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So, Once Again...

AgentPete

Capo Famiglia
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So once again, I find myself having to apologise to Litopians for service outages over the past 24 hours. And – once again – the cause and eventual resolution were entirely outside of our control.

From where I sit, technology seems to becoming more complex, yet less resilient, that it used to be. (And I don’t just think that’s the jaundiced view of a frustrated server owner… although it could be.)

It's set me wondering about the current state of technology… and where it might be taking us.

On last weeks Pop-Ups, one of the submissions set me speculating out loud about this. We've all been conditioned to our new reality... that the only constant in tech is inexorable change. "Move fast and break things!" Zuckerberg exhorted his minions. And they did.

But what if this were only a transitory phase? A moment of chaotic transformation before the stasis sets in? I speculated about this on the show. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to have a guided tour of the British Museum's Chinese ceramics department. The curator showed us a couple of fine bowls that looked exactly identical. Except, he told us, they were made hundreds of years apart. The technology had evolved to the state where it did not need to evolve any further. Creativity was no longer required or indeed encouraged. It had reached its zenith.

Anyway, lots to speculate on there… and sorry again for the downtime!
 

Vagabond Heart

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So once again, I find myself having to apologise to Litopians for service outages over the past 24 hours. And – once again – the cause and eventual resolution were entirely outside of our control.

From where I sit, technology seems to becoming more complex, yet less resilient, that it used to be. (And I don’t just think that’s the jaundiced view of a frustrated server owner… although it could be.)

It's set me wondering about the current state of technology… and where it might be taking us.

On last weeks Pop-Ups, one of the submissions set me speculating out loud about this. We've all been conditioned to our new reality... that the only constant in tech is inexorable change. "Move fast and break things!" Zuckerberg exhorted his minions. And they did.

But what if this were only a transitory phase? A moment of chaotic transformation before the stasis sets in? I speculated about this on the show. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to have a guided tour of the British Museum's Chinese ceramics department. The curator showed us a couple of fine bowls that looked exactly identical. Except, he told us, they were made hundreds of years apart. The technology had evolved to the state where it did not need to evolve any further. Creativity was no longer required or indeed encouraged. It had reached its zenith.

Anyway, lots to speculate on there… and sorry again for the downtime!
I'd like to think of myself as having evolved to the state where I did not need to evolve any further, but I'd be wrong. So wrong.
 

Katie-Ellen

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Have often thought about this with ceramics, tiles, jewellery, all kinds of fine art and applied art. So wonderful thousands of years ago, you couldn't beat them even now. Despite new metal and paint technologies. Not in any way, artistic or technical.
Progress really is not linear.
 

Steve C

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ceramics etc is an artform. The internet and technology is mostly about hardware. The idea of the internet has been around for ages but has needed new technology to allow it to happen. I don't think we have even dipped our toe in the water as far as where technological advances may lead us. The more interesting question is do we want to go there and why? With the advent of AI we may have no choice in the matter.
 

SarahC

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I'm pretty sure we exceeded the elastic limit for useful invention quite some time ago. Progress doesn't have to be linear. I always think about NASA trying to invent a pen where the inkflow wasn't affected by zero gravity when the pencil was there all along. I'm pretty sure we can't invent or consume our way out of the impending ecological disaster - almost certainly we will have to go back to go forward. Better to dust off those old bicycles than pray that science invents some magical automobile made from plastic ocean waste and ran off the fumes of fading hope. :oops:
 

AgentPete

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Better to dust off those old bicycles than pray that science invents some magical automobile made from plastic ocean waste and ran off the fumes of fading hope. :oops:
That’s a bit pessimistic, but I can’t disagree.

I’m wondering where it all took a wrong turn… years ago (and I mean, years…) even before the WWW was invented, I joined the first online community, The Well. It was a moment of boundless optimism. People could connect, virtually, from all over the globe. Access to tools (recall the advent of desktop publishing?) only seemed to confer benefits of empowerment and democratization. What went wrong…?
 

KateESal

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I’m wondering where it all took a wrong turn… years ago (and I mean, years…) even before the WWW was invented, I joined the first online community, The Well. It was a moment of boundless optimism. People could connect, virtually, from all over the globe. Access to tools (recall the advent of desktop publishing?) only seemed to confer benefits of empowerment and democratization. What went wrong…?
Everyone else joined in. And a fair number of them started working out the different ways they could make money out of it.
 

Hannah F

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When the Chinese first invented gun powder, they were trying to create an elixir, a giver or eternal life . . . didn't quite work out that way. The trouble with inventions is the humans who misuse them. Perhaps when AI surpass our control, they will evolve better inbuilt morals.
 

AgentPete

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When the Chinese first invented gun powder, they were trying to create an elixir, a giver or eternal life . . . didn't quite work out that way. The trouble with inventions is the humans who misuse them. Perhaps when AI surpass our control, they will evolve better inbuilt morals.
Some people are becoming very concerned about this possibility. I suspect that, for most of us, it still seems in the far-off realm of si-fi… But autonomous killing drones are already here, now. The future has snuck up on us, and we didn’t get to choose whether we wanted it or not.
 
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