Hipster? Dinosaur?

Move along, nothing to see here!
reepicheep
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by reepicheep » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 am

Uncertain where to put this.

A friend offers me a choice in a gift, not long ago. Manual or electric coffee grinder.

I was delighted to choose the hand cranked version to pair with my tiny french press.

In September, I got LASIK. I figured broken glasses during the apocalypse would slow me down.

I don't use Instagram, FB, tumblr, whatever else the kids are using these days. That world has passed me by and I don't care to catch up.

I am highly dependent on GPS for navigation.

I want to live in the woods in an RV on 80 acres and spend my life gardening and maintaining the forest. No TV. Terrible internet.

Fast forward 50 years. Will I even understand what people are up to? My mom has maintained pretty good flexibility and adaptability to new technology as it's rolled out. I'm not even trying. It's like I've picked a year in the early 2000's -- in some ways, the 1970's -- and decided I'm not going to update past that, technically. Socially, I'm pretty hip and jiggy with it. On board with the they/them pronouns and all that jazz.

What do? Is this even a concern? I keep hoping for the apocalypse. In the PNW that'll be the earthquake. Hell rises up, local style. People will still use cell phones to check in with the fam on fb if they can, afterwards.

chenda
Posts: 1202
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by chenda » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:54 am

Why pray would you hope for an apocalypse ?

reepicheep
Posts: 253
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by reepicheep » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:36 pm

@chanda, that's a little tongue in cheek.

I have actually seen quite a bit of what a failed state looks like and it isn't pretty. I might not like the mall, but on balance rampant, unchecked consumerism is better than burnt out rubble.

I jest. Mostly.

George the original one
Posts: 4843
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by George the original one » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:58 pm

reepicheep wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 am
I am highly dependent on GPS for navigation.
Fix that!

At least in the PNW, you can rely on which way the rivers flow, even when a mountain blows its top.

chenda
Posts: 1202
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by chenda » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:31 pm

@reepicheep - Well I can sympathise with that, I hate mauls too. I expect you'll find a certain level of technology will permeate your life naturally so you'll never be entirely out of touch. That said, there was an old women down the road from me who live in a huge dilapidated old Edwardian house with no electricity until she died circa 2002. It must have been electrified when first built but for whatever reason she decided she had no need for such new fangled nonsense. It was a creepy old place especially late at night.

black_son_of_gray
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:39 pm

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by black_son_of_gray » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:18 pm

@reepicheep I'm partial to John Michael Greer's orientation towards to the future: something like a "long descent". Your OP touches on two domains: 1) technological, and 2) social. I'm sure they have some bearing on each other, but they clearly aren't completely linked. Here's how I've been thinking about it lately.

Technology: Available energy, economic growth, and technological sophistication are all very strongly correlated. We are somewhere around peak oil -- maybe past it, maybe in a decade, doesn't really matter. Technologically, this means that the pace of incredible technological advances has, or is about to, decline. Some fields will keep pushing forward for a while longer, some will or have already started to slip backwards from a peak. In the next few decades, almost every field will be on the other side of the peak and in decline, simply because it will follow the energy decline from fossil fuels. If we assume a Hubbert-peakish, roughly bell-shaped curve with a full width at half max of about a 70-100 years, then by the time I die the US will be back to the technological sophistication of maybe the 1970's or so. Some new-fangled gizmos --the most useful ones--will persist, many will have been scrapped. They had prescription glasses in the 1970's. I'm not worried about that. People did use paper maps, though.

Social: These are interesting times, particularly because of the "myth of progress," that pervasive unspoken belief by just about everyone in the West that every year things get "better" and move more towards a perfect state. Things have permanently improved. We're on our way to our Star Trek future in cosmos! Now think back to the first half of that bell-curve-like shape of our fossil fuel energy extraction. For the last 150 years or so, if you believed in the myth of progress - you would have been right! In appearance, at least, because the left half of a bell curve looks an awful lot like an exponential function. And over the course of generations, it makes sense that the belief in progress would become the norm, because it was never really wrong. Which is why now is such an interesting time to live-- because in our lifetimes, we're going to start back down the other side of that curve. And it is going to slowly dawn on people (at different times for different folks), that the curve isn't an exponential, but is in fact sloping back down. What that's going to do socially for society, I have no clue. Who knows what the politics, both local and national, will look like? Some places will handle it well. Some won't. Some people will just roll with reality, some people will reject it. The back side of the slope offers some good things, like an opportunity for re-connection to the meaning and purpose and value of a day's work. But the incredible conveniences of modern life will slowly slip away, and a lot of people are going to be pissed off by that.

The best metaphor I can think of for the current state of humanity right now is that of a roller coaster and that first big climb. Have you ridden in the last car of a roller coaster? Have you ridden in the front car of a roller coaster? Consider the differences in the experience: When you are in the last car, you're still clinking up to the top when the front is already heading down the other side. There is a feeling of being "pulled" over the top. You're the last to see what's in store. When you're in the first car, you see everything in front of you clearly, but there is a sense that you're dragging a lot of weight behind you. When you crest the top, you seem to hang for a minute, dangling down the slope momentarily while the rear catches up... and then whoosh, you're off! People who are intractably stuck in the "progress" mindset at in the last car, people looking for a Mad Max dystopia to unfold tomorrow morning are the hood ornament of the front car. It'll be both faster and slower, respectively, than these groups imagine.

Of course, children born a few decades from now will be born and live out their lives completely on the downslope of the curve, so they'll likely be the first generation to develop a "myth of regress*", which will probably turn into the unstated culture mode going forward for generations to come. This is why our current time is so interesting: we get to (have to?) experience humanity on both sides of the curve as we round the top.

*honestly, I can't imagine that humans would actually adopt this mindset, but that's probably because I grew up knee deep in "progress" and it's too much of a leap for my brain!

In the PNW, the major, prudent apocalypse planning that I can think of can all be done well ahead of time, even if the specific acts of god are not forecast-able: 1) seismic retrofit, 2) bug-out bag with essentials, 3) don't live at low elevation on the coast, 4) don't live in a lahar zone, 5) maintain a reasonable stock of food, 5) keep your gas tank topped up, 6) know alternate routes that don't require bridges...etc?

The future will be full of hipster dinosaurs. :)

TopHatFox
Posts: 2012
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: FL; 25

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:57 am

reepicheep wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 am

In September, I got LASIK. I figured broken glasses during the apocalypse would slow me down.

Did it work, and will your vision decline again over time?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5331
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:21 am

Does a 21st century 21 year old human who grew up in a rural village in China have to go through a phase where he owns a CB radio and a Harvest Orange refrigerator before he buys a cell phone? Although there is something that can happen in history or evolution that seems to be from our perspective something like return to earlier or primitive form, it is always the case that what is really happening is cognition with very real environment in the current moment.

It seems highly unlikely to me that the descent will be spread evenly like a frosting across the cake of the planet, unless it arrives in a form that is quick and near obliterating. In Kurt Vonnegut's "Player Piano", written way back in 1952, he imagines a scene where after a crowd has destroyed all the machines, some of them are soon found standing in the rubble, happily engaged in getting a soda pop vending machine working again. The thing that strikes you when you read this scene, is not the right or wrong of it, or even the irony, but something more like simple deep acknowledgement of "Yeah, that's what our species is like." As long as we're around, we will be tinkering and inventing our way forward, looking for a quick fix of sugar or an ever more satisfying screw.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11502
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:54 am

I think it's fascinating that technologically speaking not much as happened in the past 50 years. If someone from 1969 took a time machine and fast-forwarded to 2019, they'd find almost everything in their daily lives recognizable with few new things added. What has mostly changed would be the relative price levels of certain things. For example houses and cars have become quite expensive, but air travel and telephoning have become really cheap. There are no hovercars, but drones are $49.95. There are no bases on the moon or even in orbit in the way they imagined them but if you took them to a movie theater and told them that movies like Martian or Gravity were a historical documentary, they'd likely believe you.

Food is still bought in supermarkets. They might appreciate that it now costs less. The self-scanning checkout might seem weird---as it does to tourists---but that's about it. Many of the brand names remain identical. People still eat cornflakes. In the kitchen, the only thing that has changed is the existence of the microwave oven. That's not really a mindblowing concept when it comes down to it. Perhaps the stove or sink is even 50 years old and kept as a vintage "because they built them more solid back then".

In the living room, the TV is much thinner and much larger, but it's still a TV. They might confuse it for a cinema/projector, but fair enough ... some people actually use that. The biggest change would be how many shows are now on demand. Also maybe the existence of remote controls ... but the idea of radio transmission or some other way of communicating via the remote is not alien. They will certainly struggle with navigating the menus because the layout is not native to them.

They might not believe you when you say that you and everybody else now have a computer much more powerful than what existed in 1969... and really wonder when you explain that most people mainly use all this power to write short letters to each other and show short movies or falling cats. The concept would not be alien though. Pneumatic tube transmission existed in the 19th century ... only difference is that instead of typing it out on paper, you're now typing it out on a screen. It won't be seen as a radical idea that all the screens are connected in something called the internet.

Walkie-talkies and telephones have merged. Instead of using your walkie talkie to call a base station and talking to an operator to make a telephone call, all this happens automatically. These are called cellphones and the craziest thing is not that they exist or how they're used (see Star Trek: TOS) but how cheap and ubiquitous they are. That they have little screens and work much like the "personalized TVs" is also not inconceivable.

Moving on... it's not just the living room that has one of these screen, also the bedroom, the kids rooms, etc. have them. But it's still the same types of rooms and old houses are still around. The time traveler might wonder why new houses are 50% bigger... only to realize that people simply have much cheap crap that is now Made in China instead of Made in Japan. When asking about quality, the time traveler is informed to look for the Made in Japan and is told that Made in USA is for dinosaurs and that the US doesn't make anything anymore (not quite true, but that's the general sentiment).

The hardest thing/biggest change will be how much personal business now happens on those ever-present screens. The idea of not being able to show up in the airport and buy a ticket or go to a bank to get cash but instead having to figure it out via the "interwebs".

All this to say is that ...

Hipsters and dinosaurs are remarkably similar and will probably remain remarkably similar. They still put their pants on the same way [in the morning] and so forth. To wit, if in the future, the economy decides to sacrifice the internet rather than, say, HVAC, old people (that is young people today) will struggle organizing their affairs/businesses in person at a specific location rather than via the screen from everywhere.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5331
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:59 am

Well, I remember having a conversation with my father in 1989 (circa) about how things were not that different and actually kind of better in 1939. His take was that you want penicillin, but anything beyond that would be strictly optional. For instance, in his opinion, sitting around the living room listening to the radio was better than watching TV. The generation before his would have sat around the victrola and worked on handicrafts with benefit of decent lighting. Generations before that would have sat around the organ with okay lighting...etc. etc. etc...open fire/storyteller.

Human technology is limited or delimited by natural human patterns or cycles. Also, thing to maybe notice is that a few big advances in biology/medicine/agriculture have had huge effect on population. I think the most shocking technological advances from the perspective of 1969 would be those in the realm of human reproduction and biotechnology. Also, cultural advances that it might be argued rode in on the horse of technological advances have been huge. For instance, every woman in the neighborhood where I lived in 1969, except maybe one or two, was a housewife. So, size of houses would not be of much note, but "emptiness' of houses and consequent crowding of roadways, very much would be.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 4356
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by Ego » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:22 am

jacob wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:54 am
All this to say is that ...

Hipsters and dinosaurs are remarkably similar and will probably remain remarkably similar.
I couldn't disagree more. The differences may not be readily apparent from the outside, but they exist and they are massive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87_iQMiZ09g

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 6287
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by jennypenny » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:40 am

I don't agree either. Hipsters and dinosaurs are very different when it comes to access to information. It may seem trivial when it comes to social media or internet surfing, but there are things you cannot do over the phone or in person anymore, and even if you still can there will be long wait times and you may have to travel a longer distance to find an office than can help you.

Food is (mostly) still bought at a grocery store, but how to you check out? Most of the lanes in my store are self-serve and most of them are CC/Debit only. If you want to order take out from them (or my local Wawa), you have to order through a touch screen. TVs are still TVs, but can you figure out how to stream what you want to watch? Do you have enough internet capacity? Can you troubleshoot when you’re only familiar with rabbit ears?

Does anyone go to a travel agency anymore? How do you buy plane tickets? (even my boarding pass is electronic now) Libraries have gone electronic. Social Security and Welfare services are online now. So are vehicle services (registrations, licenses). You also can't manage your kids lives (if you plan to have any0 because most of the information and their school work is conducted online, as well as extracurricular activities.

The other big obstacle is health care. Our prescriptions are handled online (mandatory from our health insurance for maintenance drugs). I book our appointments online, get test results, fill out medical forms prior to visits, deal with EOBs from the insurance agency, etc. Our insurance company really pushes Teledoc services (only charge us $4!! as an enticement).

My time is valuable to me, and I don’t want to wait on hold for an hour waiting to talk to someone about something I could do in 5 minutes online (and then hope the person on the phone can actually help me). I also don’t want to have to do it for someone else (see Scott’s thread about his parents). I don’t see this as any different than people my grandparents age who had to learn how to work a (rotary) telephone, maintain a car, do at least minor plumbing and electrical work, etc. Every generation goes through this.

I think it’s important to stay current even if you don’t incorporate all of it into your own life. Why pick a year where you were comfortable and cling to that? It’s probably mentally challenging (in a good way) to try to stay current. It also keeps you from looking like a social outcast, something EREs have to deal with anyway so why make it worse?

flying_pan
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:06 am
Location: USA, Oregon

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by flying_pan » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:59 am

reepicheep wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 am
Fast forward 50 years. Will I even understand what people are up to? My mom has maintained pretty good flexibility and adaptability to new technology as it's rolled out. I'm not even trying. It's like I've picked a year in the early 2000's -- in some ways, the 1970's -- and decided I'm not going to update past that, technically. Socially, I'm pretty hip and jiggy with it. On board with the they/them pronouns and all that jazz.

What do? Is this even a concern? I keep hoping for the apocalypse. In the PNW that'll be the earthquake. Hell rises up, local style. People will still use cell phones to check in with the fam on fb if they can, afterwards.
Really depends on the progress. New phone applications won't really change it, people might be annoyed that you don't have them, but that's it. I am like that a bit (people often ask "really? no whatsapp???"), and I don't really care, but I have to install 2F Authenticator on my phone for work. If not that, I would probably downgrade my phone (it is iPhone SE). Also, some services (like "cool" banks) can require a phone app for working or doing certain things much easier.

But if progress leaps then you might be in trouble. Let's say they drop landlines, and you have to communicate somehow new. This "new" is given by government or cheap enough so it is affordable by everyone, but there is a learning curve. Everybody will know it and you might end up depending on others. Heck, some old people today can't do anything on computers, but don't want to miss out and constantly ask their relatives to help – I think we all have seen these jokes/memes.

As soon as I hit FI I am going to cut on tech more and more. I work in IT, so I ironically develop such services, but I have little faith in them and have some concerns how they affect mental health. Especially those which trick you into spending time more in them by any means. I am also in PNW and I hope for not apocalypse, lol. In fact, I am right on the coast and we want to move inland (somewhere around Salem, OR) mostly to relatively safely survive the earthquake: I think it will happen, but I don't want to give up amazing weather and incredible outdoors. Also, if earthquake happens, all power lines + mobile base stations will be shot, so only satellite phones will work.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11502
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:05 am

Maybe we only disagree in degree, that is, what you guys call HUGE, I call minor.

Online vs offline is at the same level of change as traveling/moving to another country (where you speak the language) at the same socioeconomic level. The structure and goals are the same; only the methods are different. IOW, I see it as the difference between driving automatic and driving stick --- not the difference between driving and being limited by how far one can walk because society doesn't have vehicles (or affordable horses) or because one will be killed when entering the territory of the tribes outside the valley. Or people might have to go online to access their bank accounts, but they still have bank accounts! That's relatable. Cf. hipsters replacing the idea of bank accounts with "social credit" ala China or reddit-karma and dinosaurs were left behind. That'd be much worse for a dinosaur.

My point is that people still do the same things online in 2019 as they did offline in 1969; they just do them differently. The difference between 2019 and 1969 is not nearly as radical in kind as the difference between 1919 and 1869: Airplanes, telephones, radio, cars, chemicals, electricity, indoor plumbing, WCs, ...

The difference in terms of operating a computer from 1994 and 2019 is simply that the latter is faster. That's it. Everything else, desktop, word processor, internet browser, music player, ... is and works the same.

Basically, technological advances have reached diminishing returns in terms of how they change people's lives. Another way of saying it is that in the past 50 years, humans have added exactly ONE new industry: the internet. I'm not too impressed by biotech. We can keep humans alive for a few months longer now, but the lack of tech advances is essentially the reason why longevity-at-birth is not going up. Chemotherapy was the last major breakthrough to happen in medicine (before that it was penicillin and the concept of 'public health'), but that already existed in 1969.

I'm therefore not too worried about what Haidt is talking about. Some of those concerns (safety-culture in particular) are very US-centric. Other concerns are generational.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5331
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:44 am

I meant that bio-tech in the field of agriculture has been the most influential technology since 1969. It's not directly apparent, but it is there in every bag of Frito's being consumed by a worker in a high-tech manufacturing plant. Approximately half the human flesh on the planet is dependent for its continuing existence on not just artificial fertilizer but also the technological developments that allow for such close, massive planting without huge losses to pests and diseases which mutate and reproduce in much tighter cycles than humans.

Also, "test tube" babies was a pretty huge thing when it first happened. And our greatly expanded ability to mess with the genetic make-up of our own species as well as others has barely been tapped. For instance, some researcher recently changed a gene sequence in mice in order to observe what flavor of red hair Neanderthals might have had and lab grown meat is now available.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11502
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:58 am

Don't get me wrong ... there's different stuff going on behind the scenes and individual jobs can look very different, but that's irrelevant from a citizen^H^H^H^Hconsumer(*) perspective. To wit, the food is made from different ingredients now but it still looks the same and as far as the consumer is concerned, it still comes from the supermarket.

(*) Speaking of which that's probably a bigger difference between 1969 and 2019 than anything else ... but the hard direction here would be going back, not forward---even people from 1969 already knew how to shop ... they'd just have to learn to buy more things in 2019 than they were used to. That, perhaps, is a good indication of culture shock. It's on par with what 2019-consumers feel when they first encounter ERE (Wheaton level 7) because that is fairly close to what 1969 looked like in terms of "home making/economics".

henrik
Posts: 764
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by henrik » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:06 pm

jacob wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:54 am
In the kitchen, the only thing that has changed is the existence of the microwave oven.
The first microwave oven was apparently sold in 1946 and a home-use version marketed in 1955:)

"Tech" = tools for various purposes. I don't own even one chisel, because I don't do much woodwork. If I ever take an interest, I'll get a few and learn to use them. Similarly, I'm not going to use Whatsapp just to stay current or to not be a dinosaur. I just have no use for it.

In my experience, people of all sorts of ages adopt new things quickly if it actually improves their lives in a significant way. Not so much if it's just the same thing but online and with more pixels.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5331
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:15 pm

I think smart phones are also huge culture changing technology. Thinking of them as being just like small portable, phones, televisions and/or computers is kind of like thinking about conventional retirement when you see the word "retirement" in ERE. I was subbing for a high school science class in an affluent suburb recently, and the young teacher asked me if I minded if the students used their phones for research. I guessed because she was assuming that maybe I would mind because I am older and find it rude or "wrong." It's really a big deal to attempt to pry cell phones away from even otherwise very well-behaved, intelligent, motivated students. They don't just sit and watch funny cat videos like their grandmothers. They use them to stay in constant touch with their expanded circle of connections. I am not at all surprised that most of them would choose to spend more money for maintenance of cell service than for car ownership. If competition didn't keep the price low, IMO most of them would be willing to pay MUCH more than the market is currently asking, so that's why I don't think it will be one of the first technologies to go in the decline.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 11502
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by jacob » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:20 pm

To give an example of some dinosaur behavior on my part, in the spring of 2019, I went to Denmark for the first time since 2009 ... and I had to do some things, specifically some banking and using public transport (trains and buses), which I hadn't done since 1999. I'm also notorious for being the last person I know (or anyone knows?) not to get a smartphone.

Meanwhile everything and everyone over there now assumes you have a smartphone.

What has happened in the past 20 years is that Denmark has gone almost fully electronic with everything integrated: banks, government, cash registers, ... To give an idea, the mailman delivers once a week (nobody sends letters anymore) and the local post office was long closed. So was the ticket office at the train station being replaced with something resembling ATMs with about five different ways to buy a ticket depending on which "plan" you were on (ARGH); bus tickets being sold only at 7/11 stores... as far as I could figure out anyway. Major train stations featured a long line of ticket vending machines but still kept a small office alive with lots of humans (mainly foreigners like me) standing in line.

Roughly speaking, I'd estimate that Denmark leads the US by about 15 years when it comes to electronic integration. You should see how going to the equivalent of the DMV over there. Insofar you even have to go in the first place, it takes about 10 minutes with practically no lines ...

To do any banking, I first had to get a government issued ID card complete with a two-factor number pad at the local government office. Once that was done (10 minutes, no lines, knowledgeable human with discretionary authority behind the counter), it was possible to do online banking in the regular way. When I wanted to do some large transfers, it was only possible via receiving a separate two-factor code on phone. So I had to go to the nearest physical branch and do it in person. That branch is probably closing soon. After setting it up there, I can now do it by logging onto their system and sending them a PM via my government ID.

Public transport now works via an app that automatically docks your creditcard. The conductors scan a QR code on your phone which you show when they come around for inspection. If you don't have a @#$@# smartphone, you have to print out a ticket from home---so that's what I did. Not nearly as convenient as it was 20 years ago when you just bought it at the ticket office. The bus system was actually worse. If you had a smartphone, no problem---just use the same app (I think) ... otherwise, you'd have to carry about a bunch of cash in coins (easier over there .. biggest coin is ~$3). What was more tricky was that ALL the bus plans were now online (cf. bus trackers in the US). Basically, to see when the bus arrived you have to log on with the app, because the sign at the bus stop told you nothing beyond the bus lines stopping there (e.g. lines 132 and 435). Even the idea of a travel plan had been somewhat eliminated from people's mind ... instead the app would just tell you where to get on/off and instantly reroute you in case some bus was delayed. This made for a pretty "interesting" journey (for me).

Similarly, it was pretty much impossible to buy a real map. (Everybody uses google maps). My workaround was to print them out from the computer.

=> A twenty year difference as a dinosaur creates some inconveniences, but workarounds were entirely possible.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 5331
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Hipster? Dinosaur?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:33 pm

@jacob:

I see it coming on much faster than 15 years. You can get in line online for all sorts of things. Even my small neighborhood Italian market offers instant pick-up services.

Also, the interesting thing to notice is that these technologies are much more critically important for poor youth than wealthy elders. Trying to take a cell phone away from an inner city kid would be like trying to take the horse away from a resident of Dodge City in 1857, and for almost exactly the same set of reasons.

Post Reply