| Mayayana: You go ahead and stockpile your incandescent bulbs. Then,
| when you buy your first LED bulb, you'll be upset that you invested all
| that money buying incandescent bulbs when you could have used that money
| to buy LED bulbs instead.
| I remember when I was a kid watching so many science fiction shows like
| "1984" that predicted the future would be miserable place to live; with
| computers running our daily lives and effectively making people slaves
| of machines.....
| If anything, the future seems to be one
| in which it's far easier to live in than predicted.
It's a bit of a jump to imply I'm a Luddite for liking
incandescent bulbs and not being the first on my
block to install LEDs. :)
There is something to be said for fears of the future. To a
great extent we are now slaves to our machines. (Though
1984, as many may know, was meant to indicate 1948. It
was a commentary on the mild fascism developing in England
after WW2, not fear of technology.)
These days, setting aside political issues like corporatism,
and only looking at machines, I think it's reasonable to view it
as a mixed blessing. Many people are addicted to constant
entertainment due to wonderful machines like video game
players and smartphones. And many people now do jobs that
require them to be machines. Computerization ended up doing
that. Computers don't fit well into most business scenarios
unless the workers also act like computers. And have you
noticed that something you buy at Home Depot is often
discontinued the next time you want to buy the same thing?
It's a mechanized, computer-driven business. The stock order
is computerized, calculated for maximum profit.
There was an interesting book by one Juliett Schoor at
Harvard, some years ago. I think it was called Overworked
America. She pointed out that only one modern appliance,
the microwave oven, had reduced work time. The clothes
washer, for example, saved time on laundry, but people
then just ended up washing their clothes far more often.
There had been a utopian fantasy about how we'd all only
need to work 3-day weeks by the 60s or 70s. Instead we
work more than ever. No one counted on two important
* The unequal distribution of the benefits provided by
* The existential anxiety caused by lack of purpose. Most
people can't handle having a schedule free of work. Work
And of course, there's the question of what easy living
really means. It's nice to have vaccines and novacaine
from the dentist, but making minimal effort in life is not
necessarily a source of happiness. (Whatever that is. :)