Think – it’s not illegal yet

I have a magnet on my fridge that I love. It’s an image of a boy’s face and hands covering his ears and it says “Think – it’s not illegal yet.” It’s one of the awesomest things about being human and about being American. We have the ability as humans to think and communicate with each other, so we should, I think. And Americans (technically) have the power of FREE thought and speech, which means we shouldn’t be persecuted for this and we are (theoretically) encouraged to think and speak with each other. Which is why I blog, why I love my commenters.

Thanks Sleepydumpling for your comment on my last post. Hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to quote it here and my response.


Wanna know the truth? Our parents had the same bewilderment at our using the boring old telephone when we were teenagers.

THEIR parents had the same bewilderment at them watching TV.

And THEIR parents before them had the same bewilderment at our grandparents listening to the radio.

And it goes right back to the parents of those post Gutenberg who wanted to learn to read and own books.

Technology is inevitable, it’s just always getting shinier than it was for the previous generation.

Roll with it baby!

My response:

You make a good point. But I think you also help to illustrate mine. This kind of change, generational confusion and miscommunication is NOT new, no.

However, it’s speeding up. What’s a generation? Didn’t it used to be like 20 years, the median length of time in which, theoretically, a human could begin to mature and become sexually active and reproduce? However, everybody I ask seems to be confused about whether this is still a typical generational length because the people born at opposite ends of a twenty-year time period have less and less in common with each other.

Here’s a quote from Wikipedia:

“It is important to distinguish between familial and cultural generations. A familial generation is defined as the average time between a mother’s first offspring and her daughter’s first offspring. This makes a generation around 25 years in length give or take a few years. Cultural generations are significantly shorter, as noted below. Many experts now believe, partly because of the acceleration of culture, that cultural generations are approximately 10-15 years long. This trend of shorter generations is increasing, so that it is most relevant for recent generations.”

So my point is that while it’s normal for OUR PARENTS and THEIR PARENTS to be bewildered at their children, etc. I AM NOT A PARENT, there is technically no generational shift and I am currently bewildered at people who are 5 and 10 years younger than me, part of my generation, officially. While I was teaching, most of my students were about 5 years younger and often didn’t get many of my references (keep in mind, I’m a dork and I’m an only child raised by what was considered “older” parents at the time) and I was consistently bewildered by them. My family got their first home computer when I was 16 whereas my students, most of them, have never lived in a home without at least one computer. Many of them don’t remember a time before everyone had cell phones, before GPS and etc.

So one of my points, I suppose, is that technology makes it easier to communicate, but it also makes it much, much harder in ways that are hard to quantify and understand. The real point – we need to make constant, conscious efforts to understand, take time to hesitate before jumping into the latest craze.

One of my exes said that he would be happy to replace one of his flesh and blood limbs with a rocking mechanical one and be a cyborg. Regardless of whether he would, if really faced with this, er…opportunity, there ARE people who would, undoubtedly. And this worries me. While it’s amazing what mechanics can do for people who do lose their limbs, why would anyone voluntarily give up some of their natural body, their human qualities, in order to become more machine-like? Please keep in mind I’m not saying that people with prosthetic limbs are less human; my point is that the mentality behind replacing our bodies, our minds, our skills with computers, without thought, without consideration, without hesitation, is confusing and upsetting to me.

Maybe this sounds extreme to you, but check this out, it’s already happening

But you know what I’m saying? About communication, hesitation? Dentyne gets it. Really gets it. Not to mention, they’re smart.



Filed under pop culture

7 responses to “Think – it’s not illegal yet

  1. Sleepydumpling

    Ahh but you’re forgetting something that comes in to play when technology is able to do things that change us more than just culturally…. ETHICS. And even then, ethics come in to play when it is a cultural shift too.

    Just because we can, doesn’t mean we automatically will. Because generally speaking, human beings do have ethics, and anything that strays into questionable ethical territory will be questioned. I have a lot of faith in the human race to always be questioning ourselves.

    My point wasn’t about all technology, it was about those that you raised in your previous post… communicative technology. And communication is an awesome thing, we should be encouraging it in any way technology can bring it.

    I still stand with my “roll with it baby” when it comes to communicative technology!

  2. Emilie

    Take a look at the Dentyne ad and website I just added to this post. I think they epitomize what I’m (we’re both?) talking about. As long as we’re using it to bring us closer together and not to divide us, I’m all for communicative technology. It’s amazing how small the world can become, when we realize how much we have in common. Great points, thanks. 🙂

  3. gamblorprime

    Body yes, mind no. Replacing my mind, or pieces of it, would be the same as killing myself ,or at least that part.

  4. Emilie

    And yet, with that kind of voluntary mutation, you’d no longer be just human.

    You would have given away the ability to touch your loved ones with your own human hand.

    Not to mention, there are numerous movies and Dean Koontz books that deal with artificial life taking over.

    When you begin with replacing a hand, arm…where do you stop?

  5. gamblorprime

    Your right it is voluntary, but I would not do it until bionics are equal to superior to the human part.

    Bionics can’t take over as long as the input used to control it is coming from your brain, not some ai used as a middle man.

    Everything but the brain. Everything up to that is just biological machines and sensors.

  6. I enjoyed reading it. I need to read more on this issue…I am admiring the time and effort you put in your blog, because it is apparently one great place where I can find lot of reusable info..

    • emofalltrades

      Wow, Malia. Thanks! I love hearing that. Keep an eye out for my Best of 2009 soon. I’m working on it now. 🙂 Happy Holidays.

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