As a preface to this writing, we would declare two consequential principles. First, we are sincerely in favor of progressive change, in every conceivable area; scientific, intellectual, societal and technical with the sole proviso, however, that, the change, ultimately, redounds to the benefit of humankind. Second, this writing is a hybrid, containing, a critical, serious and illustrative review of so-called societal “advances,” and changes, which, intrinsically have, or portend, retrograde results. The presented changes and “advances,” have been selected, in an attempt to dispute a commonly held, reductionist conceit, that any new change, is progressive..
RECENT CHANGES and “ADVANCEMENTS”
[The Smartphone]: The catastrophic advent of the “Smartphone, resulted from society’s willing surrender and thoughtless exchange of invaluable, personal interactive conversation, for cold, inexpressive, and mistimed, digital symbols, transmitted onto a small, handheld, lighted, screen by one party (only) to the desired interaction. The relatively insignificant benefits, of facility and convenience, has been foolishly elevated above the devastating loss of vital intimacy and humanism, so needed, in these troubling times of societal divisiveness and dysfunction.
[Alexa, remote television controls]: The public is eternally, chided, in the public media, for its unhealthy lifestyle, relative to its lack of physical exercise and the issuance of dire warnings of the dire pathological consequences, attendant upon being a “couch potato.” In this context, a plethora of commercials, are daily broadcasted, hawking various and sundry exercise machines, gym programs, all persuasively accentuating, the medical proscription of inactivity.
Yet, television remote appliances and sound-generated activities permit the individual to satisfactorily, accomplish desired tasks without the necessity of motion, the latter developments, being a boon to couch potatoes and anathema to the promotion of exercise. The reader may wish to read our earlier essay, entitled, ”Who Invited Alexa?”
[Fitbit pedometers] Normally, the length of an intended walk or jog is calculated and considered, in advance. The extent of the intended distance is, easily, and normally, measurable, by reference to the established and fixed, objective measures of distance. The number of steps, (which would vary with the individual), to be assessed by the Fitbit, understandably, can only be of interest to the obsessive personality; since the objective measurements of distance are miles, yards and feet. In any color or style, the Fitbit pedometer, seems properly, attributable, to personal insecurity or hypochondria.
[Hands-free driving, braking, parking] It is empirically rational, to assume that every ownership of an automobile, portends the eventual need for repair. The automobile repair business, consequently, accordingly, has been a consistently needed and thriving area of enterprise, since the advent of Ford’s Model T. It is empirically, foreseeable, that the robotic automotive device, which governs these newly advanced functions, particularly, the “benefit” of the “hands-free” robotic function, like all automotive parts will, predictably, degrade, causing disastrous results. Like many “advancements,” the desirability of this ridiculous indulgence, is far outweighed, by its potential for disaster.
Additionally, please be on notice, that the operation of robot vacuum cleaner can be hazardous to nervous household cats.
[Changed sense of Nationhood]: The recent, uniquely, disastrous term of Donald J. Trump, presaged a significant worsening of a subtle, latent, National divisiveness, formerly, plaguing the Nation. Trump, tactically, exacerbated the dangerous condition, to the degree that neighbor shunned neighbor, in the event of his maintenance of disparate views. In accordance with the stereotypically, autocratic playbook, Trump disparaged truthful facts, in favor of “alternate reality,” attacked the media, expressed approval of right-wing bigotry, appealed to selfish, xenophobic Americans, by his obdurate opposition to immigration, disrespected the Constitution and the Rule of Law, as well as societally prescribed morality. Such anti-establishment behavior, apparently, appealed to the discontented, insufficiently educated and poorly informed, citizens, who voted him in, tactically, supported by financing from industrialists who value profits over (regulations protecting) health.
The ensuring alteration, or material change, from our traditional feelings of democracy, amounts to another example of unfortunate, recent change. The historically, reverenced, identification with, and pride of Nation, on the part of many of the citizenry, has declined and morphed from the faith in government to conspiracy, ideation and disrespect; obviously, a current alteration for the worse.
[The infernal Karaoke] The Karaoke, as known, is a relatively recent development, in which people, aided by a microphone, sing along to an instrumental rendition of a well-known song, with the deletion of its singer. This mechanical advance is, apparently, of great pleasure to the user, who has never ( for good reason) sung in public before. The usual result is a flat, off-tune travesty, unnoticed by the musically engrossed performer. It may reasonably, be understood, as a rare opportunity or franchise, for formerly muted, would-be singers, but in its impact, amounts to auditory trauma for listeners. There are those who opine that the Karaoke was Japan’s revenge regarding its loss in the World War
SUGGESTIONS FOR MODERN USEFUL INNOVATIONS
For those readers who stubbornly, persist in adamantly, maintaining the view that “changes,” by definition, are improvements, we would offer the following innovative, subjects for suggested, future development and business entrepreneurship:
Organically raised plant-based, neckties and T-shirts
Recyclable (paper) facial tissues, for the chronically allergic
Alexa- driven, rapid to moderate speed, knitting needles
Permanent non-slip banana peels (two yr. warranty)
Foghorn doorbells for the residential hearing challenged
Eatable (vegan) pencil erasers, for accountants, auditors and teens
Reusable chewing gum with personalized carrier
After-shave lotion- marinated, safety razors
Light gray or black colored chalk
Italian style, pepperoni pizza-flavored, bubble gum
Eatable nail polish and savory gardening gloves (vegan, gluten-free)
Environmental process, converting sawdust to eatable ingredients for hamburger, baking mixtures, etc.
Confectionary, pink-colored, foot and body powder
Musical (classic or rock) push brooms
There are too many potential new changes and creatively, inspired advancements to fully set forth. The defining quality and considered value of innovation is their beneficially, sole value.