Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ever More Signs of the Singularity!

There are some theoretical papers pondering what a "fifth generation" cellphone would properly consist of, but there are none that actually exist. Nevertheless, the salesmen forever peddling "The Future" to the bored and the scared for their joyless consumption in the present at the cost of ever more proximate planetary devastation can always be counted upon to evacuate any designation of even modest technical utility in their hunger for short-term profit-taking (whether on tee vees or in think-tanks), their fraudulent sales pitches taking on the cadences of evangelicals fleecing a flock in the name of white-racist muscular money-grubbing baby Jesus: And already they are fluffing the wizened white cock of our technodevelopmental stasis quo with hysterical promises of 5G, 6G, 7G, infiniG phones just over the crapitalist horizon. Does the "g" stand now for grift? for gullible? for garbage? for gr-e-e-e-a-at?


jimf said...

> Ever More Signs of the Singularity!

It must all be true after all. It made the cover
of _Time_ magazine last week.,8599,2048138,00.html

It's an astonishingly uncritical article -- there's none
of _Time_'s usual wink-wink-nudge-nudge-isn't-all-this-silly
cynicism. _Time_ must be going soft.

jollyspaniard said...

I'm wishing I had one of those boring old 1st generation boring, lightweight, reliable and nearly indestructable Nokias right about now. My second Smartish phone has just croaked. it weighed quite a bit and was loaded with features that I never used and didn't want. The ability to mute my phone by accidentaly touching the screen with my ear wasnt especialy unwelcome although I do appreciate some very high technology went into that worse than useless feature. Apparently the designers in their technical genius didn't realise that someone might actually hold a phone to their ear when making a phone call. If smartphone development is a sign of the singularity then it would entail death by feature creep.

I do notice that after an initial 6 months gushing over smartphones functionality everybody goes back to using it strictly for phone calls and texting with the ocassional photo snapped. The biggest development has been the improvement in photo quality over the past ten years.

jimf said...

jollyspaniard wrote:

> I do notice that after an initial 6 months gushing over smartphones
> functionality everybody goes back to using it strictly for phone calls

What, you mean you're not zooming out to buy a Motorola Xoom?

I would actually be interested in one of these if you didn't
have to buy a Verizon phone contract in order to use the WiFi
on the thing.

I was thinking of using it to control my stereo system from bed
(via a remote desktop app letting me operate a Windows PC running
Foobar 2000).

But I'm certainly not going to pay Verizon for the

jollyspaniard said...

It sounds interesting but I don't want to be an early adopter. If you have the patience to wait a year or two you get better gear at much lower prices. And often you find that after the initial hype disappears so does your desire for the gadget.