Important book for 2019

I loved his book Deep Work.

 

http://calnewport.com/books/digital-minimalism/

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America 2040: ‘dating’

ALERT

Your tindar Mate needs attention

ALERT

Your Tindar Mate needs attention

ALERT-

ARGH! Ariana Grande Hoffman repeatedly pressed her Micro-Spot. She used to be able to shut off alerts with one press. Her Micro-Spot was 4 months old! ‘

planned obsolescence, you’re a real pain in the ass.’ She muttered to herself, while thinking about the piles of old Micro-Spots sitting in a junk drawer in the basement. Every few months she made plans to call an Ubero auto-car to haul the Micro-Spots to the recycling center, but then she’d get distracted by something playing on the Google Hologram channel. Such is life.

‘Press 4 to continue your Rendezvous. Press 5 to send back to Tindar’

Oh, crap! I totally forgot you were here! Hey, listen, last night was fun, but…I’m just not ready for a relationship-‘

‘Press 4 to continue your rendezvous. Press 5 to send back to Tindar.’

Ariana Grande Huffman pressed 5.

‘Thank you. an Ubero will arrive in 4 minutes. Please place your Tindar Mate in the car upon arrival. Thank you, and thank you for using Tindar.’

Ariana Grande Hoffman sighed. She had to place this thing IN the car? But it’s got LEGS, and ARMS. Can’t the thing walk itself to the car?

‘Listen, uhh…Tindar robot thingy. You’ve got legs. You’ve got some great hair too. I personally requested that you resemble old timey celebrity, Tom Cruise. My grandma showed me some old movies from the 1980s with Tom Cruise she downloaded into her Micro-spot-‘

‘Thank you for designing me to resemble your favored celebrity, Tom Cruise. I hope you enjoyed your time with me. Please assist me to the Ubero car. Please text 555 on your Micro-spot if you have any complaints or suggestions about your Tindar Mate experience. Thank you.’

‘you have LEGS. Walk YOURSELF. My grandma said that men walked themselves out of houses ALL the time! Why do I have to walk you to a damn Ubero?!’ Ariana Grande Hoffman’s blood pressure micro-chip set off her alert system.

‘Calm yourself, dear, your blood pressure is rising. Calm yourself, dear, your blood pressure is rising’ The soothing voice of her grandmother boomed throughout the house.

‘FINE. Come with me, stupid robot.’ Ariana Grande Hoffman grabbed her Tindar Mate by the arm and threw him into the Ubero. The robot weighed only 4 pounds, despite being 6’4 and resembling 1980s Tom Cruise.

Ariana Grande Hoffman walked back upstairs. Her home was silent. She felt very alone.

Her Micro-spot suddenly beeped 5 times.

Activate hologram mode, she said aloud.

‘Your friend, Janice, just finished watching your Tindar Mate experience. She is going to spend the rest of the day scrolling through Tindar Mates on her Micro-spot. Would you like to watch?’

‘Sure.’ Ariana Grande Hoffman muttered. She got back into bed and pressed her Micro-Spot.

 

America 2040

Hello,

 

It’s me, Julie, or elderly millenial. I sure hate that term now. Just call me Agnes. Or Julie, since that’s my name….

I’m checking in from the year 2040! Wow, I can’t believe it, I’m typing on a blog again. In 2040, we don’t have physical laptops or smartphones. Our Tech Overlords lovingly implant microchips directly into our heads that beam our social media and text messages any time we press our Micro-Spots. My Micro-Spot is actually right below my nose..I’m embarrassed by that! I was totally wasted when I asked the robo-surgeon to implant it there, ugh!! Most people place their Micro-Spots on their favored ear lobe.

NOTE: in 2030, a wild rumor circulated around Facebook 2.0 that putting your Micro-Spot in your left ear meant you were a Trump supporter. Now, you might be wondering: Trump? In 2030? Now, I’m no math whiz, but he’d be at least 150 by then!

Well, you certainly are not a math whiz, but that’s okay, you don’t need to THINK or DO any mathy stuff in the future! Trump turned 83 years young in 2030, and he was still the darling dictator of America.com. (in 2028, the country was uploaded to Google’s cloud, so the activities of the inhabitants could be monitored. It’s about safety, ya know?! Definitely NOT about profits for our tech overlords. how dare you even let that THOUGHT enter your head! And what did I tell you about thinking?! It’s not necessary anymore! Let your robots and tech overlords do the icky thinkin’ for ya!

Now, anyway. The rumor about the left earlobe was just a vicious untrue LIE spread by 10 year old Ariana Grande Hofferbee via her group chat in Hologram Session 50B in Sector 5 of Google Cloud, Iowa city Iowa, USA.

These kids today! I mean, those kids of 2030! They were so unruly, always messing about in their holograms, never bothering to make sure their robots are properly given a good rub down with WD-40 every month! Even a robot needs a bath once in awhile. It is literally the ONLY chore these kiddos have to do, and they DONT do it. Some things never change, am I right, lameos from the year 2018? Do you people still, like, tweet and shit? LOL. (Yes, we still use LOL. But now it stands for Laughing Out Lilabytes) Lilabytes replaced terabytes. One lilabyte is equal to 50000 terabytes. So, we in the future can stream 10000000000000 episodes of The Simpsons (now in season 50) in as many hologram, cloud-enabled worlds as we want! Yes, we simply laugh when we look back at old videos (lol video!!) from 2018 on the Archived youtube hologram, located only in Idaho, for some reason….

Last week, I spent HOURS trapped in that damn hologram! I couldn’t stop watching cat videos from 2011. What is IT with your people and cat videos? Oh, we stopped keeping cats as pets. The robots kept shaving them. We couldn’t figure out how to fix the robo-glitch, so we just shipped all the cats to Australia. Since the great social media war of 2025, as you know, Australia lost BIG TIME and everyone had to leave, since they lost their WI FI access. And as you know, #givemewifioriammovingtocanadaiguess

Oh, wait, you don’t know that war happened yet…Oh dear. Well, I’ll tell you more about it later. …

So, you might be wondering what life is like in 2040, besides our Micro-Spots, endless amounts of streaming TV shows, and our new cloud-based reality.

Well, friend, I am here to tell you all about the future. Since 2040 is about 22 years in the future, you might even exist. I can’t tell you whether you will still exist, though. If I do, Mark Zuckerberg’s son, Overlord Mark Zuckerberg II, will deny me access to the best hologram in America.com, Orlando Florida! Forget DISNEY (which closed down in 2025 due to Mickey Mouse refusing to sell the business to Snapchat, so it could legally turn disneyworld into its latest Filter option)

Orlando is now the home of the ONLY Mcdonalds left in the entire cloud-based country! In 2031, all fast food was banned, which put 400 robots out of work. It was very sad for their robot families. However, a group of wild rebels re-created the Mcdonalds recipe in their kitchen, and opened an underground Mcdonald’s in Orlando. DO. NOT. TELL. ANYONE!

You promise?

Okay, thanks. Now, I will tell you lots more about the future, but…wait….Why is my microchip buzzing? Oh God, did you TELL someone about the Mcdonalds? DId you tell Zuckerburg II? That kid is a freakin’ tyrant! He’s going to shut off my candy privileges on Fridays! I better hid! I will hid under this antique pile of old smart phones my child, Horbie, uses as a fort! I will talk to you later…I HOPE

 

 

Now it’s been so long without Facebook

Now that over a year has elapsed since I deleted my Facebook, it’s time to evaluate whether my life has IMPROVED MONSTROUSLY.

The answer is: yes

I remember taking a trip to Italy in 2013, and spending a lot of time sharing my pics to Facebook, Twitter, and probably Instagram.  I remember walking past the internet spot at the hotel and seeing people on Facebook. I remember checking my phone a lot, wondering if so and so was viewing my TOTALLY AMAAAZING photos.

I remember using a meditation app on my phone to help me sleep. The irony of the situation is…if I never had a smart phone, I doubt i’d have needed the freaking meditation app to help unwind my brain. But that is a story for another time. See: Chapter on my nervous breakdown! coming May 20-never.

I remember the gnawing feeling that I didn’t use any of this social media stuff in a healthy way, and maybe I should just stop using it. The judgmental comments from others kept me on the apps. It has always been hard for me to not care what people think of me. The weird thing is, I have never felt that I fit in, so why did I even need the validation from others? It is certainly QUITE A PARADOX.

Well, eventually, I said, fuck it. I’m deleting this shitty account.

so, it’s been over a year, and I haven’t created a new Facebook. The temptation has been there, but it’s fleeting. I recently discovered that my high school class is going to have a 15 year reunion. I had no idea, because I don’t use Facebook, but I found out through someone else. So, I still found out. I wish  I hadn’t- The horror of realizing that 15 years, YEARS, has elapsed since high school ended has been quite the shock to my old bones.

Anyway, since it’s been a year without FB, and my addiction is gone, I’m in a good place to tell you what I think I’m missing out on, and what I think I am gaining, by not having a Facebook presence.

Cons: I do not get invited to high school reunions (or perhaps you would place this under the pro column?!)

I am no longer reminded of the birthday of my 5th grade gym teacher. Surely, she is quite distraught that she did not receive my ‘happy Bday’ Facebook text on her wall.

I am no longer tracked by russian bots, techbros, various stalkers (Or perhaps I have an inflated ego to think I might have an estalker or two?) or mark zuckerberg’s digital assistant, whose name is Janice, and she knows EVERYTHING about you!

ummm.

PROS: I regained my ability to go a day without thinking,’ what witty thing can I write on my facebook today?!’ Oh, I am so funny! I need more likes! NO ONE liked my post yet. Delete it, delete it, quick!

I am now a millionaire living in an amazing house with my own farm, 100% organic cotton bedsheets, and an undying sense of self-worth that can NEVER be broken, EVER

Sooooooo. Yeah. Life is pretty much perfect now. Maybe you should delete your facebook, too!

note: Some things in this story may or may not have been slightly fabricated.

 

Weird THOUGHTS

I was scrolling through hateful internet comments. As you know, reading internet comments is a great way to relax and connect with your fellow humans! So, yesterday, of course, another insane idiot went on a shooting spree. It’s mildly horrifying how desensitized I’ve become to mass shootings, but it’s just part of life in America.com now. Anyway, the internet was awash with insane comments after the shooting.

I’ve got a bit of a masochistic side, so I will scroll comments for a long time, feeling the anxiety flood in my body whilst reading some of the most horrible thoughts being typed/spewed by some anonymous carbon-based moron. Although, perhaps a BOT was posting this hate?! Oh dear! Anyway, some horrid creature was posting horrid things on the internet. (SHOCKER!)

After I closed the laptop and lunged it out the window, I thought, life is so odd. Why am I here on Earth? I had no say in the matter! One of the Comment Spewers went on some crazy ass rant about how shootings are the fault of liberals, and the libs are the reason for

feminism

lgbt rights

gay marriage

The American Family Falling Apart (trademarked by people everywhere who never studied the history of the american family)

Immigration (oh heavens no! this country was created by Jesus himself in the year 0, as a land for whites only. Read HISTORY!!!!!! DUHH!!)

Then the goober signed off with his REAL name. I wanted to google his name and find his address and send him a teddy bear. Okay, not REALLY. Please! I’d send him a box of Omaha steaks, because he is a REAL MAN and REEL MEN need STEAKS.

 

His spewy comment made me think about why people get in such a tizzy about things like LGBT rights and gay marriage. And then I started to think about how we are born, and we’re born a certain way, and then we’re judged based on the way we were born.  I was a born a woman in America. In the 80s. It’s not like I asked for that…Hey, Zeus/God/Flying Cat God, make me a woman, and make me born right around the time Madonna is super popular in America!

It’s just weird to think about. Yet, we are so judgy of each other, when at the end of the day, we were all thrown into the world and a lot of things are beyond our control.

And we don’t try very hard to understand the things we don’t understand.

It’s easier to just spew nonsense on the internet and grasp firmly to outdated beliefs from a world that no longer exists.

Sometimes I think, oh, just stop reading the internet comments. But how? HOW?! The worst part is….I have definitely met some of these comment spewers. And so have you!!!!

 

 

could I write a whole book about video stores?

It’s 2018 at the time of this writing. I just put Netflix on pause. Later today, I’m going to help my mom set up a Roku player so she can cancel her overpriced cable plan. We’re going to sign her up for Hulu, too.

I am oh-so modern. I am oh-so streaming. I am an internet-based TV-watching kinda person.

So, why do I miss video stores? Why does my heart ache when I look across the store at the HR Block, which used to house Blockbuster video? (RIP)

Well, this isn’t a luddite thing. My nostalgia for video stores is not based around the fact that technology advanced our movie watching choices beyond whatever was available at the video store at the time you strolled in.

I figure I miss video stores for a few reasons.

  1. Video stores were at the height of their popularity and prestige during my formative years. Have you ever noticed that life ZIPS by when you’re over 30, and memories formed after 30 just start to mush together? So, I figure, my memories are so strong and sentimental because I was a kid. And everything was new when I was a kid, because *I* was new to planet Earth. Now it’s all the same old stuff every day.
  2. video shopping is an experience. My dad would take me to the Video Store, and who knew what would happen. would my movie be available? would I wind up renting something old that dad said was a classic, so i simply MUST watch it! He seemed to think all black and white movies were classics, just based on the fact that they were old movies. Hm.. Anyway. I miss the experience of going out with my dad to a video store and picking movies out. I miss the experience of not always getting what I wanted. That might sound crazy, but it’s not. Netflix is endless choice. ENDLESS. Sometimes it’s so paralyzing, I just end up watching The Office for the 100th time. And not always getting what you want can open you up to other possibiliities. Sure, that New Release (How Stella Got Her Groove Back!) wasn’t available, but dad said this old-ass movie was a CLASSIC, so why not give THAT movie a chance?!
  3. I miss rewinding movies. Remember the sound the machine made? Anticipation! No, we can’t even stand to wait for Netflix to Buffer for a nanosecond. HURRY UP, NETFLIX, And buffer up this episode of Whatever Netflix Original I Am Watching Today. #binge!!!!
  4. I miss seeing which men would enter the beaded porno section at the independent store. I wondered if women ever wanted to enter, but women were not allowed to admit that they watched porn. Now we have internet porn, and you can desensitize your brain to even the most sadistic, f’d up porn in the universe. Go internet.com!

Ultimately, I believe I just miss that childhood experience. I just have a hard time believing that my nieces will fondly look back on the days of scrolling youtube videos on their tablets when they’re 30. But who the hell knows.

I plan to contemplate this nostalgic a bit more. Please, stay tuned! Be kind, rewind.

How often should we think about our past selves?

All day, I am fine living in the ‘present.’ Sort of.  At night, the past floods into my head. If I fall asleep at night, and wake up, the past is right there, demanding some attention.

WHY??

I don’t want to think about the winter track meets in the year 2000. I always think about this time I fell down a snowy hill in front of a bunch of school buses full of track kids. And this time a kid brought a camcorder to the meet and started filming people. He said to me, ‘you look happy’ sarcastically. I always thought about whether I am on some random person’s dusty VHS tape in some basement somewhere. Or maybe the tape has been sitting in a landfill for years, next to the camcorder.

Why do I think about high school? I hated that place! Sometimes I compare my experience to modern day kids’ experiences. I am a ‘digital native’ but we had desktop computers, not handheld computers at all times. Would I give my imaginary kid a smart phone? It seems so weird to me to hand a child such a powerful, addictive device. Why do they need that? Is it just because society and marketing demand/command that your child needs the latest and greatest  handheld computer?

I don’t even want to call cell phones ‘phones’ anymore. Only scammers call me!

Why can’t I think about the old timey prank calls we used to do? I only conjure up the memories that make me anxious. The human mind can be quite a pain.

Sometimes I try to switch to thinking about sheep jumping over a fence. Does this actually work for anyone? My sheep are blurry, and the fence is really low to the ground. The background is really dark (uh…like night time? LOL) and the sheep is all alone. Is it the same sheep over and over, like a GIF image repeating over and over, or am I picturing a hoard of sheep, leaping over a fence, never to be seen again by my brain?

The sheep(s) seem to distract my head from the onslaught of Past Memories, but is that good enough?

Must it be so hard to be a humanoid?

Ok, time for work. The sheep need a break from jumping over a fence post all night.

 

 

The robo takeover

Amazon just announced a 15 dollar minimum wage. Well, thats good, maybe. I still amazon  is evil. Is that wrong? I used Amazon in 2005. Back then, Amazon was mostly a place to book books and stuff. I still have one of the books I bought in 2005. Over the years, I started to feel that big corporations were starting to erode the internet. My view hasnt changed on that.. I mean, I know google and facebook trackers are installed all OVER the internet, but you don’t see me throwing my laptop out the window. Am I a hypocrite, then?

I am also a cynic. Or ..pessimist..or..realist? I just think once automation hits its groove, they’ll get rid of the workers and replace them with robots, except for a few humanoids to oversee the process.  And maybe that is why Amazon is fine paying workers 15 bucks per hour. It’s just temporary, and it’s a drop in the bucket for them anyway. It’s insane that we have to fight for such a measly minimum wage in the first place. If you live in a state like Massachusetts, 15/hr is long overdue. So, you cripple 18 year olds with massive student loan debt, then throw them into the world at 22, and tell them they dont even deserve 15/hr, when the average 1 bed apartment is over 2,000 bucks per month now,  and wages have been stagnant for 30 fucking years? (Trickle down economy really workin’, thanks Reagan)

It’s good to give people a living wage now, but what happens in 20 more years? Automation is starting everywhere. It’s in its infancy right now, but it’s happening. The tech gurus are automating right now, but in 40 years, why would we need those tech gurus, either? Aren’t we ALL dispensable in the digital age?

Does it matter?

Does it matter if I don’t earn a paycheck anymore? Eh…Not really. What matter is…will I still be able to retain my autonomy as a human?

It’s possible. We don’t know how things will pan out once the robots take over in the next few decades.

Humans are adaptable creatures. We’ve been equipped with portable computers at all times, and we seem fine with that ( I guess..) So, we’ll be able to handle the robo takeover.