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> Are We as a People too Lazy?, ... is life too easy?
VDemosthenes
post May 2 2005, 10:01 PM
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The story behind this debate is quite simple: In Middle School my English teacher forced us to read a novel by Ray Bradbury called Fahrenheit 451. This book has been praised and scorned for a half-century as both a testament to the future and a warning to our own lifestyle.

In the book the people are so used to living a life where the answers are provided and living is a thing of the past. In the book the future is about nothing but pleasure, such as television and sports; in essence people simply survive.


Questions for Debate:

1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?


Note: This is a debate about technology and laziness. Please do not offer praise/scorn for Bradbury's novel, it was merely a spring-board.
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ralou
post May 3 2005, 03:16 AM
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Questions for Debate:

1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

I don't think so. Before technology, Jefferson and Washington had slaves. In fact, one of the reasons slavery hung on for so long, despite many founder's distaste for slavery, was their belief that the hewers of wood and bearers of water would free up the intellectual class for thinking. Ghandi managed to spin and weave his own shirts while thinking quite well, so I wonder if some of the philosophy wasn't based in a desire to be...well, lazy!

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

I have read (but do not know if it is true) that watching TV burns less calories than staring at a wall, and if that's so, then perhaps the brain functions more when watching paint peel than when watching TV. I try to limit my TV time, and at the moment I watch less than two hours a week.

Microwaves mean I can fix my food quickly and have more time for thought, as I detest cooking, and so don't put thought into it, and so doing it slowly is a waste of time. But I also don't stand in front of the microwave and risk frying brain cells as it is running, either.

I think the internet is a great tool for expanding knowledge, but it is disconcerting to be away from it and discussing something and itch to just type in a phrase or keyword to double check that I really heard/read/saw what I think I remembered hearing/reading/seeing.

For example, it was handy to confirm that we do burn less calories doing nothing than when watching TV, although that might or might indicate we are not thinking as much when watching TV. I could do more research, though. As long as I can access the internet, and that was my point:


QUOTE
http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/tv.htm
While watching TV, the metabolic rate seems to go even lower than during rest.  This means that a person would burn fewer calories while watching TV than when just sitting quietly, doing nothing.


I don't see why the telephone is a problem. I have read Fahrenheit 451, by the way. I took away, not so much technology as the problem, but technology used to control human beings, to create someone's (or more like, a group of someone's, made up of many in the society, or perhaps even the society itself's) idea of an ideal society.




3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?


I think that depends on the person. My favorite technological advances (like the microwave, washing machine, and computer), allow me to engage in more mentally engaging activities. It helps that I'm not stuck behind a mule sixteen hours every day. It's all in how you use it, and for what, I think. And I think people who are inclined to be lazy will just sit around and be lazy, if they can find a way to do it.

This post has been edited by ralou: May 3 2005, 03:19 AM
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Victoria Silverw...
post May 3 2005, 07:16 AM
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Allow me to offer full disclosure here: I am an extremely lazy person. I love labor-saving technology. The less physical work I do the happier I am. Keep that in mind as I answer the questions offered for debate.

Is there a direct link between technology and laziness? Well, I have to admit so, if by "laziness" you mean things like reluctance to beat your clothes on a rock in the river, spend hours breaking your back to gather enough food to eat, and so on. This kind of laziness is good for people. Unnecessary hard work is of no benefit; suffering is not good for the soul. Brutal labor deadens the body and the mind. Three cheers for technology that gets rid of it! Now the average American can have a taste of the leisure that was the privilege of a tiny elite for millenia.

Let me address the technologies you list as possibly causing people "not to use their minds" one by one:

Television: A great waster of time, to be sure. I think that we can all agree that spending a LOT of time in front of the set is not a great idea, but that could also be said of other non-technological activities. Could time spent in front of the set be better used, usually? Sure, but I have no objection to some plain old simple entertainment.

Microwaves: A great benefit, in my opinion. It cuts out a lot of the drudgery of cooking, and can free you up to actually enjoy making good food. In my opinion, the more technology in the kitchen (and in the bathroom) the better.

The Internet: It can be a even bigger waste of time than TV; it can be a great source of information; it can be a cure for loneliness or an addiction. It all depends on how you use it.

Telephones: I hate them, personally. Noisy things that demand your attention. They certainly come in handy in emergencies, though.

Does technology encourage mindless entertainment? Sure. It also allows one, if one chooses, to expand one's mind beyond the point that the previous generation could have imagined.

This post has been edited by Victoria Silverwolf: May 3 2005, 07:17 AM
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CruisingRam
post May 3 2005, 08:37 AM
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Okay- some levity first- thumbsup.gif ARE YOU CRAZY, I WISH I COULD WORK ONLY 45 HOURS A SO A WEEK LOL-

I think we are more SEDANTARY- but more work-a-holic than ever. We tend to, if anything, forget about being "lazy" with our family instead of out there chasing the almighty dollar to buy our new escalade and bling bling etc. We need the time saving devices so we can work and commute more so we can buy more time saving devices.

1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

Really, have you ever lived without this stuff? It isn't laziness- it is the drudgery. I used to help wash clothes by old style washing machines in Lousiana- took a whole day of hard, and I mean, back breaking, hard work to do the clothes for 5 kids and 2 adults, everybody working.

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

Nope, it frees them from the drudgery to go farther in solving problems LOL- for instance, in Chemistry this semester, I used the Micro-lab program to do PH titrations, conductivity etc. I still had to do the same calculations for moles per gram etc- but shortened up things considerably in the calibration of instruments etc to do MORE problems solving

3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?

Mindless entertainment is escapism from the reality of our horrible, too busy, too stressful lives. hmmm.gif thumbsup.gif w00t.gif

After a day of doing psych evals on pedophiles, I want to watch some family guy and simpsons and other forms of mindless entertainment that allows me to just do nothing.
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A left Handed pe...
post Jun 24 2005, 10:42 PM
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1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

Yes. Technology makes life easier, and therefore decreases the amount of work required to get tasks done.

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

Televisions is mostly mindless (though it takes interpretation ability), microwaves just save time, the value of the internet depends on how you use it, and a telephone is merely an extension of someones ability to socialize. All of these things decrease the amount of work we have to do in order to get things done, but only some of them are bad for us.

3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?

Yes. Things like televisions and video games are more addictable/engrossing then things like books and going outside. As a result, some new inventions are doing a good job of dumbing people down.

However, I don't think there is ever going to be a world in which humans aren't going to be required to work, because artificial intelligence does not currently look practical.

This post has been edited by A left Handed person: Jun 24 2005, 10:43 PM
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khudafez2005
post Aug 15 2005, 04:42 AM
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Questions for Debate:

1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

Yes, I'm for both. Go technolaziness.

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

Well it adds problems to solve, you have to learn TIVOing skilz, so you don't miss your favorite program. And then you have to try to learn to keep your computer running, adapt to new upgrades...And then you have to learn how to add the most annoying ringtone to your cell phone. Learn how to search the internet more efficiently to find what you need.



3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?


Hmm...I guess the Flynn effect is still in part a mystery, i.e. the documented rise in IQ scores in the developed world over the past few generations, but I would say to live the good life now is more complicated and thought demanding, in part because of less sheer drudgery and the change to a service economy (and perhaps better nutrition etc. has set the bar higher). Maybe we all just need a break from thinking...

I am trying to think of a recent book out there that defends some of the new media
like video games and claims that the complexity and sophistication of plotlines in media has increased on average, especially over the last twenty years.
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lordhelmet
post Aug 15 2005, 11:33 AM
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QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ May 2 2005, 06:01 PM)
The story behind this debate is quite simple: In Middle School my English teacher forced us to read a novel by Ray Bradbury called Fahrenheit 451. This book has been praised and scorned for a half-century as both a testament to the future and a warning to our own lifestyle.

In the book the people are so used to living a life where the answers are provided and living is a thing of the past. In the book the future is about nothing but pleasure, such as television and sports; in essence people simply survive.


Questions for Debate:

1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?


Note: This is a debate about technology and laziness. Please do not offer praise/scorn for Bradbury's novel, it was merely a spring-board.
*




1. Yes. I would elaborate more but I'm too lazy today in order to do so.
2. Yes and no. TV is mindless. Microwaves heat food. Telephones allow people to communicate and the internet allows them to waste every single waking hour in places like A-D.
3. Of course. Instead of spending hours in front of the TV, they could be doing something productive for themselves or their families. Instead of wasting away on the internet (or in A-D), they could actually be DOING something related to forwarding their political agenda; not just yammering about it endlessly.

This post has been edited by lordhelmet: Aug 15 2005, 11:34 AM
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inventor
post Aug 30 2005, 06:47 AM
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1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?
I find an inverse relationship, I get to either take a walk on the beach, windsurf, hike or ride my bicycle longer because of technology. I have more time to play.

2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems? Well since the invent of the television I would guess to say the rate of inventions is much higher per capita. I know the numbers are substantially higher, and am speculating rate per capita is.

3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?
Does a movie subject us to some thought we may have never been exposed to? I may believe some games do fit this category, but can not cite any source as the jury is still out on this subject to me.


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moif
post Aug 30 2005, 02:44 PM
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1.) Is there a direct link between technology and laziness?

Without a doubt. Technology, especially when pushed by ruthless, unchecked capitalism is breeding laziness in the human race. Recent figures show that the USA, the worlds most technologically advanced nation is now seeing 60% of its population over weight, and this pattern is mirrored in Europe. This is a direct consequence of the advances and changes in society due to 'technological advance'.


2.) Do inventions such as televisions, microwaves, the internet and telephones cause people to not use their minds to solve problems?

Humanity has always longed for some one else to do the work for it. This is shown clearly in the ease with which people, when allowed to, tolerate slavery.

Today, slavery is illegal but in Japan, it is already possible to buy a robot slave to 'help' around the house. I feel this is only the beginning of a new form of slavery. One where humanity gets fatter, slower and ever more lazy whilst technology 'helps' us.


3.) As a result of technological advances do people revolve around mindless entertainment more than mediums that require thought and energy?

Yes and an examination of the slow down in artistic innovation underlines this. Art as we know it has been largely replaced by hollow commerical entertainment with Hollywood and commerical TV leading the way towards an ever more mindless consumer based entertainment industry.

I see a glut of remakes that refer back to older innovations rather than new idea's in the contemporary arts (excluding fine art which has now become so marginalized as to be irrelevant) that indicates the unwillingness of the capital driven 'entertainment industry' to spend money in the absence of any profit.

Art has become business but business is not art. This development has meant that anything novel and popular (see 'The Da Vinci Code' or 'Harry Potter') is instantly marketed to death and all else is neglected in the feeding frenzy.

Look at the Sci fi shelves in the book store, or on Amazon for example and you will see a wide variety of titles by a handful of authors, most of whom are mediocre, and a decided lack of any variety of creative sci fi writing by unknown artists.

Look at the internet news and it doesn't matter which site you look at, they all carry the same top stories... as if the world has become so small that only Hurricane Katrina is important enough to warant interest from the public!

As life is becoming ever easier in the west, so the need to create one's own entertainment is vanishing. Our technology is not giving us diversity, instead, tech like the internet and satellite TV is actually reducing the amount of novel creativity available to the public since we are all now exposed to one single global market where only the most popular brand names can survive.

crying.gif

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