lemasquegris: (Default)
[personal profile] lemasquegris
I must be the only one who remembers bad store clerks, snotty bitter librarians, rip-off leaning comic & small book stores, useless staff at record shops, music gear shops, & psychedelic/magical store fronts & other goods & service centers that seemed to have a been a magnet for people whose sole purpose was to flaunt the power they had over customers as the lone point of access for whatever items the nonsense of my youth required. (tl;dr was I the only person ever picked on for asking a question, trying to buy a wah-pedal, some uk import primus ep, etc.?)

Maybe it wasn't discussed at the time & perhaps it's a subject matter not discussed by self-anointed 'net experts of today, but I'm pretty sure a good portion of the motivation for the creation of search engines, social forums, online retailers, media distro, and other such digital ilk came from similar aforementioned experiences by some of the architects of our digital frontiers. I was sick and tired of being picked on by whatever the norms were at the time, so I was ecstatic at the invention & proliferation of things like lycos, webvan, shockwave, rec.music.___, iuma, ebay, even pets.com & bacon ninjas. I could participate, purchase, be social, and (here's another shocker) work through a lot of real life awkwardness and become a better global participant. It's done a lot of people a lot of good. It still is. It allows me to stay connected, pay my rent, research knowledge previous never available b/c I wasn't smart enough, rich enough, or hip enough to be in the know. It also taught me the importance of adaptation for survival. I'd be in a bad place right now if I didn't learn that lesson when I did.

I've been in the mood to bring this up lately because it seems as though we (the loosely globally connected hive of people that want to see all this cool shit become reality, but I'll stick with "we" for brevity) have shifted a bit from marveling at what new awesome is on the horizon to trying to have a passionate global discussion on how to save some of victims of all this "cool & ooo shiny!" change that was bound to occur. I thought we (still that big ol' we) were sick and tired of these service providers that gave a lot of us grief, shame, pounded our self-esteem into the ground (literally at times) and were happy for the new and different, the social equalizers that have risen in the wake of the digital here-and-now. Plus....didn't we see this coming? Closing of stores, less reliance on some services (jobs), more on others? I thought we did. I thought the signs and warning were there 20-30 years ago. Yes, there are a good people getting their lives ripped from under them, yes these aren't the rosiest of times, and yes there is plenty fuckall wrong with aspects of the digital here-and-now,  but did we see this coming, or were we on denial, or did we end up with more less-than-desirable side effects due to all this progress that no one wants to cop to it and no one knows how to really deal with it?

Isn't this what we've been fighting for all along? Or am I way off base? Just had to ramble that out.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Date: 2011-07-30 08:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siphet.livejournal.com
instead of an urge to debate some of your points, i'm instead moved to acknowledge those that stand out for me. some which raised my ire, others which are well raised...

>I must be the only one who remembers bad...
>people whose sole purpose was to flaunt the power they had over customers
>adaptation for survival
>architects of our digital frontiers
>shifted a bit from marveling at what new awesome is on the horizon to trying to have a passionate global discussion on how to save some of victims of all this "cool & ooo shiny!"
>were sick and tired of these service providers that gave a lot of us grief, shame, pounded our self-esteem into the ground
>were happy for the new and different, the social equalizers that have risen in the wake of the digital here-and-now.
>didn't we see this coming?...or did we end up with more less-than-desirable side effects due to all this progress that no one wants to cop to it and no one knows how to really deal with it?

actually - all well raised points. but the only one i'm strongly moved to comment on, in my arrogance, is this:
>Isn't this what we've been fighting for all along?

imo, that confrontation has as many fronts and battlegrounds as there are perspectives on what is just, tolerable, and ideal. i suspect the answer, as you probably suspect, might be...

a simple "yes" for some of us who perceive the struggles you described, not so much as lessons in life or rich exercises in negotiating the unlimited varieties of character and personality type, but annoyances to be dispensed with;

"perhaps," for those who might perceive them as aspects of life not to become to bothered by or with;

or "no" to those believing such less than desirable experiences to be a fruitful practice, in similar fashion to the ninja pulling a bow several hundred times before adding the arrow to their mastery studies.

or overly simply putting it, some may agree that the advantages afforded us by our technologies are, indeed, what we've been "fighting for all along" were our interests less than mastery of our capabilities in life.

that is all i have to say. :)

Date: 2011-08-01 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meliny.livejournal.com
I read this, kinda nodding my way through, yet not too sure I really did foresee any of it. Then I spent a full day running errands. The temperature was about 95F and I was in and out of the car and several store. That was ok, though, because i came home feeling fulfilled and ready to go back to work soon. Then, as I was putting groceries away, I noticed the red light of the refrigerator water filter come on. Damn it! Would I make another trip out to pay $50 for the filter at the local appliance store where the people are helpful and wonderful if you're buying appliances (and only if you're buying appliances!) or would I buy the filter for $35 on Amazon.com?

Yes, I have to admit, I have a soft spot for low prices, doorstep delivery, and the ability to make a simple purchase without dealing with salespeople who feel the need to question me ad nauseum and upsell me.

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