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Parents of the World Just Don’t Understand, And Neither Will We In 2020

// Posted by on 02/10/2014 (4:46 PM)

For my post, I would like to discuss Clive Thompson’s article in Wired Magazine, “Congrats, Millennials.  Now It’s Your Turn to Be Vilified.”  I really liked this article because I think it goes along well with everything that we… Read more

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For my post, I would like to discuss Clive Thompson’s article in Wired Magazine, “Congrats, Millennials.  Now It’s Your Turn to Be Vilified.”  I really liked this article because I think it goes along well with everything that we have been discussing in class.  We discussed, for example, Sherry Turkle’s New York Times Article, “The Flight From Conversation,” where she discusses how constant use of technology and social media devices has led our generation to lack the ability to communicate.  However, the fact of the matter is that Sherry Turkle is 65 years old and Clive Thompson’s article leads us to believe that her comments towards the younger generation are to be expected.  Thompson discusses how it is pretty common practice for older generations to be critical of those who are younger.   For example, he discusses how members of Generation X were frequently blasted in articles during the 90′s stating that they were slackers, narcissists, and “their intimacy and communication skills remain at a 12 year old level.”  However, now all those born within the realm of Generation X (roughly the early 60′s to the early 80′s) are all well established adults and the world has not collapsed.  Notice, that in today’s media you never hear word of how the members of Generation X are ruining everything.  It’s not as if those scathing articles written in the 90′s continue to ring true today.  We do not study the many shortcomings of Generation X and continually note how their “narcissistic” and “slacker” mentality is continually making the world a worse place.

HOWEVER, what we do hear in the media constantly nowadays, such as in Turkle’s article, is how the Millennials are increasingly detached and lack the ability to communicate.  Essentially, Clive Thompson makes the claim that accusations of this nature are completely normal, and every generation has to go through it at some point or another.  In the 50′s, senators attested that comic books were causing mayhem for the youth.  In the 80′s, parents worried that dungeons and dragons was polluting the minds of the youth and the walkman would turn all children into anti-social drones.  Nonetheless, every generation grows up and our world continues to be okay.  Basically, it is just a standard reaction to fear what you do not understand.  The world is always evolving and changing, with new ways of doing things each and every day.  What it seems to me is that the younger generation just always finds a slightly different way of doing things, and that tends to scare those who are used to a particular way of life.  Thus, its a natural reaction to point out what is “wrong” with the younger generation.  However, in all reality, they are not really pointing out what is “wrong,” but rather, what is “different” about the new generation.  So congratulations Millennials, its our turn to bare the judgmental eye of the older generations.  Everybody goes through it, but I’m pretty confident that we’re going to keep the world in pretty good shape.  And 20 years from now, I bet we’ll have some pretty interesting critiques of the next generation.  Parents just don’t understand, but then again, neither will we someday.

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2014/01/thompson_generation/

 


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Are Digital Technologies Really So Digital?

// Posted by on 01/31/2012 (7:36 PM)

In February’s issue of Wired, Clive Thompson asks an interesting, but often overlooked question: why are analog interfaces still being used in digital tools? If we have the capability of digital tools, shouldn’t our interfaces also be digital. While skeumorphs… Read more

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In February’s issue of Wired, Clive Thompson asks an interesting, but often overlooked question: why are analog interfaces still being used in digital tools? If we have the capability of digital tools, shouldn’t our interfaces also be digital. While skeumorphs (“bits of design that are based on old-fashioned, physical objects”) are effective in some new technologies e.g. the Kindle, they are outdated and rather unnecessary in others, especially calendars.

Unless we start weaning ourselves off [skeuomorphs], we’ll fail to produce digital tools that harness what computers do best.

Thompson argues that there is no reason iCal and Google Calendar should display weeks past when looking at January’s calendar. Instead, both should display what is to come. There is no efficiency is having these calendars display an analog calendar when a digital calendar would be much more pragmatic when trying to plan for the future not the past.

In with the new (& the digital)…

Thompson points out two digital developments that are on the vanguard of the switch to digital interface:

1. Soulver: A calculator for Mac designed by two 18-year-old Australians who wanted to design a less “derivative” calculator. Below is an image of what the pair came up with: a digital calculator that “dummies” can use.

 

2. Flipboard App: An iOs app used for browsing status updates, pictures & news. The real digital aspect is how the pages flip. Rather than flip like normal ebooks or emagazines with a pivot on the left. The pivot point of the flip for the Flipboard is at the center. Not only is this a more innovatie way for the page to change, it also is easier on the eyes. Thompson explains that the new position of the pivot “minimizes the rate at which material changes onscreen during the flip, reducing eye fatigue that comes from scrolling or making sudden full-page swipes.”

 

 

After reading Thompson’s article all I could think of is: why have such changes not occurred sooner? We have developed such advanced technologies in some aspects, but have left other aspects behind. Is it due to some sense of nostalgia of the past and the “old-fashioned” or did we become so excited with the actual new technologies that we forgot about the details? If we have the capabilities to digitize, shouldn’t we?

 

Click here to see Thompson’s full article in Wired online.


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