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2021-01-28

Tools

tags: tech mind



Sandra writes about her "dumbphone experience":

> I really appreciate smartphones for the maps feature, I woulda completely panicked in a new city without it.

gemini://idiomdrottning.org/dumbphone-experience/


And in my mind this connects to

> So, computers. Let's take a 1980's or 90's perspective of it. They're a thing, in your office, that you use to accomplish tasks. You might have a home computer, and you might do hobbyist things with it, but it's ultimately a nice tool to manage finances and write things in Word and whatever.

gemini://park-city.club/~invis/phlog/035-utilitarian-computing.gmi



I totally support the idea, that a computer is first and foremost a tool. A cell-phone is a tool, too. They are very capable tools[a], no doubt! A car imho is a tool as well. Similarly, even a bicycle is a tool! They both can carry people and stuff from one place to another. However, all these tools have developed significant "life style" baggage.


In my not so humble opinion cars are extensions of their owners living room with a distributed and mobile data center attached, air condition, so called smart assistants and all.

Bicycles have become design and material studies with fast release cycles. Parts from one release cycle tend to fit less and less elsewhere.

So called "smart" cell phones hold the connection to a wider world at the expense of the locally available reality[b] among other things --- as Sandra points out.


These and many other things have left the "make it as complex as neccessary, but not any more"-world behind for quite some time. Another symptom is that several parties (e.g. vendors) expect everyone the have the newest version of whatever, and not the old stuff from last year --- even if that /old stuff/ works well enough.



But some are already sick of this. Repair cafés, increasing second hand trade and an awakening interest in older technology (from typewriters to phono turntables to cars from the last century) are a direct response to this, /me thinks. These people have decided to disconnect from the resource hungry tech at least to some extent. And in some way this makes me optimistic about the future!



Cheers,

~ew



[a] Cell phone as a capable tool? Watch this for some inspiration:

Video: Phyphox using smartphone sensors for physics experiment (36c3)

phyphox projekt page


[b] The thing that amazes and scares me the most is this: A young couple is entering a café or similar space (pre covid times, yes, yes). They seem to be in love. But once seated they seem unable to have a conversation unless the "wider world" participates. How are they expecting to keep a long lasting relationship alive? It is totally beyond my imagination. Allthough I would like to be proven wrong.



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