James Kendrick at ZDNet says the PC is not necessarily dead, but the mobile device is definitely the central figure in consumer technology.
He notes the PC has regained its old image as that thing you use at work. Frankly I’m glad to see it. I’ve often prayed for the mass of consumers to get their own Internet and leave us computer geeks alone. This business of the cellphone as Internet device almost guarantees a divergence between the old Web and new one. It’s not just the difference between sites optimized for mobile devices; mobile devices are quickly getting large enough to display the Web as is. But the very means of linking the cellphone network to the Internet is drawing a lot of attention from the carriers. If we can keep them preoccupied with milking that linkage, they’ll pay less and less attention to the direct connection used by PCs.
Though this hardly characterizes the current state of the industry, it seems to be coming. The recent growth in uptake of tablet devices puts a great deal of focus on consumption-only of the Internet, as opposed to using a device which was primarily designed as much for producing as it is for consuming. People are simply less interested in blogging, but some are still willing to read blogs. They spill more and more of their communication output in highly curtailed Social Networking tidbits. Most of those who no longer read blogs because all their Net time is absorbed in the likes of Facebook are the same folks who wouldn’t read a serious blog in the first place.
It’s rather like the difference between the scholars who huddle in quiet classrooms while the majority of those who would much rather be somewhere else commiserate in massive noisy gaggles all over the campus, anywhere but the classroom. The latter is what populates the likes of Facebook. It’s the place where crowds hang out gossiping or chattering about their favorite TV shows. More power to them, but please let us few have a place to exercise our tastes in other interests.
I realize this will mean a loss of advertising revenue support for the more contemplative interaction with the Net. To some degree, corporate sponsors who gave us free blogging services are already closing things down. For now, many are simply making such services less free. For example, Google is getting pretty pushy about wanting your cellphone number as the price to keep your Blogger account active, or even your Gmail account. It puts more of the expense of operations back onto the user, via the sneaky absorption of your airtime for their convenience, not to mention a further loss of privacy. It’s why I stopped using my account with them.
This other, older Internet is worth what little I have to pay for it. For all the simplicity and convenience of WordPress, I could easily run a blog on my static website account — I did for awhile. If all else fails, I can create one out of simple HTML or even plain text. The real loss would be the extra traffic, the extra attention from other WordPress account holders. It makes me easier to find for folks who actually want such material as I produce.
However, I’m willing to bet the majority of us communicators are likely to develop whatever new habits are necessary to keep alive our intellectual pursuits in the global virtual community. We’ll have to donate a little more of our time to keeping the links amongst ourselves open.
For the most part, the Easy Net consumers will continue drifting off into the mobile device network. Their interaction will become more passive, more about consumption than genuine interaction. It will be little more than a mobile TV without the lock-in scheduling. They can have it.
Western Civilization is inherently unsustainable.
If the only sin of Greens was worshiping Mother Earth, I would hardly bother with them. Instead, they have hijacked words like “sustainable” as a cover for hating everyone outside their little elite in-group. Anyone with the most ordinary grasp of logic can see their goal is not only killing off billions of humans, but making them utterly miserable along the way.
This is hardly offering a pass to Western Civilization and its filthy acquisitive nature. The Greens are a misguided and hateful reaction to a misguided and hateful materialism. So while I admit to a certain libertarian instinct, I reject the political libertarianism common in the West, because it asserts an absolute property right (materialism), but only vaguely supports the divine command to share the bounty He allows us to accumulate here on earth. Libertarians worship Mammon; everybody else in the spectrum worships the state.
I reject the entire left-right schema because it excludes what God demands of us, and substitutes a false god in His place.
God has made clear the proper order of things. Civil and social matters are separate. The basic mission of civil government is security of the community against threats to the basic necessities of life. The harsh treatment is reserved for threats, not people who are just trying to stay alive. In the extended family community, messy though it may be, humans can always negotiate a balance of rights so that everyone can live and work, and nobody gets less than their share. Those who refuse to negotiate can find a place to live outside the community where they don’t do any damage. It never is about pure economics, but about people. The dependents receive due care because they are people, and only those who refuse to care get pushed out.
The primitive tribal nation is God’s ideal for human government. This is the strongest bastion preventing the modern nation-state, and abomination to God. It is also the darling of the Enlightenment, upon which all modern nations are founded, and is presumed by the whole range of political opinion discussed in every office of power and human organization. The mere suggestion there might be something wrong with Enlightenment assumptions draws, at most, a blank stare. You might as well be talking to the air. Go ahead, try to suggest to someone at LewRockwell.com that God intended nations to have rights regardless of political land boundaries. There’s no place for that in libertarian economic thought. It’s all about property — i.e., land boundaries — not people.
It doesn’t matter what mixture of brilliant compelling logic, charismatic statesmanship, or industrial war-making you use to protect your nation-state. If you don’t adhere to God’s standard of justice, it will all come apart. If you do adhere to God’s justice, whatever else happens is His decision. Part of that justice is respecting national identity regardless of political boundaries. Even Rome understood that, which is partly why, for all her other evils, she lasted far, far longer than any modern nation-state currently in existence.
Yes, there are a jillion complications due to human ingenuity in seeking ways to bypass the proper tribal social structure for their own personal advantage. We are wired to be suckers for one thing or another; this is part of our norm, and we have to accept it. The community is almost always better at handling the vagaries of petty human evil than any civil government. Thus, social government is sacred against the intrusions of civil government. For all the inefficiencies of this system, it is what God demands and there is nothing better in the long run. The whole point is sustaining human life, in part by making sure everyone has something to do and the basic necessities. “Sustainable” is properly defined by this.
More than this is evil by definition when it interferes with the fundamentals. Nothing the human mind can imagine wanting justifies changing the basic structure and operation of society. If you can chase your grand dreams without afflicting the sustainable system, the go for it. The arts and most sciences will have to wait on having enough left over. By now we’ve suffered enough from brilliant sparkling death to know such obvious things as “natural is better” when it comes to food and such. The difference between getting more from nature and mucking with nature is the irreverence of arrogant minds thinking they can do God one better. We are on the threshold of discovering the vast destruction nature unleashes when pitiful human intelligence rejects safe limits on this question. Glyphosphate-resistant weeds, anyone? How about antibiotic-resistant diseases? These things are the direct result of whiny, irreverent people pushing genius in the wrong direction.
In the coming days, grandiose dreams of human achievement will founder on the simple failure to provide the basic necessities of life. It’s not just food, but water and air and simple sanity people can’t get. This business with Occupy Wall Street may seem like an argument between reckless corporate greed and ignorant socialist y-gens, but it resonates deeply with a much bigger threat of starvation and homelessness as the price for the dreams of an elite handful of folks determined to make all humanity over in their private image of perfection (AKA Neo-Cons, Zionists, etc.).
We’ve been living beyond our means for a very long time. Most of us believe it has something to do with pursuing national greatness, something we blindly believe is still ours. It never was, because we have yet to take up the most basic task of seeking justice. In the very act of colonization we openly mocked God’s revealed sense of justice in dealing with the natives. They weren’t angels, but we were outright devilish in our dishonest and dismissive treatment of them. Our sins have only grown, as we have painted ever more layers of false piety over the spilled innocent blood everywhere our feet have trod. Never mind all the other labels, we are the populist nation, demanding everyone we encounter fall into formation and march to our strict code of rules, forcing them to pretend they love our decadent hedonism. Now that we have consumed the past, present and future sustenance of most of our world, we don’t have anything to show for it. We don’t even have the merest comprehension of a decent social structure, much less the means to sustain basic life.
There’s a lot more involved than this, with other players on the stage and a script almost nobody knows, but fundamental to the picture is the failure to consider what God considers sustainable human existence on this planet. Global revolution? People aren’t just angry over imaginary slights against their rights; they’re hungry!