Re: Transhumanist ideas on TV!

J. R. Molloy (
Tue, 3 Aug 1999 11:55:20 -0700

From: Scott Badger <>
>I saw the first in a series of 8 of these last week. It was about the
>quirky human fascination with time-saving devices. Like how orange juice
>went from being packaged in a half gallon paper container with the tear
>side to a container with a twist off cap on the side to a container with a
>pull-tab opener. Another example was how manufacturers of cd players were
>now including a feature where one can reduce the usual 3 seconds between
>songs down to 1 second. Why wait? You have better things to do with your
>time! I'm not so sure we're as fascinated with saving time as we are
>manipulated by corporate product managers who feed on our obvious desire
>"new and improved" products. Ted Koppel made a paternal-like appearance at
>the end of the show and voiced his opinion that we are caught in a
>technological tyranny.

I think the time-saving devices segment intended to point out that a part of the human brain measures and compares the time it takes for various operations to complete. A fraction of a second saved by one method means that another (longer) method results in the brain having to wait out the extra time -- and feeling bored for that amount of time. So, every new and faster technology eventually supplants older versions, even if the difference only amounts to a fraction of a second, because users (customers and buyers) get used to faster products and services (and get impatient with the old products/services).

(Koppel struggles under the technological tyranny of his hairpiece.)