1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The T.C. Revolution

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Jun 24, 2009.

    I was perusing the threads today and came across a post that placed the viewing of what is to me a completely modern, full of snazola special effects, movie within someone’s early childhood.

    Wowzers.

    My question is this: For those of you who have never known a time before the internet, talk to me about what that is like. I ask you honestly and with no condescension.

    For me, the internet is still very much a recent advent. I still remember quite well the first internet page to which I connected when I was already an adult. I remember well my very first home computer which was one of the very first mass produced home computers in the early 80’s, an Atari 800. It had 48k of memory. Kilobytes! Not Megs, not Gigs, K's! And at the time of owning that computer, the internet was still very much science fiction.

    The laptop I am using right now kicks the crap out of the computers I was using in a rather sensitive and “secure” job within the USAF during the 80’s and 90’s.

    I am still given pause in the mornings when I pop into the forum and have a chat with Rob from the midlands of the U.S.A and Neha from the Indian subcontinent at the very same time as I sit in my family room here in Puerto Rico.

    When I take my Ipod out and about with me and I am writing notes to my story on it as I am waiting in the doctor’s office, I can’t help but think to myself that Capt. Kirk didn’t never have anything even half as awesome as this little device.

    These things still amaze me.

    I was born well before the telecommunications revolution.

    For those of you born after, what is your take, your opinion, on these thoughts?
     
  2. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    For me, I feel like I couldn't really imagine my life going in the same direction as it has in any respect if I didn't have the ability to reach out and speak to someone in any country in the world. I guess I'm a little bit like this: [​IMG]

    If I was suddenly denied the use of t'internet, I'd probably go a little bit mad.

    Or get a life. :D
     
  3. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, it's two-sided for me.

    I love to learn about people, and I also am always amazed by the novelty of chatting with Wrey from Puerto Rico, Xeno and Ashleigh from the UK, Neha from India... I've never physically left the continental USA, yet I have friends from other continents and can delve into other cultures and learn more about other people than I'd ever be able to. I especially like that because my own town is very "Stepford Wives"-esque.

    Also, Web sites such as this forum and Facebook allow me to keep in touch with a massive amount of friends that I would never be able to keep in touch with in real life --not when John is at Dartmouth and Brynn is in Texas and so on. I still consider those two very good friends. Not because I call them every day, but because I feel I can still be a part of their lives via the Internet. I can see what they see and understand who they speak to, etc. It doesnt matter that someone is miles away; it's still life, and it's nice to be able to touch it like that.

    Aside from the social benefits, the Internet is a wealth of information and the phrase "Just Google it" is not uncommon in this century. We have so much information at our fingertips when previously you might have to purchase a book or at least visit the library to answer your question. Here, if I have a question at three in the morning about something, I can find it in less than five seconds. The Internet provides so many new features to our lives that I personally cant imagine living without.

    At the same time, I wish I had been born before the Internet age.
    Now that we have so much at our fingertips, I think that people sometimes forget just how beautiful 'real life' actually is. For instance, has anyone ever wondered why I spend so much time here? It's because I'm an only child and have always lived on my own. My mother and my father both spend a lot of time on the computer for their jobs, and then they come home and get on Internet poker (you have no idea how depressing it is to take backseat to online poker) or their own Facebooks --sometimes to check my page to see what's up, when they could ask me in person; I'm just a few feet away.

    While the Internet provides us with so many opportunities, I think a lot of people have forgotten how human they actually are what they still physically need. People text when they could dial the number and cut off the sound of voice. People IM when they could walk across the street and talk in person. People use Facebook instead of meeting up to hang out.

    If I had to choose though, I would much prefer to live without the Internet than with it. I miss hanging out in person with my friends; what used to be every day is now once or twice a week --that's partially my fault and partially theirs. I miss having family... The Internet is a great tool for communication, but more and more people are making it the only tool these days, and that makes me very, very sad.
     
  4. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wreybies: It's probably like being asked how you feel about the telephone or TV. You don't know, really. It's just there and you use it. Well, you use it all the time, too much of the time actually, and parents try to get you to turn it off and not spend so much time on it.
     
  5. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Weird, I was just thinking the other day at how quickly the usage of computers has become ingrained into the conscience of the modern generation. We don't question it, it just is. I don't know of a world without it (save for when I was very, very young Haha) and I can't imagine a world as such in the future. It is incredible how far such new technology has really progressed.
     
  6. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    Wrey I'm intrigued as to just how old you are. In pics, you don't look too much older than myself....

    I remember a time without internet, but I was probably still to young to have used it if it was around. Although, looking at the age of my little sister, I wonder about that...

    I also remember looking at microfiche film in the local library. This was probably due more to the fact that it was a funds-lacking small town library than technology not being available. That being said, I'm glad we still don't use that method to search for things.

    I was never around for the whole party line thing with telephone lines. But whilst the telephone was an "always there" kind of thing for me, I always wondered at its effectiveness and how amazing it is.

    I am also starting to see how and why the older generation don't like learning to use computers. I am an avid gamer and find myself rejecting a lot of new games because I just don't want to have to learn a whole new system of controls. Lazy and weird, I know, but hey!
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm 39. :cool:
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When I first started college, portable electronic calculators had not yet been invented. I used a slide rule in my engineering courses.

    Internet? Google? This was before the days of archie (the search tool - at least the comic existed).

    A couple years in, we did get an IBM Selectric terminal for the fraternity house so we could connect to the mainframes on campus. It used an acoustic coupler modem. No one was allowed to use it after 2 AM because it was too noisy. The guys in the adjacent rooms couldn't sleep when someone was using it.
     
  9. A2theDre
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    A2theDre Active Member

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    Ha! I would've said no more than 30.

    Note to self: don't get a job where I serve alcohol!
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I remember in the early seventies when the cool kids turned up with 'pocket calculators'. They certainly didn't fit in the pocket. I yearned for them...

    In my first job as a market researcher we had a 'computer room'--right down in the basement, these little green screens with yellow text blipping across, linked to a central computer the size of another room. Memories, memories.

    Kids, IT IS SO GREAT NOW. As I'm sure you all know. When I was younger, I would have loved to have had the resources available now. Only I'm not sure my research skills etc would have been so good... but that's just speculation, really.

    Viva the 21st century!
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed, but the old ways did teach at least one thing often ignored in the days of Goohle and Wikipedia. You learned to be persistent, and collect research from multiple sources. You learned to accumulate and refine keyword lists when you were manually scanning various indexes.

    Your first few searches always returned fragmentary data, and you inevitably found contradictions as you collected the full picture, so you had to perform more research to resolve the discrepancies.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the new information access. But sometimes when it comes too easily, people don't appreciate it properly, and don't evaluate information critically.

    If anything, the new information age makes quality research like trying to take a sip of water from a firehose.
     
  12. Télor Kenzie
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    Télor Kenzie New Member

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    When I was 12, I attended "the first public 9th-12th grade school to be both fully online and WASC accredited."

    If you care to visit, this is the link: http://www.choice2000.org/about.htm

    But I can remember the internet first coming out, and being slow as hell and sometimes useless, as far as information is concerned. We had Prodigy.

    I'm trying to figure out when exactly the internet became such a huge part of my everyday life. I don't know. Sneaky internetz.
     
  13. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is why they invented programs like EBSCOHost. It's a lot like doing research in the professional journals and newspapers before computers, and just as reliable, but much bigger than any one library could ever have.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry, but it really is not much like research "back in the day". We didn't have instant access and centralized comprehensive indexes. You had to go through card catalogues for likely candidates, and priotitize as you went along. Then you'd search the shelves for the books and periodicals referenced. You'd also look through various reference volumes in your field of interest, for more clues. One of my go-to references was Beilstein's Handbuch der Organischen Chemie, a massive multi-shelf compendium of organic chemistry data, entirely in German. No "translate this page" available, either.

    You HAD to become adept at pre-screening your references, and then accept that some of the best ones were checked out or otherwise unavailable. You were always working against a deadline, so you had to make do with whatever you could find, and extract the maximum value from each source.

    I've researched both the old and the new way in academic and work settings. I don't want to go back to the old ways, but I did learn a lot more about digging for the truth from the pre-information age methods.

    The new tools are clearly superior. But sometimes good tools breed habits that are not as good.
     
  15. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I enjoyed reading your whole, thoughtful post (the whole thread is really interesting!).
     
  16. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    I probably never knew what it was like to not have the internet or the computers, technology, my father has built computers and been involved with them probably for 30 years, so 10 years before I was even born he was tinkering. Computers and technology is all I really know. However, my mother is a kind of person who has 5 different dictionaries and I grew up loving the encyclopedia. I think the internet is a great thing, I love my laptop often using it while watching movies (love movies too...hmmm), i love carrying it around and I love the way my fingers feel when I type (yes that sounds weird. But I am a very odd girl. ) but I also LOVE the smell of a new book and how it feels on your fingers, I love looking things up and being able to randomly shout out information. I love the look of Barnes N Noble and being in the store just sitting there looking at all the hundreds of books.

    the internet makes the social life easier, since I have a lot of friends in different states, but seeing them in person - there is no substitution- you cant get the same feeling on the internet as a real person hugging you making you feel safe. I think when the technology we advanced to is used properly it is such an amazing gift and discovery. But it saddens me that our other gifts are being lost.
     
  17. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    EBSCOHost may be different in some respects, but it still is the same as the part I quoted. You need to develop a list of key words to help you find the RIGHT articles, and it allows you to use a variety of sources, and points you to further reading. Every single prof I know, including the ones who feel the same way as you do about changing research habits, love EBSCOHost. It may be computerized, but you still have to sort through a lot and prioritize. Unlike other internet tools, it improved my research skills.
     

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