I get inspiration from my father. He is 98 and has taught himself 3D animation and video editing, and keeps himself very busy creating videos for the international right to die organization. (He was a physicist and is still a member of the National Academy of Sciences.)
So, for all you young 50 year olds, I say to you: it is not over until it is over :-)
I adopted a lot of things earlier than OP, thanks to my Mom, who purchased my first computer, a used Tandy CoCo 64K when I was just 10 years old. Thanks Mom.
And it just occurred to me that my son's entire lifetime is less than half the time I've been married to my wife. The time I've been married to my wife is less than half the time I've lived in the Bay Area. The time I've lived in the Bay Area is less than a third of my total lifetime.
We all live multiple lifetimes. Some moments just remind us of that more than others.
It is a certain form of awe, to realise that one’s life so far will likely just be a small fragment of the whole. It isn’t intuitive aside from mathematically — it is a thought that only at a certain age becomes apparent and then drifts off to be forgotten again.
Realising that the journey is so much longer, it both storms and calms the soul. The calm from the meditative “I still have time to become”, the storm from a similar “But I only have time to become”.
When I was young I never quite understood why old fogies would spend so much time working on their roses and hanging out with their grand kids. Now I get it.
Anyway, being 37 my purchasing power is obviously a lot greater than it was the last time I was into miniatures, and that has lead me down a rabbit hole of hobbyists who enjoy miniature war/board games (not really sure what to call them yet). A lot of these people are well into their 60ies, yet they attend weekly brawls at local libraries. They hold weekend tournaments. Have lively Facebook groups to organise their different leagues and everyone is welcome.
It’s really been inspiring to see that old age can be a lot different than what it’s been for my own family members.
If you play PC games there is an equally excellent PC version, Blood Bowl 2.
I prefer games that have a randomness element.
I’ve just sort of resigned myself to the idea of working less when I “retire” and have been starting to more seriously engage in some hobbies so I have more “range” and thus more options for what that looks like.
I have been saying for years that what the world needs now is not more programmers but programmers with more varied backgrounds. Write me some software for model airplane meetups, volunteer management, seed swaps, or sewing instructions.
I'm getting close to 50 and I have to admit, I'm wondering what employment looks like after 50 for people in our industry.
Very inspiring to hear that he has taught himself 3D animation and video editing, but if I have the grace to live until 98 or longer and with my mind in order – as my own grandmother – I am 100% sure that working for the 'right to die' wouldn't get me up in the morning. But if it was to live bountifully and blissfully – as my own grandmother – I would leap, as gracefully a 98-year-old would leap, out of bed!
In the same way that people who witness a lot of civil rights abuses might get into fighting for civil rights, a person that witness a lot of end of life suffering might be inclined to work on right to die issues.
I am very biased in favor of Lisp languages, but I have been getting into Swift because: easier iOS and macOS development, exciting possibilities with TensorFlow in Swift, and except for not being a lazy language, it reminds me a little of Haskell development (another language I like).
I have material for updating my Hy and Common Lisp books and when I finish updating these two books (always free updates for my books on leanpub) in the next month or two, I might write a Swift book based on my experience developing my product (which is a combination of a tool for training the effective use of SPARQL with Knowledge Graphs, and a tool for browsing Knowledge Graphs). I will float this idea to people who follow me on Twitter (@mark_l_watson) to see if there might be interest.
I’m a lot younger, but this is something I’m going to try to remember and keep in mind going forward.
My aim is to be creative and productive through my nineties, to the age of 100.
I still write code every day. In C++/CUDA and Erlang.
I’m gonna bookmark this.
But the big era of a single, national popular culture was very much a product of the TV age. The easy identification of a decade with a single music genre and clothing style is over. We're fragmented now; Game of Thrones feels big but has a narrower reach than the big pop culture movements of the mid-20th century.
Find your niche. It's OK. But don't mock the niches of others.
I was around when two "major" popular music "moments" happened (punk in London in the 1970s, and grunge in Seattle in the 1990s). It has always been striking to me just how few people were involved in these subcultures, and how hidden they were until one day they weren't. Punks in London in 1977 were a tiny, wierd, shunned group that got a lot of attention. Grunge fans in Seattle in the early 1990s had a handful of venues and a lot of people wondering why these people were wearing second hand plaid shirts.
It's even true of the hippies/counterculture at the end of 1960s/1970s. There were always far more "squares" among their generational cohort than there ever were members of that "group", which is why I get irritated with people who think that "hippies grew up and went to wall street". Not really. Maybe a few, but wall st. got populated in the 1980s by people who never were and never would have been hippies - which is to say, most of the population.
When grunge spread outside of Seattle, yes. I was in New Orleans in the 90s when grunge got big and seeing people in 90°F wearing flannel was definitely odd. But in Seattle, plaid flannel has always been a thing and continues to be for entirely logical reasons: it's fucking cold and flannel is cozy and warm.
You're absolutely right that at any point in time there has never been a single monolithic popular culture. Even the 60s had Burt Bacharach, Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, and Otis Redding. It does feel to me that the transition to streaming means the genres have splintered into finer and finer subdivisions with people less and less aware of what's outside of their own personal recommendation bubble.
If you listened to new wave exclusively in the 80s, you still knew about hair metal. You'd hear snatches of it as you scanned the radio. But, today, I literally have no idea what other people are listening to and I'm fairly certain no one around me knows about all the weird niche stuff I listen to all day.
I couldn't agree more and wish people would approach niches of others with curiosity rather than derision. I'm sure plenty of us on the coasts of the U.S. look at something like auto racing and say "No that's not a thing, who cares about people driving cars around in a circle. And burning all that fuel is bad for the environment, so feh."
Well 250,000 people show up to the Indy 500 so yes, it actually is a thing, and a thing that a lot of people are very passionate about.
I was watching some teeny, zombie show on Netflix a few months ago that still clearly delineated teens into identifiable groups, though nerds are cool, and the group that would have been the actual nerds in times past identified themselves as just 'awkward'.
AFAIK, tribality is built into our DNA, I can't see it ever disappearing, people want to belong.
You can even point to some TV series like 'Russian Doll' that capture the fashion style and the 'essence' of this era.
Are you sure your assessment is not just some sort of cylical 40 retrospective nostalgia?
Now, I will concede that in the 90s people did not see the 70s in this way (at least not in general) - not long enough had passed, I think. That's why I suspect that any notion of the 80s being a culturally rich decade comes from the fact that it is now 30-40 years ago, rather than just 10 as it was at the start of the 90s.
This sort of view doesn't have much to do with anyone's experience of the decade as it happened, and I think it doesn't have a lot to do with what actually happened, because in any given decade, there will always be a rich and diverse set of amazing cultural creativity. It comes mostly from time passing, and a new assessment blending with nostalgia for the culture that surrounded as we reach certain ages.
I think the hint is in the examples you're giving : the 1970s were the heyday of progressive and what is now called "classic" rock, and that particular genre seems to be your frame of reference.
Whereas for us Euro synth folks, the 70s was the age of early pioneers like Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre (I suppose that's where rock music was in the 50s)
And the 80s are THE golden age of synthpop explosion that put us on the map, with legends like : New Order, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Bronski Beats, Eurythmics, Jean-Michel Jarre, a-ha, Tears for Fears. Our 80s are rock music's 60s (think Beatles & Rolling Stones).
The 80s are so revered that for the past 5-10 years there's been a whole music genre ("Synthwave") dedicated to reproducing its aesthetics with a contemporary twist. It's even been preempted by mainstream pop recently with The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights" single.
Our own Led Zeppelins are 90s kids Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, the Prodigy, Fatboy Slim.
In the 2000s, we took over for good and mostly killed any remnants of rock music's mindshare in Europe, and the US followed in the 2010s with the "EDM" mainstream pop flavor of our stuff.
In other words, it's all a matter of which bubble you're living in !
It's true that the 80's "gave us" synthpop, and although I'm aware of the new level of reverence for some of it, I don't detect the more critical younger minds regarding it with the same level of awe that is now accorded to what happened to rock in the 1970s. My sense is that people like the sound, find it sort of fun-nostalgic, and are recreating it. Nobody views any of the bands you mentioned (I have the first singles by all of them, by the way, on vinyl) as truly ground breaking.
I could be wrong.
Personally, I went from Euro-synth stuff into ECM, improvised music, indian classical, progressive house and downtempo :)
... for some definitions of 'music.'
I always thought there should be some form of yearly bootcamp for nerds. Drop out of larger society for most of the year, doing your thing, then for a week each year you get indoctrinated in all of the crap everybody else is doing and thinking. That way you can stay mostly culturally-relevant without spending huge hunks of your time becoming the master of the intricate details of things like Game of Thrones. Just know the general themes, be able to tell some jokes and create metaphors and illusions.
I don't know who would run this bootcamp. I assume teenagers. Your teenage years are a time where it is very important to stay with the group, establish social ranking, be the master of conversation about various widespread cultural events. Those feelings never go away, but for many of us they die off as we get older, have families, and absorb ourselves in work we find important.
There are some very weird things about getting older. First off, you only are old on the outside. While people, especially some younger folks, may look at you as if you were an alien that just arrived from Mars, inside you're the same old kid you always was. Just the outside has changed. When presented with a new situation, you may appear to decide more slowly, but you're also thinking about a lot of different things and options you wouldn't have thought of in your youth, and you realize that unless you're driving a racecar, most times it's better to take a minute and decide and get it right than it is deciding in two seconds and getting it wrong.
You see a lot of stuff. Hopefully you learn from it!
Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
Maybe it should be included in the bootcamp!
Overall though, I really like what Arteta is doing with the club.
What for? Good thing about being un-junior is that you can ignore the relevance score and be your regular yourself at all times.
Your entire post, seems to be describing Nathan Barley (British TV Series). It is evergreen content and a hidden gem, with a then unknown, all-star cast and co-written by Charlie Brooker of Black Mirror fame. I will not link anything, in case you decide to seek it out; you will laugh and/or cringe, at least once!
I envy you. Must be cool to get immediate, day-to-day feedback on your work, even if it wears on a person after a while.
Some of my (law) students barely know what the TV show Seinfeld was — and one semester a couple of them, native-born Americans no less, weren't familiar with Friends.
The only thing I miss about being young is being physically fit. Which I could fix relatively easily, if I really cared a lot. Otherwise, it sucked. No money. Terrible job. No kids and family. No idea what I wanted. I don't feel young anymore. I feel in control of my own life.
Basically, you're going to need to care a whole lot more as time passes if you really do want to get fit, so better to start now!
It took me a few years to get the courage and gumption up to get active again. Now that I’m older, it’s been much harder to get back in shape. And my recoveries (post- run or post-weights) take longer. But on the whole I feel so much better, all the time. My mood and my close relationships have all improved. And my work performance has improved too.
The mild discomfort has been well worth the pay off.
For me, the worst thing about getting older is realising that I'm now older than the people who used to be on TV.
They seemed ancient when I was in my teens - at least 35. Some of them may even have been over 50. (!)
The movie Robocop came out in 1987 but the gag about "I'd Buy That For a Dollar" was indicative that meme culture was enough of a thing to be worthy of satire.
Back when SNL was in its 80's prime it seemed like every skit turned into a meme. For example the Jon Lovitz "pathological liar" skit was pretty big for a while.
It's unfortunate the NBC keeps such a tight grip on all the SNL content. Lot's of 80's cultural history is locked up like that.
you’ve just described being old on the inside. it’s not curiosity or hunger for new things that’s makes you young, it’s acting without considering consequences. it’s not being able to draw inferences from one situation to another.
being old on the inside is desirable to the extreme. it’s called wisdom. do not knock it.
Shitposting (and consuming shitposts) over the dumpster fire that was Game of Thrones was pointless, culturally relevant, and also a lot of stupid fun.
People think that, but it's an illusion. The appearance affects self-perception and, eventually, behavior. And, normally, you become different by getting wiser, and that's not a small thing. You talk different. You do your work differently. (On the other hand, people who try to appear younger than they are look creepy.)
In fact, I don't have to keep up on any of it. I have some interest in (at least some of) the stuff that lasts. But the ephemeral stuff... why should I care?
Unfortunately, it requires selflessness to submerge oneself in the mainstream in order to write such things. AI perhaps?
Why do you think that getting that indoctrination is in any way whatsoever valuable? I don't watch television or listen to the radio, and don't read or watch the news. I don't miss any of it at all, and I am not in any way whatsoever harmed by it.
Most of that stuff is just distraction from the things in life that are actually important, like the people around you, or the fact that our society is explicitly designed to rob and oppress billions of people.
Getting all of that stuff out of your face and head really lets you think and focus on the things you can actually do to enrich yourself, those around you, and the world/future generations. Reject mass media and focus.
I had for a very short time a FB account, which I deleted. I deleted my Twitter account about two years ago. I was hooked by Google+ and I had a popular collection about artificial life (now is public again). But I deleted my g+account before they closed it.
All my family has smartphones, but I can't stand the limitations. When the smartphones will be liberated I'll have one.
My overall impression is that, some details excepted, now that everybody has a computer in the pocket, people pass through the same learning process as we nerds did some years ago. Today is harder, because less freedom. On the other side, the new thing is that today everybody is online.
Do you mean more like normal computers where you're free to do just about whatever (only in the smartphone form factor)?
Now that memories are mentioned, I'm not a grand-pere, nor French. Grand-peres are proud of their '69 youth. Yes, they stopped the social elevator and I share your opinion about them. "X" was relevant only for the availability of (mostly empty) rooms full of "unix workstations" and the friends I made in Paris. During this time, your grand-pere probably was vaguely proud about the minitel and a bit disturbed about the fact that people like me are allowed to study at X.
Through procrastinating with digg, reddit, and HN over the years, and just being a tech enthusiast before that (reading Industry Standard, Business 2.0 magazines, Web Magazine etc) -
I've been on the leading edge of seeing all the new services come and go.
- started using Google in early 1999 (few months after they launched)
- first 30K users on LinkedIn
- first day user of YouTube
- first 100K users of Twitter
- first 100K users of Instagram
- first 30K subscriber of Casey Niestat Vlog
- knew about bitcoin at 10 cents (didn't buy thanks to HN saying it was a scam/bubble)
The most confusing and frustrating thing for me has been SnapChat by far. That's when I realized I'm getting old.
I think the hallmark of being “old” on the internet is embracing the technologies that actually enhance the use of your time and talent and forego or ignore the ones that do not.
I’m sure my 11 year-old daughter disagrees that TikTok is a waste of time and I respect that. But it doesn’t mean I have to understand it. My parents probably felt the same way about BBSes.
I just have to make sure she’s safe and that’s all. She’ll figure out the rest.
My kid is bored and has all the time in the world. She’ll do the early adopting for now.
i suppose i should, but i... just don't get it. too fast, too furious. you only get a second or two for a breather between videos that are too short. you are constantly bombarded with new ones.
it's like playing a rhythm video game. it's build for fast reaction. no deep analysis or thinking. but it obviously seems to work for many people.
i have to say, i still don't have an account. maybe things are different and you get more choices when you actually sign up.
Why TikTok and not the other 1,000 choices? Who knows. Maybe the fact that the olds won’t use it / don’t know about it is hugely appealing. Grown ups wreck everything, right?
On the positive side, my BS radar is well tuned, I'm pretty good at putting tech trends in perspective and identifying the ones that have a good chance to be game changers. This is useful wisdom in my career as an engineer.
But I haven't really managed so far to switch from being a spectator into acting decisively & quickly to convert those insights into something valuable : the ROHMO (regret of having missed out) gets heavier the more of these trains I've seen come and go !
Bitcoin is the obvious (and trivial) one : I read the Satoshi paper a few weeks after its release, spent a few evenings understanding blockchain, downloaded a miner.. but never bothered leaving it running for a few days, for fear my computers would run hot for something intellectually interesting but of questionable monetary value :)
Any of you old timers want to share how they have turned "having seen things" into a valuable career or entrepreunarial edge ?
It's a crap UI.
Didn't buy because, like most people, you didn't bother. When bitcoin was @ 10 cents it was not that expensive to mine.
they still say its a scam/bubble
It solves inflation problem, so government will soon be smaller.
Try explaining to an employee that their paycheck is smaller because currency has appreciated in value, or to a bank that the principal of a loan should be written down for the same reason. "But number go down bad!"
Inflation hides these things. It's a hack around these problems.
Inflation is an emission problem and Bitcoin solves it.
Not with deflation. As the value of Bitcoin rises (in terms of food, cars and vacations), the number on your paycheck will go down.
It's already happening these days. Besides housing and healthcare, inflation is practically zero. Wages are staying flat as well and people are low-key freaking out, even though they can buy more food, cars and vacations than ever.
This is a good lesson about the oft-repeated wisdom of crowds. It's just not there. (Please don't link me to the thing about how crowds converge on the number of jellybeans in the jar and suchlike due to the law of large numbers.)
"If "everybody knows" such-and-such, then it ain't so, by at least ten thousand to one." —Heinlein
The UI is designed to be opaque so that some amount of effort, or asking your friends, is required to figure it out.
Then, once you have, you feel invested in it, and are less likely to abandon it.
Casey Niestat is the father of modern daily vlogging. Many of today's vloggers copy his style. He's got over 10 million subscribers now, he's not a HUGE youtuber, but like I said, very influential.
I also think there's a vacuum that needs to be filled when it comes to Youtube and the creator community. There is way too much frustration from creators about demonetizing, and having to walk on eggshells so they don't trigger warnings and red flags. I don't know what it will be, but I wouldn't be surprised if something blows up in this space.
It can be a funny experience coming late to pivotal work of popular culture, I somehow managed to miss out on Blade Runner until quite recently, and watching it felt like a putting a missing jigsaw piece into place.
Another one I came late to was Anchorman. Suddenly a lifetime's worth of people's odd remarks and affected mannerisms fell into their proper place.
Go further back than your ancient 2004 Anchorman references and you'll get Blade Runner, Star Wars, Princess Bride, etc.
One step further and you'll get 2001 (Thus Spoke Zarathustra / Blue Danube / Hal quotes), Citizen Kane ("Rosebud"), Gone with The Wind ("Frankly My Dear...") etc.
Sometime after that you'll get people quoting from Shakespeare without seeing the plays (still happens, of course), and soon we'll end at Bible quotes (naturally, as practically no one could even read it), or Roman authors. And I bet someone can point me at writings by those exact Romans where they complain about the youths not being up to par with Plato.
I rarely feel odd about a lack of knowledge, as there's just too much to know. Also, you've got the two issues where this is a) just used for meaningless gatekeeping anyway or b) a "cargo cult" meme already.
The latter will get more and more common: Quotes and references, where the reference binds you together, not the shared knowledge of the original source.
This opens up the possibility of altering the meaning of the reference. As long as you refer to the original, errors in the reference can be detected by others who also know the reference. They can then point out the error and you can discuss it, or directly check the original source.
Hence, since an objective original source exists, it is always possible to recalibrate your references via feedback from reality.
So one step of increasing distance from reality may be two people exchanging Shakespeare quotes, who have both not actually read the play it is from, but who still know that it is from a Shakespeare play, and could look up the original source if they cared. In other words, they know of the existence of the original source.
Another, further step away from reality would be if those people also lacked the knowledge of the original source (e.g. the Shakespeare play it is from), or even worse, who do not know (or even ask themselves whether) there is an original source. They then take the reference as idiomatic, leaving wide open the possibility of others to attach arbitrary meaning to that reference, without an easy possibility to defend against such distortions of meaning.
Another interesting point is that if you know a reference from an original source, you most likely have additional relevant knowledge and context for its interpretation. Whereas if you have only "learned" the reference from others, detached from the context needed for correct interpretation, you risk misinterpreting the reference, basically mutating its meaning.
Sorry for going on a tangent here, but I couldn't resist this opportunity to apply some ideas from .
Well, you asked for it.
O tempora, o mores
has become a common use Latin phrase (Cicero, 63 or maybe 70 BC)
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
It doesn't has to be "young peoples stuff", it's enough that you weren't interested in it decades years ago.
The great Max Planck was indeed right. But there's a flip side to this aphorism that is just as relevant (if not more) to our computer systems society. Our problem is that the new generation seems to want to re-invent what our forebears had taken great pain to describe and find theoretical and practical answers to (relational databases, data formats, UI theory etc). Our problem is that the modern computer system society suffers from a generational memory gap. Amnesia of solved problems.
In computer programming, a “solution” to a problem is in essence, a structured framework of thought.
As an example, why are there many different programming languages? Well in addition to various other reasons, for the sake of solving problems in a new or different way of thinking.
Is youth constantly reinventing solutions to already solved problems due to amnesia, or are they perhaps creating new ways to reason about already identified problems?
Just because you saw the problem first doesn’t buy you the right to providing the only solution.
Computer science is unique in that it is art as much as science. Allowing for multiple frameworks of thought on a solution allows for the best solution to rise to the top.
If we are still seeing an influx of new and interesting solutions to existing problems, perhaps our field isn’t as mature as we’d like to think it is.
I believe the commonly accepted viewpoint is simply that the established generations have too many accumulated biases or baggage, too much at stake, or dug themselves in too deep of a hole to consider new facts or new approaches to old problems. E.g. the famous quote:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair
But after you've seen the same things re-invented several times only for each effort to run into the same brick wall, at some point you want off the merry-go-round.
Of course. But if you're going to provide a new solution to a problem, you'd better be able to compare and contrast your solution to the old one. If you can't do that, there's no reason to take your solution seriously because you haven't done your homework.
For example let's say you come up with an ingenious solution to tracking a moving object in the presence of uncertainty. Here's what you can say and be taken seriously:
"My solution uses an improved version of a Type X Kalman filter that works as follows."
"My solution does not use a Kalman filter because Kalman filters won't work for this problem for the following reasons."
Here's what you should not say if you want to be taken seriously:
"What's a Kalman filter?"
It's billed as a way to be able to contact famous people.
Especially compared to the hyperpartisan uberpolarized shit-tier level insults that people try to hurl at "them".
There are infinite things I don’t understand, some because I’m too young, some too old, but mostly just because I haven’t yet gone down that path in life. For what it’s worth, I was born in 1982.
One day you notice that you circle around in brownian motion. I should have started to learn more discrimination techniques years ago. It is so terribly hard to navigate the sea of interesting stuff and find the droplets that are also interesting, but that also have ability to change your mind (think LW and the likes).
That's like... the ultimate skill. If it isn't ultimately interesting, then what is?
I am getting older too, but I’m constantly learning things from people younger than me - increasingly more so than those older than me. And that’s okay.
Sure I’ve done more and seen more but how much of it is actually relevant? Some for sure, but this world changes so fast. Are my opinions valuable? Yes. More so simply because of my age? No.
And its this repeated movement between the two extremes which are providing our incremental improvements, since we keep the good parts from each end, and use those as the foundation for what the next extreme will look like.
Programming provides an interesting microcosm of this, if you look at overall attitudes towards variable typing.
What have I learned? Nothing new; “this too shall pass” is a phrase much older than I am. But I’m able to accept it, and take advantage of the gains of the wild pendulum’s swing without being caught up in it myself.
Imagine this guy's post if you substitute "too old" with "black" or "female" (or "male"). It would be cut down quickly and yet here we are expected to laugh at things.
What I hate about ageism most of all is it makes it impossible to have any kind of discussion about the real merits and demerits of things if there's some kind of new versus established nature to it. In certain circles, there seems to be a false, pervasive assumption that what's new and popular among the young is better, and that uptake is just inhibited by creaky old folks; in other circles there seems to be an assumption that's what's old and established among the older crowd is that way because it's superior.
The reality is that some established products are established because they are so great; and other products are great because they address limitations of existing products. But once you bring age of critics or advocates into the mix, it's all over because someone starts slyly looking at their pals over their shoulder and dismissing the discourse as due to youth or age.
I've been on both sides of this, as someone the same age as the author, and it's infuriating. There are products that my generation grew that I never adopted because of concerns, and now it's the young trendy thing to do to abandon them. There are new products that are overhyped imho because they solve problems that never really existed, but the wheel gets reinvented anyway because of the constant need for people to brand themselves as innovators. On the other hand, there are new products that finally exist that I wish everyone would take up, but don't because of old products that should have never become as popular as they did, or because of the vagaries of network effects, fads, and so on.
So this person doesn't get Facebook Stories or whatever the hell it is. Fine. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Can't we talk about that? Why does it have to become about age, even if he's doing it through self-deprecating (humblebragging?) humor?
1) 0-5 Coming into self-awareness (this is like waking up while still drunk or coming down from recreational drugs, as your consciousness reassembles from wherever it was)
2) 6-11 The universe provides for you (mom and dad are god, your needs are mostly provided for and you should do what you're told)
3) 12-17 The face of humanity (you witness the very best and worst that humankind has to offer, through the trials and tribulations of junior high and high school)
4) 18-21 College (thanks I needed that)
5) 22-29 The narcissistic years (I am so miserable, why can't I say no?)
6) 30-39 The long now (how long have I been alive?)
7) 40-49 Death begins at 40 (how could I have just been born?)
8) 50-64 I should feel older (so I've heard)
9) 65+ Unknown (are you me?)
There are probably more. All I am saying is that when I hit 40, I realized that I was more than one time period removed from the young graduates just starting their careers around me. I wasn't really their brother anymore, I was their dad or weird uncle at the very least. No more getting invited to parties, no more fashion for me. Just loafers and nutritional supplements to keep me on life support until 2040 when I enter The Matrix or get reincarnated, whichever comes first.
For me it's more a case of, I was much older at 18 than I am now, so when young people don't want to hear it from their elders, that's a form of conservative or elderly behavior. It's sophomoric.
I assure you, it isn't. I mean, I'm sure it's uninteresting, but it isn't intended to be a humblebrag. I practically cheered when the OP indicated that they don't understand "stories" because I legitimately don't, but I also have this realization that the reason I don't understand stories is that I'm just kind of inflexible and grumpy about new things at times. That's not admirable. That's not useful. But it's the truth. I truly don't understand why some pictures are shown at the very tippy top of my facebook feed, but I only get to look at them for 10 seconds. Is there a reason for this? Does someone find it beneficial? Do the kids laugh at me for even stopping to think about it? (Yes. Yes they do.) This is not a badge of honor.
I will admit that there are things I believe, but I am not 100% sure if they are true because of my age. For example, although I hate nostalgia, I am convinced that modern mainstream music, let's say after the 2000s is severely lacking compared to what happened in the previous 60 or so years. There always be great musicians, doing great music, but right now the current popular stuff have been homogenized and sterilized to make it pallatable worlwide.
There's been an incredible amount of innovation in music in the last few years (except rock. It's dead). Creation has been democratized, so there's more people making music than ever before. You just have to know where to look. I listen to KEXP Seattle  quite a bit, which is a community-supported station.
Hey, wait a minute! The Monkees were pretty good for what they were (mass-production pop) — at least in the early days when they were doing Boyce & Hart compositions.
It's not admirable or useful, no. But, I find it's kind of relaxing to have a near total lack of FOMO. I've become the guy I never thought I'd become, but I'm totally comfortable with that. Is this a humblebrag? I have no idea, but it's definitely calming to not have to give a shit about all the new things.
I'm 47 (1972) so relate a lot to this guy.
You can touch the screen and hold to keep the picture there for longer. If it's like Instagram stories you can tap the far left side of the screen to go backwards as well.
... kids today ...
Since the author is familiar with Twitter, one can imagine it like a tweet that self-deletes after 24h, except with Facebook's and Instagram's version of a "tweet", i.e. post.
Core concept is to get people to return to the platform (daily) because of FOMO.
Calling it "stories" is quite misleading actually, one (or at least I) would expect a story to be rather something permanent compared to a post, but it's exactly the other way around.
core concept is to give people a way to share something that doesn't have to be a perfect, a picture of cheetos or a license plate rather than a wedding or Yosemite, because it won't stick around on your profile forever. This is a good thing because otherwise what you see on there can make it seem like everyone else is having a much more exciting life than you (as you sit on the couch after work) and causes depression.
Why is unbridled cynicism towards sm so prevalent here?
I open Facebook. I click on someone's story. I see a static image and try to read it, but it disappears after a few seconds. Often it's promoting an event, so I'd like to click for more info. But I can't. Sometimes it's a short video but I can't stop it or easily replay it. So my reaction is the same as it is when I encounter a website that shows an auto-playing slideshow that I can't stop. "This is stupid." And I hit the back button and don't return. Now I see FB stories as merely a thing to ignore that takes up 30% of my screen real estate when I visit FB.
You could argue it's an interpolation of the events surrounding the companies behind those platforms...
I get why this is good for the platform. For me (1985) it seems to have zero value. I feel old more and more.
And the "return to the platform daily" thing is overstated - that's like saying a chat program makes people return to it regularly by delivering messages. It's technically right but shows a complete misunderstanding of how and why it's used.
1975. But very immature.
This was mostly filled by Snapchat stories, where you could share exactly that without having to fear to spam people because it's time-limited, everyone does it and it's a very casual format. This feature was basically copied by instagram and is a success for the same reasons, expect nobody uses snapchat stories anymore.
Source: I have young siblings and I kinda use that stuff as well, although not that much.
But where is the serious conversation gone? Did we share our latest meal in the forums back then? No. Where do the young people get their information when they are serious about sth?
Serious conversation happens on FB or here or Reddit.
If you seriously think this is bad or something, then think of it as roughly analogous to the old finger command, where we'd all put random status things and ASCII art in our .plan files.
Stories is pretty much this feature, just done much better.
I'm not really into sharing this info either, but I find it refreshing to see what my friends far away are currently doing and often use it as a possibility to connect with them.
Is that how it works?
Hell, this is a whole new darkness level in abusing human behavior patterns. How far is it from an actual drug dealing?
As I said elsewhere in this thread: the "return to the platform daily" thing is overstated - that's like saying a chat program makes people return to it regularly by delivering messages. It's technically right but shows a complete misunderstanding of how and why it's used.
Finally unblocked some news sites to follow the covid story, and a year away really worked. It's so nice to see all the political headlines and not be interested any more than if they were Hollywood or whatever else I'm not into.
For instance, I don't believe the people who vote the most often in the US (wealthier, older individuals) are best suited to choosing legislators, executives, and laws. Those individuals tend to prefer:
- fewer environmental protections (I like swimming and fishing in clean rivers and oceans)
-lower education funding (I wish everyone who wanted to learn about fisheries, welding, nursing, biology, etc. could afford to do so)
- subsidies for themselves at the expense of younger generations (second mortgage interest deductions, elimination of estate taxes, country club tax exemptions, California's 1978 Proposition 13)
- legislation based on bad science or religious faith (no guaranteed paid sick leave, backdoor encryption bills, violent video game bans, book bans, corporal punishment support, for-profit prisons, abstinence-only sex education)
Calling your legislators and telling them to support or oppose legislation or impeachment isn't for everyone, similarly reading story after story about incurious individuals legislating emerging technology might be unhealthy in general. That said, voting for and against candidates and issues at election time is really a very, very inexpensive way to attempt to make your life more into what you want it to be (for either the betterment or detriment to humanity).
Sarcasm aside though, seriously most of us know which party we identify with and can go to the polls with a reasonable idea who best represents our interests without reading a single news article. And if there's an exception or an event that is that overwhelmingly glaring and/or actionable, presumably we'll hear about it through other means. So to me (and I'd argue that to most people) it's not worth the mental health to even follow.
One could go farther and say a passive following of the issues is actually worse because most (all?) news sites are just trying to get eyeballs rather than inform you.
Is there a time when detailed research caused you to vote in a way that is counter to what you would have voted given your own innate instincts? If not, then?
I'm going to guess that most people investigate issues to validate their pre-existing opinions, not to form them.
I agree. It's not even the innate prejudice that's the problem here. It's the devaluing of another person's experience and opinion. Pretty slippery slope you're arguing for.
My point wasn't trying to be "as soon as someone hits some age they should no longer be able to vote because Olds have no value and should be put out to sea on an ice floe". I meant to be pointing out that younger voting age individuals (in aggregate) are ceding the outcome of elections to people who (in aggregate) don't share their political beliefs.
You can see the lack of engagement elsewhere in the replies to my parent comment. For instance "just pay attention every four years, problem solved", as if there's never a ballot measure or public office which would affect voters when there isn't a presidential election
Also be prepared to get into it nevertheless, Twitter will introduce a similar feat called "fleets" soon.
And from what I understand, the period where you need to be in constant contact or broadcast to more than 10 people is pretty limited to school and early higher ed for most people in my experience.
So unless stories become a way to keep in touch with your offsprings, I don't see a need or near normalness of these communication methods among people born before '85.
WhatsApp is for chats; they're not fleeting. Phone calls are fairly inconvenient to take and incomparable with "true" fleeting messages.
Meanwhile, my neighbor is 90+ and recently asked me deep historical questions about the internet, like about ARPA, protocols, DNS... stuff many software engineers never bother learning about. He pushed until I couldn't go any deeper, then he was disappointed.
It really just comes down to being more curious than lazy. And also changing how you learn what is worth learning - asking people who invest energy into what is good is a great way to save yourself time.
Getting older means you recognize patterns in things, so you stop digging past the surface in a way you used to. Any time I watch an old music video on YouTube inevitably someone says "musicians today are garbage compared to this" without ever looking past (or even at) the most vanilla Top 40 music . But music is awesome right now, collaborative and unchained, whole careers spanning and unfolding on YouTube.
Those same people who are posting about how great Bob Dylan is weren't listening to The Archies on Top 40 radio, they dug past it when they were young but no longer put in the effort. You need to find new ways to find the good stuff - spend energy when you are young learning how to be more efficient with your curiosity!
My father was a programmer. Back then he was using punch cards (when I was a few years old), then tapes, then he got a 60MB hard drive the size of a washing machine which took one minute to spin up. A full drawer in the rack contained 256K ram. A 2400 baud modem was the size of a PC grey box.
And learned Z80 assembler (only way to have some (relative) speed with it)
(and yes you had to actually solder components to get the thingy be able to run a sort of pong in 1 KB).
The thing that remained stuck in my memory (common to all Sinclair users) is the sound of the cassette loading and (many years later) that of modems trying to connect to this or that BBS.
I'm still very active I build cities for a living and I'm about to publish a new paper that bills a form of mathematics that more closely models the structure of our universe
I'm a co-author on a paper recently published on a practical form of quantum communications
In my youth I solved dozens of mathematical problems that others considered unsolvable
The world and the universe is an amazing place and age is really just part of our imagination
I also stay active everyday and contribute to my community
This is a great story and a reminder of how valuable our ancestors are to our everyday lives
Consider for a moment the reverence the typical first Nation communities have for the experience and wisdom of their elders
I really like this balanced sentiment at the end of the article. It's easier to feel different or weird or out of touch when you affirm for yourself that you're being weird by your own choice - to the extent that you _want_ to be different to everyone else.
It's a nice mean between the two extremes of going full conformist or going full hipster.
It was a somewhat challenging course. It required a lot of work and a few dropped out because of it. But the participants that stayed developed their skills and after a few weeks, surprised themselves and much of their friends and family with their progress.
You can imagine how stunning it would be to know someone all your life and then at the ripe age of 82, watch them do something you've never seen before. Grandma went from not knowing about iPads to using them better than some 20 year olds. And Grandpa now draws and sketches figures like an artist. Who knew they had such potential?
The reaction of people who didn't know them was quite interesting too. "You have such talent" (as if what they had learned was something they were blessed with). The researchers made a point to emphasize how people would phrase their compliments; it was surprisingly common (as if they had been given God-given talents, instead of raw skill through focus and training).
And the participants were just as surprised about their growth. They didn't believe they could still learn something new (it wasn't a real possibility in their mind). Over the years, they had built an image of who they were, what they could and couldn't do, staying within the confines of their self-imposed limits, unconscious as they were.
Listening to those researchers left me with some reflections about my own life, the trajectory of it, the things I'd choose to become.
Part of me suspects there's some truth to wisdom and old age—the younger generation doesn't always step forward in the right direction. Cynicism of the youth is rightly justified. Choosing not to participate in the popular culture leaves some room for your own personal interests. What people call "weirdness".
So be it. True expression sometimes leads you down unfamiliar roads.
But some days, my pride and lack of knowledge feels like an excuse to stay inside hidden doors, lamenting about the change of the world, because I couldn't keep up with it.
I try not to become that person. I try not to cut off too many branches. I don't know where they'll lead, what I can become.
It would be a shame to grow old, to abandon all paths, because they seemed too distant.
Just to nitpick a little, the millennial generation starts with 1980-1982 depending on who you ask, so 1976 isn't that old.
80s millenials (personally I call them Gen Y or Michael Moore Millenials) came of age in the 90s, could remember the Soviet Union (if only hazily), experienced its unique cultural excesses on a more conscious level, and directly shaped the technology that would later form the digital substrate of new millenium.
They participated in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from their onset, and were also old enough to viscerally experience 9/11.
Their generation helped develop activist-consumerism when it was still counter-culture, tend to embrace the idea of a more global society, and came of college age just as the internet began to gain ubiquity. Even though they had to directly weather the financial crisis, they seem to have a more optimistic view of the future, and human potential in general, even if they often see progress as being stymied by bad people.
The second group, (90s millenials or just millenials) have no collective memory of the Soviet Union, and entered the world as consumers of the digital transition, even if they were too old to truly be considered digital natives as their successors in Gen Z are. By the tine they were of age to join the military, the US had been at war for nearly a decade, and no one was quite sure why it still continued. The economy took a dive, and they were too young to experience it the same way as Gen Y did.
Their early experiences of the internet were when it was still heavily decentralized, but had also become accessible to the technically illiterate. They were culture producers more than they were developers in the oughties, and they grew up alongside surveillance capitalism. Their view of the world is a bit more mixed, and they're also who the author is referring to, I think.
I count myself among the latter group, if that offers some context to my perception.
Splitting older millenials with gen X, and younger millenials with gen Z makes sense, because instead of an arbitrary characteristics like "being 20 in the new century", this splits seem to better match some cultural changes that are not perfectly aligned with round dates.
From a European perspective, Boomers saw the first step on the Moon and May 68 events, their children ("Gen X") saw Chernobyl, the end of the Cold War and grew up with the Oil crisis and the constant warnings that pollution is going to be a serious problem if we don't do something (or rather, if we don't stop doing certain things). Their children ("Millenials") saw the second Gulf War and the collapse of the WTC.
The author of this article was born the year the Apple I was launched he's not old!
Imagine we were making the same kind of generalisations about your gender, skin colour, choice of programming language - what would it add to the conversation? We may as well say “Scorpios like partying where sagitarians prefer reading books”
To dehumanise those they're applied to so you can say bad things about them without feeling guilty.
I'll take my generation vs gen Z as an example. I clearly remember 9/11, blowing NES cartridges to get my games to work, rewinding video tapes, making phone calls to friends on a shared line using a corded phone, having to listen to a radio station for 3 hours to hear the one song I liked and then rush to hit record so I could save it for replay, and on and on. I cannot share these experiences with gen Z. They won't ever have that. I can talk about it but it's just like a Boomer telling me about going to Woodstock or making 10 cents an hour bagging groceries, or dodging minefields in Vietnam, or using punch cards to program. Sure I can hear those stories and be amused, shocked or whatever by them...but I'll never know precisely what it was like to go through all that, with the mood of the time.
The second rule is whatever, man.
Now I'm finally getting old apparently because I don't use VR stuff, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok (don't use Twitter because it's such a waste of precious time).
By the way, computer UIs are still too slow. Fix your web pages / networks.
On a new W98 PC after reverting to a more optimized W95 install without including Windows Networking, using a top hardware modem on a clean POTS line having full 56K performance, the snappy user response sometimes seen today with broadband at sites like Ebay, Amazon & Yahoo, was usually outmatched by almost all sites at the time, and that was with only a 100MHz Pentium, 32MB memory, and less than 1GB HDD.
You could generally browse faster on dial-up (once logged in) than you can on broadband today.
Downloads OTOH were dramatically slower with such a limited data rate.
Nice MIDI was also standard on all consumer PC's, without USB latency.
Posting live (or recent) random
photos that I don’t want permanently on my wall, isn’t a difficult phenomenon to grasp. Trying to maintain social connections by updating and reminding friends and family what you’re doing seems pretty normal.
Wanting to chat dangerously or explicitly or just not wanting to torture yourself by seeing all your old Facebook Messenger chats explains the need for Snapchat rather well (and Signal).
Making goofy hyper-kinetic short videos makes sense. (What doesn’t make sense to me is using TikTok over Thriller considering the social-implications of an authoritarian-owned app for free expression.)
I don’t believe people when they say they don’t understand kids today or only young founders can build the tools for the next generation.
What I don’t get is playing video games for 12-hours a day and immersing yourself in a digital word, with all synthetic friends so to speak. But I understand why people do it.
It’s as unhealthy as any other digital obsession or anything that isolates us from the most innovation and rejuvenating social app and video game: reality.
Nowadays, I'm working on becoming one of the best Swift programmers around. It's progressing. I'm fairly good at picking up on things, and I've been programming Swift with release-level code since the day it was announced (not 100-line Stack Overflow answer code. Full-fat App Store release code).
My latest learning gig is Bluetooth. I've already written a pretty powerful OBD driver (still has more to go, but it already beats a lot of what's out there. Did I mention that I'm not bad at this stuff?). I've taken a break from that in order to write up an open series on implementing Core Bluetooth as a cross-platform (Apple Platforms) SDK.
But, according to a lot of folks, I just need to walk out into the desert to die.
The Core Bluetooth thing is still very much a WIP. If you want to peek at it before it's ready, drop me an email.