Dirck Nagy wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:23 pm
Usually I avoid topics like this, but I'd like to clarify a few things for the "Anti-Luddites" out there: I think you are getting stuck on your definitions of "practical" and "more efficient". There is a big difference between "Different" and "Better"!
I'll admit, "practical" may have been an odd choice of word. They are both practical devices.
: Digital and analog clock faces convey DIFFERENT types of information. The one isn't necessarily "obsolete" or "better"
(your words) than the other.
- "Traditional" clocks allow viewers to estimate time visually (by picturing a quarter-hour, et al as a "slice of pie"). This way, one doesn't have to make arithmetic calculations. Think about it: the clock as a "Pie Chart"...it can be very helpful for planning, especially if one has several tasks to accomplish. Some folks will say "But subtraction is easy!" Yes, but it is still an extra step, and it DOES take more time than reading an analog clock.
- Digital precision is unnecessary for practically every daily task that nearly every human will do. You can DO it on a wristwatch, but you don't NEED it. You have to get to work by 7:30? You'll still get there. (Oh, you work in a lab? I'm sure you have a specialized chronograph!)
- Obsolescence these days comes from marketing efforts as often as not.
These are all fair points. I know several people (myself included) who work better with visual representations instead of doing the math in their heads. So I can see the benefits of analog clocks (or digital displays made to look like analog clocks) having benefits in this area.
Automatic Transmission: It makes driving easier, for sure, especially when there is a lot of stopping and starting, but these transmissions have a lot of drawbacks: fuel economy, slippage under load, fine control (you can't "rock" if you are stuck in the snow), cost, reliability (a good standard transmission can last the entire life of the vehicle; you can't trust an automatic to last more than 100,000 miles or so) and safety (try driving in the mountains on an icy road sometime. What happens when your transmission decides to shift itself?)
Our cars are getting better at these things every year. And as somebody who grew up in a climate with icy winters, I can tell you I have no trouble "rocking" an automatic transmission. You just need to have a basic understanding of kinetic vs static friction, and don't floor it.
Well, Automatic transmission DOES allow the driver to have a free hand for texting. Is this such a great thing?
I've known a few stick shift drivers to text and drive once they get up to speed. Btw, my main car is a stick shift, which is my preference. So it's not like I have some begrudging hatred for stick shift drivers, I simply recognize that our refinement of automatic transmission will eventually overcome its shortcomings.
What is wrong with cursive? What would you replace it with? Typing?
Yes. That and just print.
Can you think of any practical reasons to write cursive? I can.
They make stylish autographs and logos. That's about it.
Digital Photography certainly makes it easier for average folks to snapchat and post silly cat videos, but there is that whole matter of art. Fresco didnt become an obsolete art form when the offset press was invented.
Well yeah, until the last several decades, video camera, video editing software, etc was largely for a niche market at best and inaccessible at its worst due to the price of the equipment. But now that everybody has a camera and uses it simply because they can, the internet is automatically flooded with half-baked videos of kittens playing and people doing stupid crap. However, it can also be said that it enables aspiring filmmakers to hone their craft without much cost. Film, or rather, memory, is no longer a finite resource that you can't go back and change if you make a mistake. There are competent film artists on the internet, you just have to dig a bit.
You might have a nice digital-GPS-cloud-voice activated-5G whatsit that can do everything including posting crazy cat videos, but is it really worth the resources that went into it?
Can something else be done with those resources?
I have no idea. I don't know how many resources go into making an average smart device. But it sounds like you have something to say about this and I'd be more than willing to hear it. I do think our culture is a very wasteful, materialistic "throwaway" culture. But I also think it is very nice to have a phone with a GPS, compass, and camera. If I am in an urgent emergency and I do not know where I am, I can call 911, look at my GPS, and give them the exact coordinates, and even take a few shots of the accident for the record. Think about all the police brutality that has gone viral because somebody had a phone with a camera to capture the incident. For ages that was commonplace and for the most part, flew under the radar because there was no proof of corruption. Or think about how many criminals have been prosecuted because somebody with a phone recorded them in the act.
Now my point of this thread is not that "different is better" or "new is better" or even so much that digital clocks are better than analog (though I still maintain that in many cases, they are.). I am lambasting the mentality that clings to tradition for no other reason than "it has always been done that way". If we as humans let that sort of regressive thinking rule us, then we would have never gone beyond the invention of the wheel. (And yes, I'm aware I'm being hyperbolic.)