Monday, April 24, 2017

"what is the biggest change in our society no one mentions?"

Reddit top voted comments...

The idea of a telephone number being tied to a place, rather than a person.
It used to be, "Call the office, leave a message on the machine", or "call the break room, someone will answer". Now it's mostly just "call or text me" and I'll get the message wherever I am.

"You have a collect call from HI MUM IT'S ME I'LL BE OVER IN 2 HOURS, HANG UP SO YOU DON'T GET CHARGED, if you would like to accept these charges, please press 1"

Repair shops. There used to be TV repair shops, vacuum cleaner repair shops, shoe repair shops. Things would break and then you would take them to a shop, or even go and buy a part, and fix them. Now everyone just buys a new whatever.

Nobody I know ever mentions getting lost anymore. Even idiots that used to get lost everyday. Having GPS on everyone's phone has made asking for directions a thing of the past in 99% of situations.

my great grandfather, who I had the pleasure of knowing until I was 18 had some insight when I asked what invention had the most impact on him. He was nearly 90 years old at the time and his response still intrigues me to this day. He said that screens in his windows to protect him from the bugs at night changed his life more than anything else. He grew up on a farm in the thumb of Michigan, and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes at night was awful.

I asked him why his response wasn't the use of the telephone, TV, or even the radio. His response was "all of those things involve other people. Screens directly effected whether or not I could sleep."

I used to always be planning my social calendar several days ahead. If I was meeting a friend or girlfriend it always had to be at an appointed landmark, so you wouldn't miss each other. Everything now seems spur of the moment. It's a lot more flaky with people deciding in the moment what's their best option for a good time.

Hardly anybody claims to have met space aliens...they no longer have any excuse for not having pictures.


Jim in St Louis said...

The high reliability of automobiles. When I think of all the pieces of crap that I have owned, and how often they broke down, or had to be push started, or drank oil. Compared with cars today- no contest. I know people who have NEVER had to look under the hood.

Lem said...

Remember when making an international call you had to wait for the operator to call you back because the line could only handle so many calls at a time.

ricpic said...

That's a good point about the increased reliability of cars. I was going to mention something that has changed for the worse, which is the natural response to this kind of question; but it's important to keep in mind that change can be for the better too.

Dad Bones said...

Dogs and cats becoming part of the family. In the 1950's they generally weren't allowed in the house.

Chip Ahoy said...

* Halloween became a holiday for adults and less so for children.

* Flying used to be nice. Fun, enjoyable, exciting. Now it's not. Although pretty much anyone who wants to can learn to fly.

* The colors of cars in the parking lot have narrowed to shades of gray and white. Oh, you can get other colors but few do. Maroon with a grayish tint to it, blue with a gray tint to it, but only old cars are actually colorful. No orange. No yellow. No green. No purple. No light blues. And they all pretty much look alike. You tell them apart by their logos.

* A lot more triplets. A lot more extravagantly decked out baby prams.

* People aren't bothering with owning physical forms of music, lp, tapes, laser discs. They're rather it be on the cloud or by services.

* Popular sports have become increasingly extreme, brought on by people doing insane things with their equipment.

* Everyone's sense of personal art has vastly improved. I mean this. It's seen in their homes.

As passenger in a car at night I couldn't resist a peeping Tom impulse while whipping by at high speed. With a light on inside, the whole room is lit up like an aquarium. For years I was appalled by the art that I saw on the walls in there. I never mentioned this. I simply ached in silence. I accepted my fellow humans have deplorable taste in the general sense. Their fashionable homes are slathered with shit art inside. I felt this like a wound. For decades through boyhood and beyond.

And then I noticed the art improve. Here and there and spots in between, it could be seen that people are now taking the whole design of the room into account. They were no longer timid with their own taste expressed through tiny framed un-matted photographs. No, not anymore. They were going full on BLAM slapping up art that takes the whole wall, and they go "Deal with it!" And my passenger self was pleased with this development, smiled, and dropped the personal complaint that I couldn't relate to anyone at the time.

Sixty Grit said...

Not only having a computer in your house, but having one in your pocket. Back in 1974 I started working for a mainframe manufacturer and the machines required raised floors, huge amounts of electricity, powerful cooling, and they were huge. When I did an engineering change that hit every memory card I would open up the side panels and work inside of the computer.

And talk about power - many years passed before pocket calculators were more powerful!

ampersand said...

While automobile reliability is greatly improved,reliability for other big ticket items have gone downhill. I have some appliances going on 40 years of service. Some new appliances didn't last 10 years and had repair work done under extended warranties. Appliance manufacturers only maintain parts for 10 years.

Lem said...

Ampersand is right. One of my sisters has gone through what seems like a dozen laundry washers and dryers. She has a new GE about a year old washer now and it shakes like it's an old machine.

Sixty Grit said...

Indeed - when I moved 6 years ago I left behind a washing machine that was built in the 1970s, in America, by Americans.

It is still running.

None of the Korean or Chinese crap will even last a decade.

William said...

I'm a time traveler from the distant past. How primitive things were back then. Remember when you had to break in shoes. It took a couple of weeks before they were comfortable. Shoe soles didn't last forever either. Before vibram they needed re-soling in about a year, Then you had to break in the new soles. Then the upper part of the shoe wore out.....Even shoelaces have gotten better. They used to break with frequency. I can't recall the last time I suffered a broken shoelace.......We are truly living in the golden age of shoes.

Leland said...

Good OP, and I thought some of those were similar to one of the reddit posts a week ago; but those are all good. Didn't think I could add, then read Chip's post and he brought it. As for Ampersand and Lem's response, I moved a year ago and got a new washer and refrigerator; the washer load balancer isn't balanced, it shakes and thus is louder than anything in the house. The refrigerator's ice maker scares the dog with the loud noise it makes, and one of the handles come off in my wife's hand last week. I even have a problem with my toilet flush system thanks to some goofy device called a leak detector, which seems to think the act of flushing is a leak and thus won't refill the tank.

Advances in health, hygiene, and vaccinations really has changed the world and most of those advances occurred before the telephone was really a thing for most homes.

AprilApple said...

Standing in line at the bank, and in front of me are 2 hippies covered in tattoos making pot haul deposits.

ndspinelli said...

William, You always have great comments. After reading the one today about shoes, I always hope you comment more often.

Methadras said...

What we are really discussing here is ubiquity. How things have become ubiquitous in our lives. As technological and social progress chug through our lives, we pay little to no attention to the things that help enhance our lives, make them better, make them worse, or are such great conveniences that we don't even think twice about them. One of those is one demand entertainment. It used to be that you had to literally plan to be entertained or find entertainment. Now entertainment is so ubiquitous that it's everywhere all the time. You don't even see TV stations signing off anymore, where they used to play the national anthem and then just turn off.

Now it's streaming in any form of show or movie that I want. Soon movie theaters will be going away. Big block buster openings will become a thing of the past or virtualized in a studio somewhere. People are abandoning movie theaters in droves. Hopefully people will be able to watch movies as they come out on their big screens and have their own debut parties. Big entertainment is falling in slow motion and being fractured into smaller, more targeted productions. For example, I think the best TV show right now is a Sci-Fi show called The Expanse that is on the Syfy network. Just a fantastic show. I don't even watch it on it's regularly scheduled time. I stream it from various locations. Even TV programming is changing. Since entertainment is the thing that really affects us most and is something done collectively by billions the world over on a daily basis, I thought I'd make commentary on it.