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Author Topic: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?  (Read 865 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
« on: March 02, 2019, 12:19:06 PM »
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  • I bet it's not as much of a problem among Trad Catholics, or those on CathInfo, but in the Modern World almost everyone is guilty of this.

    Imagine watching a documentary on early computers, how men in white labcoats built computers by hand out of discrete components, and these computers were often quite large. They didn't have monitors, much less high-end graphics cards.

    And so most moderns look down on this age, these people, and their accomplishments. Most of them joke about how those computers couldn't run Mincraft or Fortnight, which is said in jest, but many a truth is said in jest. I don't think most moderns consider these pioneers to be superior to themselves. But they should.

    A few brighter bulbs admit that they were pioneers, that without them we wouldn't have our $400 super PCs and smartphones today.

    But here's my point:

    That nerd in the 1970s who built a Z80 computer kit BY HAND with a soldering gun, who understood all the elements that went into a computer (CPU, data bus, address bus, I/O, RAM, ROM, memory addressing, digital logic gates, etc.) is actually SUPERIOR to the Millennial with his pocket-sized-supercomputer.

    How can this be?

    Simple. To the Millennial, that iPhone or Samsung Android smartphone is magic. Sure, he won't call it magic, but as far as understanding any of it, it might as well be magic to him. It's only because his teachers/parents taught him there's no such thing as magic. But he didn't make that advanced supercomputer (called a "smartphone"), nor does he understand the first bit about how it works or how it was made. All he did was literally flip burgers for 2 weeks, went to a T-Mobile, and plunked down a pile of cash.

    But although that nerd's homebrew Z80 computer is far, far less capable -- at least he understands it. He can program it. He can fix it. He can add functionality to it with further design work and buying a few more chips.

    Send the entire staff of Intel AND the entire staff of AMD back to 1860, and I kid you not they wouldn't be able to produce a single CPU. The infrastructure simply wouldn't be there. You need advanced computers to design modern CPUs!

    When the lights first went on in the United States, when Thomas Edison began building his hundreds of power plants, the people were actually more advanced than us in many ways. They had alternatives for *everything* we use electricity for today -- they did things for themselves, knew how to make things by hand, or they comfortably went without. Imagine if electricity was taken back away from us -- it would spell the end for most people.
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    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 12:32:05 PM »
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  • One of my favorite sci-fi short stories, I would I could remember the title & author --

    A man invents a machine that can grab a man from the future and bring him back to the present. He uses the machine, and it works!

    He speaks with the man, and sure enough, the society he comes from is far more advanced. We didn't destroy ourselves or go back to the Stone Age. All right! So far so good.

    He asks how far Medicine has progressed. "Well, we've cured all disease" the man from the future explained. "When someone is ill, we just hold this little shiny cube up to them, and it heals them!"

    "Tell me about this device. How is it made? What principles does it make use of?"

    "I don't know. That's something only specialists understand. I just know that it's shiny, a bit warm, and 3x3x3 inches.

    And the conversation goes on like this, in other areas of science and technology: computers, communication, food production, warfare, etc.

    Long story short, the man from the future is totally useless, he doesn't understand any of the technology his society uses every day, and is personally less advanced in the present time than the average "native" living in the 21st century, because Future Man is dependent on all those things (like the shiny cube) so he won't know anything about how to Do-It-Yourself when it comes to avoiding germs, avoiding illness, or treating illness.
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    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 12:52:43 PM »
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  • We see that all the time with Modernists who think that the Church Fathers were simpletons because they lived so long ago and didn't have our scientific knowledge.  Or the Ancient Romans and Greeks.  We'd be hard pressed to duplicate some of their architectural, engineering, and intellectual accomplishments even WITH our modern technology.  Look at some of those Greek and Roman temples built between 2000 and 2500 years ago ... without modern construction equipment.  Amazing.  Or even the cathedrals that were built in the Middle Ages, the so-called Dark Ages.  If they were so dark, how did they build those amazing architectural masterpieces?

    And the Modernists also consider the Apostles to have been idiots and simpletons, leaving it to THEM to properly interpret the faith.

    Offline Jaynek

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 12:54:44 PM »
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  • CM Kornbluth wrote two stories on this theme but neither quite matches the story you describe:  The Little Black Bag and The Marching Morons.


    Offline Brunitix

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 01:18:30 PM »
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  • I think this video explains every you said about modern world intelligence I think you will find it interesting, there are few arguments which the orator presents that we as catholics wont agree but if you take some apart this man (I think hes a freelance researcher)



    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 01:43:07 PM »
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  • One of my favorite sci-fi short stories, I would I could remember the title & author --

    A man invents a machine that can grab a man from the future and bring him back to the present. He uses the machine, and it works!

    He speaks with the man, and sure enough, the society he comes from is far more advanced. We didn't destroy ourselves or go back to the Stone Age. All right! So far so good.

    He asks how far Medicine has progressed. "Well, we've cured all disease" the man from the future explained. "When someone is ill, we just hold this little shiny cube up to them, and it heals them!"

    "Tell me about this device. How is it made? What principles does it make use of?"

    "I don't know. That's something only specialists understand. I just know that it's shiny, a bit warm, and 3x3x3 inches.

    And the conversation goes on like this, in other areas of science and technology: computers, communication, food production, warfare, etc.

    Long story short, the man from the future is totally useless, he doesn't understand any of the technology his society uses every day, and is personally less advanced in the present time than the average "native" living in the 21st century, because Future Man is dependent on all those things (like the shiny cube) so he won't know anything about how to Do-It-Yourself when it comes to avoiding germs, avoiding illness, or treating illness.
    Being also a science fiction and fantasy buff, I have started to look for this story. Would you know even roughly when this was written?

    In many ways, we are indeed inferior to peoples of ages past. Heavens, technology has become an opiate of the masses on their assorted asses.

    A snippet of a pop song from the late nineties; rather prescient

    "See, it's a crazy world we're living in
     And I just can't see that half of us immersed in sin
     Is all we have to give these -
     
     Futures made of virtual insanity now
     Always seem to, be govern'd by this love we have
     For useless, twisting, our new technology"

    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 02:12:32 PM »
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  • CM Kornbluth wrote two stories on this theme but neither quite matches the story you describe:  The Little Black Bag and The Marching Morons.


    Thanks for reminding me of that one -- it isn't the one, but it's another good story that I read years ago.
    It wasn't until the end of the plot summary that I remembered that YES, I had definitely read this short story. Maybe it's because those other plot elements are more common in other stories. But I specifically remember the scalpel, how it would go in between cells, removing any impurities but not causing any damage to cells, and at the end a woman slits her own throat because the scalpel was "deactivated".


    Quote
    In the future, humanity has split into a small minority of supergeniuses and those of normal intelligence, and a much larger group of dimwits, as described in "The Marching Morons". The geniuses masquerade as assistants to the morons, the better to covertly manage them and keep them out of trouble.
    A "physicist" goads his minder into giving him specifications for a time machine. The faux physicist builds it, and uses it to send a "doctor" friend's highly automated medical kit into the past (our present), where it is found by Dr. Full, a physician who has succumbed to alcoholism and fallen to the bottom level of society. At first attributing its advanced properties and unfamiliar components to medical advances made since he last practiced, he uses it to heal a seriously injured young child. The patient's cynical eighteen-year-old sister, Angie, discovers the patent application date on one of the instruments (2450) and is quick to grasp the financial opportunities. She blackmails Full into taking her on as a partner.
    The responsibility helps Full recover from his alcoholism, and he is soon running a respectable clinic curing mankind's ills with amazing success, although Angie wants to specialize in the more lucrative plastic surgery. When Angie learns that Full intends to turn the bag over to the medical establishment for the good of humanity, she grabs it and tries to leave. In the ensuing scuffle, the instruments spill out. Without thinking, Angie stabs Full with a scalpel, killing him. Initially shocked, she quickly recovers and disposes of the body using a small incinerating device used for tumors. Full had taught her how to use the kit, so she sees no obstacle to continuing to treat rich patients.
    Her first patient sees the sharp instruments and balks at another treatment. To reassure her, Angie demonstrates their safety by running a scalpel through her arm without harm. Still unconvinced, the client requests another test. Back in the future, a technician notes the bag has been used for murder and deactivates its advanced functions. Angie runs what has just become an ordinary scalpel across her own throat, with fatal results.
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    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 03:53:20 PM »
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  • We are attempting to locate that short story you cannot recall Matthew. Do you have any information as to its publication date, and if it appeared in an anthology?




    Offline Matthew

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 04:08:35 PM »
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  • It was in one of those anthologies.

    100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories
    50 Short Science Fiction Tales
    Golden Age Science Fiction Vol 1-5
    etc.
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    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 06:58:10 PM »
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  • It was in one of those anthologies.

    100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories
    50 Short Science Fiction Tales
    Golden Age Science Fiction Vol 1-5
    etc.
    Thanks. This gives this old bear a little more to go on. :@)


    Offline Olduvai Oliphant

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    Re: Do you consider yourself superior to people in the old days?
    « Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 03:24:49 PM »
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  • Oh, no! Not by any means.  I used to mess about with antique Farm Machinery. So old it had square nuts instead of Hexagonal nuts.  Those old guys were very clever. Working on 100 year old machines really bruises your ego, about how much more advanced we are.  Also, for me, reading Catholic Books from the 1800-1900's really points out how much things "Have Not"  changed. The problems and trials of believers are really no different today, than they were 100, or even 500 years ago.
    When I think of all the things my Dad can do, that I cannot do, I am humbled.


     

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