1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Changes for the better in modern life

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jannert, Apr 18, 2014.

    Just thinking about my life now, comparing it to what it 'was' in my youth. And realising that, while so much good stuff has been lost or changed for the worse, there are some things which have certainly changed for the better.

    Of course everything has it's up-side and down side, but here are a few things which are mostly up-side, at least for me. What about you?

    1) smoking ban in public places.
    I know some smokers aren't happy about this, but as a lifelong non-smoker, it's absolute HEAVEN to be able to go to a pub, restaurant, ride a bus or train, etc, and not be constantly dodging smoke (and suffering sinus headaches.) I NEVER in a million years thought this would happen. For so much of my growing-up period, non-smokers were the pariahs in the pack, and our feelings were ignored. But, as one person so bluntly put it: Breathing is natural, smoking is not.

    2) ibuprofen
    After years and years of aspirin being the only over-the-counter painkiller available, suddenly ...this! Goodbye to debilitating period pain, goodbye to days at school and work lost to it. Hello life. What a breakthrough!

    3) the food processor
    Okay, so everything it does CAN be done by hand. But what a lovely gadget. Makes so many cooking tasks a skoosh.

    4) the word processor
    Replacing the typewriter, with its clunky workings, its horrible error-corrections, the fact that you can't copy and paste??? A no-brainer. Revolutionised how I write.

    5) email
    Great way to keep in touch with people in far-flung places. In many ways, better than a phone call, because the recipient can decide when to pick up, and when to reply. And if you're asking a favour, they'll have time to think about a negative response, rather than being put on the spot.

    6) sunscreen
    Didn't exist when I was young, so we just got burnt if we went out in the sun for any length of time.

    I'd also add 'the internet' because I enjoy it. However, I think it's brought as many bad things to our lives as it has good ones, so I'm neutral about it, overall.

    A LATE EDIT
    7) huge progress made on gay rights and related issues
    Still not a perfect world, but a sea-change in attitude and acceptance since I was young
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me, the internet is the most significant improvement. I'm used to the fact that every technology has its abuses, it's the same with anything humans use, but the wealth of knowledge and awareness, the radical shift in the collective unconscious, the sudden connection between worlds and the extraordinary exchange of information, our world has just evolved, in my opinion, and that leaves me humbled and grateful.

    Also, mp3s and the whole new way of storing music and listening on different devices, basically the whole computer revolution Apple initiated, has enormously simplified everything.

    I am a firm believer in those lies they told us in primary school circa 1984 (ah, the irony), about robots doing everything when we grow up, so we can have a short working day and spend the rest chasing butterflies in the fields with our kids, indulging in hobbies, exercise, theatre, socialising etc. I still believe that we were robbed by the greedy elite, and instead of enjoying the fruits of the labour of generations before us, are forced into working all the time so that we generate never-ending profits for them. I believe the internet is the step in the direction for us as a society to reclaim our future.

    And stem cell research and application. Combined with improvements in brain-technology interface and information storage, immortality is within our grasp. Imagine our species if suddenly the anxiety of death was removed. How would our consciousness change.
     
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  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    @jazzabel - Yeah you've pointed out my main objection to many forms of new technology. It's not the technology that's the problem, it's who owns and profits from it. We get that settled in favour of the user/little guy, and my objections will vanish.
     
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  4. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'd like to add cell phones, especially smartphones, and the way it helps me stay connected with people (as long as you've got battery). Just yesterday I tried a new route to the horse stables and after I jumped off the bus, I realized I actually had no idea where I was even though I thought I would've been able to find my way there. Instead of wandering aimlessly or trying to find someone from whom I could ask directions (seriously, you can be pretty much in the center of the capital city of my home country and there's no one in sight!), I just used my phone to show me the route (I guess I should add here, GPS and satellites are awesome too). Saved a lot of time too cos I was in a hurry anyway.

    It also allows T and I to text and call each other as much as we want, which is a lot (and I don't know why this annoys people. It's almost as if couples weren't supposed to do that. Cool couples don't care where their partner's at and what they're doing etc), and I don't have to carry unwieldy books with me anymore cos I can read e-books when waiting for a bus etc. (again, people complaining how the young don't read anymore, only stare at their cellphones. Oh yeah?).

    Also, when you really don't want to talk to people or deal with hippies who want to tell you about Greenpeace (thanks, I've already subscribed), just call someone or pretend to call someone. Yeah, I know, people who chat with a distant friend in public is irritating unlike people who chat with the friend who's there despite twice the volume.

    Or like when it's really dark over here for the most part of the year: Hmm I wish I had a flashlight... Oh yeah, my phone. I wish I had brought my mp3 player... Hang on, I have my phone. Goddamnit, what was the name of that restaurant.. Oh lemme just google it. Shit I forgot to buy a train ticket and now there's no time... Oh right, mobile tickets! The list goes on.

    What can I say, I love cell phones. And no, it doesn't make me always available. If I don't want to be available, I mute it, don't answer the call, or respond to the text.

    ETA: I did remember one downside: the text message autocorrect. I use it 'cause most of the time it's helpful for my dexterity-lacking sausage fingers, but at times, I swear, my phone is messing with me on purpose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Better medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

    Being 50 years old today is nothing like it was 50 years ago.
     
  6. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    I started working in a bar just before the new laws came into place. For bar staff, the difference was unbelievable. I can't believe people were allowed to work in those conditions for years and years.


    Have to agree with this too. :) The internet has revolutionised they way we communicate but it has its curses too. Too much of it is BAD for your health I reckon
     
  7. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    Digital cameras. No more being having to be very selective when taking photos and then weighting for ages for them to be developed or finding you've loaded the film badly and it hasn't wound on at all.
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Besides the obvious like smartphones, internet, etc., I'd like to add things that came about as a result of these technologies, i.e., independent journalism, better healthcare policies in a lot of countries, and a general awareness of the injustices happening in the world (human trafficking, child marriages, etc.).
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    being 75's a bit different, too, niƱito!
     
  10. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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  11. MLM
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    MLM Banned for trolling

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    You can order pizza online.
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Pizza, period.

    I remember when pizza didn't exist. Yep. I remember when it 'came' to my home town. A revelation! A new food. A pizzeria. A rival to the burger joints of my teenagerhood.

    Mind you, those pre-McDonald's burgers were damn good, too!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  13. Snoopingaround
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    Snoopingaround Banned

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    I think the world as it is currently, or America more specifically, is a downgraded version from the 1980's. Even though I was not much more than a toddler when the 80's ended, I feel like it was the most awesomest decade ever, and America needs to go back to that. The hair, the fashion, the music, the mood, the way it was, better than today. There were more mom and pops back then, better movies, and higher crime rates made life more interesting, and peoples' attitudes were generally nicer and more polite, there was more face-to-face interaction. America at it's height, was probably the 1980's.
     
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  14. HelloThere
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    HelloThere Contributing Member

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    Fifty years time, I can see it already: "Back in my day we didn't have any of your virtual reality television! And we only spent FOUR hours a day in front of screens, don't look at me like I'm some sort of caveman, it's how we lived back then. Music as well! That's all changed, we used to log onto itunes, with our little plastic itunes vouchers, spend our 7.99 to download an album - look at him! He doesn't even know what a download is! No, all you have to do is stream your favourite singles off of Spotify, I remember when Spotify was brand new and exciting. All those young girls as well, back in my youth girls had to wear skirts that came down to the tops of their thighs! None of this walking around in underwear, everything's over-sexualised nowadays... No... Things were simpler back then... they were better times."
     
  15. Aled James Taylor
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    Aled James Taylor Contributing Member Contributor

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    Late night shopping.
     
  16. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Automatic teller machines. And online banking. The ability to handle all my banking transactions and pay all my bills pretty much 24/7 is very convenient for me.

    Internet, of course. I think I'd be dead without it. It allowed me to contact people sympathetic with my sexuality when I wasn't getting that at home. It brought my roomie and me together. It saved my life.

    Smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Watches that don't need winding and have quartz-crystal precision. Programmable calculators (hey, I'm an engineer!). Amazon and Ebay - I can buy tons of books and movies that are rare or out of print that my local stores don't carry.

    Microbreweries. We actually have ready access to a variety of beers with distinctive flavors! We're not just limited to Budweiser and Coors anymore.

    Printer/scanner/copier/fax machines. They're cheap and full-color these days. I have one on the corner of my desk, and I used to have to jump through hoops to do these things! And it was so cheap, my roomie went and bought one of his own, so we have two of them in the house and they're both on our home network. I can print anything I want on either of them with a click of the mouse. To think I used to have to go to Kinkos...

    Scrivener.

    Multi-tasking operating systems.

    Relatively cheap, big, high-def flat-screen TVs. Remember CRTs? Remember when, if you wanted a bigger screen, it had to be way longer, too, and it wouldn't fit on the table any more?

    DirecTV.

    Non-incandescent, long-life, low-energy light bulbs.

    I'll think of more, I'm sure.
     
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