Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Technology

Can An Individual Still Resist The Spread of Technology? (chicagotribune.com) 383

schwit1 shares a column from the Chicago Tribune: When cellphones first appeared, they gave people one more means of communication, which they could accept or reject. But before long, most of us began to feel naked and panicky anytime we left home without one. To do without a cellphone -- and soon, if not already, a smartphone -- means estranging oneself from normal society. We went from "you can have a portable communication device" to "you must have a portable communication device" practically overnight... Today most people are expected to be instantly reachable at all times. These devices have gone from servants to masters...

Few of us would be willing to give up modern shelter, food, clothing, medicine, entertainment or transportation. Most of us would say the trade-offs are more than worth it. But they happen whether they are worth it or not, and the individual has little power to resist. Technological innovation is a one-way street. Once you enter it, you are obligated to proceed, even if it leads someplace you would not have chosen to go.

The column argues "the iPhone X proves the Unabomber was right," citing this passage from the 1996 manifesto of the anti-technology terrorist. "Once a technical innovation has been introduced, people usually become dependent on it, so that they can never again do without it, unless it is replaced by some still more advanced innovation. Not only do people become dependent as individuals on a new item of technology, but, even more, the system as a whole becomes dependent on it."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Can An Individual Still Resist The Spread of Technology?

Comments Filter:
  • Not really true (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, 2017 @11:38PM (#55216811)

    Not really true. I can't think of anything I can do with my phone that I can't do otherwise. While it's easy to pay bills with an app, I can still go into my bank or mail a cheque. I can still use a camera, even a film camera if I want to. I can still mail a letter rather than use email.

    • Re:Not really true (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @11:50PM (#55216847)
      Remember when there used to be payphones all over the place, so if you had an emergency or ran out of gas or something, you could call for help? Good luck finding one of those now. And when cab companies are put out of business by Uber, good luck getting transportation anywhere without a cellphone. It won't be long before you won't be able to pay bills by mailing a check and some countries have already gone cashless, and my prediction is that in less than 20 years if not sooner, America will be cashless as well, and smartphone apps will have completely replaced debit and credit cards. Up to now, I've resisted getting a smartphone, but it's getting harder and harder all the time. Meeting friends at a restaurant is getting to be a problem. It used to be you'd decide in advance where and when you'd meet. Nowadays, they expect you to be reachable all the time, so they can make their decision at the very last minute. It's really hard to have a social life today without a smartphone.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        The Taxi companies deserve to die. Horrible response. Drivers that pretend to not understand English so they can lengthen your route. No accountability for bad drivers. High prices, low availability.

        Fuck them.

        If I have an emergency or run out of gas, the cell phone is far more convenient. Why would I stand on a dark corner talking on a payphone, all ripe for armed robbery?

        The Unabomber was a fucking psychotic luddite. Live without the benefits of technology if you choose. Just don't bitch when everyone else

        • by Anonymous Coward

          With respect to the Unabomber, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          Sounds like a local problem to me. Every taxi company I've run across, especially in small cities have drivers that are fluent english speakers.

          I still see payphones all over the place, hell there's still one a block from where I used to live. Again seems to me you've got a local problem.

          • Re:Not really true (Score:5, Interesting)

            by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @01:38AM (#55217147) Homepage

            Sounds like a local problem to me. Every taxi company I've run across, especially in small cities have drivers that are fluent english speakers.

            Lucky you. On a previous trip to California, I landed at SFO and took a taxi down to SV. The driver noted the address I wanted to go to was out of the local zone so would be hit with a higher rate after we left the local ring. I agreed given I wasn't going to be paying for the ride in the end.

            Along the drive, I heard his phone announce "you have left the geo-fenced area" (or something to that effect), at which point he pressed a couple of buttons on the fare meter to bump the rate. This was also during a window when he appeared to begin driving some more lengthy routes to my destination. I was of course following the route on my phone and was puzzles the entire was as to his choice of routes.

            Upon reaching my destination, he pulled out his personal (and cracked) iPhone to do the math as to the actual fare (1.5x the fare on the meter), then slide my card through the attached Stripe reader... not the Android device with Flywheel app sitting on the dashboard, nor the credit card reader sitting in front of me (behind the passenger seat) provided by the taxi company. I was tired and agreed, again, I wasn't paying in the end.

            Upon checking out the next morning, I asked the desk agent what a taxi ride from SFO should run... she gave a range which was ~50% less than what I had paid.

            I rode in an Uber (my second, the first was to my destination that morning) on my ride back to the airport... it cost 1/4th what the taxi did.

            My mother was at a company business event and later noted that the taxi had charged her card $5 more than what was on her receipt... some checking showed that multiple people from her group alone had similar billing issues... all because the taxi drivers figured some big company wouldn't know/mind being overcharged slightly.

            No... f-taxis. I will never ride in an american taxi again. For all of their problems, Lyft and Uber provide a degree of transparency that

            I still see payphones all over the place, hell there's still one a block from where I used to live. Again seems to me you've got a local problem.

            Care to take some local photos... perhaps with a copy of the local news paper for proof? Last month I put 4000 miles on the my vehicle for a road trip that traversed 7 states (only ~50% of the road was re-driven on the way back). Know how many pay phones I saw along the way? The same # as the # of USB-C cables/chargers I found at various truck stops/gas stations/etc stores along the way... an grand total of zero.

            • Re:Not really true (Score:5, Informative)

              by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @01:53AM (#55217177) Homepage Journal

              No... f-taxis. I will never ride in an american taxi again. For all of their problems, Lyft and Uber provide a degree of transparency that

              But maybe the problem isn't with taxis, but the way they are run in the USA? Here in central Europe, taxis are incredibly reliable, and as a passenger your list of rights is longer than for plane travel. They also charge by the meter, exactly. In all my life, I've never had a taxi driver run any funny games.

              • by Rande ( 255599 )

                I had one do that to me in Eindhoven. Drove all over the place to increase the fare when I admitted I'd not been there before.

              • Re:Not really true (Score:5, Informative)

                by JonnyCalcutta ( 524825 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @04:08AM (#55217445)

                Here in Glasgow, Scotland Uber is regulated in exactly the same way as taxis and drivers have to be licensed in exactly the same way as taxi drivers. By a strange coincidence, Uber is exactly the same price as a taxi.

                • Here in Bristol, England Uber drivers have to have the same Private Hire license that you'd need if you were driving a town car for a charter company, and in my experience their fares are ~20-25% less than the local cabs.

                  It'd be interesting to see how Uber's rates compare to local taxis when they're regulated exactly like taxis (most restrictive), like unliveried private hire cars (less restrictive), and when totally unregulated.

                • And in Berlin if you call an Uber a taxi comes and picks you up.

              • Re:Not really true (Score:4, Insightful)

                by skam240 ( 789197 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:22AM (#55217605)

                It's the same in America but like a people everywhere there are those who want to turn a singular negative experience with themselves nailed to a cross.

              • Central Europe ??? (Score:2, Informative)

                by gDLL ( 1413289 )
                Lol you must be joking, here in central europe also the taxi drivers will scam you in 5 different ways. Come on down here to the south and test !
            • Last month I put 4000 miles on the my vehicle for a road trip that traversed 7 states (only ~50% of the road was re-driven on the way back). Know how many pay phones I saw along the way?

              As a matter of interest as there still emergency phones in the USA? I have seen various approaches to pay phones in different countries, from leaving them in place, to upgrading to take modern payment system, to riping out, and even to upgrade them with WiFi hotspots. But one thing that remained regardless of what happened to payphones was emergency phones on the highways.

            • by skam240 ( 789197 )

              "I had a bad experience with a taxi driver so all taxi drivers are bad!"

              Plenty of bad experiences are had by people using Uber. It's great you have a singular story to demonize someone but that's all it is.

              • Plenty of bad experiences are had by people using Uber. It's great you have a singular story to demonize someone but that's all it is.

                Whatever you might think of Uber as a company, the tech it uses is a fundamentally better way of arranging a ride than standing outside in the rain yelling ay cars. Soon, every cab company still in business will be using it. If you leave something in a cab, the company will have a log of who was driving when you had your ride. If a driver gets robbed, they will know exactly who was riding at that time.

            • Upon checking out the next morning, I asked the desk agent what a taxi ride from SFO should run... she gave a range which was ~50% less than what I had paid.

              I've noticed that most US hotels have no idea how much taxis cost, as a policy as part of their advertising - people are far likely to stay somewhere that's a $20 taxi ride from the airport than one that's a $40 taxi ride. I've taken to doubling their estimates and found that this usually gives me a pretty accurate number.

              My mother was at a company business event and later noted that the taxi had charged her card $5 more than what was on her receipt

              That's usually nice and easy to fix: call the card company, send them a copy of the receipt, and they'll cancel the payment in full. It's then up to the taxi company to try to get it bac

        • Re:Not really true (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @10:02AM (#55218473)

          Why would I stand on a dark corner talking on a payphone, all ripe for armed robbery?

          Oh sheesh, you are kinda what we are warned against. Once upon a time, I would take off for an entire day without anyone knowing where I was. Now my wife and others expect to contact me immediately whenever and wherever I am. They freak if they cannot. And people shit themselves when that last signal strength bar goes away. This is the problem - addiction to the little things.

          I like my smartphones. They are technology that is simply amazing. I use many of their features. But I can and do turn mine off when I don't feel like being bothered. I do any and all social media on a desktop, and walk around the world. But I'm not addicted to the smartphone like many people are. I think this is the point, and the unabomber positive cite simply alienates the people who could use the most help with their addiction.

          The Unabomber was a fucking psychotic luddite. Live without the benefits of technology if you choose. Just don't bitch when everyone else doesn't stay in the 1990s with you.

          Well, it is not a digital situation. There are times when the latest technology is just tremendous. There are other times that spending one's time on social media while at the Grand Canyon indicates that there is a problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Why resist? Nothing makes you answer the phone. Nothing makes you read your email or messages.

        But at the same time you have camera and internet and other tools at your disposal at all times.

        As for mailing a cheque most countries other than the US have pretty much abandonned those anyway.

        • by kackle ( 910159 )
          1) Cost. $600 a year is $1000 pre-tax, which is $10,000 per decade (or a cheap, new car).

          2) Cancer. Disagree if you are ignorant to the superposition principle and how it can affect your DNA.

          3) Theft. Some people have gotten killed over them.

          4) Loss. Some don't need another thing to worry about.

          5) Effort. Did I charge its battery? Did I pay my bill this month? Was the bill correct? Did someone steal my information? Did I go beyond my data plan? Have the rates gone up again?

          6) Damage. It
        • Old joke (obviously):

          A traveling salesman went to an isolated farmhouse to sell some stuff. The farmer refused, but invited the man in for supper. During dinner, the phone rang. And Rang. And RANG. After a while, the salesman said, "Sir, aren't you going to answer that?" To which the farmer replied, "Son, I put that phone in for MY convenience, not theirs."
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Remember when you used to be able to just shoot a squirrel in your yard and cook it for dinner? Now you are stuck buying steak at a grocery store or having someone bringing food to your front door, and a lot of times it's already cooked. Damn this new fangled technology. I so long for the days when we weren't dependant upon it!
      • Re:Not really true (Score:5, Insightful)

        by KozmoStevnNaut ( 630146 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nvetskirneh}> on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:24AM (#55217615)

        You can get a smartphone without necessarily getting sucked into wasting your time or money on frivolous nonsense. A smartphone is a powerful tool when used properly. You don't have to join the gadget race, just because you buy a smartphone, you don't even have to install any apps or use it for anything but the bare essentials (ie. stuff you can't do without a phone, or which are extremely cumbersome without a phone).

        Being able to look up basic information from a handheld device is extremely handy, for instance to check on the status on your flight, or look up the address of that restaurant you remember, but can't quite place on a map.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spire3661 ( 1038968 )
          The problem is you cant buy a smartphone that respects the user and offers built-in, seamless, fully factory supported rooting.
          • Can you buy any phone at all that fulfills that particular requirement? The liability is simply too great, especially considering it's a device that hooks up to cellphone networks.

            How many computers can you buy that offer built-in, seamless, fully factory supported rooting? You can root any (most?) computers, but it sure as hell isn't fully factory supported.

            • Can you buy any phone at all that fulfills that particular requirement? The liability is simply too great, especially considering it's a device that hooks up to cellphone networks.

              One Plus 5 seems to be very promising in that regard. you can run custom roms on it, and all the bloat is removable, unlike say a Samsung Bloat s6, s7, or s8

              How many computers can you buy that offer built-in, seamless, fully factory supported rooting? You can root any (most?) computers, but it sure as hell isn't fully factory supported.

              define "Root" clearly you are allowed to install whatever OS you choose and is compatible with the hardware. Nobody offers "support" for anything without money. Not android, nor Windows, Nor HP, any of them. At no point do you void your warranty for running any OS. But let's say you "root" windows and uninstall bits and pieces that Microsoft want

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by houghi ( 78078 )

        Remember when there used to be payphones all over the place, so if you had an emergency or ran out of gas or something, you could call for help?

        I nremeber that and also the fact that you needed change and the number and that they almost never worked and that you could aks people for help.

        And when cab companies are put out of business by Uber, good luck getting transportation anywhere without a cellphone.

        Why would they go out of business? I am sure that at busy places there will still be some sort of taxi-se

    • Not really true. I can't think of anything I can do with my phone that I can't do otherwise. While it's easy to pay bills with an app, I can still go into my bank or mail a cheque. I can still use a camera, even a film camera if I want to. I can still mail a letter rather than use email.

      You say you can quit any time you want, is that it?

    • I can't think of anything I can do with my phone that I can't do otherwise. While it's easy to pay bills with an app, I can still go into my bank or mail a cheque. I can still use a camera, even a film camera if I want to. I can still mail a letter rather than use email.

      And we use our smartphones for each of these things that the tech makes easier. I think about this whenever I have to write that one check a month to a payee who is not on electronic payments.

  • Of course you can (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HBI ( 604924 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @11:44PM (#55216833) Journal

    I actually don't use my cellphone much. It's all voice calls or SMS. Any use as a web browser is a last resort and perhaps twice weekly. The apps are jokes and I usually don't bother even opening any of them on the average week. I spent 20 years on call. I leave my cell phone hooked up to the charger before 8pm every night and I go upstairs. If it rings or buzzes, tough shit. If you want me, you have to know my wife's number, or my private e-mail address which few have.

    In regards internet usage, I stop here every once in a while. I do pay attention to the facebook crowd, mostly family. I don't use Twitter (anti-free speech issue there, as well as not seeing any value added in using it). I read my fill of 'news' of different stripe and play a FPS or two, write some code, or read books, admittedly with a Kindle, but that's only because the wife was giving me agita about the dead tree type taking up too much room in the house.

    I also don't watch TV. Full stop. Haven't since I was 12. I have a media server but it's mostly for the wife and kids. I'll watch South Park or Archer once in a while, but off the server, and therefore downloaded. I never use Netflix or any other streaming service, either.

    If you told me tomorrow all the computers were going away, i'd be ok as long as I could get dead tree books. I'd regret it because then I couldn't even consider coding stuff. Otherwise, who cares. The internet is way overrated.

    • The internet is way overrated.

      So what are you using, if not the Internet, to read Slashdot and post comments?

      • by HBI ( 604924 )

        Of course I am. I'm making the point that if it were all over, that all the fiber was cut and we'd never have an internet again, it'd be ok. I'm not going to have "I MISS /." carved on my headstone.

        • I'm not going to have "I MISS /." carved on my headstone.

          If you'll give me the name of the cemetery where you plan to be buried, and the plot number, I'll be happy to have that taken care of for you... ;-)

    • Re:Of course you can (Score:5, Interesting)

      by coastwalker ( 307620 ) <acoastwalker&hotmail,com> on Monday September 18, 2017 @01:49AM (#55217169) Homepage

      Ditto, though I have a phone, not a smartphone and I watch University lectures on YouTube for entertainment. Social media is a waste of time as youngsters who might be interesting to interact with tend to go "private" to grown-ups so it becomes anti-social media. The rest of it is either baby pictures or people sharing fake news hate speech. So I don't bother with social media much any more. Smartphones are overated so long as you have net access through a laptop, tablet or desktop.

    • I have a prepay flip phone. I put the minimum possible yearly payment on it and never run out. I do have a wifi-only tablet and a computer, but I don't do "social media". I do email. I'm on a couple of product support forums (one as a volunteer moderator). I play solitaire and sudoku (as in, games that aren't graphics intensive and don't require a network connection) on the tablet, or read books, and if a network is available check email, check the weather, visit here - mundane stuff. I don't watch TV, exce
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > I also don't watch TV. Full stop. .... I'll watch South Park or Archer once in a while

      So, you watch TV.

      Also, obligatory Onion link [theonion.com].

  • Give me a harem, a vasectomy, a bunker, and a lifetime supply of food and water, and I'll test that for you, for free. Medical care and lighting optional.

  • wtf? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Sunday September 17, 2017 @11:51PM (#55216851)
    excuse my ignorance. But what the fuck does the IPhone X have that proves the Unabomber right? if anything it is one of those very minor upgrades that proves you don't need it this time around.
    • Go read the article. It wasn’t about the iPhone X per se.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by gravewax ( 4772409 )
        REad now, article is fucking pathetic, So yes the summary was bad, but the article basically is waffle that says nothing.
        • Read now, article is fucking pathetic, So yes the summary was bad, but the article basically is waffle that says nothing.

          You are probably right.

    • by no-body ( 127863 )

      excuse my ignorance. But what the fuck does the IPhone X have that proves the Unabomber right? if anything it is one of those very minor upgrades that proves you don't need it this time around.

      All this Apple stuff is driven by hype and so is a high percentage for car purchases and what else comes up as hype.
      Take the hype away, the economy and stock market tanks.

      Is there an alternative? No, the thing is locked shut and will tank as a whole unless .... (your turn)

    • But they've removed things! How could you not get this awesome update?
  • No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @12:13AM (#55216921)
    not in any meaningful way. Individuals can't 'resist' any broad societal change on their own.

    That said, the Unibomber's manifesto is just plain silly. The problem isn't dependence. It's tech being used to make our lives worse instead of better, usually at the behest of the ruling class. It's everything from tracking cookies that know exactly how much extra you'll pay for that bag of cat food or that box of diapers to armed autonomous drones. That's the part that's worth resisting. Not some nebulous assault on an idealized way of life pulled from something Thoreau wrote but systemic oppression of the sort that leads to the next 1000 year dark ages. And no, you can't resist that as individuals. It requires a concerted effort on the part of the working class. Unions, Democracy and powerful institutions that are carefully and continuously monitored.
    • Re:No (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Bongo ( 13261 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:23AM (#55217609)

      There are broadly speaking three stages of values -- premodern, modern, and post-post-modern.
      Premodern is the old empires, kings, absolute authority, most large religions, etc. It sounds archaic but it forcefully united what would otherwise be lots of fiefdoms and warlords. And the authoritarian way, was the way the world was run for several thousand years.
      The modernity appeared, due a a whole bunch of circumstances, and power was distributed, and what I guess makes a true modern nation state is the quality and honesty of its institutions.
      Now your terrorist type has basically a preference for warlordism, whether because they don't like the government, or the government is too corrupt, but where a lot of people would be like, whatever, let's just get on with life, the "direct action" type wants to fight someone. And if the world ever collapsed back to pre-modern in a Mad Max kinda way, these people are actually the ones who would, for better or worse, be forcefully trying to reestablish power structures.
      And I think you are right, the problem is not technology itself -- the problems, when they appear, are in the social power structures.
      Are the nation's institutions relatively free of corruption? The global corruption index is probably way more important than whether a nation has this or that other development metric.
      Technology itself is just extending our biology. We all depend on having bodies, food, water, and shelter. We all need our mitochondria. We all depend on the food system. We all depend on lots of stuff (and which many take for granted). I mean, there was the guy who tried to make his own toaster from scratch and it took him a year and it barely worked once. We all depend on information.
      And yeah, tech can be used for "evil" ie. for destroying the social systems built so far, either by corrupting it from the top, or, as people often forget, by corrupting it from the bottom, with "people action" and other things which can be like a cancer. And let's not get started on post-modern nihilism.
      But fortunately, whilst tech brings both good and bad, it tends to bring in a slight net good.
      The internet can be used by corps and governments to spy on people and oppress dissent, as well as allowing all the terror nutters to find each other, but it also seems to be spreading good developments faster, like women's rights in developing countries, and new ideas for food production.
      But I also assume the future cannot be predicted, so I do hope the good possibilities will continue to outweigh the bad, but again, the spread of ideas may bring all sorts of unexpected developments.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well, I have a cell phone. The ability to make calls from remote locations was a win for me. However it's an old flip phone, and when turned off, it's off. Convinced of that because I wouldn't get three months between charges otherwise.
    What amazes me is how the sheepies are prepared to put up with shit technology, not 'technology' as such. I mean, having the charge the damn thing every day, and not actually being able to use them for their advertised purpose (making phone calls if you couldn't work that out

    • I've got an android phone. I'm pretty sure than when it's off, it's really off, because I wouldn't get three hours between charges otherwise.

      Jokingnotjonking.

      Anyway, you're right, they are remarkably shit technology in quite a burnt of ways. Mine does make voice calls but it's kinda mediocre at that. Maps is super useful though. And I like being able to IM my partner too.

  • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @12:24AM (#55216951) Journal
    I don't have a mobile because, at least in Canada, they are ridiculously expensive and I haven't yet found a use for one that is worth the cost of owning it. However, I'd hardly say that I'm resisting technology or estranging myself from normal society, well, at least more than anyone else posting on Slashdot.
    • I don't have a phone either, and I have noticed a number of online services are starting to assume that you have one.

      I couldn't sign up for online access to my bank's services without a phone, because they want to send me an SMS verification code from time to time.

      Use popular services from google or facebook, and they will periodically nag you to enable what they call 2-factor, which again involves an SMS code. Both services fail to provide a "quit annoying me" button.

      • Yes, I have noticed that too but only for the UK. It's my UK bank which has the requirement for an SMS verification and British Airways which insisted on a mobile number for SMS texting when I bought a ticket online despite having an option for "no mobile" which just gave an error (fortunately they took my office phone number). I've not seen nagging from Google about this but I don't have a Facebook account again because I don't see any use for it that justifies the cost of having one.
        • In the UK, you don't need a mobile to receive SMS - if they're sent to a landline they'll be read out using text-to-speech (sometimes with amusing results). That said, in the UK, there's no landline plan that works out cheaper than having a mobile, so not having a mobile means either living somewhere where BT is the sole supplier for broadband and getting the landline because they refuse to unbundle their offerings, or having no phone at all.
      • Google does not require SMS for 2-factor authentication. It never has.

        1. SMS is one of the choices they give you, but it's not the only one.

        2. You can also print a paper with a list of one-time codes.

        3. Or you can buy a little piece of hardware on a keychain that will generate a different code every minute.

        4. And/or you can install an app on a phone/tablet that will generate that different code every minute (without the need of internet access)

        5. The source code for generating that code is even open source,

        • I don't have a phone or laptop that I carry with me everywhere, so that rules out *all* software solutions. I'm also unlikely to carry around a piece of paper, or buy a key fob. My gripe is that there's no permanent opt-out of the question. While I already know that there are other 2-factor options, the question is phrased primarily around adding a phone number. Which I don't have.
          • If you don't want to carry a piece of paper in your wallet, I suppose you could keep one with a friend. As to the software, I'm sure it could be run on a server as well, but accessing that bit of info from the same computer would defeat that purpose because if that computer is compromised, so is your account.

            In any case, I understand if you don't want to keep your email/youtube account secure, but if you want your bank account to be equally insecure, then you can't blame the bank when your online bank acco

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @12:40AM (#55216999) Homepage

    1) You personally not using technology is NOT resisting the spread of it. It still spreads. You can't resist the spread of technology. Even if you don't use it other people will, and this spreads it.

    2) You can use the technology while refusing the stupid abuses. For example, despite the moronic statement, in the article you can have a phone and not answer it. I would even go so far as to call people that insist on answering it fools. All cell phones have answering machines and if it is important, they text. I would even go so far as to say that slowly, over time, people that are stupid enough to answer the phone at the wrong time will get themselves killed (car accidents for example).

    3) The problem is not even the spread of technology, nor the social change that it brings. Certain technology makes certain abuses less likely and certain abuses more likely. The spread of machinery helped eliminate slavery (by reducing the need for low skilled work). The spread of the internet made cyber-bullying far more common. But this changes. Over time, new technology replaces the old ones and often solves the old problems (while creating new ones.) In other words, having new tech DOES solve the problems of old tech. If you resist it long enough, it goes away. Or better yet, YOU can solve the problem.

    For example, perhaps someone will find a way to make cellphones with real secrecy. Maybe it will be TOR based, who knows. But it is totally possible if enough people demand it.

    Stop crying about the problem and solve it.

    • All cell phones have answering machines

      I turned off my voicemail a few years ago. It combines the worst aspects of email and telephones: it's not instant and it's not easily searchable. If you call me and I don't answer, then it means that I'm not paying attention to my phone. The primary purpose of old answering machines was to let you know that you'd missed a call and who it was from, but I get that information far more concisely from the call log on my phone now.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I disabled voicemail on my number. I realized that the only people who ever leave messages are recruiters who didn't read the bit I wrote about not calling me during work hours. Everyone else texts or emails. All having a voicemail box does is generate spam texts asking me to call it.

    • 1) You personally not using technology is NOT resisting the spread of it. It still spreads. You can't resist the spread of technology. Even if you don't use it other people will, and this spreads it.

      It often amuses me the number of people on this site in particular that crow about how they're not on Facebook, or they have their address book not synced to Google / Apple, and therefore are somehow 'off the grid'. They never think that this information is available by other means because other people do use the systems... phone books are highly corollated between groups and if enough of your address book have smartphones and have synced their addressbook not only is your name and number and address shared

    • go so far as to say that slowly, over time, people that are stupid enough to answer the phone at the wrong time will get themselves killed

      I don't understand what you mean here. Specifically the "slowly over time" bit. It seems like every idiot on the road feels the moment they unpack their first phone they need to instagram themselves from behind the vehicle.

  • by Zombie Ryushu ( 803103 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @12:45AM (#55217007)

    I think that the question is being answered in the wrong way. The technology itself isn't bad, its resisting the bad uses.

    I and my Spouse have Android Phones. They Communicate to our Home Domain Controllers. Our Home Domain Controllers run an Application called Spectrum 2. The Spectrum 2 Server operates behind a NAT firewall, and uses an internal Account Database of registered Social Media Accounts (exccluding Facebook for security, stalking, and abuse/harrassment reasons). The Mobile devices use Spectrum 2 to translate the various proprietary libpurple compliant messages into XMPP.

    The Mobile Android devices running LineageOS on the Phones see all contacts and can communicate transparently with said media services. It stays encrypted via XMPP and the Domain Controller translates it into AIM, Yahoo, Skype, Discord, so on and so fourth.

    On an unfamiliar Wifi Network? We have IPSec for that.
    More people need to apply this approach.

    • by phayes ( 202222 )

      The Amish asked themselves similar questions generations ago - long, long before the homicidal unabomber crackpot - and can respond that it is indeed possible for individuals to resist the spread of technology -- if you are willing to change your lives to do so.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The problem is that if someone commercialized this and sold it to non-technical people, the various companies running those apps would take steps to break it. Just like they did the last time someone tried to build a commercial, multi-network chat client.

      The real problem is the unwillingness to say no. Recruiter emails me, asks for a Skype chat. I can either install Skype, make an account and chat about that job I want, or I can tell them I don't have Skype and the reasons why I don't want to install it or

  • Alfred Whitehead (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shayd2 ( 1689926 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @12:52AM (#55217035)
    It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.
  • A work phone thats on as needed to keep your well paying private sector job.
    Use a secure email service thats not your ISP.
    Find a secure VPN service that covers your entire network not just some parts of your browser.
    If you have to be on social media have a laptop just used for that work related task. Get work related social media use done without using social media for any other activity.
    Dont respond to social media unless its work related.
    Have email or what was an answering machine allow you to find
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @01:46AM (#55217161) Homepage Journal

    There's a fine line between something that's just really useful and something that you depend upon.

    The smartphone has become such an essential part of everyday life, that whenever I leave the house and forget mine, I very much notice it. But - it rarely actually stops me from doing anything. It's just an unusual feeling because it became a habit. Now habits might be hard to break, but they are not yet dependencies.

    I can imagine that teenagers who grow up without ever having lived without a smartphone depend more strongly on it. And some individuals certainly develop a dependency on the level of addiction. And yes, more and more of the world around us simply assumes that you have a smartphone. There is a lot of truth to it. But the real world is rarely as black and white as manifestos make it.

  • You can decide how to dress, what to eat.
    Maybe you can struggle to find your cloths and food of choice.
    But yes, it's up to you.
    I don't answer to phone calls if I am busy.
    My family's messages have a different alarm sound so I only pay immediate attention to them.
    I check emails on my PC a few times in a day, when I think I can be interrupted.
    People expects to be readily available all the time because they fail to filter stuff out and want you to fail as well.

  • That's the important question here. Why should we resist the spread of technology?

    Just think about it. We've been dependent of various form of technology for centuries now. The post talks about smartphones (and cellphones) but that's just the latest piece of technology. How about houses? Heating? Electricity? Refrigeration? Vaccines? Cars? Roads? Trains?

    The Unabomber basically advocated going back to the caves. Is that what we should? It's all a never-ending evolution of evermore complex technology so who o

  • Is easy. It's liberating, it's cheaper, and it's safer. You only THINK you can't go without a smartphone.

    Personal computers, on the other hand.....

  • Chapman there must really be sucking Tim Cook's cock to go this far to write a counter culture convoluted piece about Unabomber and technology dependance using one among the most uninspired, feature cloning, iPhone releases of Apple's history...

    From the article: "Once the latest iPhone is in stores, some consumers will decide they simply can’t live without it. The rest of us may eventually find that whatever our preferences, neither can we."

    What a load of bullshit. Did someone pay this guy to put iPho

  • Yes Who Cares! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oldgraybeard ( 2939809 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @04:24AM (#55217497)
    I do not have a Facebook account, Twitter account, Instagram account.
    I don't see a need or use for them. And I am a contract computer programmer. i also write XCode/Swift apple stuff.
    I create technology, but do not use much of it.
    Tech is only important if you make it so!
  • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

    If you have mastered key aspects of technology. No if you have not.

  • Of course (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:01AM (#55217555)

    There are certain tecnologies that are so compelling that it would be absurd to avoid them - the use of fire, cooking, clothes, knives etc, but the mobile phone doesn't even come close. I think the people who keep coming up with this sort of hype, have something they want to sell, and I have no confidence in what they have to tell us.

    • I think the people who keep coming up with this sort of hype, have something they want to sell

      And yet none of those technologies you listed are remotely related social interaction, you know, the topic of TFS.

      Context matters.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:05AM (#55217561)
    When you go in real life and tell someone that they are gay twats for liking Windows 10 the amusement ends rather quickly
  • All in moderation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KozmoStevnNaut ( 630146 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nvetskirneh}> on Monday September 18, 2017 @05:21AM (#55217603)

    You can use technology without letting it control you. Exercise moderation, don't get sucked into BS social media timewasters, don't join the race to have the newest, fanciest toy. A 2 year old phone is still perfectly capable of doing all the things you need it to do, such as calls, messaging, basic navigation, using a taxi app and so on.

  • I get along just fine without a Phone. I can see myself going without a Phone for at least 5-10 more years. What is gradually creeping up on me is USB powered devices. Soon I'll be required to change a Power Outlet to one that includes an outlet for USB -- or get an adapter.

    As the time-line progresses, eventually we will all be forced to adapt to the Tech.

  • by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:49AM (#55217777)

    This is my longish anecdote about Whatsapp.

    I have a 6 year old Android phone. Due to a period on a tight budget (self-employed), I did not upgrade the device to the newest and shiniest. It still does all the things I want (even web browsing and e-mail), so I figured no need. Then I locked the screen with a PIN that I memorized incorrectly. Did a factory reset to clear that.

    While I kept the software fairly up to date before the reset, the OS was not updated. After the reset, all those incremental updates were not available any more and I could not even access the Google Play store. I could get some apps from F-Droid or APKs directly from the developers (I have simple needs).

    So this year I entered the employee market again, an lo and behold, already 2 clients wanted to add my number to their special project Whatsapp group. On a device and connectivity that I pay for out of my own pocket, that I have no contractual obligation to possess or to provide the number for to them. So imagine the looks and snide remarks I got when telling them: I don't want to install Whatsapp, and even if I wanted to, I am unable to install it on my device.

    To reiterate some problems I have with this application:
    * Owned by Facebook
    * Uploads address book to their servers to do whatever with
    * Users (and their contacts) being commoditized
    * Closed garden ecosystem
    * What if I prefer Telegram/Yabber/xxx? No interoperability
    * No separation between social, work, and other domains

    So far, quite happy to steer away from this particular "technology" and similar, even at the cost of some head-bumping with employers.

  • Humans have been advancing "technology" for more than 2 million years now (starting with toolmakers of the stone age), and they're still at it.

    So unless someone wants to live naked somewhere in the amazon jungle on a diet of picked berries, dug up roots and some insects; No, one can't "resist the spread of technology".

    And if "technology" only refers to recent developments:
    Who is to say, that a specific state of technological development is "best", and according to which criteria?

    But sure, someone can avoid

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @06:58AM (#55217795)

    From the linked column, claiming that Kaczynski was right because:
    "He cites the automobile, which offered every person the freedom to travel farther and faster than before. But as cars became more numerous, they became a necessity, requiring great expense, bigger roads and more regulations. Cities were designed for the convenience of drivers, not pedestrians. For most people, driving is no longer optional."

    Like every other technology, the automobile caught on as it became apparent that it was not just slightly better than the old way of doing things, but much better (The "Peter Drucker principle"). This is the lock-in claimed by the column, rather than some magic power that tech has to enslave us.

    Suppose that when the automobile was introduced we had made a conscious decision as a society to reject it? We might then have developed railroading to some Japan-like ultimate limit, with every American living in high-rise apartments in cities of 40 million, and nothing in the countryside but large-scale farming and mass train travel to National Parks. Kaczynski would have complained just as much about having to live in a "regimented" society of this kind, "where we never have intimate contact with nature."

    At any given time we live the way we want to live, given the tools available.

  • He made many good and valid points. His method of dealing with them invalided his thinking in the minds of most people.

    LK

  • the real question: (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    what is normal society?

    I mean if you are trying to live like a celebrity and think that that is a normal lifestyle then sure you wont be able to live with out technology.

    If you enjoy a quiet life with a small trusted group of friends then no you don't, just like you dont need the technology to meet new people either. Most social groups have routine times in which they meet to conduct their activities as human being are quite often creatures of habit. for example: fitness classes, sporting events, lectures,

  • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @10:12AM (#55218519)
    I used to live in a small town in my state. I moved to the largest metro area over 20 years ago. I had a friend in my hometown that I have completely lost touch with him because he doesn't have any phone at all. I would be shocked if he had a cell phone. He is the cheapest person I've ever seen in my life. He had a good job that paid him well in the local community, but he just refused to pay monthly charges for a phone so he never had one. He had no internet either. I used to send him email, but his work got picky about employees sending and receiving personal email, so that option went away. My only way to contact him became to visit him whenever I was in town and hope he was home, but the last time I tried that he wasn't home and it just became more hassle than it was worth as he didn't live particularly close to my relatives. I would guess maybe I last saw him 17 years ago. If his mother needed to talk to him she either had to call him at work or call his apartment complex's business office and ask them to send somebody down to his apartment and bring him to their phone so she could talk to him. It was a small complex, so amazingly they were willing to do it. All he did was live like a miser and save every extra dime he got. He never married and has no kids so I guess when he dies some distant cousin is going to inherit his money. He probably can never get a date if he even wanted to. Can you imagine telling a woman that you don't have any phone or personal email at all because you're too cheap to pay for it? Yeah, that's going to go over well. The town he lives in isn't that small where he can do that and get away with it.
  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday September 18, 2017 @10:28AM (#55218641)

    Just set your phone to "vibrate" or "silent" and only accept calls when you like. If it is important, people will text or leave a message. From my experience, this does cause no problems. And if you want some hours of complete peace, leave your phone at home.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

Working...