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The Social Dilemma


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The documentary movie The Social Dilemma is now on Netflix, watched it last night. Without diminishing the dangers of social media, I think the problem goes way back. I have been addicted to watching screens since I saw my first cartoon in 16mm in 1957 and my first TV a couple of years later. My brothers and I could sit in front of Grandma's TV all day in Sydney on holidays, even sit and watch the test pattern. I got my first desk-top computer at work in 1976 (HP 9825) and was glued to it writing and running programs as much as I could. Five years earlier I had my nose stuck on the glass of the computer room watching the tapes spin my Fortran programs. I still spend too many hours each day watching Netflix, Youtube, Facebook and sites like this. I must be particularly susceptible or gullible. So it is unfair to criticise my grandkids if they prefer playing with a screen to playing footy.

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You have an unhealthy obsession with screens. You'll have to learn to wean yourself off them and find a real life in the outside world. It can be done.

People have even been known to go cold-turkey on screen obsession, but many users need to see a professional to enable them to start the small steps to a normal life. Yes, I can assure you, there is life outside a screen. :cheezy grin:

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Screen obsession is actually a fascinating and entirely new mental health development, that is essentially 21st century. There are professionals making a good living from trying to help those with an unhealthy screen obsession.

I think it probably comes back to the fact that a lot of people suffer from some level of obsessiveness. Some are right over the top - like the bloke just up the street from me, who suffers from OCD.

You hear him trying the door handle on his car exactly 11 times after he locks it - every time. He does the same when he locks the house.


There was an interesting story about the Finnish Defence Force and its National Service recruits. The Finnish Army found a large number of their young recruits were sufferers from excessive screen time - largely gamers - and they had major problems with socialising with other people on a personal, one-to-one basis. The FDF had to introduce a programme into their training to try and resocialise these youngsters. I don't know how effective their training was.


I'm personally of the opinion, that OCD and screen obsession is on the edge of the autism spectrum. SWMBO has a friend who has a son who is a screen-obsessive gamer. He's over 30 now, and spent probably 15 years locked away in his bedroom, gaming.

He would rarely socialise with any of the family, just come out of his room for a meal, and then go back into his room again to game. He actually ended up with serious depression, and started talking about committing suicide.

He's never had a girlfriend, never had a real job, dropped out of many education courses, including tertiary education, and his parents worry about him constantly.

His Dad actually got him to start driving one of his small delivery trucks a couple of days a week, to try to get him into the workforce. He seems to be doing that O.K. - probably because he has minimal social contact doing that job.


I've seen small kids throw major tantrums when a screen device was taken away from them. I think there was a news article where a youngster killed a parent who took their phone off them, due to their obsession with it.

I never take any personalised screen device into the bedroom. No phone or laptop or computer ever goes in there, it's a place to sleep, and relax, not play with screen devices.

There's plenty of evidence that constant screen exposure causes structural alterations in the brain, particularly in youngsters developing brains. And virtually all teenagers, and even some 20-somethings, still have developing brains.



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What's a public phone?? :cheezy grin:


Brother (80 this week) was amused when he went into an image reproduction business this week to get some of my photos reproduced from a CD. I had the photos scanned from 35mm slides onto the CD in 2000.

He was mentioning this to the couple working in the business - a gent and a young lady. But the YL was looking bamboozled by the words "35mm slide", and looked even more puzzled, when the brother asked if she had seen film slides.

She had no idea slides or film cameras even existed, and couldn't believe that people used to carry around a box with a roll of film in it, that was used to take photos - and the film had to be sent away to be developed, and you got back these pieces of film mounted in cardboard of plastic, that you could only view, using a special machine and a screen! My, how times have changed, so rapidly!

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In the early 1990's I was taught how to photograph traffic accident sites with a photogrammetry camera. Basically this was a system of two cameras set on a rod so that the distance between the centres of the lenses was known. The camera system was set up on a tripod, like a surveyor's tripod. Small plastic cones were laid out through the scene to be reference points in the photographs. At intervals along the line of cones, a pair of glass plates were exposed, so that at the end of the survey there was a collection of pairs of slides.


Back at the office, the slides were developed to the negative stage. Then each pair was put in a drafting machine and viewed together to see a 3D image. The machine operator would then trace over the photographs to produce a very accurate plan. The location of objects on the plan was determined by the distance between the reference cones. Not only could the operator produce an accurate scale plan of a site, but could also produce data for radius of curves and slopes of the surface.


The viewer in the machine was not dissimilar in design and use as this 19th Century stenograph viewer. 230px-Holmes_stereoscope.jpg


Many of us had one of these as a child. image.jpeg.ebf0f61ed973df8996df274e98a3b6fe.jpeg


While looking for these images on the 'Net, I discovered that since those days of the 1990's, photogrammetry, like every other useful tool has been digitised. There are now many software programs that allow a person to create files for the production of 3D objects from photographs taken with a Smartphone, or even a digital SLR camera.


Things change so quickly. Talk about a Brownie Box now and you're not talking photography, you are talking paedophilia.



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4 hours ago, old man emu said:

In the early 1990's I was taught how to photograph traffic accident sites with a photogrammetry camera...

I studied a unit of photogrammetry in the 80s and found it fascinating; many of the techniques were developed for interpreting wartime aerial photos. Decades later, my kid made good use of my old textbooks in her training.




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