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Old 07-04-2013, 03:11 PM   #31
crich70
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A lot of people and institutions would rather the internet had never come to be. Wal-Mart, for instance, could probably do without Amazon and there is no Amazon without the internet. I'm guessing Border Books would vote against an internet as well.

I also agree that it is not very important. Some tend to make it more important than it should be, but a week without the internet can be cathartic. It's inconvenient, but it's not the end of the world.

My little town loses utilities almost annually for a week or so. No electricity, no cable, no internet. When the snow stops, we pull out our generators and grills and make the best of things. When one ventures out for food and gasoline, the stores are dark, but they are open. Employees stand at the door tabulating orders and making change.

I'm pretty confident that the world would recover from whatever iCatastrophe comes along. In the mean time, the internet has spawned a lot of ideas that have led to goods and services that make out lives easier and more entertaining.
Ah, but could Wal-Mart do without the internet? When you buy something it's scanned out and deducted from the store's inventory and I wager that re-ordering products for any given Wal-Mart store is done via the internet as well. For that matter some of Wal-Mart's business is now via the net. I bought a refurbished desktop (Win7) from Wal-Mart not long ago and the whole transaction was accomplished via the internet.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:35 PM   #32
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Given the choice, I'll wager Wal-Mart would prefer a world without Amazon.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:36 PM   #33
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Neither Wal-Mart nor Home Depot closed their doors when the power went out. They know how to do business without the internet.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:36 PM   #34
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there is no Amazon without the internet.
For that specific example: true. On the other hand, Amazon is a glorified mail-order company. Mail order companies existed before the internet in multiple forms, from the mail-order catalogue to the home shopping channel. Like Amazon, they were typically cheaper than B&M stores because they didn't have the same overhead. In their heydays, they were generally despised by B&M stores because this lower overhead allowed mail-order companies to undercut retail outlets.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:53 PM   #35
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For that specific example: true. On the other hand, Amazon is a glorified mail-order company. Mail order companies existed before the internet in multiple forms, from the mail-order catalogue to the home shopping channel. Like Amazon, they were typically cheaper than B&M stores because they didn't have the same overhead. In their heydays, they were generally despised by B&M stores because this lower overhead allowed mail-order companies to undercut retail outlets.
Yep. Sears got its start by offering a catalog of merchandise that the customer could look over from the comfort of their own living room. I.E. Sears Roebuck catalog.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:55 PM   #36
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Wow. This is a silly discussion to begin with, but is anyone actually, honestly contending that Wal-Mart would not be more successful absent the internet? Do people actually believe Bezos would have spawned a mail order book business absent the internet? That Sears plus shipping trumps Wal-Mart B&M?

Wal-Mart, Sears, and Home Depot survived the internet then learned how to leverage it. Border Books, Circuit City, CompUSA, and many others did not learn to adapt and perished.

The world changed with the rise of the internet, but it wasn't a boon for all.
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:25 PM   #37
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Wow. This is a silly discussion to begin with, but is anyone actually, honestly contending that Wal-Mart would not be more successful absent the internet? Do people actually believe Bezos would have spawned a mail order book business absent the internet? That Sears plus shipping trumps Wal-Mart B&M?

Wal-Mart, Sears, and Home Depot survived the internet then learned how to leverage it. Border Books, Circuit City, CompUSA, and many others did not learn to adapt and perished.

The world changed with the rise of the internet, but it wasn't a boon for all.
You could say the same for other tech. innovations of the past. The automobile for example. How many blacksmiths went out of business because it was invented? Some of them became car dealerships I imagine and survived but others couldn't or wouldn't and went out of business along with the buggy companies that didn't switch to making cars. And the television no doubt spelled a similar doom for at least some of the movie theaters (indoor and outdoor) since people could stay home to watch movies now. Even the old scribes who had been employed to copy manuscripts by hand had their doomsday with the advent of the printing press.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #38
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But that would be off topic
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:23 PM   #39
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But that would be off topic
Just saying that the Internet is just like other innovations that came along in past generations. The old things (ways of doing things) are either sidelined or go extinct as new technology replaces them. The internet is just the newest big change of that sort. Some are bound to be disgruntled as they don't want to change with the times, but that doesn't mean that time stands still. Once upon a time companies used telegrams or face to face meetings to conduct business, then the telephone was invented pushing out the telegraph, now the internet makes video conferencing possible. Time and time again history has shown that what doesn't change with the times withers. The internet is here to stay (at least til someone finds a better way of doing something similar.)
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #40
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I agree with you. We cannot stop innovation. It's OK to wonder if and this guy was simply wondering if the arrival of the internet was a good thing. Some people thought he was nuts to wonder that. I disagree.

I love anecdotes. So here is one. When I was in high school, in my biology class, we saw a film about a bunch of things. The thing that stuck in my mind was the image of a little boy in Africa who was sitting on a rock. There was a fly walking over his face and he did not even swat it away. At fourteen years old, I decided that the kind of people who left Africa to do everything were the kind of people who would at least shoo a fly on their face and that this kid was certainly the progeny of people who would not bother to invent shoes and jackets and discover the rest of the world.

Now I am 52. I have been schooled and commute to work every day. I pay college tuition and health insurance and taxes. Sometimes I wish my ancestors would not have been the kind of people who would shoo a fly off their face. Sometimes, I sit in my back yard with a beer and watch a fly walk across my thigh.

All these things we have done are amazing, but I'm not sure I wouldn't be just as happy to sit on a rock and watch the world go by. I guess things skip a generation sometimes...
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:47 PM   #41
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All these things we have done are amazing, but I'm not sure I wouldn't be just as happy to sit on a rock and watch the world go by.
If our ancestors hadn't invented anything, the total word popluation of humans would total (maybe) a few hundred thousand of hunter gathers. Average lifespan? Maybe 20 years. (Me, I wouldn't have made it out of childhood. Too curious for my own good. )

Each major wave of invention raised the number of people the planet could support and the both the average and peak standard of living of those ever-increasing numbers.

As someone who lives in one of the more developed societies, with access to all the products of 10,000 years of snowballing engineering, I'm happy to put up with the occasional bit of technological whiplash as innovation marches merrily on, ignoring luddites and other naysayers.

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Old 07-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #42
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All these things we have done are amazing, but I'm not sure I wouldn't be just as happy to sit on a rock and watch the world go by. I guess things skip a generation sometimes...
The way I think of it: there's a lot of new stuff that I can do without, and there's a lot of new stuff that improves my life. As long as I stick to the latter, and avoid being persuaded into adopting the stuff that I can do without, my life will probably end up being the better for it.

Am I always successful. Nah. I love my computers far too much for my own good. Yet I think I do better than most. I can live a fairly simple lifestyle, and a relaxed one at that, because I don't feel a compulsion to need everything that humanity has created.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:53 PM   #43
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All these things we have done are amazing, but I'm not sure I wouldn't be just as happy to sit on a rock and watch the world go by. I guess things skip a generation sometimes...
Ah, but it is just those tech. innovations that enable you to be able to sit on a rock and watch the world go by if you wish. Without them we (if we were alive at all) would be forced to be constantly on the move to find our next meal etc. I know I probably wouldn't have made it out of infancy much less past age 28 if it weren't for tech. innovation. I was a premee when born and suffered from seizures among other problems and if I'd survived that I'd have gone before age 29 due to type 1 diabetes without yet another medical tech. innovation.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:58 PM   #44
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The way I think of it: there's a lot of new stuff that I can do without, and there's a lot of new stuff that improves my life. As long as I stick to the latter, and avoid being persuaded into adopting the stuff that I can do without, my life will probably end up being the better for it.
Isn't it always that way though? I'd guess for every 10 new things maybe 2-3 are things that are really needed and the rest are either 'wants' rather than 'needs' or even turn out not to be such a great idea after all. Cesium used to be used to line cans on the inside as a preservative it turned corn black but that wasn't a concern then they learned that cesium was toxic if injested. Exit cesium lined cans. Likewise the stuff they used to put in spray cans turned out to cause ozone layer damage. That leads to more solar radiation getting in and an increase in sunburn and skin cancer. I'm sure there are other 'great ideas' that turned out not to be so great in the long run.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:54 AM   #45
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[...]I'm sure there are other 'great ideas' that turned out not to be so great in the long run.
Like the Internet?

There was a time when it was the sole preserve of computer geeks and porn addicts (hmm ... no, I'm not going there ), now they let any riffraff use it.

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