".

It could be read as a dis at that particular stick man, but I prefer to read it as a more general "now that we have things to do by ourselves, the introverts of the world finally don't have to deal with you extroverted people, now stop complaining that we're not playing your favorite game anymore, now that we have alternatives, and leave us alone".
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)

User avatar
Soup
Posts: 299
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:47 pm UTC
Location: The Comfy Chair

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Soup » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
Spoiler:
Reading while pooping, not pooping while walking. ;)


A well-timed clarification, indeed. I, for one, had misread that!
Waiting for it...

Go username5243, musthavebeenmykarma, Rakhal, thunk!!

User avatar
Quizatzhaderac
Posts: 1531
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Space Florida

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:32 pm UTC

Platypodes wrote:Or does "take a hint" merely mean, "give up, things are gonna keep going this way even if it does suck"?
The others aren't actually that absorbed in their activities, it's just that they specifically don't want to talk to Cueball. After two centuries Cueball still hasn't realized that nobody wants to talk to him specifically, so Megan just states it explicitly.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

User avatar
Reecer6
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:59 am UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Reecer6 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:10 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I thought "take a hint" meant "the reason everybody's burying themselves in technology instead of talking to you is nobody wants to talk to you, go away".

It could be read as a dis at that particular stick man, but I prefer to read it as a more general "now that we have things to do by ourselves, the introverts of the world finally don't have to deal with you extroverted people, now stop complaining that we're not playing your favorite game anymore, now that we have alternatives, and leave us alone".


I think it's way better taken the first way. In this community of immortals, Cueball is just a huge dick no one likes. You don't have to be an introvert to be buried in a book or TV show, anyhow.

TrueNarnian
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:49 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby TrueNarnian » Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:25 pm UTC

How ironic. This comic is about how something we think is new has actually been around a long time. But the comic itself almost exactly repeats the concept of comic #1227. I wonder if this was intentional.

xtifr
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:38 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby xtifr » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:00 am UTC

Whizbang wrote:Reading is, like, my favorite thing to do while walking.

Indeed, one of the reasons that I still like paper books is that walking down the street reading a paper book doesn't seem to have the social stigma that walking down the street with a phone does. In fact, oddly, I still get people who inquire, "how can you read while walking?" despite the fact that the streets are now filled with people who are reading while walking. But apparently, if you do it with an actual physical book, it's some kind of astonishing stunt. Whereas, if you do it with an electronic device, you're just being an asshole or something.

People really do have the most amazing disconnects.

Of course, the most ridiculous thing about the whole "they're being unsocial" claim is that people who walk down the street staring at their phone are more likely to be being social than someone walking down the street with a book. In fact, I often do walk down the street reading my phone because I'm interacting with other people through the phone. (Although sometimes it's because what I want to read right now happens to be an e-book.)

My big complaint about (some) people who walk down the street staring at their phones is that they're doing it poorly. If the book/phone/tablet is being help up in front of you, it's really had to see what's coming at you. If it's held down at chest-level, then your peripheral vision will make it pretty easy to see things around you, and you won't run into other people. And if you're crossing a street, just stop reading for a moment, dummy! :)
"[T]he author has followed the usual practice of contemporary books on graph theory, namely to use words that are similar but not identical to the terms used in other books on graph theory."
-- Donald Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol I, 3rd ed.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26413
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:19 am UTC

Platypodes wrote:Showing that people's disconnection from their surroundings and the people in their vicinity has been steadily increasing for two hundred years doesn't actually indicate anything about whether it's okay or harmful.
I rather thought the point was that people's disconnection hasn't been steadily increasing, it's just that people have been whining about it this whole time.

There are drawbacks of ubiquitous smartphones, as there are with every technology, and it would be nice to be able to discuss those in a reasonable manner. Unfortunately it's pretty hard to do that when you're all but guaranteed to get someone in the discussion who swears up and down that the latest thing is totally different from all the technological changes of the past and is going to completely ruin what's left of society.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Coyoty
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:56 pm UTC

Re: 1601: "Isolation"

Postby Coyoty » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:35 am UTC

Reading books while walking gave me excellent peripheral vision, spatial perception, and multitasking skills, which has come in handy for city driving, and hitting waste baskets from across a room while no one's looking.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Rossegacebes and 47 guests