09 January 2009

Young People These Days...

Insightful point from Clay Shirky:

the thing that people say about young people is just that they understand the technology so well. Well, I teach in a graduate program, I see twenty-five-year-olds all the time. They actually don’t understand the technology particularly well. I think I understand quite a lot of it quite a bit better than they do, which is the reason why I’m teaching there and they’re students. The advantage they have over me is that they don’t have to unlearn anything. They don’t have to unlearn the idea that a card catalog is a helpful thing to have. That you need a librarian to find things. That you have to figure out where you’re looking before you what you’re looking for. None of those things are true anymore. And so one of the problems that old people like me suffer from is just we know too many solutions for problems that no longer exist. And it kind of freaks us out to realize that all the things we mastered don’t really add up to much value anymore.

2 comments:

zaine_ridling said...

...it kind of freaks us out to realize that all the things we mastered don’t really add up to much value anymore.
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So true, and here's a tangential, but recent example. As a film buff, I've spent years collecting classics, foreign films, series, documentaries, and all the things I love and hope to watch again someday -- all on disc in various formats from avi to DVD to HD.

Now I'm looking at these 100-disc spools -- 15 of them! -- and thinking, what the hell have I done! I didn't need to do that; those formats won't hold up, nor will the drives to read those discs by the time I get around to enjoying them. Movies are now being streamed to TV sets here in the US via a box or directly if you have a HDTV set.

What a waste. What an anachronism those discs now represent. My intention was to save money and beat DRM. A nice thought, but no longer needed, given the limited time I have to watch full-length movies.

glyn moody said...

Long-term preservation of data is an issue we've not even begun to address. Clouds make it worse.