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Modern Tech Versus the Past

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the bring-back-gladiators dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 219

CNETNate writes "Most of us assume modern life is the peak of human achievement, but is it really? CNET decided to take a look at the major technologies of the modern world and compare them to their closest equivalent of pre-digital mankind — Facebook vs. dinner parties, World of Warcraft vs. actual war craft, iPhones vs. hills on fire — and the results are surprising. And slightly dumb, so laugh."

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not always quite so (5, Funny)

PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204574)

As you can see, ancient life beats modern life in all respects. Modern life doesn't even come close, scoring a rather embarrassing nought out of ten.

I would have to disagree. Sure you can pick a few things which outcome is that, but you really have to look at the larger picture.

As an example, if you think about the medieval era and how you moved around, there we're basically two options:
1) by horse
2) by walking

This meant that every business had to own a horse and feed it to move around. For a real world example, it also created problems for pizzeria's home delivery, because the horse would eat the pizza.

But one must also note that some things actually were better on older times. When you ordered a pizza, you knew it would be baked for you with love and it would be delicious to eat. Now someone justs sends me a pizza gift on Facebook. Thanks for the mockery, I say.

Basically what I am saying is that technology makes things less personal. The same way that salad is shit compared to Pizza Hut's delicious pan pizza, e-card is shit compared to a real postcard because it just doesn't have the same feeling.

Re:not always quite so (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204938)

Basically what I am saying is that technology makes things less personal. ...it just doesn't have the same feeling.

I think you just summarized every analysis in TFA. "The old stuff is better 'cuz it has an old-timey feel to it." Personally, I appreciate being able to communicate half-way across the country w/o having to run to the telegraph station and blow a half-day's pay even if it's less personal. I like that Swine Flu is less deadly than the Plague, even if that's not as scary. I like that I can re-spawn after dying in some game rather than getting my head lopped off in battle, even if it's less manly.

But that's just me... Now, I'm off to take a leak in the street because that's more neighborly than "modern" sanitation.

Re:not always quite so (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205300)

Let the older times be in the past. People don't realize how smelly and unsanitary streets were when horses and carriages were the mainstay of transportation. There was no fire, police, or EMS. If you came down with something, hopefully your immune system could take care of it, because there was no penicillin or other medicines to clear up even the basic infections. Most of America at that time was living in hovels or tenements and barely making a sustainable living. Any police protection were for the businesses like banks. If you were an individual, you packed heat or you were dead.

Even those smelly, slow diesel cars that foreign automakers want to push on the US again (anyone above 20 remembers the Mercedes turbo diesels that people ended up passing on the wrong side of the road or breakdown lanes due to their sulphur belching stench and multi minute 0-60 times.) are far better than what horses were like in cities. Horses needed fed, they had to be rested, they were often stolen, turned streets slick with manure if the weather was wet at all.

Going further back, war in the Middle Ages sucked. There were no medics back then, so if you got a good nick, you ended up dying of blood loss right there, or an infection before a week.

As for the plague, people don't realize that it was the massive die-off due to the plague that got Europe out of the groaning slavery it was in for almost a millennium. The loose systems of dukedoms that used to have peasants to spare now actually had to seek people out, and forced warring mini-kingdoms to band together. Fields which had to be used to provide the bare necessities for an overpopulated Europe could be used for things like olives, grapes, hops, and niceties.

Yes, modern life is boring, but compared to how life was before refrigeration, basic sanitation, running water, clothes washers, literacy, fire/police/EMS presence, modern medicine, I'll take it over any time in the past.

Re:not always quite so (3, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205042)

As an example, if you think about the medieval era and how you moved around, there we're basically two options:
1) by horse


Not only that, but if you were pulling a wagon and heading toward Oregon, you were likely to be killed by a bout of dysentery.

Re:not always quite so (1)

boredsenseless (1246818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205192)

Dysentery, cholera, starvation, broken wagon wheels, or getting stuck halfway while fording a supposedly "shallow" river. Man, that game was tough.

Re:not always quite so (1)

Neofluffybunny (1647855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205436)

I say we put this to the test! I will take one Captains Hat and 12 Grandfather clocks! ADVENTURE! (Neofluffybunny has caught Dysentery, and died.)

Re:not always quite so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205674)

LOLOLOLOLOL Awe man - this brought back memories of when I worked in LearningSmith. I actually had to try to sell Oregon Trail to folks. Too funny - thanks for the laugh!

Re:not always quite so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205748)

Or being bitten by a snake while fording the river and trying to shoot more buffalo so that you could spend all your money on wagon resupplies.

No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for guns. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204664)

Sorry. We geeks playing World of Warcraft would not be engaged in killing each other if not for the game. WoW is the low tech equivalent of jumping out from behind a rock with a stick and shouting "bang bang!". And the WoW forums are the equivalent of "I shot you your dead! Am not!" arguments.

Age is the way to go (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204738)

I still play Age of Empires 2, so that I know if I mystically get teleported back to medeival ages, I will be the best General the world has ever scene.

Now, how do I make real life town centers 'build' villagers?

Re:Age is the way to go (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204836)

Alcohol.

Re:Age is the way to go (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204960)

Needle and a condom section in store.

Re:Age is the way to go (1)

rainmaestro (996549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205348)

Do the cheats work in real life? With my army of archers disguised as trees and a few cow launchers, I could rule the world!

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204742)

Sorry. We geeks playing World of Warcraft would not be engaged in killing each other if not for the game.

True. I wonder how many closet murderers indulge their taste for mayhem in a virtual world but avoid it IRL simply because it's permitted in one place and punished in the other. Or, to put it more plainly, how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it.

"I once stabbed a man to watch him die. And also for 8 honor points."

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204882)

how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it.

A lot.

A paradox? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205736)

"how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it."

If two people each wanted to kill each other, and could do it without getting caught, how would that work? Wouldn't the first killer take out the other killer, thereby depriving the other killer of the murder that he could 'get away with?'

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (-1, Flamebait)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205208)

Sorry. We geeks playing World of Warcraft would not be engaged in killing each other if not for the game.

True. I wonder how many closet murderers indulge their taste for mayhem in a virtual world but avoid it IRL simply because it's permitted in one place and punished in the other. Or, to put it more plainly, how many would do it IRL if they were guaranteed they could get away with it.

"I once stabbed a man to watch him die. And also for 8 honor points."

Killing a mod point for this one (which will, in turn, kill some karma as well TEE-HEE!).

Homosexuals are guaranteed to get away with it in many parts of the USA now. Destroying the taboo certainly has caused an assplosion of gayness. At least on TV, Radio, Movies, Music, and publicly in metropolitan areas of the nation.

I would hope that the increased number of rapes, murders, and incest would not come as a surprise should one group of them become vocal enough to destroy those taboos. If so, perhaps I've put too much faith in my fellow heterosexual, non-rapist, non-murderer, non-incest committing mankind.

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204874)

I play airsoft, which I often refer to as 'FPS', much to the annoyance of all the other geeks :)

Sorry, but it is!

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205338)

We call Airsoft RLS. Real life shooter. My Cod4 clan plays regularly. It's amusing to me that some people are really good in game, and simply incapable of translating that to the real world, while others are terrible in game and unstoppable on the field.

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204906)

When I was growing up, we had *real* dirt clod fights!

We would mound up dirt a short distance from one another, and a combination of lobbing and more direct throws were done until you hit the *enemy*. At which point, if you hit them hard enough or partially blinded them with dirt in the eyes, you then grabbed a handful of dirt clods, rush your enemy's bunker, rapid firing to keep him pinned down, then while he was writhing on the ground, if you had any clods left that this point, you would finish him off and dance some horrid resemblance to a "war victory dance".

Yeah, those were good times.

Re: Bang Bang! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205410)

Beautiful setup.

They had jumping out from behind a rock with a stick and shouting "bang bang! I shot you dead!"

We have: Cher "Bang Bang"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLmlS66AA80 [youtube.com]

Re:No... WoW vs pretend warfair with sticks for gu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205494)

WoW is the low tech equivalent of jumping out from behind a rock with a stick and shouting "bang bang!".

WoW is low tech... what are you playing?

Jesus Christ! My router or ATT (-1, Offtopic)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204670)

Fuck'n! You wouldn't believe this! I typed "slashdot.org" in my address bar and Digg popped up looking like slashdot! Same lamo "articles". What next? The top 10 reasons why my toilet paper sucks?

Go ahead, bury me, there will be plenty to digg me.

Fuck the RIAA! This IS Digg, right?

Re:Jesus Christ! My router or ATT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205012)

Nickelback sucks

Poisoning people with cancer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204700)

...which is what much of modern chemotherapy amounts too will be looked back on like we look on bloodletting to keep your humors in order.

I suspect one day people will wonder how we lived in the dark ages when they actually had doctors that were trained to cut you open and physically manipulate your insides.

Re:Poisoning people with cancer... (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204872)

...which is what much of modern chemotherapy amounts too will be looked back on like we look on bloodletting to keep your humors in order.

I imagine Dr. McCoy would agree [youtube.com]

Re:Poisoning people with cancer... (4, Informative)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204958)

...which is what much of modern chemotherapy amounts too will be looked back on like we look on bloodletting to keep your humors in order.

Except for the little fact that, as much as chemo sucks and as much as it closely resembles taking just enough arsenic mixed with mercury topped with cyanide to wish you were dead, it is backed up by clinical studies and has been found to work.

Chemo: sucks but works
Leeches: suck and don't work except in special cases as temporary therapy for reattachment of fingers and toes

Re:Poisoning people with cancer... (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205654)

And the best way to get around was by putting yourself in a large metal box propelled at well over double the max speed of any land mammal by a series of small explosions created by igniting the leftovers of million-year-old dinosaur guts.

Cars are crazy shit, man.

telegraph 419.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204712)

i represent the duke of america and recently a $25,000 sum of pirate spanish gold seized off the coast has been placed in our care.....

Bad article is.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204732)

is bad. Was clearly made by some anti-tech fag who hates modern society and hopes to revert to a simpler time.

PS. I did not laugh.

Re:Bad article is.... (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204884)

There are perfectly valid reasons to hate modern society. But this article doesn't seem to have even a superficial understanding of society, modern or otherwise. If he did he wouldn't be comparing older analogues to new tech in a favorable light.

It seems like Slashdot has decided that The Discovery Channel knows what nerds really want or something.

Re:Bad article is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205606)

can someone with points mod this troll? we need to start moding to promote valid discussion rather than TLDR style responses.

I don't disagree that the article wasn't very good, but this response offers nothing to the conversation.

Better comparisons (3, Funny)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204734)

MP3s vs. 1 Man Bands
Twitter vs. Bathroom Walls
Science vs. Mad Science

Re:Better comparisons (2, Insightful)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204976)

MP3s vs. 1 Man Bands

Twitter vs. Bathroom Walls

Science vs. Alchemy

Fixed that for ya

Re:Better comparisons (3, Funny)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205050)

We have the RIAA, they had religious persecution (I was going to say "The Spanish Inquisition", but you'd expect that)

Re:Better comparisons (1)

KC7JHO (919247) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205464)

NO ONE expects the ... Aww never mind.

Expected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205620)

Non-sense, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:Better comparisons (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205130)

Wikipedia vs. walking through a museum -> museum
Microwave vs. home cooked meal -> home cooking (at least in my house)
Credit vs. Cash -> depends, I vote Debit Card (best of both worlds)
e-pay vs. cash/check -> no more late bills, e-pay
Direct Deposit vs. paycheck/cash -> direct deposit
Digital camera vs. film -> except that it costs more, film, though at about 21MP i might start leaning the other way.
Computer + printer vs. typewrite -> computer, no brainer.
computer vs. inkwell -> though it has its aesthetics, are you kidding? computer.
amazon.com vs. medieval bazzar -> amazon, (no pick pockets!)

Re:Better comparisons (3, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205324)

Digital camera vs. film -> except that it costs more, film, though at about 21MP i might start leaning the other way.

The professional photographers that I know have been quite happy with their digital cameras since 8MP was the level no one could afford. They're up in the 12MP and 15MP levels now, but they produce prints for their customers, and they're indistinguishable to all but the trained eye from what would have been done on film. Even an 8x12 at 8MP makes for 83,000 dots per square inch, or 1/288 of an inch (.088mm) across. Given that the same lenses are being used in many cases (Nikon lenses from a decade or more past fit on current Nikon SLRs), it comes down to the sensor, and the difference just isn't there.

Re:Better comparisons (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205628)

Credit vs. Cash -> depends, I vote Debit Card (best of both worlds)

I vote credit card + autopay at the end of every month -> cheaper (because of cash back(*)), faster, more convenient than cash, plus you get the legally required protections

(*) Yes, the store has to pay the credit card fees and they end up coming back to us.. but for each individual purchase, the price is generally the same for credit vs cash. (Stores can give "cash discounts", but even with gasoline, there is almost always a gas station that's lower counting the cash back vs paying cash.)

Re:Better comparisons (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205780)

Credit vs. Cash -> depends, I vote Debit Card (best of both worlds)

Be careful -- I used to put everything on debit until my parents' info was stolen from a hancked PIN pad. I switched to credit, and the advantages are:

1. Reward points (1% cash back)
2. Deferral of all expenses by one month (extra interest in bank account)
3. Buffer between "real" money and "public" money. (like a throw-away email address)
4. Recovery of assets is faster. (Bank: "Maybe you took a flight to Georgia this afternoon." CC: "Oh, sorry, we'll reverse the charge and send you a new card.")

There is no downside IF you pay off the balance every month. Okay, you do have to carry around one extra card, but that's it.

Re:Better comparisons (3, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205138)

Science vs. Mad Science

Wait, which one is the "modern" side? ;-)

Re:Better comparisons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205184)

Twitter vs. Bathroom Walls

Oddly, there's less crap in the bathroom.

You don't have to go that far back... (5, Insightful)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204762)

Here are some more recent tech most of you have spurned for all the wrong reasons but which I'll never give up and you can pry from my cold dead hands (but you won't want to!!)

We have: Washed out LCD monitors, rubbish refresh rates, pale colours, all reds are orange.
I Have: My 21" newsroom Trinitrons, three of, for a combined resolution of 4800x1200 at 85Hz. Perfect colours, wide viewing angles, annoying bezels. Windows 7 really likes them...

We have: Computer speakers, tiny badly-designed amplifiers, built-in speakers on TV's, plastic "hifi" speakers with metal cones, etc. Plenty of bass, fair enough, but just whisper "dynamic range" and "signal-to-noise ratio" to these people and you might just cause a flamewar.
I Have: Wharfedale Modus Twos and a Rotel RSX-03 amplifier with 6 discrete channels (RSX-03), FLAC, Cds. And yes, decent speaker wire (4mm) I found! I'm not a hifi snob, but I know mine sounds better and with wise buying cost less!

Not all progress is good, only good progress :-)

Re:You don't have to go that far back... (2, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204844)

Washed out LCD monitors, rubbish refresh rates, pale colours, all reds are orange.

Solution: stop buying "XTRA SPECIAL SALE NOW ONLY $50" monitors and get good ones instead.

Computer speakers, tiny badly-designed amplifiers, built-in speakers on TV's, plastic "hifi" speakers with metal cones, etc. Plenty of bass, fair enough, but just whisper "dynamic range" and "signal-to-noise ratio" to these people and you might just cause a flamewar.

Solution: buy a decent amp and speakers, can be had for a couple of hundred bucks.

Both your examples are examples of people buying crap because they either fell for the advertising or just don't know there is anything better out there.

/Mikael

Re:You don't have to go that far back... (5, Interesting)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204980)

Actually, they're not. In the case of the monitors, it's an established fact that CRT viewing angles, especially Trinitrons, are better than any flat tech we have today. Also, the orange pigment issue is also a real one, solved only by OLEDs, and you know have much they cost. As for the second example, any hifi snob from the 90s is going to agree all day that the posh rig posted will sound better than a "couple of hundred bucks" setup. I've listened to, set up, and performed through lots of different equipment using different recording formats all my life. You can't buy a hifi anymore that sounds as rich and perfect as those speakers - that was the whole point of the post, and comparing them to modern crap without even doing some research on the subject shows your ignorance. Modern speakers, even from Wharfedale (now a "big box" co, as you call it over the pond), suck, as you say in the Good ol' US of A!

Re:You don't have to go that far back... (1)

Xiterion (809456) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205656)

Actually, they're not. In the case of the monitors, it's an established fact that CRT viewing angles, especially Trinitrons, are better than any flat tech we have today.

Despite their disadvantages, plasma displays [wikipedia.org] are current flat tech, and they match flat screen CRTs, but without the phenomenal pain in the ass that is adjusting a flat screen CRT well.

Re:You don't have to go that far back... (2, Insightful)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205814)

Yes, but will they last decades? One of the reasons CRTs are so difficult to set up is that, like any other electronics, their internals can "drift" over extended periods of time.

Manufacturers, thinking of the long term back when they designed these things, implemented those various "pains in the arse" so people like me who know a good thing when we see it can re-adjust the drifting resisters and capacitors over time and keep our equipment in good condition, showing quality images to clients and guests on the same screen for a decade. It's called "maintaining" something, and it used to be cheaper than throwing everything away every couple of years.

Now it's cheaper to do that, resources are dwindling away faster than ever, and it's all the fault of those who can't maintain anything, calling it "a pain in the arse". Comparisons - repairing decent old clothes made from cotton or buying from Asda. Cooking fresh. Farmhouse techniques like making shoepolish from mutton. Maintaining your own vehicle. And on. And on.

Flamey - Yes. Correct - Yes. Insightful - maybe not so. This should be obvious ;-P

Re:You don't have to go that far back... (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205176)

This is both a correction to the above and a reply to Mikael (a troll if ever I saw one!)

You do know those Wharfedales are frigging OLD, right? Your false and misleading comparison, modded up with karma bonus you don't deserve is still nagging at me! Coupla hundred bucks indeed! You're the first person to go on my Foes list, right now! Check if you don't believe me! I wasted a whole post telling you that and preventing other readers of my original post from taking your advice.

In fact, do please take his advice and send all your Trinitrons, old Wharfedale / Tannoy / etc. speakers to me. Then I'll open a hifi shop with a listening room and blackjack and hookers... oh dear now I'm -1 Offtopic ;-P

2fer - Zombies that run vs zombies that shuffle (4, Funny)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204806)

Endless useless meetings and reports vs forging and basic survival

One Thing I Miss (5, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204810)

I miss the days before cell phones. Don't get me wrong, cell phones are convenient and allow me to stalk any number of girls that I like, but still..

I remember before cell phones became mainstream, if you wanted to spend time with your friends, you had to tell them where to meet you and when and they had to be there or else you just wouldn't catch up. It didn't matter if you had anything planned or not. There was much less of the, "Well, I might come out, what did you have in mind?" cruft. During lunch at school you would say, "Meet at the pool around 4:00 and we'll figure something out." Then, the evening was yours for adventure or mischief or what have you. Not always having a plan was half the fun. It meant you would all get together and just start talking or walking or going somewhere seeking something to do until someone had a brilliant...or at least intriguing...idea.

I remember how, for the weekend, you and all your friends would be sure to meet Friday night somewhere then spend the whole weekend sleeping on each others' floors and couches because if anyone skipped out you wouldn't be able to find them for the rest of the weekend. I remember girls writing their numbers on my hand in pink gel ink and walking around, intentionally holding my hand turned just out slightly so as to subversively brag about my score. I remember setting up dates and saying, "I'll pick you up at..." and not having the crutch of cell phones to be able to work out the details when the time came.

Yep part of me misses those days. I am only 23 and I feel old writing about that kind of thing....the worst part is I don't even have a lawn yet....

Re:One Thing I Miss (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204902)

When you do get a lawn, I for one will be proud to get off it. /salute

agree 100% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204918)

And I'm 26.

Re:One Thing I Miss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30204926)

I wish I had modpoints, because this is, by far, the most deserving post of a +5 I have ever read.

Re:One Thing I Miss (2, Insightful)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205006)

I always feel more assured when things are set up in advance, or at least some sort of planning met-up is set up beforehand. Waiting 'til the last minute seems like asking for trouble, especially if the others don't pick up their cell phones.

Re:One Thing I Miss (4, Informative)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205028)

You, sir, have had a VERY different childhood to me. :-)

Re:One Thing I Miss (4, Funny)

Bazer (760541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205034)

Yep part of me misses those days. I am only 23 and I feel old writing about that kind of thing....the worst part is I don't even have a lawn yet....

No worries, you can get off mine.

The problem with cell phones (0, Troll)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205064)

But cell phones causes one to reevaluate their fellow man (or Ameritard). Pre-cells, one hoped all those surveys demonstrating how totally ignorant your fellow citizens were was just so much balderdash --- now we know they were all too true.

At least we Americans have the bullet train. Oops! Nope, that's the Japanese and French. Well, at least we Americans have really cool seaport architecture. Nope, that's the Danish. Damn! We're backwards here in Amerika!

Re:One Thing I Miss (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205114)

I'm about twice your age, and we had a hang-out spots for night time, one for day time ( arcade ), and out favorite fishing holes for Saturday morning. if you got lost from one spot to another, call your night quits or try to find us.

you could get blasted drunk ( 18 was the drinking age back then ) and get home safely in a cab and still make it to go fishing at 6am.

when you made plans, you stuck to them, "pick you up at 8" meant you are ready at 8pm. however when you are picking up a girl, 8pm is when you got there, she made you wait.

got a girls number from your going out the night before, answer the phone or hope that the answer machine is working, otherwise you missed the call ( or worst your mom got the phone )

some funny moments.

Re:One Thing I Miss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205218)

Wait wait wait...you're 23?

You must be well behind the cell phone curve if you were hitting on girls and getting phone numbers without a cell phone. Most people I knew got a cell phone around 1999 or so, when you were 12. Let's say you start majorly hitting on girls when you're 14/15, which would be like 2002. And even then you didn't have a cell phone.

When did you actually get one?

Re:One Thing I Miss (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205254)

Dude - did you live under a rock or something?

We chatted up girls on the internet and texted friends before you had a double digit age! Scoring a phone number when you're 9 might be cool, but you don't know what to do with it.

Re:One Thing I Miss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205478)

I chatted up girls on the internet in... 1983. Before he was born.

Re:One Thing I Miss (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205874)

During lunch at school you would say "Meet at the pool around 4:00 and we'll figure something out."

OK, speaking as an old-timer of 48, I have to second this. That was how we did did "meet-ups" back in the day. Of course, it was "the cracker barrel at the general store", not "the pool". And what we usually settled on doing was some variation of rolling the an old barrel hoop down the dirt road with a stick. But that was mainly to take our minds of the folksy banjo music that accompanied us wherever we went.

Still, we were happy although we didn't have much. Folks weren't so jaded back then. People had solid *values*, like patriotism, racism and exflunctication.

Probably 1940s peak of USA (1, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204856)

You could make the argument that for many people the 1940s-1950s was the present local peak of the USA. Since that time, due to resource exhaustion, increasing population and foolish trade deals, the standard of living has dropped in relative terms, the opportunities are not what they were, there's more aggravation, less optimism. The writing is worse, reporting is worse, the arts are terrible and people actually build less and make less. We're just shoved into boxes with sex and drugs but can't really ever get out of it, lest we bump into someone else's box. Yeah, if you weren't white, it sucked, but I'd bet we'd reach a point where due to declining wealth, where even the disenfranchised black guy in the 1940s had more real wealth than a near future free black guy of today. Certainly this is true in Detroit...

I say late 1960's - early 1970's was the peak. (4, Interesting)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204942)

The Apollo program and moon landings were surely the peak of the USA.

Re:I say late 1960's - early 1970's was the peak. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205798)

1968 was one of the worst years of the last century for this nation, despite the Apollo mission at xmas time.
The Vietnam War kept raging well until 1975, with some of the worst death tolls in the late 1960s to early 1970s. There were reasons reason we left after that.

Just because we tend to gloss over the dark days, doesn't mean they didn't happen. And a music festival for a bunch of hippies in upstate NY doesn't make it all better either.

Re:I say late 1960's - early 1970's was the peak. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205868)

The special effects used in the "space program" sucked. Imagine how much better it could look using today's technology.

Apollo Space Program was post-digital age. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205944)

The Apollo space program was "post digital". Actually in the infancy of the digital age, but without the mainframe computers of the 1960's, which were indeed technology growing at a "rocket's pace" given their lineage from primitive computers born of the immediately preceding post-WW2 era, the Apollo space missions would never have been possible.

Also, some of the first really compact minicomputers were aboard the Apollo spacecraft themselves too, though they were not general-purpose computers, they were purpose-specific computers for navigation, guidance and systems controls.

Re:Probably 1940s peak of USA (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204952)

We're just shoved into boxes with sex and drugs...

Wait... what? I was with you until this part.

Re:Probably 1940s peak of USA (1)

N!k0N (883435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205010)

Pullman Porters [wikipedia.org] -- granted this was probably more the 20s-40s (due to the decline of passenger rail service). but these guys had better pay than any other African American job available at the time -- also a lot of white* menial jobs

*note that _every_ Pullman Porter was African American.

Re:Probably 1940s peak of USA (1)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205718)

Weren't they also all named George?

Re:Probably 1940s peak of USA (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205290)

When men were men and women cooked dinner!

Re:Probably 1940s peak of USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205758)

I severely disagree. My grandfather tells stories about him and my grandmother when they were younger in the late 50's early 60's and things seem way easier now. They had one car, it broke down all the time, and the payments nearly killed them. If you want a TV these days, you go out and buy one, which is just going to be an upgrade over the three others in your house- they saved for months to get one and paid for it mostly with side work my grandfather did repairing electronics (you repaired tvs, radios and appliances back then). Dishwashers? washer/dryers? They didn't get those until the 70's. Every purchase was a big deal, they struggled.

Compare that to these days where every family has TV, cellphones, and every middle class family has a computer and internet access, and enough crap from Walmart to fill a dumpster. Electronics are practically free. We live in a world of cheap crap, and cheap food. I have seen some mexican day laborers that are poor, living in cramped living quarters with few possessions other than the clothes they use for work, but I believe that the poor from the 40's and 50's would find the poor among us today living luxurious lives by their standards.

And keep in mind, my grandfather was an electrical technician/repairman that later developed into a radar engineer, and was fairly high up in the hierarchy at Grumman when he retired in the late 80's- he wasn't an unskilled laborer. If things seemed so peachy back then, it probably had a lot more to do with the fact that there was less crap needed to keep up with the joneses and people were happier since they had lower expectations- those 800 sq ft Levittown houses on 6000 sq ft plots were palatial to them, today they are considered "starter" houses- in 2007 the average newly built house was 2500 sq ft.

The only thing that seems much more expensive today in relative terms is housing- and that appears to be mostly due to the latest bubble and the gov'ts current continued efforts to support it. It was an extraordinarily good policy to make the maximum amount you could borrow 3x your salary.

Not an ad (1)

flabordec (984984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204896)

CNETNate would like to remind you that this CNET article is not an advertisement, it really is news for nerds and stuff that matters.

WoW does not equal War (3, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204922)

I'm sorry, but just because WoW has "war" in the title does not mean it can be equated to actual war. In real war, you dont run around fighting monsters with other people, buying and selling stuff so you can make that shiny new armor or buy the coolest new mount. If it were like real Middle Aged warfare, you would be running around with a small axe and whatever implement you had on your farm that could do the most damage. You're also probably wearing whatever rags you happened to be wearing at the time, much less plate or mail armor. You have people sitting at home yelling at each other over vent, as compared to people who have either trained for it their wholes lives, or were forced into battle by a lord who just wants more land, so he can get more tax money, so he can live even nicer. Not to mention the fact that the only thing close to someone spewing fireballs is an archer with an arrow covered with pitch and ignited.

Re:WoW does not equal War (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205280)

I'm sorry, but just because WoW has "war" in the title does not mean it can be equated to actual war.

...

LOL! *Whoosh*

In the context of the story, it was a very appropriate comparison. You just missed the point. The rest of your post is a bunch of examples of why it was a very good comparison, assuming you understood the article to begin with.

Re:WoW does not equal War (1)

Neofluffybunny (1647855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205504)

I play a Preist, you insensitive Clod! All my armor is rags!

So what was the Slashdot of the past . . . ? (4, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204928)

Craftsmen's Guilds come to mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guild [wikipedia.org] . "They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society . . . tended to form associations based on their trades . . . each of whom controlled secrets of traditionally imparted technology, the "arts" or "mysteries" of their crafts."

They had bizarre initiation rituals, We have goatse.

They had secret phrases. We have, "in Soviet . . . X, Y's you!"

They had a monopoly on their trade. We get outsourced.

Oh, I guess they won.

Re:So what was the Slashdot of the past . . . ? (1)

Scaba (183684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205124)

They had bizarre initiation rituals, We have goatse.

We didn't have the rituals. Instead we had weird Uncle Eddie. The kids all loved his little "magic trick."

Twitter v Gossip (1)

rapturizer (733607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30204946)

Growing up, the local paper had the social page. This had who visited who and all other pertinent gossip. At least this was edited, used correct grammer, and weeded out all the garbage, thus, was much more interesting.

Other topics (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205004)

Wimmen vs internet pr0n websites...

Remember the old geocities type web pages with absolutely everything on one staggeringly long page vs "clickthru articles" with about one paragraph per page of ads...

Seriously... (1)

destroyer661 (847607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205014)

I want to know who in their right mind would pay someone to write this? I could make a small shell script to write an article exactly like that. Type in your two topics, multiplied by however many 'battles' you want, and voila, pick the second topic every time as the winner and rejoice.

Re:Seriously... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205318)

destroyer661 vs. small shell script

destroyer661: Ability to manipulate text, but lack of understanding of the deeper meaning.

small shell script: Same, but operates 24/7 and does not require salary or benefits.

Winner: small shell script

Printer vs Scribes (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205016)

How many scribes is one printer worth? I don't have any idea what the exact number could be, but I'm pretty sure this comparison wasn't included in CNet's article because there's no way you can get the scribes to win.

Re:Printer vs Scribes (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205080)

Sure you can. 100,000,000 bonus points to scribes because handwritten letters are much nicer. ;)

Re:Printer vs Scribes (1)

Dalzhim (1588707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205116)

Considering you can print with any font you like, I say the scribes fail again as the printer will print these fancy letters much faster! :)

Re:Printer vs Scribes (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205306)

Somehow I doubt "yes but MY letter was printed with the utmost of speed" will impress any ladies... And that was what letter writing was all about. I suppose that you could argue the advantages of being able to court 1,500 girls at once...

Re:Printer vs Scribes (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205332)

The printer will indeed print them much faster, way faster than you can read them. You're making arguments as to why the scribes win, not the printer. (If you think otherwise, reread the article -- you're missing something...)

Re:Printer vs Scribes (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205272)

Scribes weren't just copy machines; they were artists.

I recently saw a documentary on how ancient Egyptians would commission a copy of "The Book of the Dead," to be placed in their funeral grave. They did this in the temple, where, for a small fee, the temple scribes would create a personalized version. A work of art.

This book was important, because it contained instructions to allow the deceased to pass through obstacles in the afterlife. So folks didn't skimp on the cost.

I don't think that the Ibis-headed and Jackal-headed Gods in the afterlife would be impressed with anything that you can crank out on your HP printer.

Oh, and I bet that a scribe costs less than a printer cartridge for your printer.

man'kind's gadgets vs. creators' newclear power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205038)

no contest. the lights are coming up all over now. talk about history? it was ALWAYS supposed to be how it is about to be. it's all in the manuals.

World (2, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205120)

Thats the keyword that matters more there. Global communications (in particular with cellphones), and internet (with all the tools described in the article) have global and instant access from all the world. If you want to put in a word the difference between past and present, "World" will be what we have now, in this instant, all of it (including the bad parts, as globalization and properly named pandemic diseases)

your local computer tabloid vs. town crier (1)

FrankDerKte (1472221) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205170)

Nowadays we rely on computer tabloids to deliver utterly useless articles on slow news days.

In the olden days we got a town crier for this purpose. Every day he delivered the news of the day in a mild and melodic voice, clearly superior to an eye-abusing web page or an unmanageable and oversized paper. Also if they delivered completely bogus and boring news, there was a very direct way to communicate your annoyance. And if the other options fail, you could easily initiate one the very thrilling and entertaining whichhunts, a joy for the whole family.

So clearly, even the media delivering this unbelievable interesting story had a superior alternative.

Re:your local computer tabloid vs. town crier (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205592)

Oh, sorta like fark.com you mean... minus the gorgor links...

More comps (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205230)

Wooden clubs VS. dating sites

Temple prostitutes VS. cathouses

Naked neanderthals VS. endless online porn catering to every whim

Mammoth hunts across the savannah VS. six pizza places within two miles

Wooden wagons VS. Audi TT RS

Fall Of Rome VS. Fall Of USA

nostalgia (4, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205288)

Telegraph vs internet: If you wanted to, you could use VOIP to send the right audio dots and dashes in morse code only this time there's nothing stopping you. The major draw for the author seems to be the scarcity of such communication back in the time period when telegraphs were the big thing.
  Twitter vs gossip: gossip isn't dead. There's no evidence that Twitter destroyed gossip, it just went online. A far more efficient means of spreading rumors.
  Facebook vs Dinner party: Same as above. The author seems to pine for a time when the world was very disconnected.
  World of Warcraft vs Actual war craft: Iraq? War isn't anything to be pinning for.
Swine flu mass-panic vs The plague: not a very good comparison. Try AIDS and the plague.
  Iphone vs fire on a hill: Same scarcity makes it cool argument.
  Viruses vs the Trojan horse: not really a fair comparison. There's tons of military strategies that put that horse to shame.
  MP3s vs Tribal chants: We still have those. Heck, my friends and I went to Denver just to see a few.
  Post-Enlightenment scientific rigour vs Superstition and quack doctors: Yeah that living to the old age of 30 sounds great. Get me a piece of that action... We've still got voodoo nonsense and you're free to go get "treated" by one if you wish.

this is a joke? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30205344)

so this is actually supposed to be funny?

miss.

Re:this is a joke? (4, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205518)

Can I use all of my moderator points to rate this article as -10 extremely stupid.

As of today, CNET == cracked.com, Slashdot == Digg (2, Informative)

SUB7IME (604466) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205360)

This just felt like one of those cracked.com articles all over digg, instead of a slashdot-worthy article. Sorry.

Trebuchet vs. Howitzer (2, Funny)

Theodore (13524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30205900)

The trebuchet has the advantage in that it can fire anything...
Which is scarier?
"SCREEEEEEEECHMM"...BOOM!"
or...
"MOOOOOOOOOOOOO... SPLAT!"
or... (for dramatic effect)...
"Are those HEADS they're throwing at us?"

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