Community / Ubuntu

Has the World Gone Mad?

I don’t have kids yet but all I can say is my kid won’t be ‘programmed’ by Apple/Microsoft etc but it appears the onslaught has begun for the ‘next’ generation . I was introduced to Douglas Rushkoff’s idea of Program or Be Programmed at a past Ubuntu Vancouver LoCo meeting. At the time, I needed to watch the video a few times and learn more about his concepts and ideas to really get an understanding. It took me quite some time to wrap my head around his idea. I think this video explains the idea he is trying to convey in the simplest of terms.

If this is the future…I’m definitely afraid.  I truly feel the need for change, awareness and education about being ‘programmed’ is at a critical junction.

If you have kid – please take him or her outside to the park to play today. Don’t let them sit in front of a screen, they’ll be doing that for the majority of their lives – they don’t need that now.

Just for fun: A picture of me at the age of 2ish playing outside without the knowledge of Ipads or computers! Oh My! Shocking! I think I turned out alright though 😀



8 thoughts on “Has the World Gone Mad?

  1. Seriously once I became a parent and granted I turn to a paranoid freak like you and many others… I rather shoot myself in the food. let the kids do their stuff and you do yours. this video alone has nothing to show or prove, kid were reacting like that way before first blinking cursor screen was around.

    • I agree, kids will be kids but I don’t agree with exposing them to software that’s sole purpose is to turn you into a consumer. Children under the age of 5 – this is when most of their personality and thought development is created and thus the foundation for their life. You’ve just killed all independent thought and creativity by giving a child an Ipad. The difference between reading a story to your child and a picture book is enormous. The first one the child will use their own ideas to create the ‘pictures’ in their mind and the second one the picture is ‘defined’ for them. I may not have kids but have worked with children for 10 years. I have seen children at the age of 2 who can barely speak, point out a Nike logo and say to me Nike. We really need to start to think about what kind of world we want for our children. I certainly don’t want it to be one where a parent laughs and says that their is kid now an Apple OS.

  2. My fear is that and the fact that everything will likely be locked behind an app store or cloud server on future Apple and Microsoft products, so everyone in the future aside from the big companies won’t even know that there’s more to their devices because they’re locked into a mindset and environment where what these companies say goes.

  3. I have also been checking out Rushkoff. One of the things that I find interesting is how he expresses what we are doing to each other with tecnology. great thoughts.

  4. pip010 has a valid point about parenting advice from non-parents (or pet-owning advice from non-pet-owners). You run the risk of unintentionally oversimplifying or condescending, and losing the value of the message. For example “take kids to the park today” is a great message…unless it’s December and happens to be quite cold and rainy and miserable outside, or the kids have homework and after-school activities, etc. The implication that a big change of plans (affecting people of any age) is easy or has only positive consequences is an example of oversimplification. The implication that parents haven’t thought of this already is an example of condescension.

    I have three kids, and I don’t give parenting advice…or rather my advice is prefaced that it will *only* work for my kids, and nobody else’s. They love play with screens, and love play without screens too. They are self-balancing (within the quite limited resources I provide), and I honestly don’t understand why the hypothetical kids under discussion either have too many resources, or were not taught to self-balance.

    I don’t find the video troubling, beyond the substitution of cute babies for cute kittens doing the same thing. Humans learn (and verify, and forget, and re-learn, and test boundaries) constantly. I think she will figure out how to turn a page *and* work a touchscreen pretty easily. She’s not stupid. We all learned similar skills, we were just older.

    • Thank you Ian for your comments.
      Although, I don’t have children and out right admit this, I have worked with kids for 10 years, so I’m not completely ignorant as to what a child can and can not do. My intent was not to be condescending about taking kids outside to play, nor was my intent to imply that if you have a child who uses a computer that they should not be doing so. In addition, I feel that this post has somewhat come across as ‘parenting advice’ and if I came across in this manner, then I truly apologize for my comment.
      What bothered me most about the video was not the child playing with a the ipad – kids are naturally curious and will play with anything the flashes, moves, changes etc. It was the statement the parent said at the end of the video – almost thanking Steve Jobs for ‘programming’ his child. As stated in the beginning of the post, this post is about the idea of ‘being programmed’ . For me, this video very clearly shows us the lack of education and information on the side of the parent. In fact, the majority of those reading this blog are Ubuntu users and therefore are already way ahead of the curve and will pass this information on to their children. But for the 95% of those using either Windows/Apple the parent isn’t informed and educated about the ideas of ‘being programmed’. For me, this video isn’t just a funny babies video but foreshadows a possible future.
      Thanks again for your well thought out comment.

      • “It was the statement the parent said at the end of the video – almost thanking Steve Jobs for ‘programming’ his child.”

        I most heartily agree that was disturbing!

        I suspect we are actually in agreement on the original point you were trying to make – that an attractive screen is a temporary plaything and not a substitute for the parent’s attentive interaction and guidance.

        My apologies for getting wrapped up in phrasing, and taking the comments away from the point.

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